Sunday, 12 April 2015

2015 election. #Votebike Candidate replies.

I used the CTC #votebike campaign to send emails to the prospective parliamentary candidates in my constituency (Jarrow)

The reply from Nick Mason representing the Conservative party is copied below


Many thanks for your email. I cycle to work and am absolutely committed to the benefits of cycling, as well as aware of the risks that are involved. With that in mind, I hope I'm not being too self-serving in how I answer your questions!

- Yes, we absolutely should not just have the ambition but evidenced leadership to increase cycling levels.
- Ultimately ambition and leadership do a whole lot better when there's some money behind them. So yes, it needs to be backed up with funding.
- I've seen too much evidence of injury and death because of poorly designed traffic schemes. Cyclists have at least an equal right to the road, and in a country where we pride ourselves on looking after the vulnerable it seems appropriate that the vulnerable on the roads should be particularly noticed, not forgotten. So again I agree.
- The principle of improving safety is one I entirely support. But I'd obviously need to see the precise suggestions, because not all well-meaning legislation actually serves its purpose.
- I agree; and I think that maybe this could be tied in with the cycle to work scheme. At the moment the scheme is very attractive from a financial point of view - it seems to me that some of those savings could be diverted towards paying for compulsory training to ensure that the benefit is used best.

That was a very easy lobby to respond to!

Many thanks,


2015 election. #Votebike Candidate replies.

I used the CTC #votebike campaign to send emails to the prospective parliamentary candidates in my constituency (Jarrow)

The reply from Norman Hall representing the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is copied below

Dear Gary

Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding my position on cycling.

Although I am not currently a regular cyclist, I am aware of the need to properly invest in measures to improve cycling safety and to encourage people of all ages to consider greater use of cycling. I see two major and obvious benefits in cycling: first to aid personal fitness and secondly to assist in reducing inefficient and environmentally-damaging individual car use.

The lack of investment in genuine traffic-free cycle lanes, particularly at busy junctions and, as cuts to council services continue, deteriorating road surfaces and potholes present real dangers to cyclists. A couple of years ago I was in Cologne in Germany and saw what is possible with a clear division of major streets between Pedestrians, Cyclists and Motor Vehicle lanes/areas.

Training for cyclists and drivers alike, as well as expansion of secure storage facilities, e.g at rail stations and on trains themselves, would all also encourage cycle use.

These developments need to be part of a plan for an integrated public transport system across our towns and cities with much-reduced fares and increased capacity to encourage drivers to switch from cars to other forms of transport.

Of course, all this requires resources. However, hope that Local Authorities, health bodies and schools might help in encouraging increased cycle use comes up against the fact that all of these organisations face budget cuts, cuts that all of the main parties are committed to continuing with if they are elected to Government after May 7. It needs more than fine words to support cycling, it needs a genuine commitment to stop cuts and to start investing in our future.

TUSC, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, is proud to make that commitment. We know that there is plenty of wealth available to meet needs, including the development of greater cycle use. Parties wedded to the 1% who hold that wealth are not going to deliver for the 99%. TUSC will.

I hope this answers your question.

If you would like any more information, have any questions or would like to assist us in our campaign, feel free to reply to this email or visit our websites at the bottom.

Yours Sincerely

Norman Hall
TUSC Parliamentary Candidate for Jarrow