Yorkshire cycling website
Announcements and actions from the current UK minister in the Department for Transport with responsibility for cycling. Jesse Norman MP was appointed to the role on 14th June 2017.
2nd October 2017
The new minister with responsibility for cycling in the DfT, Jesse Norman, responded to the Charlie Alliston case by announcing a review to look at introducing new offences of causing serious injury or death by careless or dangerous cycling. His announcement effectively admitted that the review is a response to the publicity around the Alliston case, not evidence-based. Mr Norman claims that there are already strict laws which 'ensure drivers who put people's lives at risk are punished'. Is he right? Is this review cynical and populist, or genuinely trying to improve road safety in an even-handed way? Is Mr Norman applying double standards, to bike riders and other road users?
The government's Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, published on 21st April 2017, contains an 'ambition' to make cycling and walking the natural choices for short journeys, or as part of longer journeys. It sets some aims or targets, includes a statement of resources, and an action plan. Read about the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.
10th February 2017
Andrew Jones, the Minister in the DfT with responsibility for cycling, spoke to the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group on Tuesday 7th February 2017. He told the APPCG that the government's Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy is 'not too far away.'
A summary of the points made by Mr Jones appear in the 'storify' version of the meeting in this tweet:
Mr Jones said that the government wants to make cycling and walking the natural choice for short journeys, a statement which is also included in the draft Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy. 'We want to be very ambitious,' he said.
On the critical matter of money, he put forward the DfT's interpretation of funding for cycling, saying that the government is spending £6 per head across the UK. Sustrans says that spending between 2016 and 2021 is scheduled to be £1.35 per person per year.
Mr Jones did not accept responsibility for stronger roads policing, as he said that this was a matter for the MoJ; a national standard for cycle infrastructure design would not be created, he said, because there is already up-to-date guidance; an Air Quality plan was a question for DEFRA; he has no plans to oblige hauliers to train their HGV drivers on dealing with cyclists, nor to mandate full visibility HGVs - although they will be encouraged; he has no plans to introduce the so-called Dutch reach (which helps stop cyclists getting 'doored') into the driving test.
Cycling currently makes up 2% of journeys, and Mr Jones said that the government's target is to double that by 2025. He went on to say 'I don't buy the idea of targets.'
The rejection of so many good ideas to make cycling safer and more attractive is very disappointing. The claim that the DfT is ambitious will need to backed up by a strong Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy, with funding, when the final version is published.
It seems strange to set a target, ambitious or not, if immediately after you've mentioned it, you say you don't buy the idea of targets
28th September 2016
An open letter to Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough, and minister in the DfT with responsibility for cycling. Two months in, and we have a 'head in hands' moment. Anyone who rides a bike and has seen your crass and offensive 'cyclists hang back' video will be dismayed. It's unclear about the story it's telling, makes a joke out of violence, gives highly dubious advice, encourages bullying of vulnerable road users, and alienates cyclists instead of persuading them. Read an open letter to Andrew Jones, cycling minister.
The Department for Transport today published an unhelpful and gratuitously gory 'road safety' video, which appears to put all the onus on people riding bikes to avoid being crushed by left-turning lorries - while the message to the drivers of large vehicles is, apparently, 'drive how you like, you're not the one who is going to end up dead.' Chris Boardman described the video as 'desperately misguided', and accused the campaign of trying to make death fun. Harrogate & Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones is the Minister in the DfT with responsibility for road safety and cycling. It is not clear whether he was directly involved in approving this offensive film. Read about appalling DfT THINK! video.
He was previously Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the DfT in David Cameron's administration, under Secretary of State Patrick McLoughlin, and Minister of State Robert Goodwill (who had responsibility for cycling). Chris Grayling replaced Patrick McLoughlin, and John Hayes replaced Robert Goodwill.
Now, in a reorganisation of roles and responsibilities, Mr Jones has taken over sustainable travel, as well as being responsible for transport as part of the Northern Powerhouse agenda, motoring agencies, road and vehicle safety and standards, buses and taxis, traffic management, smart ticketing, and HS2.
Mr Jones is quoted on his website as follows: 'I am really pleased to be staying at the DfT and taking on new and exciting responsibilities. It is a significant step taking on responsibility for HS2; probably the biggest capital project in government...There are many other exciting opportunities in the portfolio. I am particularly interested in the sustainable transport section of the job. I am looking forward to working closely with local authorities to deliver a real step change in sustainable transport like cycling and walking.'
On 25th July, Mr Jones made an announcement about the thirteen winning bids for funding for cleaner buses. One of the winning bidders was Transdev Blazefield (based in Starbeck), who were given £2,255,700 for eight electric buses plus infrastructure. The Harrogate Advertiser reported that the government funding would pay for 90% of the cost of the buses, and for 75% of the cost of the infrastructure.
15th July 2016
Chris Grayling was yesterday appointed as the Transport Secretary, replacing Patrick McLoughlin. Robert Goodwill remains the minister in the DfT with responsibility for cycling, and Philip Hammond is the new Chancellor. What does it mean for cycling (and is it time to despair?) Read about Grayling new Transport Secretary...
29th July 2016
Following a consultation with 20,000 of its members about the best way to make cycling easier, safer, and more appealing, British Cycling has launched a 3-point Charter, and it is urging local authorities to sign up. The Charter covers cycling infrastructure, and the investment needed to improve it. It also calls for stronger leadership to normalise cycling, and make it safe, accessible, and aspirational. Read about British Cycling launches Choose Cycling Charter.
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