Government Prepares To Favour Motorists – Again

by 103

To anyone following active travel or environmental policy developments in the UK, the news that the government is preparing to announce a ‘Plan For The Motorist’ will likely come as no surprise. After last week’s announcements on changes to net zero policies, and this week’s approval for new North Sea Oil drilling, next week’s Plan For The Motorist should keep the theme going. Before we get there, if you’re already feeling irate, Protect Our Winters has a ‘Send It For Climate’ campaign where you can send a virtual postcard to show that climate change policies are important to you.

OK… so on to next week’s anticipated policy announcement. This comes on top of cuts made to active travel budgets earlier this year. Active travel groups have joined together to criticise the latest plans, which are thought to include a variety of pro-motoring policies which will make it harder to increase the attractiveness of walking and cycling:

Cycling and walking organisations react to the government’s ‘Plan for the Motorist’

Six of the UK’s leading cycling and walking organisations have criticised the government’s ‘Plan for the Motorist’, which we expect will be officially announced by the Transport Secretary on Monday at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, saying it denies people their choice, health and freedom.

Bikeability Trust, British Cycling, Cycling UK, Living Streets, Ramblers and Sustrans, say instead of giving people real choice in how they live their lives, the plan ignores possibilities for cheap, reliable and sustainable travel, leaving many with one default option: to drive.

The government’s ‘Plan for the Motorist’ outlines plans which the six organisations say strip away opportunities for millions of families to allow their children to walk or cycle to school safely, live healthy lives, and travel to work in a cheap and reliable way.

The following is a joint statement released this morning by the CEOs of Bikeability Trust, British Cycling, Cycling UK, Living Streets, Ramblers and Sustrans.

When the government should be giving people more opportunities to live their lives responsibly, it’s robbing them of options.

When Ministers could be promoting public transport, cycling and walking as cheap sustainable options in a cost of living and climate crisis, they’re entrenching congestion and reliance on driving for short, local journeys.

When the government could respect people’s freedom to choose how they travel, it’s removing the alternatives. This is a plan that looks no further than one way of travelling and will make the roads worse for those occasions when people do need to drive.

Having a reliable bus route to work, the freedom to cycle to the park, or to be able to let your children walk to school safely while breathing clean air should not be beyond us.

This plan restricts people’s travel choices, setting the country on cruise control towards missed net zero targets and a worsening health and inactivity crisis, while denying our children of their independence and freedom to move around their local area safely.

Emily Cherry, Chief Executive, Bikeability Trust
Jon Dutton, CEO, British Cycling
Sarah Mitchell, Chief Executive, Cycling UK
Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive, Living Streets
Ross Maloney, Chief Executive, Ramblers
Xavier Brice, Chief Executive, Sustrans

Update:

The Sustainable Transport Alliance has also issued a statement. This alliance consists of: Bus Users UK; Campaign for Better Transport; Community Rail Network; Community Transport Association; CoMoUK (Collaborative Mobility); Living Streets; London Cycling Campaign; Sustrans

We need fairer, better transport for all, not just for drivers, says coalition of charities

An alliance of eight leading transport charities and NGOs has responded to speculation that the PM will introduce a ‘plan for motorists’ and called instead for fairer, better, greener transport that works for everyone and protects our climate.
The Sustainable Transport Alliance is pointing to evidence showing how developing public and community transport, walking, wheeling and cycling, and shared mobility – with local communities in control of the change we need – creates fairer access to opportunity, and enables people to make journeys that are better for our communities, our health and wellbeing, and our climate.

“Between our organisations, we work with and support thousands of communities across the UK that are striving for cleaner air, safer streets, and good transport options that serve local people well and protect our climate. We need to empower communities more, not take away control, especially when it comes to creating greener, better transport. Having good quality, joined-up and affordable public, community and shared transport, while ensuring we can all walk, wheel and cycle freely, and ultimately get to the opportunities and places we want – this is what people want and need. And it’s critical to tackling the climate emergency. We need a plan to make that a reality, not to undermine the ability of communities to make positive changes that are important to local people and our future.”

Key facts (provided by Sustainable Transport Alliance):

  • Nearly three in 10 UK adults don’t have access to a car, while nearly half of low-income households (45%) are non-car-owning;
  • Improving public and community transport, active travel and shared mobility options widens access to jobs, training and leisure, while helping to cut traffic congestion, air pollution, noise and road danger;
  • Transport is the UK’s biggest contributor to the climate crisis, and emissions have refused to fall due to a long-term trend of increasing traffic, which is set to rise further. Making more of our journeys by rail, bus, active and shared transport means cutting carbon rapidly, as well as improving public health and boosting local economies.

