We asked all the parliamentary candidates for Lewes their thoughts on cycling and cycling related issues. Last week we had a response from Labour, this week from the Lib Dems, but we’ve only just heard from the Greens’ Alfie Stirling, on the evening of polling day.
This is what he has to say:
“Thank you for contacting me to ask for my views on cycling, and I apologise for the delay in replying.
The Green Party has the most ambitious plans of any party for supporting cycling. Cycling is on the first page of our manifesto, and is integral to our whole approach to transport. We recognise the multiple benefits to health & happiness of cycling, as well as knowing that to cut our carbon emissions we need to change to cleaner transport.
We want a different future; as the manifesto puts it: ‘Imagine being able to leave your car in the garage – or not needing one at all… because reliable, affordable public transport, coupled with safe, clean, welcoming streets for walking and cycling meets your transport needs.’ We’d like to make that dream into the real world.
How to do that? We want to spend £30 per head on cycling infrastructure, by far the most of any party. This is far and beyond the Lib-Dem aim of only £10 per head (and above the estimated Dutch expenditure of £20 per head). In addition to infrastructure, we would create safer roads by changing the culture of road justice to one where car drivers should be presumed liable for injuries to cyclists. We would require lorries to be fully equipped with technology so they are aware of bicycles. We’d like an Active Travel Bill that works towards making streets across the country healthy and safe places for people to cycle and walk, and for children to play; making cycling integral to town planning; developing cycle networks that extend into rural areas.
In Lewes, we’d like to see a proper investment in cycling; cycle paths in the town but also extending to nearby villages; facilities for people to park their bikes safely near their homes and on the streets; street improvements done with cyclists in mind. As a key principle, we’d like to ensure that local cyclists, such as people in Cycle Lewes, are properly consulted when cycle infrastructure is proposed.
As you may well know, in Brighton, the Green-led council has created the largest connected 20mph zone in the country, which led to casualties falling by a massive 19%. The council has also introduced cycle priority at junctions, some proper cycle lanes, and cycle contraflow lanes, alongside new cycle hubs at the station and “floating” bus stops. There is more that can be done to make Brighton into a cycle-haven, but even these first measures have led to an 11% increase in daily cycle journeys. Vote for the Green Party tomorrow and we could do even better for cycling in Lewes.”
Thanks Mr Stirling.