A week to go – Where do we stand?

Candidates line up in Dumfries for a campaign bike ride with Cycling Dumfries – could this be why South Scotland is showing well in responses?

Updated with latest stats 29th April

With the election now just a week away and all the manifestos now out, many people have asked us for a summary of where the parties stand on our three asks

We did an article for the Guardian Bike Blog summarising the position a week ago – and Spokes Lothian have also given their view of each manifesto but here’s an update on the state of play now. We’ll keep updating the stats on candidates’ responses as they come in.

Before we get to the party breakdown – the breakdown of responses by region is also interesting.  Edinburgh and the Lothians tops the list, which might be expected – but why is Glasgow at the bottom? Is active travel really only an issue for Edinburgh and the South of Scotland?

  1. Lothian – 33% responded
  2. South Scotland 20% responded
  3. North East Scotland 18% responded
  4. Highlands and Islands 14% responded
  5. Mid Scotland and Fife 13% responded
  6. West Scotland 11% responded
  7. Central Scotland 9% responded
  8. Glasgow 8% responded


Responses: Six candidates have responded (8%), of whom one supports us fully on investment and two partly; one supports us fully on infrastructure and one partly; and one supports us fully on road safety.

From the Manifesto: 

  • Support for investment of 10% of transport budget — Partial — “We will press the government for an additional £5m to be invested in the Cycling, Walking and Safer Streets local authority capital grant, which is the most direct way of supporting active travel infrastructure. “
  • Support for 8-80 infrastructure — Partial — “As an overarching aim, we should work towards providing at least one segregated cycle route in each of Scotland’s seven cities, linking from outer city limits through city centres. “

General statement:

  • “Investing in active travel and supporting walking and cycling brings multiple benefits – health as well as environmental ones. It is the most affordable and accessible form of travel, with clear impacts on our quality of life. The Scottish Government should work with local authorities and third sector partners on improving our walking and cycle path network. “


Responses: Sixteen candidates responded (24%) of whom 94% fully support us on investment and infrastructure; and 88% fully support us on road safety.

From the Manifesto:

  • Support for investment of 10% of transport budget — Yes — “Funding for active travel. Walking and cycling improves health and is a low-carbon form of transport. Yet of the £2.2 billion of the Scottish Government’s transport budget, less than 2% is spent on active travel. Green MSPs will propose a radical boost to this funding. 10% of the total transport budget would improve existing routes and making them safer, encouraging more people to walk and cycle. This would bring us more into line with other northern European countries, which have far higher numbers of trips made on foot or by bike and reduce air pollution which is estimated to cause over 2,500 deaths per year in Scotland.”
  • Support for 8-80 infrastructure — Partial — “Pedestrians and cyclists know where improvements to the road network are needed. A mix of public consultation and participatory budgeting could ensure road users can identify and help fix unsafe routes and junctions and we will call for measures such as 20mph speed limits in residential areas, cycle hubs at bus and train stations, better street lighting and lengthened crossing times at pedestrian crossings.
    Safety and the perception of safety on the road is vital to encouraging more people to cycle. We will work with local authorities to implement a rolling programme to improve bike paths and pedestrian routes whilst doing other routine road safety work. “
  • Support for greater road safety — Yes — “Protecting the most vulnerable. We support a change in the law to ‘presumed liability’ to protect the most vulnerable road users. This ensures that when road accidents do happen, insurance companies pay compensation to casualties unless it can be proven that the casualty was at fault. We would also call for pedestrians and cyclists with additional vulnerabilities (children, older people or disabled people) to automatically be compensated, bringing Scotland in line with other major European nations.
    We also want to give every child in Scotland the opportunity to undertake on-road cycle training and will work with councils to do this. “


Responses:  25 candidates have responded (23%), of whom eight support us fully on investment and 11 partly; 10 support us fully on infrastructure and one partly; and eight support us fully on road safety and four partly.

From the Manifesto:

  • Support for investment of 10% of transport budget — Partial — “Our transition to a sustainable future requires greater emphasis on public transport and active travel… We will undertake a strategic review of the next generation of transport investment… We want to see more investment in active travel, not just to improve people’s transport choices, but to improve people’s health and wellbeing, and make our communities safer. Extra investment in the City of Edinburgh is driving up active travel and we want to see more investment across the country”

Lib Dems

Responses: Seventeen candidates responded (20%), of whom three support us fully on investment and four partly; four support us fully on infrastructure and five partly; and eight support us fully on road safety and three partly.

From the Manifesto:

  • Support for investment of 10% of transport budget — Partial — “Increase the share of the transport budget that is spent on cycling and active transport by adding £20 million of capital spending
  • Support for 8-80 infrastructure — Yes — “Support safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists with more dedicated and segregated cycle lanes. Revise the current Cycling by Design guidelines to reflect international best practice and increase their authority to make them core national standards, ensuring safe provision for cyclists and pedestrians is built into the road system. “
  • Support for greater road safety — Partial — “Encourage the extension of 20mph speeds in village, town and city centres”

General statement:

  • “We will make cycling and walking safer and continue to aim to meet the existing target of 10 per cent of journeys to be by bike by 2020. We are attracted to the idea of securing savings in the road-building budget each year to devote to cycling. “


Responses:  12 candidates (10%) responded, of whom three supported us fully on investment, and three partially; four fully on infrastructure and three partly, and five fully on road safety and one partially.

From the Manifesto:

  • Support for investment of 10% of transport budget — Partial — “We have put in place record investment in cycling and walking and will continue to do so over the life of the next Parliament”

General statement

  • “We will implement our national walking strategy and we are determined to meet our vision of 10 per cent of everyday journeys being made by bike by 2020. We will review the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS) to explore what more we can do, including on extending cycling training “bikeability” schemes for the young. And we will work to improve the integration between active and public transport.
    Making our roads safer for all is a priority. We have refreshed the Strategic Road Safety Plan and will produce annual progress reports on making our roads safer. We will continue to invest in an annual road safety programme. Since introducing the average speed camera programme on the A77, the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities has reduced considerably. We will refresh this programme and continue to consider rolling out programmes in communities blighted by accidents and unsafe driving. We will report on performance of the A9 in particular four times a year. “

Other parties

The position with the other parties hasn’t changed since the Guardian article last week –

Of the smaller parties only candidates from the new leftwing Rise group sent more than one response. Rise sent four, 10% of the total, with three partly supporting us on investment and one each partly supporting us on road safety and infrastructure.

The Rise manifesto makes no mention of cycling and walking but does promise to make public transport free.

The UKIP manifesto also makes no mention of walking and cycling, although as Spokes points out they do aim to make travelling about Scotland ‘a pleasure’ which sounds like cycling to us.

The Womens Equality Party are sticking to their six core objectives, which don’t include a transport element.