Equality for all cyclists


Legendary Member
The social justice case for mass cycling

"Do busy roads put off cyclists with disabilities, women or older people? And if so, could local authorities be made to improve cycle infrastructure under equality legislation?

It’s fair to say that, for all the government promises of a “cycling revolution”, not a vast amount has happened in recent years to improve the lot of cyclists on British roads. Campaigns, pestering MPs, direct action – nothing seems to have worked.

So how about just taking legal action under equalities legislation, forcing local authorities to provide proper cycle infrastructure?

OK, it’s probably not going to happen soon, even if you could find somebody rich and patient enough to fund a fairly speculative test case.

But the idea, floated by Rachel Aldred, a sociologist and transport expert at the University of Westminster, is nonetheless fascinating as it highlights one of the lesser-aired arguments for a more cycle- and walking-friendly world: the issue of social justice.

Cars are too often seen by politicians as universal. A good example is last week’s hugely dispiriting Daily Mirror interview by the new Labour transport spokesman, Michael Dugher, where he repeatedly said “road users” where he meant only vehicle drivers. And let’s not even get into his promises to end the “war on motorists”."
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