Have you noticed that there will be a British general election in December? Hopefully you plan on voting. (If not, why not for goodness sake?!) As I did in 2017, I have looked at the different party manifestos for mentions of the word ‘cycling’. All the main UK-wide parties have now published their manifestos and, predictably, The Green Party has the most mentions of the word ‘cycling’ (6), followed by The Liberal Democrats (4) and The Conservatives (4), the The Labour Party (2) with The Brexit Bunch muppets trailing in last position with, err… no mentions for cycling on their website. No surprise there.
Everything you read below is quoted directly from the manifestos themselves.
The Green Party Manifesto
Total mentions for ‘cycling’: 6
The Green New Deal will revolutionise our transport system by ending dependence on carbon, and investing instead in alternatives that work for better for the climate and for people. This means more reliable and affordable trains, electric buses and trams, and better options for cycling and walking.
Our Green New Deal for transport will invest in public transport, walking and cycling so wherever people live they are not forced to use a car, by:
- Spending £2.5 billion a year on new cycleways and footpaths, built using sustainable materials, such as wood chips and sawdust.
- Create a network of electric vehicle charging points across the country, by requiring their construction through the planning system and encouraging the private sector to deliver them. We will ensure that these charging points are located in public places, and do not take up pavement and cycling space. We will require all existing petrol stations and motorway service stations to offer electric vehicle charging points by 2025.
- Civilise our streets by making Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (in which rat-running is blocked) the norm for residential areas and making 20 miles per hour the default speed limit. These changes would reduce traffic, carbon emissions and danger to people walking and cycling. They would restore our streets to all people. They would also form part of a wider commitment to the core principle of the Vision Zero campaign – that there should be no fatalities or serious injuries as a result of road traffic collisions.
- Ensure through the planning system that all new housing is served by high quality walking and cycling routes and much improved bus, tram and local rail services. New residents must not be forced into car use.
We have a plan to transform and reconnect with the countryside, which will:
- Open up car-free access to the National Parks with new cycling, walking and bus links.
The Liberal Democratic Party Manifesto
Total mentions for ‘cycling’: 4
Britain’s transport systems are broken. Commuting by rail is expensive, unreliable and unpleasant, and away from the major commuter routes, buses, trams and trains are so infrequent and expensive that cars are essentially made a necessity. This in turn has made air pollution – mostly caused by cars – one of the biggest causes of preventable illness in the UK, causing at least 40,000 premature deaths a year and costing the NHS £15 billion. And surface transport is now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, with almost no progress in reducing them since 1990. The UK’s share of international aviation and shipping emissions has risen by almost 80 per cent since 1990. Liberal Democrats will meet this challenge by:
- Investing in public transport, buses, trams and railways to enable people to travel more easily while reducing their impact on the environment.
- Placing a far higher priority on encouraging walking and cycling – the healthiest forms of transport.
- Accelerating the transition to ultra-low-emission transport – cars, buses and trains – through taxation, subsidy and regulation. Together these steps will tackle the clean air crisis, meet the challenge of climate change, improve people’s health, stimulate local and regional prosperity and develop British zero-carbon industries, with benefits for jobs, growth and exports.
Reducing the Need for Car Travel
Liberal Democrats will invest in public transport, improving its reliability and affordability, reform the planning systems to reduce the need to travel and promote cycling and walking. We will:
- Give new powers to local authorities and communities to improve transport in their areas, including the ability to introduce network-wide ticketing, like in London.
- Implement, in cooperation with local authorities, light rail schemes for trams and tram-trains where these are appropriate solutions to public transport requirements.
- Restore bus routes and add new routes where there is local need; we will provide £4.5 billion over five years for this programme.
- Introduce a nationwide strategy to promote walking and cycling, including the creation of dedicated safe cycling lanes, increasing spending per head five-fold to reach 10 per cent of the transport budget.
- Build on the successful Local Sustainable Transport Fund established by the Liberal Democrats when in government, and workplace travel plans, to reduce the number of cars – particularly single-occupancy cars – used for commuting, and encourage the development of car-sharing schemes and car clubs and autonomous vehicles for public use.
- Amend planning rules to promote sustainable transport and land use.
The Conservative Party Manifesto
Total mentions for ‘cycling’: 4
We will support commuter CYCLING routes, so that more people can cycle safely to work and more families can go out together. We will create a new £350 million CYCLING Infrastructure Fund with mandatory design standards for new routes. We will extend Bikeability – CYCLING proficiency training – to every child. And we will work with the NHS to promote CYCLING for healthier living.
The Labour Party Manifesto
Total mentions for ‘cycling’: 2
We will increase the funding available for CYCLING and walking. We will bring together transport and land-use planning to create towns and cities in which walking and CYCLING are the best choice: safe, accessible, healthy, efficient, economical and pollution- free. We will help children’s health and well-being by ensuring street designs provide freedom for physically active outdoor play and by introducing measures to ensure the zones around our schools are safer, with cleaner air.
The Brexit Party Manifesto
Total mentions for ‘cycling’: 0
Have you ever believed what a political party puts in their manifesto?
Yes, I do. In the same way that I believed my Christmas list when I was a kid. Some things would be delivered, some not. They are wish lists in an ideal world. Often, realpolitik intervenes…
Anything to defeat the Tories.
Amen to that…
It is beyond important that people register and take part.