November 24, 2004 at 12:22 am #9177GixParticipant
MCI CALLS FOR ROAD SAFETY PROJECT FUNDING IN ROAD SAFETY BILL
On the eve of the Queen’s Speech and responding to continuing concerns about motorcycle safety, MCI is calling for the UK government to create ring-fenced funding for local road safety projects such as the highly successful Bikesafe scheme.
Bikesafe is a police led scheme which was piloted in 1996 and has been running in a number of force areas since then. Bikesafe combines rider assessment, road safety discussion and assisted motorcycle riding to identify areas where riders could benefit from advanced motorcycle training.
Bikesafe acts as a conduit to more established training programmes and is very popular among riders of all kinds. Increasing interest from riders and the spread of the programme to encompass the majority of the UK led to the launch of a national Bikesafe initiative at MCI’s road safety conference in May 2004.
The programme is currently co-ordinated nationally by North Wales police and officers around the country often give up free time to ensure the scheme’s success. As well as being popular among riders, Bikesafe can claim success in cutting casualty numbers. Bikesafe London is one of the most popular in the country and is heavily oversubscribed. MCI believes that the programme has helped towards the 8% decrease in motorcycle casualties in London in 2003.
Resources for Bikesafe have always been tight, with many programmes relying on the good will of chief police officers and individual police motorcyclists. As a result, earlier this year, Bikesafe, with the support of MCI applied for proper year-to-year funding from the network of safety camera partnerships. This was refused due to the current rules surrounding how revenue raised from speed cameras can be used.
Questions in Parliament exposed unwillingness by Government to change the rules so that road safety programmes with a proven track record, such as Bikesafe, could benefit from camera cash.
As a result, MCI agreed to fund Bikesafe for the remainder of the current financial year, awarding a grant of £37,500. This grant is a one-off and MCI retains the view that the successful road safety programme that Bikesafe represents should be funded from central Government resources.
Craig Carey-Clinch, MCI Director of Public Affairs said; ‘Continuing concern about motorcycle safety indicates clearly that a successful scheme like Bikesafe should benefit from Government funding. We find the unwillingness of Government to fund the programme from speed camera cash perplexing. On one hand we have Ministerial concern about motorcycle safety and on the other hand a refusal to fund the very scheme with a proven casualty reduction track record.
‘The Road Safety Bill offers an ideal opportunity for Government to set the record straight and put money where ministerial mouths are. This is why MCI is today calling for the Road Safety Bill to create funding mechanisms for Bikesafe and other proven local casualty reductions schemes.’
The roads are my race track!!
LOVE IS GIVING SOMEONE THE POWER TO DESTROY YOU, BUT TRUSTING THEM NOT TO DO IT.
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