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11 October 2012

Freshening up on Cyclist Safety: MPA Runs Cambridge Freshers’ Fair Event

On 2 and 3 October, the Mineral Products Association (MPA) supported Cambridge University Freshers’ Fair by running a very well-received Cycle Safe event as part of its national campaign to promote cycle safety.  Hanson UK supported the event on Parker’s Piece and provided a cement tanker for the safety demonstration.  Over 100 cyclists, including students and members of the public, took the time to get into the vehicle, watch the demonstration with a bicycle and find out where to position themselves safely on the road when cycling in relation to large Goods Vehicles (LGVs) to avoid collisions.  Everyone who took part in the event was offered a free high visibility vest to take away with them and safety leaflets were also distributed.

Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive MPA, said, “MPA’s Cycle Safe campaign aims to prevent collisions between cyclists and Large Good Vehicles (LGVs) by raising awareness on both sides of how to cycle and drive as safely as possible. Our sector is committed to playing its part in minimising hazards and risks for all road users. We particularly wanted to attract students new to cycling and are very pleased that we managed to reach as many cyclists as we did. We hope that they will have found the experience very valuable for when they are out on the Cambridgeshire roads.

“We urge cyclists to be aware of the potential risks of undertaking Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs) and getting too close to them at left-hand turns and roundabouts. The most dangerous situation is when cyclists are on the nearside of vehicles turning left.”

Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge and Joint Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group also visited MPA’s Cycle Safe event to see the Association’s outreach work in action. He said:

“This is an excellent campaign and I am delighted that it was so well-received by the students.

“Heavy goods vehicles pose a dangerous risk to cyclists and, by raising awareness through campaigns such as this, hopefully we can reduce the number of deaths and serious accidents on our roads.

“There is a need for HGVs to have appropriate mirrors, cameras and sensors - although not so many that the driver is overloaded - but also for cyclists to behave sensibly around them.

“By working together and with everyone playing his or her part, we can make cycling safer and encourage more cyclists onto our roads.” 

Cambridge is a major cycling city and Cambridge City Council was the first to sign up to The Times newspaper’s Cities Fit for Cycling Campaign launched in February 2012.  In 2010, 20 cyclists were killed or seriously injured on Cambridge roads, making Cambridge the constituency with the third highest number of reported casualties outside London*. In the UK, every year, hundreds of cyclists are injured or killed in accidents with motor vehicles, including lorries. The continuing growth in the number of cyclists, particularly in urban areas, is increasing the risks of collisions between cyclists and motor vehicles.


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