Lib Dem Act

The following is taken from 'Towards carbon free transport', (August 2007, p15). As far as I can tell this is the current policy on cycling. It may also 

It may also be worth familiarising yourselves with the current Conservative policy on cycling given that we are now in partnership in government with them. I have included both these policies below.

6.2
Liberal Democrats
In August 2007 the Liberal Democrats published a policy document, Towards carbon free transport, which stated:
Liberal Democrats would reverse this trend away from cycling and walking by:
Including the promotion of safer cycling and walking in all local transport plans;
Promoting “Liveable Cities” with requirements on higher density urban areas with local centres and decentralised services like schools and hospitals – reducing the need to travel and ensuring upgraded public transport and safe walking and cycling routes in new development;
New office blocks and other places of employment, to have proper facilities for cycling (including cycle parking and proper changing facilities)
Requiring train and coach operators to accommodate bicycles on all new vehicles, and improve cycle storage and parking at stations and bus stops.
Supporting modern bicycle rental programmes such as the ‘Cyclocity’ scheme running successfully in Paris & Lyon and for many years in Germany.
Rolling out successful pilot schemes like Sustrans’ TravelSmart which has achieved a 10 per cent reduction in car use simply by providing individualised travel advice on walking, cycling and bus alternatives, and increase travel awareness through advertising and other promotional activities, which are often the most cost effective way at achieving modal shift away from car journeys 35 ibid., p323
36 ibid., p324
37 Freeing Britain to Compete: equipping the UK for globalisation, August 2007, p27
38 Conservative Party press notice, “Flexible Funding for Greener Local Travel”, 18 April 2008; document also available on the Conservative Party website
39 “Villiers sets sights on revamping transport funding rules and NATA”, Local Transport Today, 13 February 2009 (LTT 513)
15


6.1
Conservatives
In 2007 many of the Conservative Party’s policy groups, set up after David Cameron became Party leader, reported. Two in particular, the Quality of Life and Economic Competitiveness reports, looked at transport. The Quality of Life group’s report talked about a decline in cycling and its ‘low priority’ for many local authorities.34 It went on to offer suggestions for 33 Mayor of London, The Mayor’s transport strategy: public draft, October 2009, section 5.12
34 Blueprint for a Green Economy, September 2007, pp322-323
14
promoting cycling, notably with extra funding.35 The report also suggested better facilities for cyclists, particularly in major cities; copying some of the best practice on the Continent such as the ‘Velib’ bicycle hire initiative in Paris.36 The Economic Competitiveness group’s report recommended that local authorities look at placing cycle lanes on pavements in places where it would not inconvenience pedestrians.37
In April 2008 the Conservatives announced that a future Conservative Government would convert the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) into a fund to support walking, cycling and public transport projects.38 In a February 2009 speech the Shadow Transport Secretary, Theresa Villiers, reiterated the commitment to the Transport Carbon Reduction Fund:
Villiers said the Government had been wrong to link TIF awards to congestion charging. A Conservative Government would honour any TIF commitments it inherited but she said the remainder of the £200m per annum fund would then go into a Transport Carbon Reduction Fund. Local authorities and voluntary organisations would be able to bid to the fund for cash to enhance walking, cycling and public transport. The amount of paperwork needed for bids would be kept to a minimum, she said.39

Tags: bikes, conservative, cycling

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Replies to This Discussion

To increase cycling you need to improve protection for cyclists. In Holland cyclists have right of way over cars and other road users, and if they get hit then the law usually sides with the rider. Until this happens in the UK a large majority of people will always consider it too dangerous to commute by bike or cycle in cities.

As a one off tax Vehicle Excise Duty does very little to deter vehicle use so I'd much rather see all the tax being levied on fuel, congestion charges and drivers - the more you drive, the more you pay. There's a lot of backlash against cyclists when motorists claim they don't pay road tax and shouldn't be on the roads so it would also help to do away with road tax entirely and focus all taxes on vehicles and drivers. Removing the money spent administering the system and trying to prosecute those who don't pay would also save millions not to mention the lost revenue from people avoiding the tax.

You could also reduce the number of drivers allowed to drive by ensuring that people have to re-sit their tests regularly to renew their licenses. It's always been argued that this would disproportionately impact on the elderly and low income groups but at least by making people re-sit their tests regularly you're increasing the standard of driving and removing dangerous drivers. Reducing the number of points needed to incur a ban would also decrease the number of drivers and encourage safer driving. A side effect of all this could be fewer accidents and lower insurance premiums...or am I dreaming?

I realise that these policies might be a little controversial but I'm just trying to get the conversation started!
Andy, I think that you have identified a major point regarding the law in mainland Europe. This tends to place a default liability on the operator of a more damaging vehicle. ( I have tried to get my MP - Vince Cable - on board to no effect).

20 mph limits in residential/shopping streets and in narrow country lanes would be more useful than compromise ridden facilities.

One Party policy that would be disastrous would be replacing fuel tax with road pricing on main roads. This would just encourage rat-running.

