Power player: Richard Burden MP, the Shadow Minister for Transport.
What have they promised?
Not much. Labour are still doing the maths by the sound of it, but they have committed to a “long term strategy to increase cycling and walking rates, with clarity over funding.” That clarity just isn’t clear, yet.
Specifically they’ve mentioned HGV safety, cycle-proofing transport infrastructure (safer roundabouts and the like), children’s education (mainly the continued funding of Bikeability), and restoring targets to reduce deaths on the roads (that the Conservatives abandoned).
Do we believe them?
Yes, we believe they’ll hit their targets if they get into power –but currently they aren’t being very ambitious. They won’t commit to the £10 per head of funding figure that the Conservatives and Lib Dems have.
However they have promised that if they get into power, they’ll work on a long-term plan that will ensure cycling investment is consistent. In Richard Burden’s words: Labour want “predictable and continuous funding so that [local bodies] can plan and invest in the street and road schemes.”
What about changes other than money?
When it comes to changing the culture of cycling in the UK, Labour have promised to “review how the justice system treats vulnerable road users.” It’s by no means a game-changing promise, but it’s something.
Do they get it?
Ish. Fabian Hamilton MP built Richard Burden MP his bike. I like to think they ride around together, maybe on a tandem, discussing how much they think Ed Miliband is the tits.
Burden also seems pretty sincere when making his case at parliamentary debates. But we’ll have to wait for their full manifesto to see whether they’ve got the balls to back up their ideas with figures.
Manifesto update: There’s been NO funding commitment for cycling in the Labour manifesto, and just a brief mention of them hoping to “promote cycling” in a paragraph about wider infrastructure investment. Not great.