While you’re here…

https://singletrackworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/after-slashing-active-travel-funding-government-keeps-4-8-billion-fuel-price-discount/

WildBike MTB Holidays

WildBike is all about rocks and summits and flow and wildness. And cake. Amid the most stunning scenery in the UK and further afield. WildBike was established in 2011 and…

18 Bikes

At 18 Bikes we specialise in mountain bikes but with two NVQ level 3 qualified mechanics we are able to work on any bike, whether that’s your sunny weather road…

Blazing Bikes

The Blazing Bikes Story In 2009 we had an idea to use our land to develop a unique destination site to the UK. Based at the southern end of the south…

Mountain Bike Kerala

We are a cycling company run by riders who are passionate about all things cycling and India. Our mission is to take you to some of the best riding out there…

https://singletrackworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/downhill-from-here-how-climate-change-threatens-cycling-as-we-know-it/

Half Price Singletrack Jigsaw Bundle

Get both jigsaw puzzles for the price of one! Normally £24.99 each, get both for £24.99.

Singletrack 20th Birthday Jigsaw Puzzle

Watch me for the changes and try and keep up, okay? So much has changed in…

Singletrack Lockdown 2020 Jigsaw Puzzle

Back in stock, and ready to go.


Discover more from Singletrack World Magazine

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Author Profile Picture
Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

More posts from Hannah

Home Forums Government Prepares To Favour Motorists – Again

  • This topic has 103 replies, 52 voices, and was last updated 9 months ago by mert.
Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 103 total)
  • Government Prepares To Favour Motorists – Again
  • 27
    jimfrandisco
    Free Member

    I hope to god that their current environmental/transport policies, along with their racist immigration and multiculturalism rhetoric, are their desperate last death throes.

    12
    Daffy
    Full Member

    It’s not surprising – things have been headed this way since the Uxbridge By-election.  The Conservatives seem to have once again pivoted to the lowest common denominator rather than trying to raise it, simply because it might allow them to retain some semblence of power/vote share.

    2
    hightensionline
    Full Member

    are their desperate last death throes

    once again pivoted to the lowest common denominator

    This & this. Utterly spineless, desperate politics aimed at nothing else other than retaining their (weakened) power.
    Come the revolution…

    9
    darlobiker
    Full Member

    Looks like they are basing their policies on the daily mail comments section.

    3
    scruff9252
    Full Member

    We* are going to be thrown all sorts of “nice” things by this current lot in order to try and save their hides. My bet is on a couple of tax cuts in the next few months as they go through their death throes.

    * By we, I mean us nice upper middle class folk and up. If you decided to be poor or decided not to have white skin then you’re going to get shafted obvs.

    ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    They probably haven’t got time to get legislation through before they’re booted out of office though, and everything seems to be pointing towards a May GE.

    As has been pointed out this isn’t a great electoral strategy as the kind of people who think LTNs are a conspiracy are also unlikely to have the necessary ID to vote…

    1
    chrismac
    Full Member

    I’m quite happy for more hep for the motorist. Without my car I can’t get to the office on the days I actually goin. I cannot ride my bike anywhere I would actually want to. There is no way I am using public transport to go anywhere as it’s awful. The only exception is to London as that is less awful on the train than the car in the centre even though my car is ulez compliant

    nickc
    Full Member

    My bet is on a couple of tax cuts in the next few months as they go through their death throes.

    I wouldn’t bet on it myself

    3
    kelvin
    Full Member

    I’m quite happy for more help for the motorist.

    We won’t be getting any.

    They are just talking about overruling local decision making when it comes to road usage… but leaving in place local responsibilities to sort out the effects of road usage.

    3
    IdleJon
    Full Member

    Odd article. The government is releasing a plan next week of which you have no details other than the title. While I agree that it’s unlikely to be great news for the environment, wouldn’t it be better to save the outrage until we know the details and can form a coherent response?

     

    1
    kelvin
    Full Member

    Talk to the “CEOs of Bikeability Trust, British Cycling, Cycling UK, Living Streets, Ramblers and Sustrans.”

    Floating policies early is the government’s way of preparing the media and public for them with reduced push back from others. Organisations have got wise to this technique and try and get their points into the media alongside the governments’ own spin before it all becomes settled and old news for the media and it’s too late to be heard.

    2
    johndoh
    Free Member

    I hate the fact that my in-laws will be loving this news. I cannot believe* that they are doing these about-turns on policies left, right and centre.

    *Well I can. I just wish it was unbelievable.

