This article was published in 2005, in Newsletter 63.
As a member of the Cycling Campaign Network (CCN), Cambridge Cycling Campaign regularly receives a bundle of newsletters from other local cycling campaigns across the country. Here are a few items from the latest bundle.
GPs to remain neutral on helmets
After conducting its own literature review of the evidence for and against the wearing of cycle helmets, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has decided that the results of research are ambiguous and that there is insufficient evidence for the College to take a stand one way or the other. Its position will therefore remain neutral with no plans for a further review.
Several other medical professional bodies favour a helmet law. However, so far as is known the RCGP decision and the former BMA position not to support helmet compulsion were the only ones made after a comprehensive review of the evidence. The subsequent BMA decision to support compulsion was the direct result of lobbying without consideration of the wider evidence.
The Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation has compiled an overview document summarising the existing state of knowledge about cycle helmets, the arguments for and against, and the outcomes of existing helmet laws. There are references to more detailed information. The document has been subjected to rigorous peer review and is believed to be the most comprehensive analysis of the subject available. It will be updated as appropriate from time to time.
The document can be downloaded as an information sheet, suitable for distribution, at www.cyclehelmets.org/papers/d1139.pdf
It would be helpful if CCN groups could link to the document as a standard reference on the subject, and distribute copies freely when it might be influential. (CCN News)
London Bike hire
A self-service automated bicycle hire system called OYBike has been piloted successfully for the past 12 months in Hammersmith and Fulham, and their bikes can be spotted locked up at various locations around West London. Enquiries to Bernie Hanning, OYBike Systems Ltd, AMC House, 12 Cumberland Avenue, London NW10 7QL. tel: 0845 226 5751.
National figures show that in 2000, 821 cyclists were given fixed penalty notices for cycling on the pavement. 788 drivers were given FPNs for driving on the pavement in the same year. (Dorset Cyclists’ Network)
Don’t miss Warrington Cycle Campaign’s tongue-in-cheek picture captions at www.warringtoncyclecampaign.co.uk/facility-of-the-month .