Today, the Borough Council's Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee receives a report about cycling in the town centre during 2010. As most people will recall, when the centre of Darlington was pedestrianised, there was considerable resistance from a number of quarters to the idea that cycling could be part of the new arrangements. But following a number of studies, including our own, that showed that town centre cycling posed little danger to anyone, the council backed cyclists. At the same time, and to calm the fears of others, it agreed to set up a monitoring programme and regularly review the decision. Today that review takes place.
You can download the full report here. Here are some interesting extracts:
"whilst cycling continues to increase across Darlington and at high levels through the town centre, no personal injury accidents have been recorded by the Police and incidents reported to the Transport Policy team do not show any collisions between a cyclist and a pedestrian."
During this period, there have been three collisions between pedestrians and cars (two taxis and a private car) in the Pedestrian Heart. The private car failed to stop. The manner of the reporting suggests that the pedestrians were at least partly to blame. All injuries were described as slight.
The only cyclist/car accident reported was not strictly within the Pedestrian Heart. A car decided to do a U-turn at the Stonebridge/Tubwell Row/Crown St mini-rdbt. A cyclist attempted to avoid a collision, contact was minor, but as a result he collided with a kerb and then a wall. This was rated as a serious injury. There is no comment as to prosecution or outcome of injury.
There has been only one 'reported incident' in the year - by a cyclist, of cyclists: ".. two young cyclists overtook him at close proximity on Tubwell Row and then appeared to nearly collide with two pedestrians before performing a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre on a car."
A representative from the Campaign will be at the committee meeting today to argue that the monitoring process should now be terminated.