General election: what can MPs do for cycling in London?
Well here we have it – the unexpected snap general election is upon us. With only a few weeks to go until the nation hits the ballot boxes, Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs) will be out, hoping to become your MP.
There are lots of issues on the table, but all future MPs in London should be seeking to tackle the current health crises caused by inactivity and air pollution.
Increasing the number of journeys taken by foot or bike is the solution to not just health problems, but pollution, congestion and many other issues. But for lots of people, concerns about safety is the major barrier to getting on a bike.
Earlier this year, a cross party group of MPs produced a report called Cycling and the Justice System. It contained 14 recommendations for reducing road danger for pedestrians and cyclists.
Point number one is to revise the Highway Code to give clear priority to cyclists (and other vulnerable road users) who are heading straight on at junctions. This would require vehicles to give way when turning reducing the risk posed by the left hooks, and making junction design easier. It’s already standard in most of continental Europe and has been championed in British Cycling’s “Turning the Corner” campaign.
Other recommendations include:
- An investigation by the Ministry of Justice into the decline in the number of people being banned from driving after amassing over 12 points on their licence
- More police forces should adopt close passing enforcement practice on a wider scale
- Recognise the use of headcam footage as evidence to prosecute bad driving
- Exclude injuries to cyclists or pedestrians from The Soft Tissue Injury Reforms (‘whiplash reforms’ that penalise smaller insurance claims in order to reduce fraud)
Putting all 14 recommendations of the report into practice will improve things for pedestrians and people who already cycle, and will create conditions that enable more people to cycle. More people travelling by foot and bike cuts air pollution, reduces congestion and gets people moving, easing the burden on the NHS from inactivity.
Please ask your PPCs to support the change to the Highway Code to give prioritisation of cyclists and other vulnerable road users travelling straight on at junctions, and implementing all the other recommendations of the report.
You can read the full Cycling and the Justice System report here.