AN URGENT review into cycle safety has been broadly welcomed by councillors and cyclists in Basildon and Southend.

The new review, announced by transport minister Jesse Norman, is being held following the death of a woman, Kim Briggs, 44, who was hit by cyclist Charlie Alliston as she crossed the road in East London in February last year.

Alliston will serve 18 months in prison.

The cyclist was riding a bicycle which had no front brakes and was deemed not safe to be used in pedestrianised areas.

Adam Jones, press secretary of the Southend Wheelers cycling group, said that although he feels the review will modernise legislation for cycling, he hopes it is not solely based on the incident that happened in London.

He said: “A new law about dangerous cycling is wholly legitimate.

“However, this sudden Government review is worrying for its apparent lack of concern for the safety of cyclists. Coming so soon after Charlie Alliston was jailed, appears to be an attempt to capitalise on furious headlines in the media while ignoring both official statistics and cyclist’s oft-reported experiences of dangerous driving by car, van, lorry and bus drivers.”

Stuart Allen, councillor for Crouch ward at Basildon Council has welcomed the idea of a new review into cycle safety. However, he hopes that there it will also deter pedestrians who could stray into areas that are designated for cyclists.

He said: “I think that pedestrian safety is an area that should be looked at closely.

“Pedestrians do also sometimes wonder into the cycles reserve areas, so there is not a lot of respect from them.”

Mr Jones agreed with Mr Allen, adding that cyclists should not take all the blame in light of the new review. He said: “I am concerned that Jesse Norman’s eagerness to announce a ‘review’ of the law, or lack of it, will further exacerbate negative perceptions of cyclists. The majority of people who cycle do so safely and within the law but are often vilified and misrepresented. Instead, they should have the total support of policy makers.”

Alan Ball, councillor for the Wickford Castledon ward, said that for the new review to be effective, there needs to be encouragement of a new culture within the cycling community. He added: “I encourage cyclists but I encourage safe cyclists. There needs to be respect both ways from riders and pedestrians. “I think we can take a lot from countries like Belgium and Holland where cycling is a pastime done by couples in the evening. That is something you would not see in this country and we must encourage a new culture within cycling so that any change can work in the future.”