Archive for the ‘Election 2010’ tag
The last installment today as the Green Party reveal their manifesto, and at last a specific commitment:
“We would prioritise transport modes according to the following hierarchy:
1. Walking and cycling
2. Public transport (trains, trams and buses) and rail freight
4. Heavy goods vehicles
To encourage walking and cycling for shorter journeys and improve road safety we would:
• Reduce speed limits (e.g. to 20mph in built-up areas, including villages).
• Make streets safe; make them public spaces again. Plan for mixed-use developments where shops, housing and businesses are closely located and connected by pavements and cycleways.
• Introduce a maximum speed limit of 55mph on motorways and trunk roads, and 40mph on rural roads, to make them safer for all road users.
• Introduce schemes such as Home Zones, Safe Routes to School and pedestrianisation.
• Ensure that at least 10% of transport spending is on securing a shift to more active travel like walking and cycling……..”
As the saying goes, what’s not to like?
Day three and time for the Lib Dems. To misquote Iris Murdoch from last Saturday’s Guardian the Lib Dem policy in Sheffield seems to be one of shameless self promotion, but nationally they have bought out a manifesto with a commitment to ‘Include the promotion of safer cycling and pedestrian routes in all local transport plans.’ Sounds good, but as I observed yesterday, pretty vague. In fact I’m starting to get the impression that because cycling is showing a surge in popularity the parties have all thought ‘how can we name-check it without committing ourselves?’
This suspicion deepens when the next section is headed ‘a fair deal for motorists’. Car culture is alive and well and presenting itself as a downtrodden majority currently getting a rough deal it seems.
The Conservatives have one reference, namely:
‘We will support sustainable travel initiatives that work best for local communities by:
• giving the concerns of cyclists much greater priority;’
So far so vague, but the motorist tempting populist commitments seem rather more concrete:
‘We will stop central government funding for new fixed speed cameras’ and ‘We will consult on the introduction of a ‘fair fuel Stabiliser’. This would cut fuel duty when oil prices rise, and vice versa. It would ensure families, businesses and the whole British economy are less exposed to volatile oil markets…’
Personally I would be more convinced if cycling commitment had a similar level of detail.
Labour has a commitment to ‘ trebling the number of secure cycle- storage spaces at rail stations.’ jolly good but then in an obvious populist touch they also argue that ‘Tackling road congestion is a key Labour priority.’
Plus ça change….