more from the Thatcher govt’s deliberate suppression of cycling

Amazing exchange from a brief debate on road congestion, Hansard, 10 July 1989, in which disastrous and soon to be booted out Transport Secretary Paul Channon tells Andrew Smith explicitly that, because the Rover car plant is in his constituency, he should favour policies for relentless car use growth and for suppression of cycling and public transport.

Mr Andrew Smith (Oxford East)
Given the abject complacency of that response, will not the Secretary of State take note of the deepening anger among people in the south-east at how chronically worsening congestion is poisoning the environment, damaging business and driving the public slowly???in many cases, stationarily???round the bend? Does he accept that the way to tackle the congestion is through measures to halt the relentless increase in car use, and that that will be achieved only through a proper plan for transport throughout the south-east which stresses the investment needs of railways, buses, cycling and proper traffic management and achieves the right balance between car use and public transport?

Mr Paul Channon (Southend West)
I should have thought that the hon. Gentleman would be the last hon. Member to ask such a supplementary question, as I understand that he represents Cowley. I should have thought that people would prefer to be in work rather than out of it, including the hon. Gentleman's constituents. His suggestions would probably have deleterious effect on his constituency. I am trying to provide a decent road infrastructure in the south-east, and we are doing a great deal in Oxfordshire.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *