While GoBike is campaigning for good cycle infrastructure, we recognise the need for good public transport, a linked-up, integrated system to encourage people out of their private cars. Our sister group, Get Glasgow Moving, has launched this petition:
Here’s the panel from last night’s Hustings getting ready for the debate. From left, Anna Richardson, SNP, Robert Brown, LibDem, Tricia Fort, GoBike Convenor in the centre, Christy Mearns, Greens and Martin McElroy, Labour.
Questions ranged from should local authorities use their own money for cycle schemes rather than getting funding via Sustrans to why don’t we reduce danger on our roads to do our councillors need a car parking space at council offices and more. It was a busy, informative evening.
If you were there or not, you can still ask your council candidates searching questions, see the guide on the Walk, Cycle, Vote website: http://walkcyclevote.scot/what/ There is information on all your candidates on this excellent website.
Yes, our Hustings for the Local Government Elections on 04 May takes place tomorrow, 19 April at the Admiral Bar on Waterloo Street, Glasgow. Doors open 7pm, the event starts at 7:30.
Here’s the text of the Press Release we have just issued:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Local Government candidates to be quizzed tomorrow at cycling hustings
In collaboration with “We Walk, We Cycle, We Vote”, Greater Glasgow’s cycle campaign Go-Bike! presents an election hustings tomorrow night at the Admiral Bar, Glasgow. Featuring candidates contesting elections in East Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire and Glasgow, the evening promises lively political debate, with a focus on cycling strategy.
With 2017’s local election expected to be one of the most significant in recent history, representatives from the SNP, Labour, Conservatives, Lib Dems and Greens will be pitching their parties’ active travel policies to West Central Scotland’s cycling constituency.
“Cycling is increasingly seen as the solution for a number of grave challenges facing our villages, towns and cities and is a policy area our politicians can no longer ignore,” said Convenor Tricia Fort. “Air pollution, congestion, the revival of our town centres and road safety are likely to be key topics on the night and the panel should expect some stern questioning from the audience.”
Candidates speaking at the election hustings will be:
Robert Brown, Scottish Liberal Democratic Party, South Lanarkshire
Martin McElroy, Scottish Labour Party, Glasgow
Christy Mearns, Scottish Green Party, Glasgow
Anna Richardson, Scottish National Party Glasgow
Jim Swift, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, East Renfrewshire
Doors open at 7:00pm, with the hustings commencing at 7:30 in the Admiral Bar, 72 Waterloo Street, Glasgow, G2 7DA.
Note for editors:
Go-Bike! is a cycle infrastructure campaigning organisation, covering council areas in the former Strathclyde Region: Glasgow, Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire, with a focus on infrastructure and the built environment. Our campaign is entirely funded by membership fees and donations, with no input from government or third parties.
We Walk, We Cycle, We Vote is an umbrella campaign working on behalf of over fifty active travel campaigns and organisations, is supported by funding from Cycling UK, Sustrans Scotland and Spokes and is being co-ordinated by Suzanne Forup from Cycling UK and Sally Hinchcliffe from Pedal on Parliament.http://walkcyclevote.scot/ email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As the date for the GoBike Hustings on 19 April at the Admiral Bar, Waterloo Street, Glasgow, doors open 7pm for a prompt start at 7:30 gets nearer, it’s time to get your questions for the panel ready. To help you, here are links to the manifestos, as well as we could find them, for 4 of the 5 Parties:
Picture taken from the Glasgow City Council website
We have a change from our initial line-up for the hustings. Alan Moir from East Dunbartonshire has sent his apologies and Scottish Labour proposed that Martin McElroy take his place.
Martin McElroy is an existing Labour councillor on Glasgow City council and is standing for election on 04 May 2017. Here is the text that he sent us:
“I was first elected in 2012 to represent the Hillhead area of Glasgow. In 2015 I was appointed the city’s Cycling Commissioner and have been involved in the development and implementation of the council’s cycling strategy.
I am passionate about making Glasgow one of the best cycling cities in Europe and if re-elected will continue to support the progress we have made in both education and infrastructure.”
Tomorrow, links to the election manifestos for the 5 parties.
Christy Mearns is a Scottish Green Party candidate in Glasgow and is standing for election on 04 May 2017. Here is the text that she sent us:
“I’m Christy Mearns, the Scottish Green Party candidate for Anderston, City & Yorkhill. Over the years I have campaigned for change locally and represented the Scottish Green Party in the previous two by-elections for the Ward. I have worked hard getting to know the issues important to people living and working here. If elected, I promise to work hard to deliver cleaner, safer public spaces; to encourage local businesses to thrive; and to continue to be a strong voice for the local community on the issues that matter to them.
Scottish Greens take local elections seriously because local issues and local services matter. We have a track record of listening to communities and working constructively with other parties to get things done. We believe that decisions which affect people should be made close to them. With a bigger group of Green Councillors than ever before, we can drive home these changes locally and help put power into your hands.”
Tomorrow, the Labour Party candidate for our panel, a change from our original booking.
Anna Richardson is an existing Scottish National councillor on Glasgow City council and is standing for election on 04 May 2017. Here is the text that she sent us:
“I have been a councillor for Langside in Glasgow since 2015, and am one of the SNP candidates for this election. I also work part time for NCT, a national parenting charity, as well as caring for my three young children. I have an honours degree in Geography and a Masters in Human Resources, both of which have informed my work in the Council.
