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Election 2017: Where do the parties stand on cycling?

Joseph Delves
6 Jun 2017

Ahead of next week’s election we look at what’s in each party’s manifesto to tempt cyclists

Given that the coming snap General Election was called somewhat unexpectedly on the 19th April 2017, it’s understandable that most parties' manifestos are a little low on specifics. Yet despite this provision for cyclists still gets a mention from four out of the seven main parties fielding candidates.

‘The three political parties that have been in government all make commitments to everyday cycling in their manifestos,’ explained British Cycling's policy advisor Chris Boardman.

‘This represents progress from the last General Election in 2015, and reflects what we at British Cycling already know – that demand from towns and cities across the country to prioritise cycling can no longer be ignored.’

British Cycling have created this graphic to show how the parties compare

What are the manifestos saying?

While both Labour and the Conservatives reaffirm their commitment to the existing Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, neither of the two largest parties’ manifestos contain significant concrete pledges on cycling.

Labour perhaps get the closest with a promise to introduce a new Clean Air Act if elected.

By comparison although the Conservatives would like to see the number of journeys by bicycle double by 2025, they give little indication of how achieving this might be funded.

Of the three parties that have previously formed governments, the Liberal Democrats appear the most ambitious, pledging to introduce a Green Transport Act alongside creating more low emission zones in towns and cities.

The party also promise to immediately up yearly spending on cycling to £10 per person nationwide. At £650 million, this outstrips the £240 million promised by either Labour or the Conservatives.

The Liberal Democrats also propose introducing a diesel scrappage scheme, a version of which was recently rejected by the current government, and would ban the sale of most diesel vehicles by 2025.

Unsurprisingly the Green party, which currently only has a single MP, is keen on protecting the environment. Like Labour and Liberal Democrats, the Greens support the creation of a new Clean Air Act.

The party claim it would also divert £2 billion per year that currently funds provision of motor traffic and use it to develop cycling networks.

Neither the UK Independence Party, nor the Scottish National Party make any mention of cycling in their manifestos.

The Welsh nationalist party, Plaid Cymru, make specific pledges to increase rail and bus provision, while expressing the desire to see walking and cycling integrated within these.

The General Election takes place this Thursday, 8th June 2017. Who’ll be getting your vote?