Labour Party HQ – #10%by2020
Stop Killing Cyclists – Pollution / Bike Safety Protest Vigil/Die-Ins!
What: Stop Killing Cyclists are staging a protest Vigil and Die-In outside the labour Party Headquarters, demanding that their general election manifesto commits to increase investment in clean-air protected cycling infrastructure to 10% of the transport budget by 2020.
Where: Labour Party HQ, 105 Victoria Street, Westminster SW1H
When: Friday 19th May from 5pm to 6.45pm .
Press spokesperson Donnachadh McCarthy:
Mobile 07947 884299
Protesters are asked to bring gas masks and candles.
These will symbolise the thousands of UK children, whose lungs are being stunted from living on traffic polluted streets, attending polluted schools or playing in polluted parks.
The protest will include a Die-In, where protesters will lie down on the road outside the Labour Party HQ, to represent the tens of premature deaths of Britons from transport pollution and from inactivity diseases due to lack of protected cycle lanes under the previous Labour government.
Please bring gas or pollution masks.
Stop Killing Cyclists co-organiser Alex Raha said:
“Air pollution is poisoning millions of people in the UK, whilst traffic carbon emissions are contributing to the climate emergency. Road danger means most people do not feel safe cycling on UK roads, which means they lack life-saving physical exercise”.
He added: “There is now an urgent health crisis which is costing the NHS billions. It is now crucial that our national cycling infrastructure gets its fair share of national infrastructure investment.”
Co-organiser Dr Ruth-anna McQueen and cycling mother added:
“It is unacceptable in a supposedly free society that parents are afraid to allow their kids to cycle to school. It is even more unfair that our children’s lungs are being stunted from being in polluted schools. All political parties must now commit to invest the money needed to protect the public when cycling.”
Clean air, cycling and walking are crucial to creating a healthy and sustainable UK. They are urgently needed to tackle the UK’s obesity, inactivity, transport pollution, health and climate emergencies.
Successive governments have lethally underfunded active travel and current spending plans would further reduce the central government cycling infrastructure budget to less than £1 per person in England. This compares with the Dutch investment of about £24 per person per year.
The Labour Party must urgently commit to radically increasing the funding for cycling from the current less than 2%, to 10% by 2020.
This needs to then increase to 20% of the transport budget by 2025, according to the UN.
This would equate to about £1.3 billion per year by 2020 and about £3 billion by the UN deadline in 2025.
This is a modest amount when one compares it to the £27.5 billion being spent on just one new proposed suburban commuter railway in London, but would protect people on roads all over the country and not just commuters in one part of London.
The protest welcomes pedestrians, parents, elderly, motorists, taxi/bus drivers, children, asthmatics etc., as pollution and inactivity diseases caused by lack of cycling infrastructure is causing ill-health to all sections of society.
Notes to Editors:
A. Full list of protest demands:
1. Fair funding for cycling: * Invest £15 billion in a National Segregated Cycle Network over the next 5 years. (Dutch £24 per person x 64 million (UK pop) x 2 to start catching up on 40 years of failure to invest).
* Invest 10% of Department for Transport Budget by 2020 in safer cycling/walking infrastructure.
2. Ban all non-zero emission private cars from cities on days where pollution levels are predicted to rise above EU safety levels.
3. Ban all diesel-powered vehicles in city-centres within 5 years.
4. Ban all fossil-fuel powered vehicles within city centres within 10 years.
5. Instigate a programme of regular car-free days in England’s major cities, along the model of Paris.
6. Stop the Killing of children – set up a national multi-billion-pound programme to convert residential communities across Britain into living-street Home Zones with an end to dangerous polluting through-routes.
7. Stop the Killing of pedestrians – establish a national programme to fund pedestrianizing/cyclisation of our city, borough and town centres, including the nation’s high-street – Oxford Street.
8. Allow city councils and TfL to limit the total number of private hire vehicles in their cities and promote the usage of zero emissions pedicabs with legal pedicab stands etc.
B. List of current Tory Government Actions worsening the horrific pollution death toll have included:
⦁ Increased taxes on cleaner cars
⦁ Reduced taxes on more polluting cars
⦁ DfT released proposals to close down local street pollution monitoring
⦁ UK government lobbied EU to weaken pollution testing standards after VW scandal
⦁ Despite taxi numbers in London soaring above 100,000, government refusing to allow TfL to regulate taxi numbers in London.
⦁ Osborne slashed the already miniscule funding for cycling investment to a tiny pathetic 6% of what Dutch are spending, whilst allocating billions more to road-building.
⦁ Osborne has cut fuel duty at every single budget despite oil prices having fallen by over a third since 2012.
⦁ Government banned use of camera vehicles by local councils to enforce parking restrictions.
⦁ They refused to reduce speed limits to 60 mph on M1 and M3 help reduce frequency of EU pollution levels being breached.
⦁ They have proposed raising speed limit on motorways to 80 mph
⦁ UK government has been breaking EU road pollution law safety limits since 2010
⦁ Government found guilty of breaking EU pollution directive by UK Supreme Court in 2015
⦁ Government plans for London to continue to break EU pollution limits until 2025
⦁ Government plans for other major UK cities to continue to break EU pollution limits until 2030 e.g. Birmingham & Leeds
⦁ Government lobbied EU to dilute road pollution laws that it is breaking
⦁ Chancellor extended first MOT requirement from 3 to 4 years., thus enabling faulty polluting vehicles to be undetected on the roads for yet another year.
C. Full 2016 Royal College of Physicians report on transport pollution death statistics and £20 billion cost to NHS (16% of total cost!) is here: