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Vote Bike: West Midlands

On 4 May, the West Midlands will go to the polls to elect a new 'Metro Mayor'. Cycling UK and the Bike West Midlands Network are calling on all candidates to support a set of three asks.

Context:

Last year, the West Midlands Combined Authority published its Cycling Charter. The Charter aims to have 5% of all trips made by cycle by 2023 and pledges to deliver a high quality and coherent cycle network across the West Midlands. To achieve this, it suggests a minimum investment of £10 per person annually, rising over time to £20.

This could not come soon enough. Presently, the West Midlands’ roads are the third most congested in England, costing the economy £2 billion every year. Air pollution, caused largely by motor traffic, contributes to 1500 early deaths per year. In addition, the region has one of the country’s worst rates of adult physical inactivity.

What we're calling for:

Cycling UK and the Bike West Midlands Network are asking all candidates if they support the following asks. You can see their responses - and take action to quiz them yourselves - below.  

  1. Support the West Midlands Cycling Charter
    Aim to have 5% of all trips in the West Midlands made by cycle by 2023. Deliver a high quality and coherent cycle network across the West Midlands
  2. Actively seek the funding necessary to implement the West Midlands Cycling Charter
    The Charter suggests a spend of £10 per person annually on cycling, rising over time to £20

Take action - click here to back our call!

What candidates have said so far:

Candidate

Q.1

Q.2

Other comments…

Andy Street
(CON)

YES

YES

We need to supercharge cycling in the West Midlands to tackle congestion, air quality and inactivity. We must upgrade cycle routes, making the most of the canal network and off-road routes, whilst accelerating existing plans for on-road cycle superhighways. We need more cycle parking at stations, offices and housing developments. If we are to get the West Midlands moving again, cycling is a vital part of the plan. For more details, please see my Renewal Plan for the West Midlands www.andy4wm.co.uk/renewalplan

Beverley Neilsen
(LIB)

YES

YES

As Lib Dem Candidate for Metro Mayor I am keen to promote cycling as a real alternative and to move as quickly as possible from 5% cycling and upwards to 10% plus. I would also like to link our cycleways into a network of cycle routes crossing our region and linking canals, rivers, and Sustrans network.

James Burn
(GREEN)

YES

YES

I will actively seek the funding necessary, but it's important to be clear that the level of funding is currently very low, and forecast to drop even lower, to about £1.40 per head in 2018/19 as one-off grant funding comes to an end. As Local Authorities (and not the mayor) control cycle funding in large part, getting to £20 a head will be a real challenge, particularly in the light of huge government cuts.

Peter Durnell
(UKIP)

YES

YES

I believe the further development of the West Midlands cycling network can and should play a role in helping reduce congestion and resultant air pollution across the region. As mayor I would be keen to support the elements of the BCR project which aim to better utilise our green areas and waterways.

Sion Simon
(LAB)

YES

YES

I'll develop a proper integrated cycling strategy across the WMCA to better utilise our canals and achieve full cycle integration on public transport, including better way-finding, night-time cycling networks, bike racks on public transport and at public buildings, improved integration of cycle routes and facilities to rail and Metro stops.

In addition to cycling, I will also support walking as a form of active transport - working with all Local Authorities within the combined authority to promote a campaign of encouraging 20mph limits in residential areas. This will include ward level pilot areas for 20mph limits in each local authority to measure impacts on physical activity, active travel and road safety with a view to a wider roll-out later. The aim would be for these pilots to create safe walking routes that encourage more children to walk to school and bring more customers to local shops.

TomGuha