MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

atlas_shrugged
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MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby atlas_shrugged » 9 Jul 2019, 10:16am

09:30:00 Government support for active travel and local walking and cycling infrastructure plans

Probably the best debate on walking and cycling I have ever seen:
https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/7 ... 50f9056ccd

The main issue is how to get these very good points into action!!!!!

IMHO 50% of transport budget should now go into active travel initiatives.

atlas_shrugged
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Re: MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby atlas_shrugged » 11 Jul 2019, 10:57am

Here is a transcript of the Active Travel debate:
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?i ... 33.0#g33.1

Barks
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Re: MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby Barks » 11 Jul 2019, 4:53pm

Having read through the transcript (a few mins speed read) and an almost total focus on infrastructure particularly cycle paths, segregation etc and NO mention of addressing the appalling standard of driving that is so daily prevalent on our, on the whole, excellent road system. All this talk of multi millions being spent in some random paths; that money needs to invested in proper enforcement of our existing laws, an overhaul of a number of them and quickly, targeted education at the morons that think those in cars ‘own’ the roads and general encouragement in our society of common courtesy and consideration. These MPs have no clear understanding of the problem so have no way of coming up with effective solutions. Want to get kids cycling to school? - then ban car journeys on all roads within say 500m of a school between 8:15 and 8:45. Yes I know that will be completely impractical in so many ways but if these ivory tower dwellers really think that getting our population walking and cycling more then these activities have got to be properly prioritised over the alternatives. That of course means that convenient motoring for short distance journeys in our cities, towns and villages will need to be seriously curtailed. Will these MPs ever grasp the true nettle and risk their predominantly motoring obsessed voters turning against them - no chance in the climate change induced hell we are barrelling towards. I have sent this type of message numerous times to my MP (Dominic Grieve, South Bucks) with only polite platitudes in return that will almost certainly come to nothing.

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mjr
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Re: MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby mjr » 11 Jul 2019, 11:34pm

Roads policing comes from the home office budget and council tax, basically. Infrastructure from the transport ministry budget and council tax. The transport minister isn't going to hand over part of their budget to the home secretary (or the reverse) and anyway funding both better is probably needed, so please let's not answer any improvement in one with whataboutery about the other being needed instead. Rather, let's say "great! And could you also..." :)
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Re: MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby Bonefishblues » 12 Jul 2019, 8:05am

mjr wrote:Roads policing comes from the home office budget and council tax, basically. Infrastructure from the transport ministry budget and council tax. The transport minister isn't going to hand over part of their budget to the home secretary (or the reverse) and anyway funding both better is probably needed, so please let's not answer any improvement in one with whataboutery about the other being needed instead. Rather, let's say "great! And could you also..." :)

Yep.

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Re: MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby Barks » 12 Jul 2019, 12:01pm

Ok I get that - what’s more effective (in terms of getting more people seeing cycling as their short distance goto method of transport) though, spending a million on cycle/paths or a million on getting cars either off the road or driven with more consideration? Stovepipe budgets in public organisations block more opportunity than almost anything else, NHS and Social Care budgets being another example, keeping people out of hospital is cheaper than fixing them once they are broken and more cycling and walking can also help with that.

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Re: MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby Mike Sales » 12 Jul 2019, 12:27pm

In the forty or so years that I have been taking an interest in cycling matters, committee after commission after report after policy document have looked at the subject and come to the conclusion that investing in cycling makes excellent sense.
The logic is inescapable, and yet nothing happens.
It will take a lot of political will to confront the motor lobby and the huge inertia of the roads policy apparatus.
I suppose Cyclists, The Scourge of the Streets? is part of the motorist backlash against any increase in cycling or facilities for cycling.

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Re: MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby mjr » 12 Jul 2019, 11:59pm

Barks wrote:Ok I get that - what’s more effective (in terms of getting more people seeing cycling as their short distance goto method of transport) though, spending a million on cycle/paths or a million on getting cars either off the road or driven with more consideration?

Cycleways probably IMO (please not the usual UK "shared path" nonsense) because nowhere has yet brought about mass cycling with policing alone, but really we need both and then some more too: binding national planning rules and design standards, better court rulings, integrated transport support, health promotion, national cycle hire systems, ...
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Wanlock Dod
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Re: MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby Wanlock Dod » 13 Jul 2019, 6:46am

Mike Sales wrote:In the forty or so years that I have been taking an interest in cycling matters, committee after commission after report after policy document have looked at the subject and come to the conclusion that investing in cycling makes excellent sense.
The logic is inescapable, and yet nothing happens.
It will take a lot of political will to confront the motor lobby and the huge inertia of the roads policy apparatus...

