UK Election 2005


Well, if you can't beat them...

And you can't. Whoever you vote for, it is said, the Government will get in. That's true, of course, but it shouldn't stop you from exercising your vote. Democracy only works if we all get off our backsides and make it work. Incompetent MPs rely on the fact that, increasingly, the British People can't be bothered to go and vote them out of a job.

So do something about it!

You may not understand the difference in policies between the parties on War in Iraq, taxation, pensions or the NHS. You may not even care. But we thought that we should go see what their attitudes are to the things that really matter to us - bikes and biking.

Of course they'll fudge their answers and tell us what they think we want to hear. But at least we may be able to tell whether they've actually thought about it or not.

We'll have the answers to the questions in a day or two. But here's an opportunity to really get them thinking. Two of the three amjor parties have been very helpful. The third hasn't yet replied to anything at all. We're giving them until Wednesday before we release the results, just in cas ethey've simply screwed up.

Between now and then let us know if you think we've missed anything and we'll see if we can get a quick reply...

Here are the questions we asked:

What is your stand on speed limits generally, and on the use of automated enforcement methods as opposed to traffic police? Do you agree that casualty figures have not fallen as hoped and that perhaps it is time to look at an alternative approach to road safety? What would that approach be?

Motorcycles are currently not generally allowed in bus lanes. What is your stand on this and how would you justify this position?

Motorcycle visors are generally made to the same standard, regardless of their target market or the degree of tint they carry. Given that it is perfectly legal to wear cheap, non protective and non impact resistant totally dark sunglasses under a clear visor on a cloudy day, how do you feel about the fact that it remains illegal to wear a well constructed, UV blocking visor that is tinted by more than 50%, regardless of conditions? For that matter, a visor which has the legal tint but is iridium coated is also illegal, which surely is even more of a paradox.

Motorcycle theft is a real problem. What measures would you introduce to address this, especially in terms of parking facilities?

Vital road improvement measures often seem to be accompanied by a reduced speed limit on the basis that funding will only be forthcoming if this is the case. What is your opinion on using road engineering as a sole means of casualty reduction?

Similarly the other E of the safety triangle – Education – seems to be somewhat neglected. What is your position on both basic and advanced road user training and the qualifications needed to allow a person in charge of a vehicle on the Queen’s Highway? How do you feel about the difference licensing standards for drivers and riders?

Green Lanes are – rightly – an area of concern in that they are being damaged and sometimes rendered unusable by inappropriate vehicular traffic. What is your standing on motorcycles using green lanes in general and how will you justify that in the face of opposition either from ramblers or from motorcyclists?

What is your view on congestion charging, road charging and tolls generally, as well as in particular relation to motorcycles? How about parking facilities?

Finally, is there anything you would like to add about motorcycling or transport in general that has not been covered here?

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