    3
    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    They probably haven’t got time to get legislation through before they’re booted out of office though, and everything seems to be pointing towards a May GE.

    As has been pointed out this isn’t a great electoral strategy as the kind of people who think LTNs are a conspiracy are also unlikely to have the necessary ID to vote…

    I agree.

    But the problem it the announcements and messaging gives succour to the outdated views and policies being suggested. It increases the self-importance of many drivers, and degrades the rights AND encouragement to build a different future for ourselves.

    alexpalacefan
    Full Member

    Well as long as you’re ok.

    A 😠

    1
    binners
    Full Member

    It’s not surprising – things have been headed this way since the Uxbridge By-election.

    Its a weird thing to base your entire electoral strategy on though. They held on to Uxbridge, somewhere they have always had a huge majority, by the skin of their teeth. Its a hardly a ringing endorsement from the electorate, is it?

    This whole thing just reeks of total desperation and trying to shore up their core vote of reactionary old giffers

    Having said that, I’m just off out to ride into Bury, via this, which happens to make perfect sense when you ride through it on a bike. However, when the council putting this in last year it sent the national right wing press into a complete meltdown 🤷‍♂️

    4
    darlobiker
    Full Member

    “about-turns on policies left, right and centre.”

    Mostly right.

    Speeder
    Full Member

    I heard some news about us currently paying the highest taxes ever.  I expect this is just seeding the ground for some of the tax cuts mentioned above.

    3
    Daffy
    Full Member

    Its a weird thing to base your entire electoral strategy on though. They held on to Uxbridge, somewhere they have always had a huge majority, by the skin of their teeth. Its a hardly a ringing endorsement from the electorate, is it?

    Well, yes.  But this is from the same group of people that destroyed a country to get rid of a Political Party that was a threat to their vote share, so not exactly unprecedented in terms of near term thinking.  They need something and It’s not like they can run on their record now, is it?

    2
    neilthewheel
    Full Member

    Two years ago I wrote to my MP in support of active travel policies and received an enthusiastic reply. He told me he was a huge fan of active travel and how proud he was his government had pledged £3bn in funding, how it would improve the quality of our lives and encourage us to give up those polluting motor cars.

    That man is Richard Holden. Since he became a Junior Transport Minister he’s overseen a 1bn cut in the active travel budget and when I wrote to point out the discrepancy fobbed me off with a standard response from the DfT.

    presumably from today he now believes active travel is a lefty, wokeist conspiracy to force us all to give up being British.

    3
    oldnpastit
    Full Member

    Every town and city has a problem with congestion and pollution. And Rishi Sunak’s answer is to let more people stop in box junctions?

    Conservatives are out of ideas and out of touch. Even they know it.

    4
    traildog
    Free Member

    I’m quite happy for more hep for the motorist. Without my car I can’t get to the office on the days I actually goin. I cannot ride my bike anywhere I would actually want to. There is no way I am using public transport to go anywhere as it’s awful. The only exception is to London as that is less awful on the train than the car in the centre even though my car is ulez compliant

    What as a motorist do you feel you need helping out with? There is a huge amount spent on “the motorist” and not alot spent on anyone else, which presumably is why you feel there is no option for you other than to take your car to the office. It even seems that proven ideas to make our towns safer for all isn’t going to upset the motorist too much.

    11
    molgrips
    Free Member

    Without my car I can’t get to the office on the days I actually goin. I cannot ride my bike anywhere I would actually want to. There is no way I am using public transport to go anywhere as it’s awful.

    Those are exactly the problems we want to solve, and those are the problems Sunak wants to prevent people solving.

    oldfart
    Full Member

    As a Sustrans Volunteer I’m helping with our local Active Travel event tomorrow, wondering if it’s just peeing into the wind 😔

    1
    hatter
    Full Member

    For all Boris’s many (Many, many many) faults I do think that he actual believed in climate change and active travel and he was seen as enough of an electoral asset by his party that he was allowed to carry those views into No.10 without having his rank and file party members up in arms.

    Now Sunak’s clutching at straws it’s no surprise he’s ditched these policies at the first opportunity. The party faithful never liked them and the voters most likely to approve of them aren’t going to vote for him anyway.

    joemgh
    Full Member

    So what’s in the Plan? That was a whole lot of scrolling without any information.

    ”Down with whatever they say next!”

