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

Hustings: candidate Sandra White, SNP

Sandra White

Here’s the text of Sandra White’s statement on active travel:

Sandra White MSP, SNP Candidate for Glasgow Kelvin Constituency
“The SNP are firmly committed to supporting active and sustainable travel. The SNP Scottish Government are committed to a vision of 10% of everyday journeys being undertaken by bike by 2020, which is set out in the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland.
In Government we are investing more than £1 billion each year to encourage people out of their cars. We are proud to be delivering the largest ever investment in cycling and walking in Scotland. Since 2011, we have built 190kms of cycling and walking paths.

The SNP in Government will continue to support the development of the National Cycle Network and its eventual completion in the years to come. When new trunk road schemes are introduced and improvements made to existing trunk roads, there is now special consideration for cyclists which the
SNP support.

We believe active travel should be part of our everyday life from the earliest years. We are pleased to see an increasing number of primary schools offering Bikeability Scotland on-road cycle training, which is achieved through Scottish Government funding and support from Cycling Scotland.

Recent investment also includes the launch of the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) Development Fund in November last year, which provides £700,000 to projects that support trees, woodlands and green infrastructure, encourage community growing or promote active travel.

We are proud of our investments to infrastructure and active travel and wewill continue to support developments to achieve our vision in the nextparliament.”

Find out more about the Hustings here

Hustings: candidate Brian Whittle, Conservative

Brian Whittle

Here’s Brian Whittle’s statement on active travel:

Brian Whittle Scottish Conservative MSP Candidate for Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley
•The Scottish Conservatives want to see cycling promoted and developed throughout Scotland as a healthy, relatively cheap and environmentally friendly mode of transport.
•In our 2015 GE manifesto we said we want to double the number of journeys made by bicycle.
•Central funding is just one factor in cycling development and it is up to local authorities to ensure that the money is spent as efficiently and productively as possible.
•We should be integrating cycling into local transport strategies.
•Clearly, investment is a more important issue for urban areas and investment has to reflect local circumstances (that’s why we would not support a blanket ringfence for all councils of some percentage for example).
•If we hope to encourage cycling we must ensure that the safety of cyclists is improved. One way to do that would be through improved training.
•We must also look at what our schools are doing to ensure that our children are introduced to the benefits of cycling at a young age, that they are encouraged to cycle to school, and that they are given training to do so safely.”

Find out more about the Hustings here

Hustings: candidate Robert Brown, Liberal Democrats

Robert Brown

Here’s Robert Brown’s statement on active travel:

Councillor Robert Brown – Scottish Liberal Democrat Party Candidate

Sustainable and local – the Liberal Democrat challenge for cycling and walking Everyone agrees that cycling and walking are good for health and good for the planet – and should be the accepted norm for everyday shorter journeys, for work and recreation. Scotland’s Cycling Action Plan wants 10% of all journeys by bike by 2020 –it currently hovers around 1%. There is much to do!

Yet the tools are in place for a step change – a national walking and cycling network, extended cycle paths within cities, a London-style bicycle hire scheme in Glasgow, bicycle training and support in many schools, superb parks and city and urban walking paths. But perhaps not the climate!

Liberal Democrats believe that critical mass for moving forward should be based on:
• Local community projects to encourage walking and cycling – like Rutherglen and Cambuslang’s Bike Town combining support, training, a bike hub and accessible events
• Sustained funding at Council level to improve/complete walking and cycling networks, particularly in towns and cities
• Better integration with other transport modes including more provision for bikes on trains and more cycle hubs
• An emphasis on safe segregated or off-main road routes to school, work and for leisure
• Focused action to make walking and cycling routes more attractive – eliminate air pollution hotspots; reduce speed limits in residential areas to 20mph, tackle the menace of potholes
• A renewed focus on Green Transport Plans for employers and schools

A Green Transport Act could give an impetus to the necessary step change – the litmus tests are sustainable and local.”

Find out more about the Hustings here

Hustings: candidate Michael Shanks, Labour Party

Michael Shanks

Michael has replaced Claudia Beamish for our Hustings at fairly short notice, but he is the Labour candidate for Glasgow Kelvin, where he will be competing against Sandra White, current constituency MSP and Patrick Harvie, currently a List MSP.  Here is the statement on active travel submitted by Claudia Beamish:

Claudia Beamish MSP, Shadow Minister for Environmental Justice,
Scottish Labour Party Candidate says –
“There are many imperatives which drive the impetus towards better cycling provision – Climate change, congestion and air pollution, health, enjoyment and practical reasons to name but a few.

