Shadow transport secretary Ms Mary Creagh speaks out at Labour conference in Manchester.
The shadow transport secretary, Mary Creagh, has vowed to make safety equipment on HGV’s mandatory if Labour are to win next years general election with the goal of encouraging more people to cycle. She has also criticized the current coalition government for scrapping road safety targets and letting HGV’s travel faster on single carriage roads.
While speaking at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester yesterday she shook things up by promising a ‘Big Change’ to the UK’s current transport policy including ‘London style transport powers to other areas’. She also told listeners ‘’We deserve to travel safely at all times, but this government scrapped Labour’s road safety targets and increased the speed limit for heavy good vehicles on single track roads, which will lead to more deaths’.
The proposals which will increase the speed limit from 40mph to 50mph were aimed at giving a much needed £11m boost to the haulage industry. The proposal was announced by the Department for Transport back in July and has been openly condemned by road safety campaigners. You can see the original announcement here.
Continuing her speech the shadow transport secretary said ‘Labour wants walking and cycling and public transport to be attractive options.’
She continued ‘Long before lycra and bike helmets, everyone use to cycle. I want every child to have the chance to learn to ride a bike safely, and we want to see more people commuting to work by bike too’
‘That is why the next Labour government will ensure that all HGV’s are fitted with safety devices to protect pedestrians and cyclists’
Ms Creagh continued without confirming what exactly she meant when referring to ‘Safety equipment’.
She also confirmed the parties backing for the ‘High Speed 2’ rail project
, suggesting it will ‘transform the country’, she was however cautious and advised costs needed to be kept under control.
As well as improving the capacity of the railways to help decrease freight traffic on the roads, it is also planned for a cycling track to run alongside the ‘High Speed 2’.
It would be nice to know exactly what 'safety equipment' the shadow secretary is referring to, whether it's some kind of collision technology, cameras or a revamped cab design. Without any mention of specifics and budget it is difficult to know exactly what the party would do if elected.