Cities fit for cycling


Lots of constituents have contacted me about the Cities fit for cycling campaign being led by The Times to improve cycling safety in British cities.

I have joined them in supporting this campaign and have added my name to a parliamentary motion calling on the government to take further action to improve cycling infrastructure and reduce the number of casualties on roads.

Cycling is good for improving health, helping the environment and reducing congestion. I agree with you about the importance of cycle safety and measures to prevent cyclists being killed or seriously injured on our roads.

It is a real concern that the numbers of cyclists being killed or seriously injured is going up. It is not good enough for the road safety minister to dismiss as ‘rubbish’ the concerns that his government’s decisions have made our roads less safe for cyclists. It was reckless of the government to cut road safety budgets and funding for speed cameras while abolishing Cycling England, allowing longer HGVs on our roads and ending national targets to cut deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

The Labour Party has been looking at this issue as part of our current policy review. We have backed three proposals that could make a major difference to the safety of cyclists, particularly in our towns and cities.

First, a proportion of existing government funding for roads should be sent aside to be spent on building new cycle ways, improving junction design and installing traffic light phasing to give cyclists a head start.

Second, the government’s trial of longer HGVs should be axed and income from the proposed HGV road charging scheme used to support the road haulage industry in upgrading safety measures and training.

Third, the national targets to reduce deaths and serious injuries on Britain’s roads, axed by the current government, should be reinstated.

Read more about the campaign online here.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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