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Labour to prioritise safe cycling infrastructure in 2015 manifesto

Amid calls for safer roads, Labour have reiterated their desire to prioritise cycling while criticising the coalition government’s priorities

Shadow transport minister Mary Creagh has prioritised better and safer road infrastructure for cyclists in her party’s 2015 manifesto.

Speaking to the Guardian’s Public Leaders Network, she said: “Getting a cycle safety audit into the mainstream of transport planning is very high on our agenda for the next manifesto so that cyclists and pedestrians are not added in as afterthoughts but planned in from the start.”

Ms Creagh's characterisation of current cycling provision as an afterthought is in line with much of the criticism of London's Cycle Superhighways.

Cycle Superhighway 2 has been a particular target for criticism after the deaths of several cyclists on or near it. The non-segregated bike lane's purpose was to allay some of the fears for cyclist safety in the capital, instead it has been a focal point for anger over recent cyclist deaths in the city.

Creagh believes that we are now paying the price for cutting 130,000 jobs in the construction sector and reducing the funding for our roads since the last general election.

“Those people [whose jobs were cut] could have been kept on, and infrastructure and maintenance could have been done over the last three years," she said. "We always said the government had cut too far too fast and a lot of that is being played out now in the degradation of our roads infrastructure.”

Creagh, who is a cyclist herself and cycled from London to Brighton for charity before the Labour Party conference in September, considers the poorly distributed cuts the reason for UK’s World Economic Forum rank of 28 in the infrastructure standings.

Referring to the poor ranking, Creagh said: "That's a bad place to be, our country is crying out for infrastructure spending."

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