FTA talks cycle safety at the party conferences

Posted on: Monday, 22 October 2012 by Mike Webb

Reflecting the importance placed on cycle safety by its members, FTA has been working hard across the three main party conferences to raise awareness of the issue of road safety, and demonstrate to policymakers the excellent work being carried out in this area by logistics companies.

FTA and Nick Clegg

As in previous years, FTA has hosted a fringe event at each of the party conferences; a sort of mini-debate between industry figures and prominent personalities from each of the political parties. This year, FTA chose the theme of ‘Sharing the Road Safely’. In turn, this drew support from The Times, whose ‘Cities Fit for Cycling’ campaign has attracted widespread national and political interest.

The events were well attended at all the conferences and saw speakers from a range of organisations including: Sustrans, CTC and the RAC. Gavin Williamson MP at the FTA eventThey joined FTA and The Times in discussing what each category of road user does well, and where further progress needs to be made. An encouraging aspect of each of these meetings was the constructive way that the dialogue was held, reflecting the need for a real partnership between road users, something which has been promoted by FTA. Indeed, the Association was praised by each of the political speakers, as well as industry figures, including prominent Lib Dem road safety campaigner Dr Julian Huppert MP, Transport Committee Chair Louise Ellman MP and the parliamentary aide to the Transport Secretary, Gavin Williamson MP.

In addition to the fringe meetings, FTA worked with Cemex to use the construction company’s ‘Exchanging Places’ vehicles as a demonstration at each party conference. Despite the driving rain that plagued conference-goers in Brighton, Manchester and Birmingham, Cemex was able to show a number of political figures around the vehicle, demonstrating the impressive range of technology and design in place to minimise road accidents. Given the number of MPs that are also cyclists, this was also a key opportunity to show them just what life is like from the truck driver’s point of view.

Cemex and Norman Baker
Several MPs took part in the demonstration across the conferences; from Transport Minister Norman Baker in Brighton, to his shadow Jim Fitzpatrick at the Labour conference and Rugby MP Mark Pawsey in Birmingham and many more.

FTA also had informal chats with a number of MPs across the conferences, making sure that issues of road safety, and the interaction between lorries and cyclists were always to the fore. There is no doubt that a number of our representatives in Parliament, and scores more delegates besides, will have been thinking about safety from the commercial vehicle driver’s perspective this conference season.

FTA's Mike Webb and Jim Fitzpatrick












All pictures Manny Begum – Yaadein photography

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