As you may have noticed, there’s a general election next month, and soon we’ll be bringing you coverage on road.cc of the main parties’ manifesto commitments when it comes to cycling.
In the meantime, national cyclists’ organisation CTC is urging bike riders to write to prospective parliamentary candidates to make sure that cycling issues form part of the agenda at the hustings.
We've mentioned the campaign, called ‘Vote Bike,’ before, but with voting day now set, it's timely to reinforce the initiative’s central message of getting the next government to “commit to double cycle use within ten years, making cycling mainstream in the longer term.”
In order for that to be achieved, CTC has set out a six-point manifesto, as follows:
- “Commitment to cycling from government departments, local authorities, health and other relevant bodies, to contribute to a national doubling of cycle trips whilst halving the risks within ten years.
- Cycle friendly planning and design by local authorities and developers.
- Practitioners need the training, skills, assessment tools and political support to deliver quality cycling conditions throughout the road network.
- Safe drivers and vehicles to tackle the threats of lorries, speeding and irresponsible driving, through training and awareness campaigns for both drivers and cyclists, backed by lower speed limits (e.g. 20 mph for most urban streets) and stronger, better enforced road traffic law.
- Better provision for combining cycling with public transport by ensuring good
access to stations and interchanges, secure parking (including ‘cycle hubs’ at major stations) and sensibly managed provision for carrying cycles on public transport.
- Encouragement, incentives and opportunities to try out cycling, in schools and workplaces, and for key target groups (e.g. health patients and disadvantaged groups), plus tax incentives to support the use, purchase and repair of cycles and related accessories.”
So, how can you help? Well, CTC has made the process as simple as possible, with a form on its website that, once completed, will generate letters to the prospective parliamentary candidates in your constituency and send them off through the magic of email – a pretty painless process that takes a minute or so to complete, but one that ensures that the politicians who are after your vote are aware of your concerns. You can also take a bit longer and customise the message if you wish.
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.