Our Scottish election campaign message: Cycling is for everyone

Today we launch our Scottish election campaign and our manifesto for cycling ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary election on 6 May. Our campaigns and policy manager in Scotland, Jim Densham, explains how you can support our campaign

Cycling is for everyone in Scotland, but many people don’t yet cycle who could or who want to. Whoever forms the next Scottish Government after the election must make cycling an easy and attractive option, especially for everyday short journeys.

Investment to create new space for active forms of travel will improve the nation’s health, create jobs, support local economies and contribute to getting Scotland back on its feet after the coronavirus pandemic – a theme which will predominate during this election.

Our Cycling UK in Scotland election campaign aims to secure greater commitment for cycling from political parties during the election.

Today’s public launch doesn’t mark the start of our election campaign work, it’s a mid-point. We have been working hard for months developing our manifesto, our campaign themes and messages, and talking to all the political parties currently represented in the Scottish Parliament about them.

This is the point where we ask you to help amplify the message that cycling must be for everyone in Scotland. It’s time for the next Scottish Government to move up the gears and put in place what’s needed so that everyone can cycle, as our manifesto outlines:

  • Invest more money in cycling
  • Create safe space for people to cycle, walk and wheel
  • Enable people in rural communities to cycle

It’s extremely important to convince political parties that they need to include strong commitments for active travel in their manifestos

Jim Densham, Cycling UK's policy manager in Scotland

All political parties are currently developing their own election manifestos – lists of promises of what they will do and the direction they will take the nation if they are able to form Scotland’s next five-year government. It’s extremely important to convince the parties that they need to include strong commitments for active travel in their manifestos.

Our manifesto for cycling gives them ideas for promises to incorporate in their manifestos and during election campaigning. However, we also need to show politicians that there are many people in Scotland who cycle, want to cycle more, and want safe and attractive spaces to cycle in.

Politicians are more likely to make the right commitment to cycling if they believe that it could win them many thousands of votes.

There are two ways that you can help to influence the political parties. Firstly, add your voice by signing our e-action to show political parties that you agree with our campaign messages. Adding your name helps to show parties that there is huge support for cycling and increases the pressure for them to renew their commitments to cycling.

Later in the campaign (from the end of March) we will also be providing you with a way to contact your candidates and ask them to support our election asks.

Secondly, we also need you to share this with your friends and family, with others who cycle and on your social media platforms. It’s important to share far and wide and encourage people to be part of a movement for cycling at this time when parties are desperate to promise support for things that they see will get them votes.

Please support our campaign by adding your voice and sharing our e-action. Together we can help create a better Scotland – one that’s healthier, happier, more attractive and low-carbon. One where cycling is for everyone.