Cycling UK has launched a "vote bike" tool on its website to urge Metro Mayoral candidates to back cycling.
On May 4th, millions of people across England will have the opportunity to elect politicians to the new position of Metro Mayor. Elections are taking place in six key combined authority conurbations: Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, Liverpool City Region, the West of England, the Tees Valley, and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.
Cycling UK has devised a set of local-specific asks with local campaign groups, to meet the differing roles and responsibilities of each Mayor. Common to all, will be the power to make strategic decisions over the whole combined authority region, with one key area of policy affected being transport.
The campaign is part of the charity's "space for cycling" campaign, which was originally seed-funded by the industry's Bike Hub levy.
Cycling UK president and newscaster Jon Snow has contacted each candidate with cycling asks and so far has heard back from five candidates across three of the regions.
Snow said: “For cycling, this is a major opportunity as it is these local political bodies that look after the bulk of Britain’s roads. To ensure this opportunity is properly utilised, we need local voices making noises – it is after all you they rely on to elect them.”
The asks vary by region:
- In Greater Manchester Cycling UK and Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign are calling on candidates to prioritise road traffic enforcement that will crack down on dangerous driving.
- In the Liverpool City Region, Cycling UK and the Merseyside Cycling Campaign are calling on candidates to work with the Police and Crime Commissioner to crack down on dangerous driving.
- In the West Midlands, Cycling UK and the Bike West Midlands Network are calling on candidates to support the West Midlands Cycling Charter.
- In the West of England, Cycling and the Bristol Cycling Campaign are calling on candidates to establish MetroCycle on an equal footing with MetroRail and MetroBus.
- In the Tees Valley, Cycling UK and the Tees Valley Cycle Campaign are asking all candidates to ensure that any construction projects consider and plan for cycling appropriately.
- In Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Cycling UK and Camcycle are calling on all candidates to ensure cycling is fully designed into all new roads projects
Each candidate has also been asked to plan a region-wide network of safe Space for Cycling and actively to seek the funding to implement it.
Tom Guha, Cycling UK’s Space for Cycling campaigns officer, said:
“Creating full networks of space for cycling is essential if we are to see the step-change in cycle use needed to combat lethal air pollution and alleviate crippling congestion.
“The inadequacies of the UK Government’s cycling policy have left it to devolved authorities to deliver the national cycling revolution. It is imperative that we – together with local residents – work with all incoming Metro Mayors to create safer, friendlier and healthier communities through cycling.”