Just a matter of hours before Scotland goes to the polls, and we’ve been working to see where individual parties stand on walking and cycling:
There are 32 local councils in Scotland. We looked for manifestos from the five main parties at the Scotland-wide level, as well as at the manifestos in each council area, totalling a possible 165 manifestos in total.
Manifestos from the parties nationally
Looking at Parties’ HQ manifestos, only the Scottish Greens have supported our 1st and principal ask on investment that 10% of transport budgets be spent on walking and cycling. They have promised to:
“Push for councils to allocate at least 10% of their transport budget to walking and cycling, to create new and safer routes including paths separated from roads.”
However, all five major parties made some helpful nods in the direction of active travel which touched on our 2nd and 3rd asks around safe infrastructure and tackling local problems around active travel, as follows:
SNP: “SNP Councils will support active travel and encourage people to switch to cycling as a viable and enjoyable means of commuting.” Read the Scotland-wide SNP manifesto for local elections at http://bit.ly/2oBdpPw
Labour: “In Scotland, only one per cent of all trips are made by bike and 23 per cent are made on foot. As well as providing good quality, affordable public transport we also 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” Read the Scotland-wide Labour manifesto: http://bit.ly/2p06q5U
Conservatives: “Active travel is not only the most affordable and, for many, accessible form of travel, it has clear bene ts for the environment as well as physical and mental health. Local authorities, in partnership with central government and the third sector should work towards improving their local walking and cycle path network…. 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.” Read the Scotland-wide Conservative manifesto: http://bit.ly/2oHbZ6M
Liberal Democrats: “Potholes cause accidents to pedestrians and cyclists, rough roads destroy the comfort of bus and car journeys alike, while constant ad hoc road repair works are an inconvenience and a drag on the economy….. [We Will] Introduce modern and innovative designs for local streetscapes to make residential streets places for walking, talking and playing…” Read the Liberal Democrat Manifesto at http://bit.ly/2p5o30Q
Scottish Greens: “Scottish Greens want to improve our buses, make walking and cycling more attractive, and make our streets safe and healthy for everyone to use.” Read the Greens’ manifesto at http://bit.ly/2pXsgbT
Individual local authority party manifestos: where do your parties stand?
In reality, we were only able to locate 47 local authority party manifestos across Scotland – many local councils chose not to issue manifestos, and unfortunately in some cases, there were news stories about a given party’s manifesto but with no link to the actual manifesto!
So, of the 47 local authority party manifestos that we could get our hands on, 12 fully supported, and 2 partially supported our ask on
Investment: provide sustained, long term investment in both cycling and walking, reaching 10% of the transport budget
We have divided our analysis into three categories: Partially supportive, fully supportive, and “above-and-beyond” supportive, as follows:
In terms of our second and third asks on infrastructure and local action, 31 of the 52 local authority party manifestos which we could find made some sort of reference to these asks, from helpful nods towards active travel as important modes of transport right through to fully fledged and developed policies to put active travel at the heart of transport policies. The asks are:
- 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
The following table outlines the sorts of things we picked up in individual manifestos.
Don’t forget to walk or cycle to your polling station tomorrow and make your vote count!