Gareth Bacon - Conservative Candidate
Will you be prepared to support the LCC's Cycling Manifesto in full if elected to the Greater London Assembly in June? Please state any reservations.
Not in its entirety. I would enthusiastically endorse points 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8.
However, I am opposed to point 2 because, however desirable this may be in terms of safety, a blanket speed reduction of this sort would be impractical to enforce, would increase congestion and takes no account of the needs of motorists.
I have reservations on point 7 because whilst I recognise and welcome the enforcement of bus lanes I am opposed to the use of CCTV to do this (which is the method employed in some areas) because I feel that such equipment should be employed for community safety rather than (as in some cases) a revenue raising tool.
I also have reservations on point 9. I would need to know more about the exact detail of what is proposed here - if the suggestion is to lay cycle tracks across green fields then I would be opposed to it because I am firmly of the opinion that London has too few green spaces and those that still exist should be preserved.
Finally, I have reservations about point 10, because many roads in London are simply incapable of sustaining cycle lanes safely. However, if such a proposal could be developed on a road-by-road basis, then I would be happy to support it.
What would you say is the highest priority for encouraging cycling in Greenwich borough?
I believe there are two elements to this, and both are included in your 10 point manifesto. Firstly, where possible safe cycling routes do need to be established across the borough, and children need to be educated from an early age as to the benefits and practical requirements of safe cycling.
If elected to the GLA, how would you make sure that this issue is addressed?
The first element would require the support of TfL and Greenwich Council to implement. To that end I feel an audit of all road space in the borough would need to be undertaken and I would lobby both organisations accordingly. To address the second element, I feel that the government should make it a requirement that all schools set aside sufficient time during the course of each primary school year, and the first three years of secondary school, for appropriate training - I would lobby MPs and Ministers alike to achieve this.
Do you support Eric Martlew MP's Bill to make cycle helmets compulsory for children? Please give your reasons.
Yes. Having had the misfortune to knock myself out after falling off my bike as a child whilst not wearing any safety equipment, I am well aware of the benefits of children being appropriately kitted out. This Bill would appear to be simple common sense, and as such I would have no trouble supporting it.