Last week, our report on the UK Independence Party’s transport policy generated some lively discussion here on road.cc and now we’ve turned our attention to the opposite end of the spectrum to see what the Green Party has in store for cyclists.
There’s little doubt that the party’s profile has risen in recent years. Following the 2009 local council elections, it has 125 local councilors throughout England & Wales, with a strong presence in places such as Oxford, Brighton & Hove, Norwich and the London Borough of Lewisham.
It also gained almost 8% of the vote in last year’s European elections, giving it two MEPs, while Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson both represent the party on the 25-strong Greater London Assembly, while outside England & Wales, sister parties have done well in elections to the Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly.
Party leader Caroline Lucas, meanwhile, is strongly tipped to become the party’s first MP, and as well as the Brighton Pavilion seat that she is contesting, the party has strong hopes in Norwich South and Lewisham Deptford, and is also targeting success in next month’s local elections.
Unsurprisingly, sustainable transport figures strongly in the party’s policies, with cycling an integral part of that, and in the Transport section of its manifesto, the party says that to “encourage walking and cycling for shorter journeys and improve road safety we would:
No real surprises there, then, and very much in line with initiatives already being promoted by cycling campaigners such as CTC. Those policies, of course, sit within a broader framework of transport initiatives including promoting greater use of public transport and reducing dependency on motor vehicles.
The proposed reduction of reduced speed limits would no doubt meet with resistance from the motoring lobby, although elsewhere in the manifesto, there is a proposal to do away with car tax – erroneously often described as “road tax”, as highlighted by the iPayRoadTax campaign – and replace it with “a purchase tax on new cars that reflects their emissions. That way we would affect the types of car chosen at the time that matters, when they are bought new.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.