British Cycling welcomes Labour’s commitment to cycling

British Cycling welcomes Labour’s commitment to cycling

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British Cycling’s policy adviser Chris Boardman has welcomed the Labour party’s commitment to making the roads safer for all cyclists, following the launch of a 10 point plan to tackle dangerous HGVs at a Labour Party summit on Wednesday.

“The Get Britain Cycling inquiry report is a blueprint we would like to see all political parties use to develop robust plans for cycling in this country."

British Cycling policy adviser Chris Boardman

Boardman attended and gave an address at Labour’s London Cycle Safety Summit this morning. The meeting, led by Shadow Transport Secretary, Mary Creagh MP, follows a previous meeting with Labour’s Shadow Transport Team in 2012.

British Cycling had previously worked with Creagh’s predecessor Maria Eagle MP to develop Labour’s Cycling Manifesto which was first presented during the parliamentary debate for Get Britain Cycling.

Following the deaths of a number of cyclists on London’s roads in recent weeks, which prompted Boardman to publish an open letter to Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, the issues discussed at the meeting are helping to shape Labour’s policies on cycling ahead of a general election in 2015.

Commenting on the summit, Chris Boardman said: “The Labour Party has the opportunity to develop a solid set of targets and ambitions for cycling ahead of the 2015 general election.

“The Get Britain Cycling inquiry report is a blueprint we would like to see all political parties use to develop robust plans for cycling in this country driven by appropriate targets and incentives.

“Cycling is the solution for so many problems that we currently have in this country. There is a huge obesity issue at the moment which in turn puts a huge strain on the NHS. Getting more people on bikes would also go a long way to tackling problems with pollution and congestion.

“It was encouraging to hear today’s announcement from Mary Creagh about Labour’s ideas to deal with the problem of dangerous HGVs. We will now fully consider her 10 point plan and will continue to work with all political parties to ensure that cycling sits at the heart of manifesto plans ahead of the 2015 general election.”

The issues that were discussed at the meeting included:

  • How do we improve cycle safety in London – what lessons can be learned from the fatalities on the capital’s roads?
  • In what ways should traffic law and enforcement change and how do we improve training and awareness?
  • What should be our approach to HGVs and other large vehicles in terms of equipment, restrictions and improving awareness?
  • How do we encourage greater levels of cycling – what are the lessons from the continent, and how do we promote, incentivise and provide opportunities to cycle for all?
  • How do we improve cycling provision – what is the right way to plan and design cycling facilities and improve existing roads?

British Cycling Campaigns Manager, Martin Key, who spoke on cycle-proofing at the conference added: “Cycle-proofing is fundamental to improving cycle safety. It’s about making sure cycling is accommodated from the start in all transport policy and designed into all roads and junctions.

"All too often cycle provision is an afterthought and that’s when problems occur.”