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Nigel Farage and fellow UKIP MEPs - past and present - led opposition to revised rules partly designed to protect cyclists and pedestrians

More MEPs from the UK than any other country voted on Tuesday against adopting new rules on lorry design partly aimed at making them safer for cyclists and pedestrians, road.cc can reveal. Among the 12 were UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage and his counterpart at the British National Party (BNP), Nick Griffin.

The new regulations, which were adopted overwhelmingly by the European Parliament which voted 606 to 54 to adopt them, with 12 abstentions, have been welcomed by cycling organisations and road safety campaigners alike, as we reported yesterday.

Half of the UK MEPs voting against the amendments to an existing directive regarding the length and weight of lorries belong to UKIP, which according to the latest polls is set to beat the Conservative Party into third place in next month’s European elections.

The party is likely to significantly improve on its 2009 result, when it secured 16.6 per cent of the vote, giving it 13 MEPs in Strasbourg, although six have since resigned, most recently Godfrey Bloom in September last year.

According to the independent website VoteWatch Europe, joining Farage in voting against adopting the revised rules on Tuesday were five of the six other remaining UKIP MEPs, John Agnew, Gerard Batten, Derek Clark, William Earl of Dartmouth and Roger Helmer.

Former UKIP MEPs now sitting as independents who also voted “no” were Trevor Colman, Mike Nattrass and Nikki Sinclaire. Diane Dodds, from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, also opposed it, as did the BNP’s Griffin.

The Conservative Marina Yannakoudakis voted against the amendment but subsequently entered an official note to say that she had actually intended to abstain.

Curiously, UKIP heads to next month’s local and European elections without a manifesto after Farage, speaking to London radio station LBC in January last year, denounced the one produced for the 2010 general election as “drivel.” He said a new manifesto would be drawn up after the European elections.

The transport section of that 2010 manifesto said that UKIP “supports pedal cycles as a healthy means of personal transport,” although much of the detail, such as a proposed requirement for owners of bikes to obtain third party insurance and display a “Cycledisc” on the frame, were seen by campaigners as being likely to deter people from cycling. Here are some highlights:

10.2 We believe that there needs to be a better balance of rights and responsibilities for pedal cyclists, with too much aggressive abuse of red lights, pedestrian crossings and a lack of basic safety and road courtesy.

10.6 UKIP would consult on the desirability of minimum third party liability insurance cover for cyclists - a simple annual flat rate registration ‘Cycledisc’, stuck to the bicycle frame, to cover damage to cars and others, which are currently unprotected. The Cycledisc should also carry clear identification details, which will help counter bicycle theft, and deter dangerous cyclist behaviour. We support provision of cycle parking at reasonable charges.

10.7 UKIP believes that basic cycle and safety training should be made mandatory, and be funded in schools or via local authorities. UKIP supports the campaign work of national cycling organisations.

10.9 Local authorities should be given additional powers to enforce a ‘cyclists dismount’ or ‘no cycling’ regulation where there are safety concerns – such as on busy roundabouts, junctions or bus lanes, or where the road would be too narrowed by cycle lanes and cause
unacceptable delays to traffic.

"Drivel" indeed.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

26 comments

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mad_scot_rider [581 posts] 2 years ago
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I love how their manifesto tries to make suggesting changes that would harm cycling into some sort of support

Mealy mouthed, weasel words

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Wolfshade [187 posts] 2 years ago
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Given that lorries are involved in more fatalities than one would expect (based on % of traffic) surely you would vote for any change that would make lorries safer.

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Wookie [234 posts] 2 years ago
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Yea well those d*@k heads from UKIP can kiss my big fat hairy arse  19

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rich22222 [164 posts] 2 years ago
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Don't vote UKIP, they want you dead.

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plowsie [17 posts] 2 years ago
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As if I didn't need another reason to hate Nick Griffin anyway...

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Kim [228 posts] 2 years ago
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The problem is that people are willing to vote for a party with no manifesto because they don't understand that democracy matters.

We need to get people to understand the democratic process and think about who they vote for and why. There are good candidates out there, we just need to get them elected...

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Belaroo [44 posts] 2 years ago
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wow it really is like " we will tolerate women providing they keep their mouths shut, don't complain if we abuse them and don't mind keeping their pesky kids away from our power tools."

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goggy [153 posts] 2 years ago
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UKIP voted against them. yet another reason not to vote for muppets with no policies then  105

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zanf [835 posts] 2 years ago
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Kim wrote:

The problem is that people are willing to vote for a party with no manifesto because they don't understand that democracy matters.

We need to get people to understand the democratic process and think about who they vote for and why. There are good candidates out there, we just need to get them elected...

Democracy is a sham. It is the tyranny of the majority.

