Writing to your MP is a simple and effective way of pressing for change.
Just click on WriteToThem.com, enter your post code and select your local MP.
When you see the page that allows you to add your email message, feel free to use the text below for inspiration. Personalising your message adds to its effectiveness.
Fear of traffic is by far the most persistent deterrent to new cyclists. If you ride a bike, you’ll know that vehicles pass too close, too often. This can be intimidating, and increases the chance of collision, sometimes with appalling consequences.
At present, the Highway Code advises drivers to “give cyclists at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car”. This is confusing.
Bikes are not cars. They’re less predictable, they travel more slowly, they can’t see what’s behind them, they swerve to avoid potholes, and they have no steel shell to protect them. It’s pretty obvious that such vague guidance puts cyclists at a disadvantage.
For the rules of the road to be respected, they need to be clear. That’s why I urge you to support the campaign at http://www.3feetplease.org.uk which is calling for a mandatory minimum three feet of space between bicycles and passing motor vehicles. More and more countries are adopting safe passing rules, including France and 15 US states.
A fair and measurable distance would reduce the scope for error and dispute. Fewer close calls would improve perceptions of safety, make existing cyclists more confident and encourage more drivers to use the bike instead. And if everyone complied, there need never be another collision.
I would be most grateful if you would let me know what actions you propose to take in support of a safe passing rule in the UK.