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The Haddenham Safe Walking & Cycling Group welcomes the latest government proposals to reduce the number of cyclists and pedestrians killed on the roads. Last year, 100 cyclists died on UK roads and 470 pedestrians were killed, an increase of 5%.

Among the plans, we particularly welcome the idea that motorists' insurance premiums could be reduced if drivers take a course to make them more aware of cyclists on the roads.

In and around Haddenham many motorists do not give cyclists enough space on the road. It is frightening to have a vehicle pass 4cm from the end of your handlebars or be overtaken by a vehicle which then turns left across your path. A course might raise the level of awareness so that we can feel safer.

Thames Valley Police have not yet extended their 'Close Pass Initiative', which also seeks to educate drivers, beyond Marlow and Oxford and show no sign of introducing it to our area, despite our requests.

What is missing from the Government's plan is any measure to reduce the speed of vehicles. Speed kills. Walking and cycling organisations — Cycling UK, The Ramblers, British Cycling, Living Streets and Sustrans are disappointed about this. Cycling UK chief executive Paul Tuohy said: "Lowering vehicle speeds around people walking, cycling and horse riding doesn't just reduce the danger to them, but also their perception of the danger.

Bucks CC, please take note: the Government is encouraging Councils to spend about 15% of their local transport infrastructure funding on walking and cycling.

Cynthia Floud
Chair, Haddenham Safe Walking & Cycling Group

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