Vote Bike!

With some help from our friends at Oxfordshire Cycling Network and Bicester Bike Users Group, Cyclox put forward 5 key questions to Oxfordshire’s parliamentary candidates.

We asked, in view of the climate emergency, illegal air pollution, and obesity crisis – and the major role of cycling in addressing these issues – why should we vote for them in the general election on Thursday 12th December 2019?

What follows are the unedited responses (and non-responses) from the candidates we contacted.

Cyclox is a non-party political organisation and we encourage you to consider all responses (candidates answers are organised by constituency and appear in alphabetical order, by surname).

Take action:

  • Contact your local candidates
  • Put these questions to canvassers
  • Let us know which issues matter most to you #votebike

Q1. Why should people who cycle, and those who would like to cycle, vote for you in the December 2019 General Election?

BANBURY

Tim Bearder, Liberal Democrats: Because climate change is the most important issue this country faces and the UN has announced this week that countries will have to increase their carbon-cutting ambitions five fold if the world is to avoid warming by more than 1.5C. We can only do that if we divest ourselves from cars and that means making cycling safe, easy and affordable. Among the many things we will do for cyclist is to introduce a nationwide strategy to promote walking and cycling, including the creation of dedicated safe cycling lanes, increasing spending per head five-fold to reach 10 per cent of the transport budget.

Ian Middleton, Green Party: Because the Green Party has consistently fought for and defended the rights of cyclists and pedestrians throughout its history. We have always promoted and campaigned for increased cycling infrastructure and will always do this.

Victoria Prentis, Conservative: We will support commuter cycling routes, so that more people can cycle safely to work and more families can go out together. We will create a new £350 million Cycling Infrastructure Fund with mandatory design standards for new routes. We will extend Bikeability – cycling proficiency training – to every child. And we will work with the NHS to promote cycling for healthier living.

Suzette Watson, Labour: I have pledged to bring forwards our Green New Deal, which democratises the environmental action we need to take to tackle climate change and destruction of ecosystems and biodiversity. Creating incentives for alternative and carbon neutral modes of transport are central to our Deal. I would work locally and accountably across the constituency to improve and expand cycle lanes, to provide safe spaces for bike storage, promote the hire of bicycles in town centres, create new cycle trails and restore older footpaths, encourage tandem and group cycling through incentivising multiple person cycles.

HENLEY

Laura Coyle, Liberal Democrats: The Lib Dem’s have pledged to increase spending on cycling and walking five fold, including creating safe deviated cycle lanes, to bring it up to 10% of the transport budget. We also want to amend planning rules to promote walking and cycling- too often new housing developments are not integrated into local footpath and cycle routes so people are forced to get into their cars.

Jo Robb, Green Party: The Green Party is the only party committed to spending £2.5bn a year on installing a network of safe cycling routes around the country, to ensure that over half of local trips are made on foot or by bike. We want to see continental levels of cycling within a decade. We are the only party with the real knowledge and scale of ambition to make this happen. Our commitment to cycling runs deep.

OXFORD EAST

Chaka Artwell, Independent: I cannot think of a good reason.

Anneliese Dodds, Labour: While I am proud of our cycling city designation, I have spent the last two years campaigning as your MP for better cycling infrastructure in Oxford, and in parliament, I have fought on behalf of cyclists, arguing for the value that cycling infrastructure brings to our cities. Cycling and sustainable transport are crucial if we are going to tackle the climate crisis – Labour will ensure they are a viable option for all. Labour will build 3,100 miles of cycle routes in our first term. A keen cyclist myself, I understand that sometimes cycling, or starting to cycle, can be daunting – which is why nationally, Labour will invest in our cycling infrastructure, ensuring it is a safe and accessible option. We will also double ‘bikeability’ funding, so people of all ages can have training to feel safe on the road. We will also introduce grants to help people buy e-bikes, and ensure there are safe cycling routes to primary schools, making cycling a more accessible option.

Alistair Fernie, Liberal Democrats: I am a lifelong cyclist, standing for a party that prioritises cycling, and committed to improving the infrastructure and culture for cyclists in Oxford and nationwide.

