There are elections on May 6th for the regional West of England Mayor, the Bristol Mayor, and many local councillors. We’ve met most of the mayoral candidates to discuss our Cycling Manifesto for West of England, and Cycling Manifesto for Bristol. Here are the responses to our challenges from the main candidates for WECA Mayor (and here for Bristol Mayor). We use their own words where provided, or our understanding from meeting them. These are our challenges:
- Create an annual £10m Active Travel Challenge Fund, committing £90m until 2030.
- Use the highest standards for cycling infrastructure in all WECA does (LTN 1/20 guidance).
- Appoint an Active Travel Commissioner
Take Action Candidates need to know there is support for cycling, which means votes. Please take a moment to tell them by tweet or email. All you need to say is ‘Please support the Bristol Cycling Manifesto’ and include a link if you wish. It only takes a handful of tweets or emails to get noticed, so every one matters. There’s a useful page with all the contact details at Moving Bristol Forward.
Dan Norris – Labour
“While I believe each represents a great objective, as I am sure you will understand, I am simply unable to commit to individual policies without knowledge of the full state of WECA’s finances”
1. Funding: “As MM, I will deliver a new Spatial Plan to create convenient public transport and walking and cycling links and establish a Green Recovery Fund which will help stimulate walking, wheeling and cycling in WECA.”
2. Quality: 2 – “However, if elected MM, and once aware of the resources available, I would welcome the opportunity to meet both organisations to discuss the application of each ask in more detail.”
3. Commissioner: Would ensure somebody is responsible for walking, wheeling, and cycling. He would not commit explicitly to an Active Travel Commissioner.
Jerome Thomas – Greens
1. Funding: “Yes”
2. Quality: “Yes, where possible, and working with the challenges of a centuries-old road network where compromise is sometimes necessary.”
3. Commissioner: “Yes”
Samuel Williams – Conservative
Stephen Williams – Liberal Democrats
1. Funding: “I’m expecting central government to roll out substantial sums to combined or local authorities to invest in active travel and I would prepare ambitious plans to win at least the amount you suggest. I’m also committed to having clear funding streams and transparent processes for active travel funding.”
2. Quality: “I would expect officers to be familiar with the details of the latest technical standards, as mayor it would also be my expectation that we would use them, especially if compliance with them makes it more likely that we will obtain DfT funding for schemes.”
3. Commissioner: “I have already placed on record my intention to appoint a Cyclists Champion and a Walkers Champion. I am open minded as to how this might work in practice and a single Active Travel Commissioner (especially if Whitehall appoints an all England one) could work. If it is a single commissioner it is important that all modes of active travel get parity of esteem.”
VOTING Mayors and police and crime commissioners
You have two votes. Select a first and second preference – if no candidate receives 50% of first-preference choices, the top two go into a run-off. The second preferences of voters whose favoured candidates have been eliminated are then taken into account. You should try to use your second vote for a candidate likely to be in the run-off.