    1
    tjagain
    Full Member

    I’m quite happy for more hep for the motorist. Without my car I can’t get to the office on the days I actually goin. I cannot ride my bike anywhere I would actually want to. There is no way I am using public transport to go anywhere as it’s awful. The only exception is to London as that is less awful on the train than the car in the centre even though my car is ulez compliant

    I’m all right jack sod you, sod the health of everyone else, sod the poor who don’t own cars.  Me me me me

    Cars are subsidised from general taxation hugely.  You already get loads of help by not paying the full costs.

    1
    hightensionline
    Full Member

    ”Down with whatever they say next!”

    Yeah, up with raising speed limits! In fact, let’s just abolish them and make it easier for the police to ignore speeding.

    It’ll be announced on Monday, at the Tory sleazefest conference in Manchester.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    I’m all right jack sod you, sod the health of everyone else, sod the poor who don’t own cars.  Me me me me

    I presume are holier than the rest of us. Do nothing that’s bad for the environment. The reality is that cars are the most convenient and realistic way of getting around for the foreseeable future

    5
    tjagain
    Full Member

    I have never owned a car.  I do my best to live a low impact lifestyle for a westerner.  Its still nowhere near good enough of course.

    1
    hightensionline
    Full Member

    Cars are still incredibly convenient at 20 mph in built-up areas.

    4
    oldnpastit
    Full Member

    The reality is that cars are the most convenient and realistic way of getting around for the foreseeable future

    I own two cars but I know plenty of people who have zero cars and no intention of getting one and seem to do just fine, including one of my grown up children.

    Yes it makes some things more annoying but when I think about the thousands of pounds of rapidly deoreciating metal and plastic standing idle outside my house right now it makes me wonder what I was thinking of.

    3
    Kramer
    Free Member

    Cars are at their most convenient when not so many other people are in cars because they don’t have to be.

    1
    spooky_b329
    Full Member

    The reality is that cars are the most convenient and realistic way of getting around for the foreseeable future

    Just because they are the most convenient for you, doesn’t mean that active travel policies and funding will not benefit others.  Loads of people round my area queue along a busy coastal road every rush hour despite there being 15 minutes buses, many just need a bit of a nudge to get on their bike or car.

    Highways have just completed a 16km segregated cycle lane near me that is very popular with cyclists despite all the vocal drivers on social media claiming no one will ever use it. They want the road turned into a dual carriageway. A fag packet calculation suggests the budget for the cycle lane would have built just a few hundred metres of dual carriageway.  It just shows how cancelling one big road scheme could fund segregated cycle lanes along many of our trunk roads…I still don’t have any safe ‘road’ options to travel north or east despite living in the south-east near the South Downs.

    Imagine if they hadn’t done smart motorways and instead put segregated cycle lanes down every A road. We’d have a world class leading cycle network by now

    Daffy
    Full Member

    I’m quite happy for more hep for the motorist. Without my car I can’t get to the office on the days I actually goin. I cannot ride my bike anywhere I would actually want to.

    How far is the office from your house and how often do you travel?

    Would having say 70% of your potential cycle commute on dedicated cycle paths actually convince you to ride?

    …or is it all too difficult and do you just want it cheap and easy?

    1
    kerley
    Free Member

    do you just want it cheap and easy?

    I do. However I also support 20mph speed limits and other controls to improve getting around for drivers and non drivers. It is still cheap and easy to drive around even with the above.

    1
    jimster01
    Free Member

    Outside the big cities public transport is a joke, a lad I work with uses the bus to Malvern from Worcester, the last bus was 10pm ish, nowadays it’s 6.18 Monday to Saturday, and doesn’t run on a Sunday.

    joemgh
    Full Member

    Yeah, up with raising speed limits! In fact, let’s just abolish them and make it easier for the police to ignore speeding.

    Is that what’s coming? If so, then fair enough, but where did you find the information?

    I was in Wales this week and the new 20mph speed limits felt much more appropriate in villages.

     

     

    2
    Bruce
    Full Member

    There are a significant number of the carcentric on here. See Top gear threads, what car for spirited driving.

    We also need to look at our own attitudes.

    spooky_b329
    Full Member

    Bus services are easy to fix with a little government support. We were able to order a flecsibus minibus in Wales on holiday, it turned up exactly where we wanted picking up, and dropped us off at our campsite. And, it was free!

    They’ve now introduced flexibus in Sussex, I don’t know if it’s free but now you can request a pick up in the back of knowhere and it’ll connect you to another bus service/train or take you in to town. Don’t know if it’s free.

    So a combination of funding timetabled routes and on demand minibus’s can make public transport much more viable. Stating how rubbish the bus is just reinforces the arguement that the government is wrong to abandon these policies in favour of votes from a minority of very vocal car drivers

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 103 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.