On 4th May 2017 we will be electing the first ‘Metro Mayor’ of the West of England Combined Authority. They will have powers to really get serious about making cycling an option for everyone, to clean up the region’s air, to reduce journey time, and to get people active. Bristol Cycling, working with Cycle Bath and Cycling UK, have sent our West of England Cycling Manifesto to the main candidates which sets out the case for cycling, and asks three key questions. We’ll post their answers when we receive them.
The new West of England Mayor will manage new powers, funding and responsibilities handed from central Government to the region as part of a deal that covers the Local Authorities of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire (North Somerset opted out). More decisions will be made locally rather than nationally, including about spending on regional transport and housing. The Combined Authority will be led by the new West of England Mayor and the Cabinet will be the Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Cllr Tim Warren, Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, and the Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Cllr Matthew Riddle
Candidate responses will be made available at bristolcycling.org.uk/votebike, cyclebath.org.uk/votebike and nationally at cyclinguk.org/votebike. The candidates are listed here. A useful background briefing is here. Download the West of England Cycling Manifesto.
It will be most helpful if supporters of cycling could add their voices to ours by sending an email to the candidates to encourage their responses. Just click this button, add a few words of your own, and send. Cycling UK also have a useful page for lobbying all candidates.
Bristol Cycling Manifesto: Metro Mayor Candidate Questions
- Cycling is good for the West of England
Already saving £26 million a year for Bristol city alone. That’s 67p for every mile biked instead of driven1
- Cycling is popular
8 in 10 people want more investment for cycling1
- People don’t feel safe cycling
81% of residents say safety needs to be improved. They want protection from intimidating motor traffic and they want effective 20mph zones.1
Our Metro Mayor and councils must have a transforming vision for cycling – and the political will to make it happen. We are calling on candidates to create Space for Cycling2, so it’s easier for our choices to be good for us, and good for our region.
The new West of England Combined Authority is an opportunity for the whole region to build on Bristol’s success. As Mayor of the West of England, what will you do to get people pedalling? To clean up the region’s air? To reduce journey times? To get people active? To give independence to our children?
We are calling on you to answer and comment on the following three questions. Your responses will be made available for your potential constituents at bristolcycling.org.uk/votebike, cyclebath.org.uk/votebike and nationally at cyclinguk.org/votebike.
Questions for Candidates
- Champion the West of England’s cycling and walking culture
Will you prioritise walking, cycling, and public transport as the key to optimising the capacity of our transport network? Will you set a target to double the number of trips made by cycle in the West of England by 2025, while upholding the target of 20% of commuting trips in Bristol city by 2020.
- Establish ‘MetroCycle’ on the same basis as MetroRail and MetroBus
Will you set out a vision and plan for a high quality and coherent cycle network? This should connect our homes with our places of work, education, shopping and play. The starting place should be our Bristol Cycling Manifesto3, and the Bristol Cycle Strategy4. Will you set up and chair a powerful group bringing together councils, business groups, universities, advocates and transport businesses?
- Seek the funding to achieve your aims
Will you create a dedicated budget and team for cycling and actively seek the necessary funding to build your network to a high standard?