The government is aiming to improve cycling and pedestrian safety after an increase in fatalities last year

The government is looking into possibilities where drivers could be given a discount on their premium if they take a cycling awareness course.

The plan will assess whether insurance companies could offer discounts to drivers and motorcyclists who have passed Bikeability training. The Department for Transport (DfT) will work closely with courier companies to explore incentives for drivers who undergo training in driving safely alongside cyclists, pedestrians and horse-riders.

It is part of a wider, 2-year project where he DfT is looking at 50 different measures to improve the safety for cyclists and pedestrians on UK roads.

Last year, 100 cyclists and 470 pedestrians were killed on UK roads, an increase of 5%.

The new measures are also an attempt to encourage more people to cycle and walk, leading to less pollution and cleaner air.

Collaborative measures

The plan is championed by cycling and walking minister, Jesse Norman, who said: ”Greater road safety— and especially the protection of vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders – is essential.

“We want to improve air quality, encourage healthy exercise, reduce obesity and boost our high streets and economic productivity.

“That means more support for cycling and walking, and that’s why these new measures are designed to deliver.”

The government worked with charities and organisations such as Brake, the road safety charity and Living Streets.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake said: ”People who choose to cycle or walk should be able to do so in a safe and welcoming environment; active travel is not only great for personal health but public health too.

”With cyclists and pedestrians among the most vulnerable on our roads, safety, and the perceptions of safety, need to be addressed to encourage more people to leave their cars at home and get active.

“We welcome the government’s action plan, which couldn’t be more timely as people across the country are encouraged to be more #BikeSmart for national Road Safety Week.”

Meanwhile Joe Irvin, chief executive, Living Streets said: ”Too often people walking pay the ultimate price on our roads. This is unacceptable and we need opportunities like this to make our roads safer.

”Looking to improve the Highway Code for walking and cycling, and appointing a cycling and walking champion can help make our streets safer for everyone.





Insurance reaction

The ABI, however, says it has not been approached by the government about the proposals and is unsure what impact lower premiums for drivers would have.

A spokesperson for the association said: “We are unaware of this proposal. There have been no discussions between the ABI and the Government on any proposals around motor insurance premiums and its Bikeability scheme.

“Insurers support improved road safety, but in 2017 less than 0.1% of motor claims involved cyclists, so it is hard to see how this could have any meaningful impact on premiums.”