The Liberal Democrats have committed to promote safer cycling with better facilities, an expansion of the National Cycle Network and introduce a cycle ‘Gold Standard’ for train and bus stations.
BikeBiz quizzed the political party on its commitment to cycling and the cycle industry ahead of the General Election next Thursday (May 6th).
If elected, the Liberal Democrats said they’d introduce a number of new measures to benefit cycling, including improved standards for cycle facilities on trains and buses: “Liberal Democrats will require train and coach operators to accommodate bicycles on all new vehicles and improve cycle storage and parking at stations. We will introduce a cycling ‘Gold Standard’ award for all rail and bus stations which meet minimum cycle facility standards, including adequate provision of secure cycle parking and information on local cycle routes."
When quizzed on whether the party would commit to the current Cycle to Work scheme – whereby cyclists can buy a cycle tax-free to encourage higher numbers of cyclists – the party spokesman said the Liberal Democrats had no plans to cull initiatives created by the current Government. He told BikeBiz: “We agree that cycling can help to combat obesity, man-made climate change and congestion and we have no plans to cut pledges already made by the Government on cycling schemes.”
Encouraging safe cycling would also be a priority for the party: “We are committed to including the promotion of safer cycling and walking in all local transport plans and promoting ‘Liveable Cities’ with requirements for decentralised public services like schools and hospitals and safe walking and cycling routes in new developments."
Road safety would also be a key target for the Liberal Democrats, the spokesperson added: “We will seek to further boost cycling through our commitment to improving road safety, road quality and reducing traffic levels, on-road cycling which will make cycling easier, safer and more accessible to all.
“We recognise that the majority of cycle trips (65 per cent) are commuter trips to work or school with the road network providing the best resource. That is why we will promote cycling competency schemes and encourage better facilities for cyclists and ensure that road traffic law is enforced with equal vigour in relation to cyclists in order to secure the safety of all road users ."
"We will also promote an expansion of the National Cycle Network, particularly off-road routes."
The party spokesperson concluded: "All these measures together will help to boost cycling which should be beneficial to independent bike retailers.”
BikeBiz will be bringing further news on the main political parties and their commitment to cycling ahead of the General Election over the next week.
The Labour Party has also pledged support for cyciing in the run up to the election.