This latter point is precisely why high quality segregated infrastructure is so much more likely to be successful than greater enforcement of traffic laws, The Netherlands didn’t facilitate cycling on such a large scale by preventing motorised travel, they simply restricted it in areas where it causes the biggest problems i.e. town and city centres, and provided a means for people driving and people cycling to coexist outside of those areas. High quality segregated infrastructure facilitates cycling without restricting motorised traffic, except in those places where we already have far too many cars already and lots of people are driving short distances which could be walked or cycled anyway.

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Re: MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby Bonefishblues » 13 Jul 2019, 8:43am

Wanlock Dod wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:In the forty or so years that I have been taking an interest in cycling matters, committee after commission after report after policy document have looked at the subject and come to the conclusion that investing in cycling makes excellent sense.
The logic is inescapable, and yet nothing happens.
It will take a lot of political will to confront the motor lobby and the huge inertia of the roads policy apparatus...

This latter point is precisely why high quality segregated infrastructure is so much more likely to be successful than greater enforcement of traffic laws, The Netherlands didn’t facilitate cycling on such a large scale by preventing motorised travel, they simply restricted it in areas where it causes the biggest problems i.e. town and city centres, and provided a means for people driving and people cycling to coexist outside of those areas. High quality segregated infrastructure facilitates cycling without restricting motorised traffic, except in those places where we already have far too many cars already and lots of people are driving short distances which could be walked or cycled anyway.

Yep again

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Re: MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby Cugel » 13 Jul 2019, 9:24am

Wanlock Dod wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:In the forty or so years that I have been taking an interest in cycling matters, committee after commission after report after policy document have looked at the subject and come to the conclusion that investing in cycling makes excellent sense.
The logic is inescapable, and yet nothing happens.
It will take a lot of political will to confront the motor lobby and the huge inertia of the roads policy apparatus...

This latter point is precisely why high quality segregated infrastructure is so much more likely to be successful than greater enforcement of traffic laws, The Netherlands didn’t facilitate cycling on such a large scale by preventing motorised travel, they simply restricted it in areas where it causes the biggest problems i.e. town and city centres, and provided a means for people driving and people cycling to coexist outside of those areas. High quality segregated infrastructure facilitates cycling without restricting motorised traffic, except in those places where we already have far too many cars already and lots of people are driving short distances which could be walked or cycled anyway.


My own feeling is that the various proposals for various kinds of cycling infrastructure are parochial (to cycle-ville) and fail to address the fundamental problem that's also a fundamental problem for many other humans besides cyclists: the car and it's license to be used to kill, maim and pollute with little or no curbing of the lethal behaviours and technologies involved.

If it was widespread death and maiming with guns or knives, there's be uproar, bans, harsh sentences, confiscations and other reductions of the technologies used and the dangerous users. But cars are exempt merely because most people like them and feel any enforcement of the already extant laws against using them intemperately is some sort of loss of individual freedoms. A bit like the gun lobby in Yankland.

Spending millions or billions on cycling infrastructure will not do anything much to stop the ongoing carmageddon. (Not that anyone will ever find or award such sums for cycling). Pedestrians, motorists, their passengers and cyclists will still be killed. Pollution of various kinds and grades of harm will continue. The streets will continue to be littered with tin junk.

Well, cyclists may see a reduction in harm, as the sparse and largely useless cycling infrastructure becomes an excuse to ban them from the roads so most stop cycling as they can no longer go from A to B on a bike but only on some 'roundabout cyclepath from scenic place X to scenic place Y. MTB riders may be happier.

The car problem is a large problem acting across many social and economic domains, not just that of cycling. It seems utterly foolish not to address this fundamental problem in favour of unrealistic and potentially very expensive schemes that are likely to reduce, not increase, cycling as we're all banned from the roads to facilitate the ongoing car crime. .... and find "the cycling infrastructure" to be inadequate, neglected and essentially of little use except perhaps to some Londoners (who will probably get what little money is actually doled out).

