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Peter Burkinshaw, UKIP candidate for East Chesterton, displays contempt for cyclists and interesting grasp of how taxation works

We all love a good hustings, and Cambridge Cycling Campaign has been putting a range of questions to the prospective candidates in the East Chesterton local elections. So far only Ian Manning (Liberal Democrat) and Peter Burkinshaw (UKIP) have responded, but the replies of the latter make interesting reading in what's widely held to be the cycling capital of the UK.

Burkinshaw first affirms that he has no experience of cycling in Cambridge, before launching into a number of seemingly heartfelt but certainly ill-judged attacks on the cyclists of the city. Asked "would you agree that creating very high-quality cycling routes to encourage new people to cycle offers by far the best cost-benefit ratio for transport improvements that facilitate growth of the City and surrounding areas?", he replies, "You are asking for benefits paid for by other road users. I would prefer more car parks." And it just gets worse from there, really.

That answer is one of six (out of eleven) that either confirms Burkinshaw's belief that cyclists are "stealing road space from the people who pay for it", or calls on cyclists to "pay for their own" facilities. Such talk, obviously, belies a fundamental misunderstanding of how taxation works. As the ipayroadtax.com website very ably explains, roads aren't paid for out of ring-fenced funds but from general taxation: everyone pays, and cyclists – the majority of whom are car owners too – pay as much as anyone else. Indeed it could be argued that they pay more, since several studies have concluded that cycling is a net benefit to the economy, whereas driving is a net cost: driving, when everything is taken into account, costs an economy more than the taxes it raises. Everyone pays for that.

Burkinshaw's not finished though. Next he takes refuge in anecdote - "On several occasions, I have had to stop or dodge cyclists riding through red lights" before, amazingly, claiming that "Cars are not a danger to other road users". That's qualified by him suggesting that they need to act sensibly, but the KSI figures for the UK suggest that's not always the case.

His finishing comments are some of his finest work. He thunders that "Road space is required for motorised vehicles who pay for it. It shouldn't be wasted on people who don't", but in the very next sentence claims that "I walk to most places in Cambridge" - presumably that's on pavements that he's not paying for? after all, there's no pedestrian tax. By his own logic, they should really be dug up.

The best is saved for last. "if everybody cycled, there would be no roads to ride on", he claims, as if a lack of cars would cause them to spontaneously diasppear. His point, presumably, is that they wouldn't be there if not for cars, though we know thanks to Cartlon Reid's forthcoming book – Roads Were Not Built For Cars – that this simply isn't true, and nowhere is it less true than in cities.

That's it from him. Save for his last comment, "What is 'sustainable transport'? Is it using things that other people pay for?"

To be fair to Burkinshaw, his comments aren't far removed from UKIP official policy. Their manifesto doesn't have much on cycling, but where it does touch on the subject, it's mostly concerned with making sure cyclists behave and don't get in the way of the 'paying' road users. Mandatory third party insurance and training, fees for bike parking and additional powers to control cyclists are all covered. Promoting cycling, and provision for cyclists, aren't.

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

 

 

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

49 comments

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Cycle_Jim [264 posts] 4 years ago
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It always is a worry when people who want to run the country/counties do so little research into what they are talking about.

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YorkshireMike [92 posts] 4 years ago
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Disgraceful.

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YorkshireMike [92 posts] 4 years ago
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His email is peter_burkinshaw [at] hotmail.com if anyone wants to share their two pennies. I have.

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farrell [1946 posts] 4 years ago
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Frightening.

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BBB [447 posts] 4 years ago
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The rise of the idiots.

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Al__S [1168 posts] 4 years ago
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He's come last in seven out of seven council elections he's stood in East Chesterton. He came third last in the 2010 general election in Cambridge- won by the very, very pro-cylign Dr Julian Huppert. He's a ranting old man angry at everything with very little support, entirely out of touch with where he lives.

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aslongasicycle [389 posts] 4 years ago
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I just sent him this. He should be a big fan of British businesses (though we do employ someone who's black and I am half French, so he may not).

Sorry if its a bit small. I'll let you know if any reply. Though he's just a mad old twit, so I very much doubt it'll get us anywhere.

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hoski [88 posts] 4 years ago
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aslongasicycle wrote:

He should be a big fan of British businesses (though we do employ someone who's black and I am half French, so he may not).

