I guess the cycle lobbying groups have got to be seen to be doing something in election time, but does anyone genuinely cast their vote only for a party that says they’ll be nice to cyclists?
Cycling needs to be more recognised by the powers-that-be but do the cycle organisations really have much hope of diverting the political parties away from the central issues such as health, education and taxation?
Not even egg throwing protesters thumped by the deputy prime minister can bring transport issues into this election, so what hope the cycling orgs?
Anyway, here’s their joint statement:
Remember we have a vote, say cyclists
Cyclists have called for tough commitments on cycling and integrated transport from politicians battling to form the new government.
CTC, the Cyclists’ Public Affairs Group and Sustrans have called for five major pledges to improve provision for cyclists and encourage more people to cycle and use public transport:
· A commitment to achieve the National Cycling Strategy target of quadrupling cycling by 2012
· Co-ordinated action to support cycling in all relevant government departments
· Invest sufficient funds to enable local authorities to provide a cycle route network in all settlements over 10,000 people by 2006
· Improve safety for all road users by making the enforcement of traffic law a performance measure for the police
· Ensure that cycling is effectively integrated with public transport.
Cycling improves health, saves money, helps the environment and is often a quicker way to travel, particularly over short distances in urban areas. It reduces congestion, pollution and damage to road surfaces, cuts public health costs and improves productivity at work.
The National Cycling Strategy (NCS), to which the present government is committed, sets a target of quadrupling cycling by 2012 against a 1996 base. Delivery has been patchy across the country, however, and CTC calls upon all political parties to show their determination to hit the NCS target.
David Simper, CTC’s Campaigns and Policy Manager said: "Last year’s Transport White Paper placed a lot of emphasis on increasing cycle use. But implementation of pro-cycling policies has been slow and we have not seen significant increases in cycling as a result. Practical and well-resourced policies that encourage people to cycle are urgently needed. Political parties must remember that cyclists are voters too."
The CTC has worked well with governments in the past to promote and protect cyclists’ interests and looks forward to doing so again with the new Government.