My particular interests in the Council are varied, but all centre on making our city a better place to live, in particular for women, children and families who are often affected the most by our policies. I am passionate about education, especially early years and childcare, as well as planning and active travel. There is so much crossover between all these issues, and seeing where those connections lie is critical to achieving the best outcomes.
I took up cycling three years ago, but have only used it as a regular mode of transport in the last 12 months, having felt apprehensive about sharing busy roads with cars and buses. I am the proud owner of a very reliable hybrid, and resisting the urge to invest in any more wheels for the time being!
Having spent most of my adult life feeling too scared to cycle has shaped the way I view active travel, and the steps we must take if we are to make real progress. My vision for Glasgow is a city that enables anyone to jump on a bike, however young or old, and regardless of fitness level. And I will always make the case for active travel as a social justice issue that reduces air pollution for all and provides cost effective transport to households whether they are carless through choice or financial necessity.
I am delighted to be able to represent the SNP at these hustings, and believe our Glasgow group is standing on an excellent active travel manifesto. I hope to be part of the team who will, all being well, have the chance to implement these commitments.”
Tomorrow, the Conservative candidate on our panel.
Robert Brown is an existing Liberal Democrat councillor on South Lanarkshire council and is standing for election on 04 May 2017. Here is the text that he sent us:
“Robert Brown is a Liberal Democrat Council Councillor on South Lanarkshire Council. He was MSP for Glasgow Region (1999 to 2011) and Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (2005-2007). He was spokesperson on social justice and housing, and later justice and civil liberties. HE fought Glasgow Region and Rutherglen constituency for the Liberal Democrats in the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections.
A solicitor by profession, he worked as a Procurator Fiscal Depute and latter became senior civil partner with a large Glasgow firm.
He was a longstanding Policy Convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, and served on the Steel Commission and the Campbell Commission which set out the Liberal Democrat vision for Scottish Home Rule within a federal United Kingdom.
He is currently Liberal Democrat council candidate for Rutherglen South Ward in the forthcoming council elections.”
Robert was the first candidate to forward information to us; details of the 4 further candidates will be published over the next 4 days.
Interesting article in the Herald today (31 March) about power in our local councils. it’s worth reading to get a view on what we will be voting for on 04 May and perhaps a question to ask at our Hustings on 19 April, 7:30pm in the Admiral Bar on Waterloo Street in Glasgow. Here’s our flyer for the event: May2017 GB! Hustings flyer
Here’s the information we sent to the 5 candidates, who will be on our Hustings Panel, which might also help you frame your question:
“GoBike, as perhaps you know, is a campaigning group of people who cycle in the Strathclyde area, with most of our support in the Glasgow travel to work area. Our main focus is on good cycle infrastructure and on 21 February we met with the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, to present these 4 important aims:
1. 20mph Speeds in Urban Areas
Multiple benefits of safety, environment and air quality agreed by central/local governments, residents, road safety groups and cyclists. Change from urban 30mph to 20mph is in progress.
Implementation rates are slow due to budgetary constraints and perceived requirement for complex and expensive traffic calming. Cities risk developing a confusing patchwork of 20mph islands in a 30mph sea.
Action requested: That Holyrood make Scotland a better place by passing legislation to expedite 20mph as the default urban speed limit, except on specified non-residential arterial roads
2. Use of Evidence When Specifying Location and Design of Urban Cycle Facilities
Most existing cycle facilities suffer from two main failings: they are discontinuous and their positioning takes little cognisance of the preferred routes that cyclists use (cycle desire lines). They tend to be installed where local authorities see un-utilised road space, rather than from an assessment of cyclists’ needs.
Data concerning cycle desire lines is becoming abundantly available and shows that urban cyclists in Scotland substantially travel on direct (radial) main road routes that connect the suburbs with city centre. Cycle desire lines frequently cross local authority boundaries.
Action requested: That Holyrood preferentially promotes and funds cycle facilities that are based upon evidence of cyclists’ needs, such as directness and continuity of route, and those which allow connection between local authority areas
3. Space Reallocation
Evidence shows that cyclists tend to travel in straight and continuous paths from suburban areas into urban centres, preferentially using the main roads, where cycle speeds are faster than on back road routes.
Unless the desire by cyclists to use these direct main road routes is satisfied, then further spending on back-street cycle facilities will be largely wasted. The desire for cyclists to use main roads means that due consideration must be given to providing space on these.
Actions requested: 1) Holyrood mandates new build roads and renovated roads must have cycle facilities as a primary design criterion. 2) Prioritises facilities on faster/direct main road routes
4. Presumed Liability
It is a well-established legal principle that anyone who uses a dangerous instrument should be presumed to be liable in the event of death or injury as a consequence of its use.
It is therefore unfortunate that insurance companies generally take an adversarial position when vehicles come into collision with unprotected road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. Compensation may be delayed or denied as result.
At present, the UK is one of only five European countries (along with Cyprus, Malta, Romania and Ireland) that do not operate some form of strict liability law for vulnerable road users.
Action requested: That Holyrood makes Scotland a better place by enacting presumed liability legislation between motorists, cyclists and pedestrians
GoBike is one of the founder members of Walk,Cycle,Vote the pan-Scotland active travel grouping and the 3 common aims for the councils that will be elected on 04 May are:
Investment: Provide sustained, long term investment in both cycling and walking, reaching 10% of the transport budget
Infrastructure: Build and maintain dedicated cycling infrastructure suitable for people of all ages and abilities
Local Action: To solve the main local barriers to active travel, as identified by residents and businesses”
We do hope that you will be able to get along on 19 April but should you be unable to, you may submit a question by e-mail to email@example.com