OTOH I like the requirement of train operators to accommodate ( a sensible number of ) bicycles.
I love cycling but it is far too dangerous on the roads.
Drivers of larger vehicles must be made accountable for accidents as mentioned here.
Regarding the road charging, the congestion charge in London is very good and has
improved the quality of life for everyone. Perhaps free travel cards could be given to
drivers who use park and ride car parks, with the car park charge paying for the
travel cards. If such a scheme was implemented in every town then this would
make cycling safe and raise money as well. The whole idea of who has the
"right" to use a road must be challenged with the most vulnerable ie. cyclists
and pedestrians given priority and the onus of responsibility shifted firmly
on to drivers. Rat running can be stopped when local people have the power
to decide on road use policy, for example by installing barriers and local road
humps so that respect for others can be enforced by those living near the roads.
The limit of 20 mph is not a dream it is reality in many places already like
Portsmouth. Of course it needs to be rolled out nationwide and priority must
be given to the most vulnerable, so that it is safe on all roads for everyone.
In point of fact cycling is NOT particularly dangerous - the casualty rate is comparable with walking and other forms of transport. The impression of danger is off-putting however. I have just come back from shopping and had cars squeezing past by road works. ( To some extent my fault for not taking the lane - I was about to turn left ).
I am a little worried by excessive localism - some bicycle paths have been stymied by nimby objectors and if a bike lane results in loss of car parking there is hysteria afoot.
If 20 mph is not mandated nationally traders will lobby local councils about loss of competitiveness.
Thank you Paul, Yes cycling is not "particularly" dangerous but I would not let my kids cycle anywhere
unless it was on a proper dedicated cycle path with no cars at all. It is simply not right that cyclists are
second class citizens and cyclists must be given priority on the roads. Car drivers must adapt to meet
the needs of other road users (as they supposedly have to in the highway code but simply do not).
So I agree and campaign for the 20 mph limit in all towns, cities and villages. With respectful roads
and quieter roads (because people would prefer public transport and cycling if it were better) more
people will invest in the UK and millions of jobs will be created. The UK is in an excellent place
to attract international business and meetings (we could win a large segment of the market from
Germany, for example) but we must be better than the Germans: better cycling, better public
transport and better meeting venues. We must be bold and work hard to make the UK the
most attractive place to do business with the safest roads and best conditions for cycling.
When business no longer needs the expense of running car fleets then business will be
more competitive. So our goal right now can be to meet and then exceed German conditions.
Cycle tracks everywhere, rail fares maximum 50 pounds anywhere in the UK. This is what
business has in Germany 64 euros is the maximum rail fare with a Bahn Card and so business
knows what to expect in Germany. The minimum wage is 8 euros per hour. The reality is we in the
UK are being left behind and we are loosing competitiveness because of the dependency on cars.
We have such a great opportunity now to put things right - cyclists, pedestrians and passengers first !
With very best regards, Paul

Paul Luton said:
In point of fact cycling is NOT particularly dangerous - the casualty rate is comparable with walking and other forms of transport. The impression of danger is off-putting however. I have just come back from shopping and had cars squeezing past by road works. ( To some extent my fault for not taking the lane - I was about to turn left ).
I am a little worried by excessive localism - some bicycle paths have been stymied by nimby objectors and if a bike lane results in loss of car parking there is hysteria afoot.
If 20 mph is not mandated nationally traders will lobby local councils about loss of competitiveness.
Thank you Andy, Absolutely, Holland is better and doing better with better wages and more business because
there is no need for business to run fleets of cars so costs are less. Of course the Dutch have the right way of
planning and cyclists have priority. I love cycling in Holland ! So if someone is planning a trip it is so easy to
plan it in Holland, but in the UK very, very tough. We are slipping behind because of the ridiculous UK dependence
on using cars. Families without cars in the UK are excluded in many ways. Simply not right. It is so good to see
people here caring for the cyclist and pedestrian and passengers. In this way we will improve the competitive
position of the UK. We will make the UK the best place to do business with the lowest costs due to the best
and most reasonably priced public transport and the best protection for cyclists.
We have a long way to go, so it is great to share these ideas !
With very best regards, Paul

Andy Brooke said:
To increase cycling you need to improve protection for cyclists. In Holland cyclists have right of way over cars and other road users, and if they get hit then the law usually sides with the rider. Until this happens in the UK a large majority of people will always consider it too dangerous to commute by bike or cycle in cities.

As a one off tax Vehicle Excise Duty does very little to deter vehicle use so I'd much rather see all the tax being levied on fuel, congestion charges and drivers - the more you drive, the more you pay. There's a lot of backlash against cyclists when motorists claim they don't pay road tax and shouldn't be on the roads so it would also help to do away with road tax entirely and focus all taxes on vehicles and drivers. Removing the money spent administering the system and trying to prosecute those who don't pay would also save millions not to mention the lost revenue from people avoiding the tax.

You could also reduce the number of drivers allowed to drive by ensuring that people have to re-sit their tests regularly to renew their licenses. It's always been argued that this would disproportionately impact on the elderly and low income groups but at least by making people re-sit their tests regularly you're increasing the standard of driving and removing dangerous drivers. Reducing the number of points needed to incur a ban would also decrease the number of drivers and encourage safer driving. A side effect of all this could be fewer accidents and lower insurance premiums...or am I dreaming?

I realise that these policies might be a little controversial but I'm just trying to get the conversation started!

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