This election stand up for cycling and walking

A cyclist has left their bike outside a polling station where we want you to ask your candidates to stand up for cycling and walking.
Bike in front of a rural polling station
Bike in front of a rural polling station

This election stand up for cycling and walking

Now is the time to stand up for cycling and walking! Cycling UK has launched a new campaign for the UK's General Election on Thursday 12 December, to ask parliamentary candidates if they will pledge to support for increased funding for cycling and walking.

The importance of providing the funding needed for cycling to transform our communities is more urgent than ever. We’re facing a climate emergency, our roads are increasingly congested and our high streets are in decline. At this General Election, you now have the opportunity to vote for healthier streets. as we elect new MPs in our local constituencies.

Cycling UK wrote to parliamentary candidates last week and asked them to pledge to support increased funding for cycling and walking, now we’re asking you to. We want you to take action and ask your candidates to stand up for cycling and walking. In these candidates, we’re searching for the champions of cycling in Westminster, who will influence the next five years worth of funding for cycling and walking. 

Take action

We’ve long called for dedicated and increased funding for cycling and walking to help make us healthier and happier in our communities. We know how it can make us feel being able to cycle as part of our daily lives. We can avoid congestion, be independent, travel through places other road users can’t and be better in our bodies and minds. 

Our last campaign focused on funding for cycling and walking in England only due to the way that funding works across the UK. If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland spending on cycling and much of transport policy is decided in your home nation rather than in Westminster. This time around, as it’s a general election, we’re asking candidates across the whole of the UK if they will stand with us and stand up for cycling and walking.

Even though England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland govern how they spend on active travel differently, as Jim Densham explains (Cycling UK's Campaigns and Policy Manager in Scotland) parliamentary candidates can still table questions, speak in debates and influence decisions regarding active travel by working with their colleagues in the party. Their voice matters.

Why is it that the UK continues to fail funding cycling and walking adequately when it could play a vital role in reducing the air pollution?

Caroline Grogan, Cycling UK campaigns officer

There are certain things that have no problem receiving the funding they need such as financial institutions during the recession in 2008. So why is it that the UK continues to fail funding cycling and walking adequately when it could play a vital role in reducing the air pollution? Research from King’s College London states that PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide is a serious health hazard. If there was the investment in cycling and walking to encourage millions more to cycle, then we might be able to reduce that shocking statistic. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health also called on all parliamentary candidates and parties to commit to supporting environmental health this general election.

Recently my inbox has been full of people talking about how to campaign during the general election period, who exactly to target and how to share this information, so that groups from a broad section of civil society can benefit from best practice and make sure their supporters voices are heard this general election.

As our colleagues at We Walk, We Cycle We Vote said in a recent blog, any candidate worth electing will listen to what people in their local area have to say. If you care about your local environment, your health and that of your family and friends, or the economy of the high street where you live, then now is the time to speak up and ask your candidates to stand up for cycling and walking.

If you don’t, your local candidates won’t know what matters to you. The more information you give your local candidates, the better picture they’ll get of how you and other residents feel.

Take action

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