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The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
Press Enquiries: Charlotte Hester/Alison Brinkworth 0121 248 2135/2134.
Out-of-hours 07785 540 349.
Journalists wishing to attend the conference should contact the press office in advance.

How to solve the problem of rising cyclist deaths at a time when the UK is experiencing a cycling revolution will be discussed by road safety experts in Birmingham next month.

They will meet at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ annual Road Safety Conference, which this year, will consider how to make roads, behaviours and environments safer for the increasing numbers of cyclists. Held as the RoSPA Road Safety Seminar for the past two years, the event has been renamed to reflect its growing size, influence and popularity.

The event - titled Road Safety and the Cycling Revolution - is taking place at the Crowne Plaza in Birmingham city centre on Tuesday, February 25, and is sponsored by Britax.

Among those presenting at the event will be Dr Harry Rutter, director of Halsa Consulting Ltd and chair of the NICE Programme Delivery Group on Guidance on Walking and Cycling. He will offer a public health perspective on the promotion of cycling and the challenges associated with encouraging more people to get involved.

Offering a view from the saddle will be Roger Geffen, campaigns and policy director at CTC, the national cycling charity which is supporting the conference. He will talk on what work needs to be done to improve safety and protect vulnerable road users.

Dr Divera Twisk, from the SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research, will talk about how The Netherlands’ Sustainable Safety vision looks to integrate safety as a key design requirement for road traffic and will reveal what the UK can learn from this policy.

Trish Hirst, road safety officer, and Kathryn MacKay, road safety project officer, both from City of York Council, will reveal how the start of the Tour de France cycling race, which takes place in Yorkshire this year, has provided an opportunity for road safety partnerships in the Yorkshire and Humber regions to promote cycling and put out a strong road safety message at the same time.

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety, said: “We have witnessed a sharp increase in the number of cyclists killed on our roads, rising by 10 per cent to 118 in 2012, with the number of seriously injured cyclists rising for the eighth year in a row to 3,222[1].

“The time has come to create a coherent safe network for our cyclists, as well as boosting the provision of cyclist training and encouraging both drivers and cyclists to work together to share the road and help each other to avoid collisions, which in severe cases can lead to loss of life.

“This conference will help to tackle some of these pressing issues and will bring road safety professionals together to discuss new approaches to cycling safety, as well as encouraging cyclists and motorists to share the road safely.”

Road safety professionals wishing to book a place at the conference should visit www.rospa.com/events/roadsafetyconference/, contact the events team on 0121 248 2089 or email events@rospa.com.

[1] Department for Transport’s (DfT) Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2012 Annual Report

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