As a rural dweller, I am determined to ensure that safe cycling and walking options are available within our towns and villages as well as our cities. In addition, it is important that links between centres of population are not forgotten. In this context, the National Walking and Cycling Network must be further developed in conjunction with local authority and voluntary sector partners. For example, South Lanarkshire Council is committed to joining more sections of the Network between Lesmahagow and Happendon within its present longer term budget cycle.

Planning policy has a strong role to play and should be revised to ensure that all new roads and house building schemes take cycling into account. The opportunity to take bikes on trains is still meagre in Scotland and I will continue to argue for better provision for tourism, leisure and work travel as well as more station bike spaces.

To help develop a cycling culture, a range of initiatives need to go forward in parallel. Safe and well maintained Infrastructure is essential of course. I am delighted that my idea for a funding award for local authorities has been adopted, initially by fellow convenors of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group for Cycling and now acted on by the Scottish Government. I look forward to hearing about the winners from a range of inspiring projects. Cycling and all road user education is also vital. I am clear that part of the Primary School Bikeability should be on road training.

I will continue to encourage the Scottish Labour Party to consider taking forward Presumed Liability, of which I am an advocate and to commission further research if necessary, before a decision is made to take this forward. I have taken on a Bike to Work scheme and though I feel disloyal to my 30 year old Raleigh Silhouette, I know the new model will help with my city commute to along the Union Canal. Scottish Labour will promote this scheme and the need for workplace bike spaces.

Bike maintenance can be a mystery which needs confidence to tackle so I will promote more courses such as the Belles on Bikes one I attended in the Borders.

Any policy shift is a challenge for political parties. Our Manifesto commitments will be highlighted nearer to the election. I am confident that as change happens in Scotland, we will reach a critical mass and cycling will be the preferred option of many of all ages and abilities as a transport mode.”

Find out more about the Hustings here


Hustings: candidate Patrick Harvie, Scottish Green Party

Patrick Harvie

Here’s the text of Patrick Harvie’s statement on active travel:

“Patrick Harvie MSP, Scottish Green Party Candidate for Glasgow Kelvin.

The aims of our transport policy are to help create a carbon-free sustainable future, to improve safety – especially for vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians – and to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. We also have to reverse the effects of car culture which has made walking and cycling increasingly unpleasant and sometimes dangerous.

We want to see a socially equitable and environmentally sustainable transport system for Scotland that prioritises pedestrians, people with mobility problems, cyclists, and public transport users. Driving tests and government information aimed at drivers should place an emphasis on the rights and needs of other road users, particularly the most vulnerable – pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists and motorcyclists. Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian, has championed the case for the introduction of presumed liability upon motorists in the Scottish Parliament to ensure better
protection for the most vulnerable road users.

We recognise the importance of walking and cycling as the most sustainable, healthiest, cheapest and most widely available forms of transport. By explicitly considering pedestrians and cyclists in the planning process and providing them with safe, attractive and well-lit routes to encourage more people out of their cars and onto our roads.

We will facilitate the widespread implementation of Home Zones and change legislation to enforce 10mph speed limits in order to give road-user priority to pedestrians and cyclists. Non-residential roads will be designed to give priority and allocate space to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport, and to maximise road safety.

We will give priority to the maintenance of foot and cycle ways and the filling of deep pot holes to protect cyclists and motorcyclists. Green MSPs have been calling on the Scottish Government to progressively increase the proportion of the annual transport budget given over to active travel from the current 1% to 10% over the course of the next Parliament. We propose the full adoption of the European Charter of Pedestrians’ Rights.”

Find out more about the Hustings here

GoBike! Hustings, 1 week to go!


Just one week to go to the first ever GoBike Hustings.  We vote for our MSPs on 05 May and it’s important that active travel, ie walking and cycling, is high on the agenda.  Come to our hustings and ask the 6 candidates who will be on our platform your question about:

  • the government budget for cycling?
  • what is good infrastructure for cycling?
  • do they cycle?  If not, what would make them cycle?
  • why do cars park in cycle lanes and how do we stop them?
  • how do we reclaim our streets for walking and cycling?
  • etc, etc

Lots of details about the Hustings and the candidates are on our Hustings 2016 page on our website.