And, finally, how about a recognition that cycling on the roads is not that dangerous, since most of us have been doing it unharmed for decades. In fact it's much more dangerous in many other domains, which currently lack the semi-hysterical "need" for some sort of ultimate protection from all harms via a hugely expensive set of separate facilities.

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby Wanlock Dod » 13 Jul 2019, 10:27pm

Whilst some might feel the motorised carnage is a problem it is an unfortunate fact that it is socially acceptable in our modern society, and that any attempt to restrain the perpetrators is viewed as a serious infringement of their fundamental human rights.

It is an all too common claim that providing good quality cycling infrastructure is expensive, yet Chris Boardman’s plans for a network of safe routes throughout Manchester are expected to cost a similar sum to that which is being spent upgrading a single roundabout for motorists elsewhere, yet nobody dare to suggest that over a billion pounds spent there is anything other than reasonable. That is despite the fact that the overall costs to society will be rather greater due to inactivity and air pollution, whereas installing facilities for cycling which are sufficiently good enough to encourage non-cyclists to use bikes for some of their journeys can result in significant savings in health care alone. Indeed it has been estimated that congestion costs the average motorist over a thousand pounds a year, yet they begrudge the thought that one percent of that sum might be invested in facilities which would reduce congestion.

Clearly our society these days doesn’t know what is good for them, to the extent that they will fight for more of the same even when it takes from both their wallets and their health.

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Re: MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby reohn2 » 13 Jul 2019, 10:42pm

Mike Sales wrote:In the forty or so years that I have been taking an interest in cycling matters, committee after commission after report after policy document have looked at the subject and come to the conclusion that investing in cycling makes excellent sense.
The logic is inescapable, and yet nothing happens.
It will take a lot of political will to confront the motor lobby and the huge inertia of the roads policy apparatus.

Jaw jaw jaw means sweet FA happens in any real and meaningful sense!
I have no faith at all in politicians doing anything until we're all choking to death,as they won't bite the hand that feeds them.

I suppose Cyclists, The Scourge of the Streets? is part of the motorist backlash against any increase in cycling or facilities for cycling.

How often,in spite of all the evidence to the contrary,is cycling demonised by the motoring lobby?
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I cycle therefore I am.

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Re: MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby Cugel » 14 Jul 2019, 9:08am

Wanlock Dod wrote:Whilst some might feel the motorised carnage is a problem it is an unfortunate fact that it is socially acceptable in our modern society, and that any attempt to restrain the perpetrators is viewed as a serious infringement of their fundamental human rights.

(snip)

Clearly our society these days doesn’t know what is good for them, to the extent that they will fight for more of the same even when it takes from both their wallets and their health.


What you say is true in that the car and it's intemperate use has become a norm in our society today. But it was once a norm to enslave other people, to hang, draw & quarter criminals, to persecute homosexuals, to beat your wife and children, to drive whilst drunk and to smoke anywhere you like whilst harming yourself and others.

Change to such attitudes can and has occurred. Personally I already feel a sea-change in the wind of public discourse about, and media attention to, the car and it's many harmful effects. It might be pollution or pedestrian-squashing in London, or the final acceptance of climate change, that is the catalyst or trigger but I believe that there's a growing weight of opinion that a curb of the car is overdue, advantageous or even essential.

And I repeat - cycling infrastructure, even if someone is willing to pay post-brexit and amidst continuing austerity-in-practice, does not solve the hundred other problems and harms caused by the car over and above a relatively few murdered or maimed cyclists. Fundamental social ills need fundamental cures, not a bit of tinkering ineffectively with the odd symptom.

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: MPs talking the talk - Brilliant

Postby Wanlock Dod » 14 Jul 2019, 9:36am

Cugel wrote:...And, finally, how about a recognition that cycling on the roads is not that dangerous, since most of us have been doing it unharmed for decades. In fact it's much more dangerous in many other domains, which currently lack the semi-hysterical "need" for some sort of ultimate protection from all harms via a hugely expensive set of separate facilities.

Cugel

Whether or not it is actually quantifiably dangerous to ride on the road matters not a jot in a society where the majority simply wouldn’t due at least in part to the perception of danger. Basically riding on the road is far too scary for most of society, and this has cost implications, admittedly in other areas, that make the cost of high quality segregated infrastructure a mere drop in the ocean.

I’m fairly sure that there are no contemporary examples of societies which have achieved reasonably high levels of cycling without a significant provision of high quality segregated infrastructure, but I look forward to being corrected.