This month The Times has started a “Cities Fit For Cycling” Campaign after one of the paper’s reporters was seriously injured in an accident.
CTC Northampton member Alex Stefanovic visited Northampton North MP Michael Ellis to discuss the issue of cycling safety.
Prior to the meeting, Alex informed Mr Ellis that the All-Parliamentary Cycling Group was – through its chair, Julian Huppert MP – tabling an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons in support of the Campaign. Andrew Stone, who works in Michael Ellis’s office, replied that Northampton North’s MP doesn’t sign any EDMs, considering them “a pointless absorbtion of valuable resources”.
Alex reports on the ten-minute meeting that he had a pleasant chat with Mr Ellis who admitted he wasn’t a cyclist although it was quite hard to get him to stop talking and answer questions. Alex quoted the Conservative Party’s manifesto statements on travel, cycling and sustainability and asked him what was being done. Alex made the point that it wasn’t all about spending money on cycle lanes but Mr Ellis said that making things more difficult for lorries wasn’t good in harsh economic times! He was also against strict liability for motorists although unaware that this exists in the law of many countries in Europe.
Alex left our MP with a print-out of the eight initiatives highlighted by the campaign and Mr Ellis promised to try to get to the Adjournment Debate on Cycling in Westminster Hall on 23rd February prompted by the EDM.