Metro mayor candidates say cycling is key part of transport mix

Sustainable transport has emerged as a key talking point as the election for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Metro Mayor on May approaches, with all the main candidates pledging to improve conditions across the region for people wishing to cycle.

Camcycle, working with Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, devised a set of three asks for the candidates to sign up to.

  1. 1. Ensure cycling is fully designed into all new roads projects
  2. 2. Ensure cycling is fully designed into all new developments
  3. 3. Support transport authorities in building cycle networks at a local level and ensure that all networks are linked to key transport hubs

Rod Cantrill (Lib Dem), Julie Howell (Green), Kevin Price (Labour) and Paul Bullen (UKIP), agreed to all of the above asks if elected. Peter Dawe (Independent) only agreed to questions 2 and 3.

James Palmer (Conservative) declined to respond but gave a statement: “Cycling is an important mode of transport, particularly for those fortunate enough to live close to cities and have office-based jobs.

“The City Deal has large amounts of money to spend on cycling routes and I will encourage them to do so.

“When new roads are built I will look into the possibility of providing cycle routes alongside them.  I will also encourage developers to include cycle routes in new estates.

“I am mindful of the popularity of cycling and it will be an important part of my vision for new infrastructure in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”

Comments from the other candidates included this from Rod Cantrill: “As a former cycle champion for Cambridge City Council I see cycling as a key form of sustainable transport and value it as a component of an integrated transport system.”

Peter Dawe said: “Cycling is a key technology. Electric cycles and velocycles can transform urban transport. It is not effective to provide expensive infra-structure where cycles will not make a significant contribution, such as long distance routes.”

Kevin Price said: “Although cycling levels across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are higher than the national average, and Cambridge is rated first out of all local authority areas, there is still a lot to do. We can improve cycling, particularly in rural areas as the £10m Greenways cycling project funded through the Greater Cambridge City Deal connecting villages across South Cambridgeshire to Cambridge has shown.”

Paul Bullen and Julie Howell did not leave a comment.

Roxanne Debeaux, campaigns officer for Camcycle, said: “Camcycle thanks Cycling UK for their Vote Bike initiative which allows voters to quickly assess the candidates’ attitudes towards cycling. It is pleasing to see that most candidates support the Vote Bike asks.

“Following the election, we will continue to campaign for cycling and we will hold the

Mayor accountable for their commitments for cycling.”

Tom Guha, Cycling UK’s Space for Cycling campaigns officer, said: “It is great to see that whoever is elected in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough will encourage cycling as a form of sustainable and active travel. The region is home to one of the greatest places to cycle in the world – Cambridge city. This election now gives an opportunity to the rest of the region to share in Cambridge’s success. We look forward to working with whoever is elected to make a success of their commitments.”

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