Hustings: candidate Cat Boyd, RISE

Cat Boyd

Here’s the text of Cat Boyd’s statement on active travel:

Cat Boyd Candidate for RISE: Scotland’s Left Alliance RISE believe that less of the transport budget should be going towards trunk roads and motorways and more should be going to walking, cycling, buses and trains. 

Only 1.6% of the transport budget is spent on cycling, and that figure is falling in Swinney’s next budget while over £100m extra is going on roads. The spending on roads is £820 million now – a third of the total transport budget. We are subsidising the car industry and motorists. 

The health and ecological impacts of this, long term in Scotland will be huge. Glasgow was 17th out of 20 in a survey on cycle-friendly UK cities. Considering there is so many parks and green spaces in the city, that is a disgrace.
The Government is set to miss its target of 10% of people making everyday journeys by bike by 2020 by a long way. We think this simply isn’t good enough. About a third of carbon emissions comes from transport – if we are going to cut down on emissions we need to provide incentives to move people on to more green forms of transport.

The health benefits of people walking and cycling more are widely understood – it is especially important for children. We have an obesity epidemic emerging in this country – we are the fat men and women of Europe, with one in five obese and it could rise to one in three. We need to get people walking and cycling. 

RISE’s cycling policy: we need an increase in safe route funding with cycle paths laid down on roads all across the country, not cuts to safe route funding which Swinney has announced. We will argue this case in the parliament if elected.

Cyclists need to feel safe and secure – and also free of harassment. Too many cyclists get remarks made towards them from passers by and drivers, and the Scottish Govt needs to develop a strategy to tackle this sort of harassment. Women cyclists are twice as likely as men to get this sort of harassment as a cyclist, and it puts many women off cycling. It needs to end.

RISE have a policy to fight sexist street harassment which would cover cyclists. We believe that there must be a better, more democratic and sustainable way to use of public space in Glasgow – commercial events seem to be prioritised above all else. Safe cycle routes part of tackling that problem.

As well as ensuring that public space is well connected by cycle and walking routes, we
will demand a reduction in speed limits to 20 mph in all built up areas. Additionally, RISE supports free public transport for all.

Find out more about the Hustings here