David Henwood, Independent: I am a keen advocate of Oxford liveable Streets, and believe that by creating an artery of cycling friendly routes will have numerous benefits not just to an individual’s health and well-being but also improve air quality for all living, working and studying in Oxford. I’m the inventor of the ‘Pink Bobby’ and cycle lane segregation system that is designed to protect cyclist from other road users. I am campaigning for such systems to be incorporated in and around accident hot spots to protect cyclist and encourage more people to give up the car for cycles. https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/15784857.trial-run-new-barriers-protect-cyclists-oxfords-roads/ I design and make cycles for disabled people and deliver ‘bike ability’ programs to young people in schools in the Cowley area where I am a city Councillor. This I hope has encouraged more young people to cycle to school rather than being dependent on school lifts. Nationally, I will campaign for all primary an secondary schools to introduce the similar programs. As a school teacher in Oxford, I realise bikes need to be affordable, I have put together a program for students to hire (free for pupil premium students) a mountain bike during term time. I am also developing this program with other schools across Oxfordshire. I’m passionate about bikes, and in order to make cycling accessible to those need an ‘E’ bikes or mobility scooters, I invented a sustainable solar powered lamppost for charging ‘E’ bikes and mobility scooters. A scheme I would like to introduce to other parts of the country. https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/15492900.pink-lamp-posts-soon-lining-oxfords-streets/

David Williams, Green Party: I would ask those who cycle to vote for me because I am the Parliamentary Candidate for the Green Party. The Green Party have the longest history of helping cyclists, the most comprehensive range of policies to promote cycling and they are the party committing  the largest amount of money to enhance cycling. The Greens are ones who know what to do and how to do it. If we are really to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 (not just slogans) there must be a massive growth in cycling. The Green are committing £100b per year (four times more than any other party) on carbon reduction measures. Cycling is vital part of our programme not an after thought. Personally I would ask for peoples’s votes because I am a cyclist  and whilst a City and County Councillor have a proven record of constantly speaking up for cycle networks, cycle lane separation , against cycle accident black spots, fighting air pollution ,filling pot holes and fighting cuts to cycle training and  safety. These have not been words…but real actions over three decades that have had an influence..  

OXFORD WEST AND ABINGDON

James Fredrickson, Conservative: With a £350 million cycling infrastructure fund, a new £2bn pot hole fund, ‘Bikeability’ lessons for every child, plus tough new design standards that will force developers and planners to prioritise cycling and wider sustainable travel options in their design work; there is plenty for cyclists in the Conservative manifesto in this election.

Layla Moran, Liberal Democrats: Because I believe that cycling is the future. The Liberal Democrats would introduce a nationwide strategy to promote cycling, including the creation of dedicated safe cycling lanes, increasing spending per head five-fold to reach 10 per cent of the transport budget. We would also invest into integrating bus, rail and cycle routes.

WANTAGE

Richard Benwell, Liberal Democrats: As a cyclist and an environmentalist, I know how much needs to change to get more people safely on two wheels and more cars off the road. It’s better for us and it’s better for the world. I’ll champion change in Parliament. The changes we need largely come down to (a) more money; and (b) better decision-making. The Lib Dems have promised the most ambitious increase in public spending (10% of transport spending), segregated safe lanes, and a plan to devolve power to local people to plan the cycling and walking infrastructure that’s really needed.

Mark Gray, Independent: I would like to see more cycle paths and generally improved infrastructure for cyclists.

Jonny Roberts, Labour: Of the four candidates standing in Wantage I am standing on the most ambitious manifesto with regards to reducing carbon emissions with a Labour goal of reaching net zero within the 2030s – far ahead of the 2045 and 2050 targets set by the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. I’m deadly serious about the challenge the climate crisis poses and want Britain to be a genuine world leader on reaching net zero. There is no way this can be achieved without increasing walking and cycling dramatically. I’m pleased our party has committed to planning reforms which would put safe, accessible cycle paths at the heart of all new developments. Personally, if elected, I’d like to work with all local schools to improve cycle-to-school rates and work with the local authorities and Government to secure funding where necessary to develop safe cycle routes to support this. I’d like to work with local employers to raise the uptake of the Cycle to Work tax reliefs and putting in place better bike storage to encourage cycling. I would also think we can learn a lot from Dutch cities which have dramatically raised cycling rates and want to see this thinking applied nationally – including greater access to either public shower facilities or such facilities in businesses to especially support longer distance cycling. I pledge to meet regularly with Cyclox if elected so you can hold me to the above, raise concerns on any other issue and scrutinise local developments to ensure the provision for cycling is being prioritised.

WITNEY

Rosa Bolger, Labour: As a supporter and strong believer in the Green New Deal, and a founder and chair of our local Climate and Biodiversity and committee, finding incentives for carbon neutral and alternative modes of transport are things I’m already excited to be working on within the community. Labour’s plans aim to improve children’s health by delivering clean air around schools, which is something I’m personally excited to champion in West Oxfordshire. Labour will support the delivery of 3100miles of cycle ways, double funding for Bike Ability for all primary school children and their parents, invest in a technology hub and £200 grants for e-bikes so cycling becomes accessible to so many with more rural, longer journeys, or those starting out with a new active lifestyle. Lastly, we have pledged to make the annual funding for cycling and walking £50 per person. In comparison, the Conservative government has estimated £7 per year is being spent on active travel.

