SCRAP THEM! Tory MPs demand cycle lanes and road restrictions introduced during pandemic end

Multiple Conservative MPs have told the Transport Secretary that ongoing cycle lane and road restrictions introduced during the pandemic should be scrapped.

In a letter sent to the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, FOURTEEN Conservative backbenchers have called on the Minister to withdraw the ‘plethora of new road narrowing, blockades and dedicated cycle lanes eating into our town and city roads’.

The MPs, which include Craig Mackinlay MP, Chair of APPG for Fair Fuel for UK Motorists and Hauliers, warns that whilst the COVID-19 health crisis is rightly dominating the Government’s attention, so should keeping the economy solvent.

The letter, organised by motoring pressure group FairFuelUK, goes on to state: "UK’s 37m drivers, the millions of constituents across the country are feeling victimised by draconian charges and road restrictions initiated by local authorities and funded it seems, by the Department of Transport. The anger out there is palpable."

Craig Mackinlay, MP for South Thanet, said: “The UK’s 37m motorists and delivery vehicles should not be demonised as they often are. The car is one of the most liberating inventions ever, and our transport network has shown itself to be resilient and fundamental to keeping the show on the road during this pandemic.

“Low taxes on fuel are a benefit to us all, unlike poorly thought through road schemes – of which there have been too many. We are calling on the government to stop the uncalled-for war on the motorist.”

Howard Cox, FairFuelUK’s founder, said: “Grant Shapps seems hypnotised by a small minority of ill-informed politically driven well financed greens, who pathologically hate the motorist. They are hell bent on making cars, taxis, vans, and trucks obsolescent. Shockingly a Tory Minister is grounding road transport decisions on emotion, not common sense or pragmatic data.

“Businesses and local communities are being devastated, not by a Chinese bug, but by myopic local authorities, without any consultation and funded by the Department of Transport. Strangulation of our city roads by new vacant cycle lanes and road blockades is intensifying congestion, escalating pollution, and risking lives by delaying emergency services. All this, so that fit well off young cyclists can enjoy their fair weather pastime at the expense of economic common sense.”

Richard Burnett, RHA Chief Executive, said: “The effect of COVID19 on the nation’s health is mirrored by its effect on the nation’s economy; its businesses! We therefore consider that DfT’s £42m investment in ‘green’ road schemes that include additional cycle lanes and road closures to be very poorly timed.

“The rate at which this pandemic has changed and continues to change lives and livelihoods of citizens nationwide is absolutely mind-blowing. Of course, we welcome the measures being taken to minimise the risk of further infection but creating additional road closures and restrictions is not the way to go about it. Causing additional congestion at this critical time is a short-sighted and expensive decision, made with absolutely no consideration for the sector responsible for keeping store shelves full and maintaining the drug and PPE levels that hospitals so desperately need to save lives.

“If DfT has £42m to spare, surely it would be better spent on raising road safety awareness for all road users? These are challenging times for everyone and DfT should consider more carefully how they can save themselves and the taxpayers money.”