Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tory Manifesto - Cycling

Sad to report, not much from the Tories either in their 2010 manifesto.I guess there's not enough votes in cycling to merit it.
"We will support sustainable travel initiatives that work best for local communities by:
giving the concerns of cyclists much greater priority..."

Nice words, but no tangible commitments there.

"We will stop central government funding for new fixed speed cameras, and switch to more effective ways to make our roads safer, including authorising 'drugalyser' technology..."

The fact is, speed cameras work rather well. Fair enough if it's a move to mobile cameras or average speed cameras, but that's not spelt out, and the implication I detect is they don't take speeding seriously and are after the votes of the many 'victims' of speed cameras. If the Tories think they can do better on road safety with other technologies, they've got to tell us how.

Perhaps the 'big society' initiatives could benefit cyclists, if it enables residential communities to enforce speed limits and cut down on rat-running and antisocial driving. However, it seems likely there won't be any money for infrastructure measures. And of course it could work the other way - there could be communities hostile to cycle infrastructure and cycling that could cause problems.

One last thought: Cameron is a cyclist, as is Boris. My guess is that the rank-and-file Tory party is st best ambivalent and at worst hostile to cycling, but having cyclists at the top of the organization might just make a difference. I used to think that Labour would be the natural party of cycling, but after 13 years there's very little evidence of it.

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