With a general election looming on 6 December, Sustrans has called for sustained long-term funding for cycling and walking, as well as urging the next government to take leadership in reducing emissions from motor traffic.
Launched today, the Sustrans General Election 2019 manifesto asserts at the outset that “climate change is the biggest long-term threat facing the UK” and that the election provides “an opportunity for political parties to support action that will lower carbon emissions by making it easier for everyone to walk and cycle.”
Sustrans has created five key ‘asks’ “for the next government to commit to and help more people reduce their over-reliance on the car and instead walk or cycle for everyday journeys.” Those are:
Ask 1 – Provide sustained long-term investment in walking and cycling, to support an updated Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, and the National Cycle Network
Ask 2 – Commit to a 20-minute neighbourhood planning principle for all cities and towns. This is designed so all people living in cities and towns are within a 20-minute walk from their everyday services and needs
Ask 3 – Transform the journey to school to help children travel safely and independently by foot, scooter or cycle
Ask 4 – Ensure places are accessible for everyone
Ask 5 – Establish a UK-wide Greenways Taskforce and Greenways Citizen’s Assembly so that communities can develop a vision for, and put in place a Greenways Programme.
Commenting on the launch of the manifesto in a blog post, the sustainable transport charity’s CEO Xavier Brice said: “Sustrans has set out a positive vision of change to all politicians ahead of this general election.
“Our vision is a society where the way we travel creates healthier places and happier lives for everyone.”
He added: “This manifesto sets out clear asks for the next UK government to show leadership on curbing road transport emissions and make walking and cycling the easiest and most convenient options for more people, regardless of gender, age, abilities and ethnicity as a matter of urgency.
“Investment in good quality walking and cycling infrastructure is essential to making our nation happier and healthier and ensuring that the future is sustainable for generations to come.”
As the main parties launch their own manifestos in the coming days, we will be reporting on what commitments – if any – they are making to sustainable travel, and to cycling in particular.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.