General election 2019 FAQs
General election 2019 FAQs
1. What’s our election campaign about?
We’re asking candidates standing in the general election to stand up for cycling and walking, by pledging to support increased investment. You can write to them too via our simple to use online tool.
2. How much are we asking for?
Currently, only around 2% of total transport spending in England (outside London) goes towards cycling and walking (active travel), and funding is inadequate throughout the UK. We’re asking candidates to pledge their support for increased investment in active travel across the UK to at least 5% of transport spending in 2020, rising to at least 10% within five years.
3. Why do we need that much?
Targets to increase levels of cycling and walking differ between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In England, the Government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) target is to double levels of cycling by 2025, but the Government has accepted that it will get nowhere near those targets without significantly ramping up investment.
Research commissioned by the Department for Transport has still not been published, but Cycling UK understands that the Transport for Quality of Life report will confirm that, with some variation dependant on how, where and on what the money is spent, there needs to be an immediate doubling of investment in active travel, and then another doubling, for the Government to have any chance of achieving its CWIS targets.
Whilst that research relates to targets in England, investment in active travel at a similar level is urgently required across the devolved nations to make cycling and walking the natural choice for short journeys throughout the UK.
4. Why is this relevant to MPs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?
It’s true that funding for cycling and walking is a devolved matter for the Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, as our Campaigns and Policy Manager in Scotland explains, MPs from each of the devolved nations can still influence decisions both inside and outside Westminster and highlight the importance of proper funding for active travel within their own party. If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, it’s therefore really important to let the candidates standing to be an MP in your constituency know that investment in cycling and walking matters to you, and that you want them to stand up and speak out for this.
5. Why is more money for, and getting more people cycling and walking important?
We’re currently facing a climate crisis, a congestion crisis, a pollution crisis and an inactivity-related health crisis. Underpinning all of these is a long-term underfunding of cycling and walking crisis. Rebalancing transport spending is an obvious and simple way to help tackle these crises. It would make money and sense, and improve both public health and air quality.
6. What have we done already?
We have written to almost every candidate standing in the election. We may have missed a few, where they’ve not provided a valid email address or been missed off the various candidate databases. If you spot that we’ve omitted someone let us know and we’ll write to them.
We’ve asked those candidates to pledge to support increased investment in active travel across the UK to at least 5% of transport spending in 2020, rising to at least 10% within five years.
7. What are we asking you to do?
We want you to help us secure pledges from your candidates.
You can use our online tool to see which of your candidates have already made the pledge to stand up for cycling, walking and a healthier future, and to support our funding ask.
If they haven’t pledged yet, you can also email them using our online tool. There’s a precedent letter you can send, tailored for each nation, and which in England lets you know whether your candidate supported our last funding campaign whilst an MP. But you can also edit these emails to refer to a local issue, or any previous engagement you’ve had with any of your candidates.
8. I’ve emailed my candidates. Can I do anything else?
Yes, you can!
We need thousands of people to email their candidates to ask them to make the pledge. It only takes a couple of minutes. We’re hugely grateful if you’ve already done this, but if you’ve got the time to help us get more candidates to support investment to create healthier streets, places and towns which are better for people, communities and businesses, then you can always:
- Tell your friends, family or work colleagues about our campaign, and share the link to the online action.
- Email someone, or more than one, to ask them to email their candidates.
- Share the campaign link on social media with the hashtag #GE2019
- Ask your candidates about this when they knock on your door, or at a husting event, and ask them why they won’t support this if they haven’t.
9. How are we going to engage with MPs after the election?
After the election, we’ll have a list of candidates who pledged to stand up for cycling and walking, and increased funding, and were then elected. Hopefully your MP will be one of them.
Cycling UK then plans to hold those MPs to account over the duration of the next parliament. We’ll be in contact with all of them, reminding them of their pledge and asking to meet with them. We’ll be pressing them to raise questions related to investment and enabling active travel, speak in debates and to make the argument for better infrastructure for cycling and walking throughout the UK.
If we get pledges from MPs we’ll know who to target in the next parliament, and we’ll be able to tell you whether your MP is still standing up for cycling and walking!
10. What will you be able to do after the election?
As well as engaging ourselves with MPs who made the pledge, we’ll also be making it easy for supporters, campaigners and campaign groups to engage with and hold their MPs to account.
There will be a follow up action where we enable and encourage supporters to write to their new MP about local issues, investment for cycling and walking in your area, and wider cycling issues.
We’ll also be helping to enable people to raise concerns with their MPs, but it will be much easier to do this effectively if we’ve managed, during the election campaign, to tie candidates down to a specific pledge on active travel investment – so please ask them all to pledge!