Labour would look at banning HGVs from city centres in peak times to protect cyclists

Maria Eagle lays out the party's cycling manifesto.

Following on from her New Statesman piece in which she hinted at support for measures to force HGV drivers to take care of cyclists, Labour's Maria Eagle has laid out Labour's cycling manifesto in full. At a debate to mark the launch of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group's report "Get Britain Cycling", she announced seven major points which the party support:

  1. "Ending the stop-start approach to supporting cycling" by funding the cycling plan on a national, long-term basis.
  2. Ensuring that cycle safety assessments are included in all new transport schemes.
  3. The restoration of national targets to cut deaths and serious injuries, as well as new targets to increase levels of cycling.
  4. Extend to England the Welsh legislation setting out "clear duties on local authorities to support cycling".
  5. Supporting cycling amongst children and young people.
  6. "Ensure that justice is done and seen to be done in cases where collisions lead to the death of cyclists and serious injuries."
  7. Looking at the case for taking HGVs out of cities at the busiest times, and requiring safety measures such as sensors, extra mirrors and safety bars on all heavy goods vehicles.

Her full contribution to the debate can be found at Road.cc.

Even a promise to look at the case for restricting HGV traffic will be music to the ears of cyclists in crowded city centres. As Hayley Campbell wrote last month, finding yourself next to a massive lorry as it turns the corner isn't something which ever feels safe. Eagle ended her speech calling for cross-party support for the proposals, and that's a call cyclists should be echoing.

Cyclists in the 1950s. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

Photo: Getty
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Why Ukip might not be dead just yet

Nigel Farage's party might have a second act in it. 

Remember Ukip? Their former leader Nigel Farage is carving out a living as a radio shock jock and part-time film critic. The party is currently midway through a leadership election to replace Paul Nuttall, who quit his post following their disastrous showing at the general election.

They are already facing increasing financial pressure thanks to the loss of short money and, now they no longer have any MPs, their parliamentary office in Westminster, too. There may be bigger blows to come. In March 2019, their 24 MEPs will all lose their posts when Britain leaves the European Union, denying another source of funding. In May 2021, if Ukip’s disastrous showing in the general election is echoed in the Welsh Assembly, the last significant group of full-time Ukip politicians will lose their seats.

To make matters worse, the party could be badly split if Anne-Marie Waters, the founder of Sharia Watch, is elected leader, as many of the party’s MEPs have vowed to quit if she wins or is appointed deputy leader by the expected winner, Peter Whittle.

Yet when you talk to Ukip officials or politicians, they aren’t despairing, yet. 

Because paradoxically, they agree with Remainers: Theresa May’s Brexit deal will disappoint. Any deal including a "divorce bill" – which any deal will include – will fall short of May's rhetoric at the start of negotiations. "People are willing to have a little turbulence," says one senior figure about any economic fallout, "but not if you tell them you haven't. We saw that with Brown and the end of boom and bust. That'll be where the government is in March 2019."

They believe if Ukip can survive as a going concern until March 2019, then they will be well-placed for a revival. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.