The transport minister sounds off

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
LONDON CYCLING
The Mayor's idea to let cyclists turn left on red is “interesting”, said the minister, sympathising with riders who find it hard to regain speed after stopping.
But he was “not sure of the logic” of green bike-only boxes at lights. He wants to encourage cycling but said: “We have to make it less risky. The more separation you can create between cyclists and motorists the better.”

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/stand...his-views-on-britains-top-transport-issues.do


Tucked away in a sidebar in the Standard last night. There's a challenge here - someone point out to him that the best way to create separation between cyclists and motorists is to enforce a minimum overtaking distance.
 
OP
srw

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
"Dear minister,

I was delighted to read in the Standard yesterday that you are a strong supporter of London cycling. You are keen to encourage separation between cyclists and motorists. As a London cycle commuter, so am I - cars, buses and lorries are lethal machines in the wrong hands. However, the usual suggestions - cycle lanes and all the rest - are very divisive, very unpopular with both cyclists and drivers, and terrible value for money.

However, there are a couple of measures you could implement easily and very cheaply which would achieve what you and I both want.

The first is to enforce a minimum overtaking distance between cyclists and other traffic. They have imposed this in France, and it really works. It makes cyclists feel much safer and reduces the incidence of accidents.

The second is to reverse Mr Johnson's decision to cancel the Western extension of the London Congestion Charge. This would raise money for government at a time of great need, and would significantly reduce the volume of motorised traffic on London's streets, thus achieving much more space for cycling.

There's one other measure I'd encourage you to consider - reducing the maximum speed limit in towns from 30mph to 20mph. This would increase the capacity of the roads significantly, reduce pollution and make cycling even more attractive than it already is.

Your senior colleagues in government understand that cycling is already the best way to get around London. I'd urge you to talk to them and understand why. And do try it yourself - with the right training it's very approachable."

It needs a spit and a polish, and I've no time to do that or send it to him, but if anyone fancies stealing it, feel free.
 

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
the problem with your letter is that you clearly think he's an idiot. I'm sure you're right (and grateful he's not no. 1 at transport) but you might want to look at 'your senior colleagues understand' which, the way I read it, means 'listen you bag-carrying ****wit'

I've always found that Tories responded well to softening up sentences like 'we both know that the great proportion of spending on cycling infrastructure, spent in response to lobbying by special interest groups, has proved to be money down the drain - and, in welcoming you to your new job I would entreat you, both as a cyclist and as a taxpayer, to treat the notion that cycling can be made more popular by increased government spending'. Which is, by the way, correct. Over a million on Cable Street and over a million on the Wandle Way, not to mention £140m on LCN+, was money that would have been better spent down at the bookies.
 

BrumJim

Forum Stalwart (won't take the hint and leave...)
If you include the phrase "hard working family" into your response, it might get his notice.

Taken a bit of interest in the new Transport Minister since the new government was formed, as it will affect my job a bit. My first feeling is that he is a bit of a career politician, with a bit of a rent-a-quote tendency - appealing to the Daily Mail type thought process rather than the well considered argument, more interested in doing/saying what looks good and gets good press, rather than what actually achieves the required aim.

So, as per the post above - don't suggest that he is an idiot, don't suggest that there is anyone above him who is more knowledgeable or powerful, and don't rely on him to listen to considered professional opinion rather than gut instinct or self-interest group lobbying. He is scared of cycling in London, buy has agreed to join Boris Johnson on a ride.

Understand the man first before penning a letter.
 

marinyork

Resting in suspended Animation
Location
Logopolis
I suppose it can't do any harm mentioning 20mph zones but it's happening anyway whether they like it or not and at some point more senior national politicians may jump on the bandwagon.
 

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
20mph zones may be an interesting test of this government. Their backwoodsmen will be against it and their loyal press too.

But the evidence is compelling. Will their heads rule their hearts?
 

marinyork

Resting in suspended Animation
Location
Logopolis
StuartG said:
20mph zones may be an interesting test of this government. Their backwoodsmen will be against it and their loyal press too.

But the evidence is compelling. Will their heads rule their hearts?
It's all going on locally, just it gets virtually no media attention.
 

marinyork

Resting in suspended Animation
Location
Logopolis
User said:
Outside of trunk routes and motorways, roads and speed limits are a local issue.

Surprisingly, in the guidance issued by central Government, there is a presumption for 20mps speed limits in urban residential areas.
Which is why I find it strange it's being mentioned on this thread in that several of the people on this forum are involved in 20mph speed limit campaigns. I suppose anything extra likes pots of money would help, but I'm not really too worried on that front. Probably a bit better it goes on quieter because people get all upset when people mention 20mph zones, as if it is the end of civilisation as we know it if the relatively small number of 20 zones increases :rofl:.
 

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
Greg - my mistake. I thought he was no. 2.

Very depressing........
 
OP
srw

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
srw said:
It needs a spit and a polish, and I've no time to do that or send it to him, but if anyone fancies stealing it, feel free.
Please feel free to steal and adapt if anyone fancies it - it was a passing whim, really. Many of you are much better at this sort of thing than me.
 

AnotherEye

Well-Known Member
Location
North London
dellzeqq said:
Greg - my mistake. I thought he was no. 2.
Very depressing........
Depressing yes; but his number two (responsible for cycling amongst other things) is Norman Baker who is using a Brompton rather than a ministerial car. He may be the best person to lobby.
 

atbman

Veteran
In his first (I think) public statement as the new Sec of State, he said that he thought cyclists should have wing mirrors (!!!). Like, presumably cars :blush:
 

thomas

the tank engine
Location
Woking/Norwich
I thought more serious accidents happened at night, than day, so upping the speed limit wouldn't be that good an idea?

The A3 thing is sensible though. Having driven along there plenty of times it should be 70 until nearer Richmond park....this is usually on a Sunday afternoon so it's not busy.
 

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
All in all, it's a great shame that Theresa Villiers was done in. She'd have made a far, far better transport minister.
 
Top Bottom