Promoted by David Beale, 36 Pleasant View, Withnell, Chorley PR6 8SE on behalf of Martin Powell-Davies of TUSC.

Friday 10 April 2015

Vote Bike means voting against spending cuts

CTC, the national cycling charity, has been encouraging members to contact their prospective MPs as part of their 'Vote Bike' campaign. As a CTC member myself, and regular cyclist with Penge CC, I have been very happy to respond in support of their five questions:

1. Ambition. Will you support measures to increase levels of cycling to 10% of trips by 2025 and 25% by 2050?
2. Funding. Will you support an average government spend of at least £10 per person per year on cycling?
3. Design standards. Will you support action to create consistently high design standards for cycling in all highway and traffic schemes, new developments and planned road maintenance work?
4. Safety. Will you support measures to improve cycle safety by strengthening road traffic law and its enforcement and revising the Highway Code?
5. Positive promotion. Will you support the positive promotion of cycling, including cycle skills training, for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities?

However, promoting cycling will take more than fine words, it needs resources - when the main parties all promise further spending cuts. That's why I have responded further to say:

"I am keenly aware of the need to properly invest in measures to improve cycling safety and to encourage people of all ages to consider greater use of cycling and other means of sustainable transport over inefficient and environmentally-damaging individual car use.

As all of us who cycle in London know, there are real dangers to cyclists from the lack of investment in genuine traffic-free cycle lanes, particularly at busy junctions and, as cuts to council services continue, from deteriorating road surfaces and potholes too. 

Training for cyclists and drivers alike, as well as expansion of secure storage facilities, e.g at rail stations and on trains themselves, would all also encourage cycle use. All of us who have cycled in, say, Belgium or the Netherlands, know how far behind we are in providing these kind of facilities.

These developments need to be part of a plan for an integrated public transport system across the capital with much-reduced fares and increased capacity to encourage drivers to switch from cars to other forms of transport.

Of course, all this requires resources. However, CTC's hope that Local Authorities, health bodies and schools might help in encouraging increased cycle use comes up against the fact that all of these organisations face budget cuts, cuts that all of the main parties are committed to continuing with if they are elected to Government after May 7. It needs more than fine words to support cycling, it needs a genuine commitment to stop cuts and to start investing in our future.

TUSC, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, is proud to make that commitment. We know that there is plenty of wealth available to meet needs, including the development of greater cycle use. Parties wedded to the 1% who hold that wealth are not going to deliver for the 99%. TUSC will".

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