Green Party would switch car journeys to more cycling and walking

Green Party would switch car journeys to more cycling and walking

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The Green Party has pledged that they would “reduce the number of journeys made by car and switch as many journeys as possible to walking and cycling,” in a response sent to British Cycling’s #ChooseCycling network.

The #ChooseCycling network – a group of major British businesses that believe more cycling would be good for their employees and customers – wrote to party leaders in March asking for four key commitments on cycling to be included in manifestos.

Sharing the belief that investing in cycling will help business thrive, encourage people to live healthier lives and to make Britain a more pleasant place to live, the network asked parties to commit to allocate 5% of Britain’s transport budget to cycling, and to set a target for cycling to account for up 10% of all trips.

The response received from the Green Party commits to “directing funding that prioritises cycling” but does not include any numbers. The Party has since pledged to spending £30 per head per year on cycling which is a level currently enjoyed in countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands.

The Green Party response also commits to “provide cycle parking throughout towns and cities at locations where there is demand, and invest in on-street secure cycle storage in residential streets.” The party also supports 20mph zones.

Interestingly, the party’s response also addresses the need for changes to the justice system. The party believes that “motor vehicle drivers should be presumed liable for injuries to pedestrians and cyclists.”

Recognising that lorries are involved in a disproportionately high number of incidents involving cyclists, the party also states that “newly manufactured lorries must be equipped with best practice technology to make sure that drivers are fully aware of the presence of all pedestrians and cyclists.Lorries already in use must be retro-fitted with the same equipment and lorries not so equipped will not be allowed into our towns and cities.”

Citing Brighton where the Green Party holds its one parliamentary seat, the response states that the party has created “the largest connected 20mph zone in the country.” As a result of these and other measures, Brighton saw an 11% increase in daily cycle journeys from 2009 to 2012 as well as a reduction in road casualties.

British Cycling’s policy adviser, Chris Boardman, said:

“The Green Party clearly recognise the many benefits that investing in sustainable transport can bring to communities and it’s commendable to see them committing to giving cycling £30 per head per year from the off – the same funding levels enjoyed by great cycling cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

“If the Green Party do end up with some influence within the next government it would be fantastic to see them put their cycling commitments at the heart of their agenda as a way to transform Britain’s towns and cities, creating more pleasant places to live and work.”

Tomorrow British Cycling will publish the response that it has had from the Conservative Party. The #ChooseCycling network is still waiting for responses from the Labour Party, Plaid Cymru and UKIP.

Image: Flickr: Jo T - Creative Commons