That made me snort in an otherwise quiet office.

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cookdn [28 posts] 4 years ago
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On first examination Peter Burkinshaw is an idiot, but unfortunately this is exactly the type of misinformed rubbish that his target audience want to hear him say.

On the other-hand, the quotes from the UKIP policy document are scary.  17

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georgee [175 posts] 4 years ago
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Farragh yesterday was saying even they could not control if the odd nutter made it through to their council candidate, here is proof. That said I'm not sure the group as a whole are that well suited to sorting out any issues in society if you're just a bunch of Daily Mail readers.

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SamShaw [266 posts] 4 years ago
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WOW.... UKIP are everything we believe them to be... and more!

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badback [302 posts] 4 years ago
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He's probably 'on message' for his target audience of disenfranchised blue rinsed middle Englanders.

Is he anti horse riders and Lexus hybrids that don't pay VED as well then ? (Some of whom I suspect may be potentially voting for his party)

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karlowen [65 posts] 4 years ago
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UKIP probably also support the imperial measurement system. Backward and out of touch.

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themartincox [541 posts] 4 years ago
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this cycling thing, its just all a bit too european isn't it!

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The Chaplin [32 posts] 4 years ago
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[face palms]  41

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Thecambridgerocket [7 posts] 4 years ago
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Darn it. As an East Chesterton resident, cyclist, and tax payer, I guess it would be wrong for me to vote for him now. And their other policies seemed so positive and well-balanced... Ho hum.

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Thecambridgerocket [7 posts] 4 years ago
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Having said that though, if they'll get cyclists in this country referring to things in miles again instead of those jonny foriegn kilometre things, then they might just win me back over  3

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notfastenough [3718 posts] 4 years ago
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There are so many things wrong here that I'm beginning to think he's doing it deliberately in the hope of minimal backlash due to stunned silence.

@Nick Hussey - Good luck with that!

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Geoffroid [17 posts] 4 years ago
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I understand that UKIP is the party for people who would like to join the BNP but shop at Marks and Spencers.

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Bhachgen [115 posts] 4 years ago
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Geoffroid wrote:

I understand that UKIP is the party for people who would like to join the BNP but shop at Marks and Spencers.

 4 4 4

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Barnie [7 posts] 4 years ago
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"if everybody cycled, there would be no roads to ride on"

Damnit, then someone would have to invent a non road bike... maybe with fat knobbly tyres, suspension, etc... Who knows... it might even catch on!

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Al__S [1168 posts] 4 years ago
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Whilst true, in his ward his target audience is a (truly) insignificant section of the voting age population. He thankfully cannot be elected.

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Stumps [3456 posts] 4 years ago
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I'm ashamed to admit but i watched Question Time last night on tv with farage as a guest and he is only a whisker away from being a full blown member of the EDF or BNP judging by some of his comments last night. Embarrassing is an understatement, no wonder the standard of candidates is so low from them.

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fatbeggaronabike [849 posts] 4 years ago
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You set the "bar" at a certain height then look around you, lower it then watch it being smashed into, lower it even further until you end up with it set low enough that an ant could step over then UKIP still manage to hit it.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 4 years ago
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karlowen wrote:

UKIP probably also support the imperial measurement system. Backward and out of touch.

True, but what size are your tyres? (Not the width.)

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step-hent [723 posts] 4 years ago
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Genius. I particularly like the fact that his responses aren't even consistent, let alone reasoned, and that he's responded as part of his campaign in one of the most cycling-centric cities in the UK. Obviously a very clever chap.

I've emailed him too. I was slightly more sarcastic than aslongasicycle, but perhaps he won't spot that and will think I'm a genuine supporter  3

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panyagua [11 posts] 4 years ago
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It's almost enough to make me vote for Scottish independence - just in case the mass ignorance ever takes hold and this lot end up with a sniff of power. Terrifying prospect.

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scottharkins1971 [28 posts] 4 years ago
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 4 Well done YorkshireMike stirling work

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Sadly Biggins [269 posts] 4 years ago
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Is it true he wrote the first draft in crayon?

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hairyairey [301 posts] 4 years ago
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UKIP have some seriously daft ideas - including also opposing HS2 even though the WCML has only about seven years of capacity left (I work right by it - it's extraordinary how many trains there are).

Looking forward to that book coming out.

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