Measures to help improve road safety for cyclists have been announced by the government and will come in to force during 2015.

As part of the plans, the dedicated space for cyclists at junctions will be enlarged, and changes to road markings and street signage will be introduced, in an attempt to improve safety and decrease confusion for road users, particularly at dangerous junctions.

In addition, low-level traffic lights will be installed to enable cyclists to see changing signals more easily. Local authorities will also be able to introduce cyclist-only filters at traffic lights, giving cyclists a ‘head start’ on other road users.

Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, commented: “Improvements to road markings, if that means greater safety, is always welcome and is long overdue. What this mustn’t be though is a ‘paint job’ that does nothing.

“It’s not clear where the money for this is coming from but it will ultimately be the taxpayer and it will be a waste of public funds if what we get is prettification that car drivers can ignore at will. Sitting in cyclists ‘advance boxes’ at lights or ignoring filter lights must be made an offence in the same way that sitting in a yellow box at a junction is and ignoring traffic lights are now.

“At Thompsons, we have seen far too many injured cyclists, the most vulnerable road users, and cyclist fatalities and serious injuries are rising. We have published recommendations on what should be done and while these latest measures are a step in the right direction, the government mustn’t be allowed to evade real change with a slap of paint and a few lights.”