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therevokid [948 posts] 2 years ago
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oh for the love of god ... what a bunch of pr4t5 .....  14

Why are the law breakers in their tin boxes not persecuted then ??

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step-hent [722 posts] 2 years ago
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zanf wrote:
Kim wrote:

The problem is that people are willing to vote for a party with no manifesto because they don't understand that democracy matters.

We need to get people to understand the democratic process and think about who they vote for and why. There are good candidates out there, we just need to get them elected...

Democracy is a sham. It is the tyranny of the majority.

Where's my tin opener gone? There's a can of worms here that needs opening.

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step-hent [722 posts] 2 years ago
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step-hent wrote:
zanf wrote:
Kim wrote:

The problem is that people are willing to vote for a party with no manifesto because they don't understand that democracy matters.

We need to get people to understand the democratic process and think about who they vote for and why. There are good candidates out there, we just need to get them elected...

Democracy is a sham. It is the tyranny of the majority.

Where's my tin opener gone? There's a can of worms here that needs opening.

Found it.

What's the reasonable alternative then?

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paulfg42 [387 posts] 2 years ago
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Wow, that's a manifesto supporting cycle use?  13

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bikebot [1916 posts] 2 years ago
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UKIP is also the party that strongly supported high speed rail, until they noticed there were votes to be taken in the Tory heartlands if they opposed it.

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parksey [343 posts] 2 years ago
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I probably wouldn't read too much into this from a "UKIP wants to endanger cyclists" perspective, it's UKIP, they basically just vote against *anything* the EU proposes.

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bikebot [1916 posts] 2 years ago
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goggy wrote:

UKIP voted against them. yet another reason not to vote for muppets with no policies then  105

UKIP have lots of policies. Telling a potential voter what they are is a very effective way of ensuring they don't vote for them.

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Username [179 posts] 2 years ago
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How dare the European Union come over here and save lives!

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Mart [110 posts] 2 years ago
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Only angry uninformed idiots vote for UKIP and the BNP.

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zanf [835 posts] 2 years ago
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step-hent wrote:
step-hent wrote:
zanf wrote:
Kim wrote:

The problem is that people are willing to vote for a party with no manifesto because they don't understand that democracy matters.

We need to get people to understand the democratic process and think about who they vote for and why. There are good candidates out there, we just need to get them elected...

Democracy is a sham. It is the tyranny of the majority.

Where's my tin opener gone? There's a can of worms here that needs opening.

Found it.

What's the reasonable alternative then?

Heres one, for starters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_decision-making

But you have to consider that every time someone says "we live in a democracy", its not really true. We live under representational parliamentarianism.

We vote for people to represent our constituency for a period of time, and those people will vote against local wishes if either their party calls for it, or a lobbyist with a wheelbarrow of money comes along and asks them nicely, and we have little to no power of recall.

Its an antiquated, creaking system that is plagued with corruption and corrupt people.

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mooseman [87 posts] 2 years ago
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Is it just the uK that 'suffers' from this volume of cyclist/HGV incidents or is it a similar level across the EU?

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brooksby [1267 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

We support provision of cycle parking at reasonable charges.

If I have to start paying for cycle parking then I want proper secure under-cover (sheltered) parking, not scabby wheel-bender stands out in the open at the end of the shops where the tramps hang out.

Same as, if we were to start paying to use roads then I want proper dedicated cycle infrastructure. Its not fair that I, as someone who cycles way more than drives, am still subsidising the construction and maintenance of a motorway network that I am not allowed to ride on.

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HarrogateSpa [354 posts] 2 years ago
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If insurance to cover bikes scratching cars, and proper enforcement of 'cyclists dismount' signs, are the biggest cycling issues as far as UKIP are concerned, they are more stupid and bigoted than I thought possible.

UKIP are abhorrent.

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arfa [747 posts] 2 years ago
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UKIP are the proof that you must engage with the democratic process. Look what you end up with when you don't.

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MKultra [396 posts] 2 years ago
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This is the price of apathy. If you do not vote then minority interest bigots will rally their minions and get them self elected, then they do bad things in your name and you are powerless to boot them out for 4 years - and by then the damage is done.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing..."

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stealth [254 posts] 2 years ago
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Did anybody see the story about Asian Wasps invading earlier this week....

Oh, I don't think the changes to Truck design go far enough, they will still be able to 'see' over the roofs of other road users. Keep on trucking!

UKIP Manifesto? Isn't that an oxymoron...

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stevebull-01 [63 posts] 2 years ago
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Farage can go forth and multiply. Making out that cycle safety is purely the responsibility of the cyclist? What about the idiot I was riding behind today who thought it was ok to drive and use his phone at the same time!?