UKIP, fronted by the dangerous buffoon Nigel Farage, pretty much hate everyone. I take that personally because I'm a lesbian, in a civil-partnership, with a woman who also happens to be a "foreigner". Oh yeah, and I like bikes too.
But anti-bicycle opinions and policies? Really?!
In a word, yes. Read the manifesto.
Now UKIP don't always seem to think out their policies. Their 2010 manifesto read like a drunken toff's wish list, and included the dual clangers of "enforcing a dress code for theatre goers" and "painting trains in traditional colours". But this year they've showed that sustainable, green and healthy methods of transport [read: bicycles] should be subjected to a similar range of ill thought out ideas.
So here is what the manifesto says...
- local authorities should be given additional powers to enforce a ‘cyclists dismount’ or ‘no cycling’ regulation where there are safety concerns – such as on busy roundabouts, junctions or bus lanes, or where the road would be too narrowed by cycle lanes and cause unacceptable delays to traffic
- a simple annual flat rate registration ‘Cycledisc’, stuck to the bicycle frame, to cover damage to cars and others, which are currently unprotected
- there needs to be a better balance of rights and responsibilities for pedal cyclists... [there is] too much aggressive abuse of red lights, pedestrian crossings and a lack of basic safety and road courtesy
But then it also says...
- UKIP supports pedal cycles as a healthy means of personal transport
There is a conflict of interest there, surely? The idea they support cyclists goes against the policies above.
'Cycledisc' simply won't work, and is uninforcable with current police resources. The police are struggling with bicycle crime, so they aren't going to appreciate the increased workload that comes with stolen 'cyclediscs'. And they will get stolen because there isn't anywhere to put them that's out of the way - it's a bike after all.
Forcing cyclists to demount or take other routes further marginalises bike riders and further discourage cyclists. And it is, not to mention, unenforceable. If we can't stop the few idiots riding the wrong way up roads and jumping red lights now, what hope do we have of making all riders stop and walk willingly to the start of the next cycle path.
And final the scape-goating of cyclist as red-light jumping, road-rule ignoring idiots misses the point. The majority of cyclists are law-abiding lane hoggers who are doing their best not to get killed. If you build an infrastructure purely for car users (see above), then you will force people to break the law for safety's sake, out of frustration, and out of the simple want to stick it to the man who clearly doesn't recognise or value that particular individual.
So stick it to Nigel Farage and his other cronies tomorrow, by not voting for UKIP. And by travelling to the polling station by bike.
If you're still on the fence, watch this...