Election promises for Vision Zero and active travel

Since 2010, road deaths have stopped decreasing. Five people a day die on Britain’s roads. 

This is our third national election since 2010. Our third chance to end this dreadful toll and ensure people and our planet are healthier.

We have launched Action Vision Zero to ensure greater effort is made to reduce road deaths and serious injuries. We want bolder action and an end to complacency with road danger. We call for joined-up thinking so that road safety programmes and related investments also contribute to promoting active travel and reducing emissions. 

Action Vision Zero has reviewed the political party election manifestos and summarised their proposed actions to reduce road danger,  including traffic law enforcement and post-crash response by the justice system. Download this document here.

  • Both the Green Party and Labour Party have moved beyond traditional road safety and endorse Vision Zero in their manifestos.
  • The Greens call for a default national 20mph speed limit.
  • Liberal Democrats, Greens and Labour include actions to discourage car use.
  • The Conservatives allocate £350 million for a Cycling Infrastructure Fund. But this is just 1.2% of the £28.8 billion they set aside for roads. A pothole-filling programme will be welcomed by cyclists, but this investment in road transport will ensure more traffic and underscore the domination of motor vehicles in our society.
  • Meanwhile the Labour Party promise to “ensure that annual funding for walking and cycling reaches £50 per person”. (The Conservative government has estimated £7 per year is currently being spent on active travel).
  • Labour’s Healthy Streets Programme includes £4.7 billion of capital funding for walking and cycling in England and £2.5 billion of revenue funding during its first term of government. These far-reaching commitments include 5000km of cycle routes; safe cycling and walking routes to 10,000 primary schools; and a target of doubling cycling journeys by adults and children.
  • With regards to offending, the Conservative Party focuses on tougher sentencing, including with community sentences. The Greens, Labour and Liberal Democrats all prioritise reducing short custodial sentences.
  • There are also disappointments. The actions proposed with policing and the justice system by all parties were for general improvements, without anything specific for law breaking drivers or road crime victims.

In their previous election manifestos, the Conservative Party had promised to do more, and said “We want to double the number of journeys made by bicycle and will invest over £200 million to make our cycling safer, so we reduce the number of cyclists and other road users killed or injured on our roads every year”  (The Conservative and Unionist Party, 2015).

Likewise, the Conservative Party and Labour repeated promises made in their 2015 election manifestos to strengthen the rights of victims. 

More is needed to spare families suffering avoidable deaths and serious injuries, to reduce the illness caused by vehicle emissions and improve health though active travel.

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