from that brief moment at the end of the Major government when front benchers on both sides were both happy to make the sort of statements that would today have the tabloids frothing about anti-car militancy. Hansard, 10 June 1996. Note also the delightful discussion of bicycle bells that it follows.
Mr David Rendel (Newbury)Mr Steven Norris (Epping Forest)
Does the Minister accept that bus lanes in the wrong places and at the wrong times can sometimes increase congestion, as the remaining non-cycle transport is forced into a smaller space? The building of bypasses might free up some road space and provide an unprecedented opportunity to introduce cycle lanes which, I hope that he will accept, all those who are in favour of cycling would be wise to support.
I wondered why the hon. Member for Newbury (Mr. Rendel) was on his own, but then I realised that it was because he was a Liberal defending a bypass. We are all delighted to see him, and delighted at his solid support. I am sorry that he will be able to give it to us only for another year. He makes a serious point about cycle lanes and their enforcement and policing. He is absolutely right that there is no point in drawing either cycling lanes or bus priority lanes on the road if they are promptly ignored by motorists. They need to be enforced, and that is a challenge for local authorities. To some degree, the extent to which those lanes constrict private car traffic is an important component in persuading motorists that there is a greener alternative and a more efficient way to make their journey. So I do not entirely consider the reduction in available road space a disadvantage.