‘Labour Cycles’ transport policy

This popped up on Twitter:

Warnock may be a bit optimistic thinking that ‘everyone should be able to sign up to’ those statements. The second statement seems ok, but the first is political tosh and the third is very party specific.

But it turns out that Labour Cycles is a UK Labour thing:

Labour Cycles is a group of Labour members and representatives committed to ensuring that everyone has the ability to be involved in active travel.

We want to see a national manifesto that delivers high quality protected cycling infrastructure across the UK and an increased share of the UK transport budget.

Most people already have “the ability to be involved in active travel” – called legs. Cycling is another way of being active when travelling, but “high quality protected cycling infrastructure across the UK” is an extremely lofty aim.

However this sort of idealism may be seen more here, with the Greens being keen on promoting safer cycling infrastructure.

Recreational cycle trails around the country are becoming very popular.

The difficulty is in shifting commuters from cars to cycles.

A lot has been spent in Dunedin on installing cycleways  on main thoroughfares. Initial designs proved to be dangerous – placing cramped cycle lanes beside heavy traffic on urban state highways was a crazy approach. So they are scrapping that approach and spending a lot more money separating the cycle lanes.

This will be safer for cyclists, but there is scant sign of people taking to biking in any numbers. I occasionally see a cyclist or two on the main cycle lanes in Dunedin. People are sticking to cars, and now have to compete with fewer car parks as these are converted into cycleways.

It isn’t as simple as putting in safer cycleways – I have biked to work in the past, but apart from a bloody big hill to contend with now I don’t have showering facilities at work so it isn’t practical for me to cycle, even when the weather is ok in the summer.

‘Build them and they will come’ has not worked when it comes to cycleways.