Minister wants specialist cycle schemes to prevent fatalities

Cycle safety campaigners took part in the meeting

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Transport Minister Keith Brown has said a range of schemes designed to protect cyclists on the roads could prevent future fatalities.

It followed a meeting he had on Wednesday with safety groups.

The initiatives, included special traffic lights and 20mph zones and cycle lanes on new roads.

The meeting was convened after the death of an Edinburgh man earlier this month who became the fourth cycling fatality in the city in a year.

Mr Brown said: "Scotland's roads are perfectly safe when everyone uses them responsibly and with respect for each other.

"I am asking partners to work together with Transport Scotland to deliver these solutions to help prevent further tragedies of this nature."

The event brought together a range of bodies including local authorities, the emergency services, motorists' interest groups and cycling safety organisations, to discuss ways of increasing safety on the roads.

Despite the deaths in the capital there has been a 12% fall in the number of cyclist casualties across Scotland between 2000 and 2010.

Traffic controls

Delegates heard about Scottish government support for 20mph speed limit zones in residential areas and the installation of flashing amber lights as part of a traffic control system to help accommodate cyclists.

John Lauder, a director with the sustainable transport charity Sustrans said : "I am delighted that Keith Brown has dedicated this meeting to cycle safety.

"While the number of people using bikes in Scotland grows there is still a widespread perception that roads are dangerous places for cyclists."

The Scottish government have road safety targets that include a 30% reduction in people killed on Scotland's roads by 2015 and a 40% reduction by 2020.

Kathleen Braidwood, road safety officer for RoSPA Scotland, said: "At RoSPA, we think it is important to break down the 'us versus them' mentality on the roads, and it is crucial that all road users, whether they are pedestrians, cyclists, drivers or motorcyclists, understand that they have a responsibility for road safety."

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