Charlotte Hoagland, Liberal Democrats: I am a passionate cyclist and have been for a long time now. Whilst I am the first to tout the health benefits, I am also keenly aware of the risks cyclists take every day. A good friend of mine lost his father when he has hit by a car whilst riding his bike. He had lights on and was wearing a helmet, but it was still not enough to save him. His story and other like it shows that cyclists must be protected, be they commuting to work or out for a recreational ride.

Q2. Have you pledged to support increased investment in cycling and walking to at least 5% of transport spending next year, rising to at least 10% within five years? [Check by postcode]. If ‘yes’, please comment further, including how you will help make this pledge a reality quickly.

BANBURY

Tim Bearder, Liberal Democrats: Yes.

Ian Middleton, Green Party: Yes. The Green Party has committed to massive spending plans on improving cycling, walking and public transport as part of our Green New Deal. We will revolutionise our transport system by ending dependence on carbon, and investing instead in alternatives that work for better for the climate and for people. This means more reliable and affordable trains, electric buses and trams, and better options for cycling and walking. We’ve pledge to spend £2.5 billion a year for 10 years on new cycleways and footpaths, built using sustainable materials, such as woodchips and sawdust.

Victoria Prentis, Conservative: No.

Suzette Watson, Labour: Yes.

HENLEY

Laura Coyle, Liberal Democrats: Yes. Yes as above.

Jo Robb, Green Party: Yes. The Green Party will scrap new road building, saving £5bn a year and ring fence the vehicle excise tax for maintenance of existing roads only. We have pledged to spend £2.5bn a year every year for ten years to create a national network of cycle paths and to encourage people to cycle. Our goal is for more than half of local trips up to five miles on foot or bike and continental levels of cycling within a decade. We will implement a new expert body for governance and advice to support local authorities to deliver improvements, to only fund infrastructure of the highest quality. We will roll out low-traffic neighbourhoods, blocking rat-running traffic, with 20mph the default for residential areas as part of an aim for zero deaths and serious injuries on the roads. We will ensuring all new housing is served by high-quality walking, cycling and public transport routes. Car-free access to national parks, car-free city centres, support for cycle hire, e-bike, cargo bike and non-standard bike subsidies. Investment in cycle access to public transport and major destinations, and “a reliable, high-quality national cycle network to link up town and country”.

OXFORD EAST

Chaka Artwell, Independent: No. With no nationalised public transport system people need a car for work, hospital appointments and general living.

Anneliese Dodds, Labour: Yes. Labour has pledged to increase the funding available for cycling and walking — we have committed to bringing funding up to £50 a head by the end of our first term, amounting to £7.2 billion a year.

Alistair Fernie, Liberal Democrats: Yes. The Liberal Democrat manifesto commits us to “Introduce a nationwide strategy to promote walking and cycling, including the creation of dedicated safe cycling lanes, increasing spending per head five-fold to reach 10% of the transport budget” (pp 47-8). We are committed to increasing cycling for its public health/liveability benefits, but also to help reduce the UK’s carbon emissions as part of a broader plan to reduce the need for car travel. Should we not be in government but have influence over a party that is (eg in a hung Parliament), urgent progress on climate change (including reducing transport emissions) will be one of our top negotiating priorities. I would work on this agenda with Layla Moran, who is likely to be re-elected as MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, and has been a strong supporter of cycling during her first two years in Parliament.

David Henwood, Independent: Yes. We currently spend just 2% from the transport budget on cycling provision. I have agreed that a 5% increase next year is needed, however, in light of voting to in January at Oxford City Council to recognise climate emergency, I don’t think 2% in the first year is enough. To reduce the number of cars on our streets, I believe a higher budget (8% first year rising to 15% within 5 years) that encompasses school training, and a priority on cycle lane/course development are an imperative in facilitating better air quality. ‘Liveable Street’ programs would also support improved well being, but would be funded by a different element of the transport budget. This would give cycling the real boost and public commitment it rightly deserves.

David Williams, Green Party: Yes the Green see much more than 5% of transport investment being given to cycling infrastructure development which should rise to 15% very quickly. In our Green New Deal we will revolutionise transport focusing very strongly on de carbonising. That means bikes, electric cars, public transport, trains and walking.    

OXFORD WEST AND ABINGDON

James Fredrickson: Yes. To deliver on this policy, we need to have sustainable travel at the forefront of decision making when making future infrastructure decisions. Locally ive been pushing for this to be the case regarding plans for an ‘expressway’ (a new motorway through our greenbelt) to connect Oxford to Milton Keynes and Cambridge. To convince the Government to move away from this plan and instead invest in sustainable infrastructure such as rail and cycling, we conducted a constituency wide survey. We presented this feedback to the Transport Secretary – setting out that our local community was against the proposal and instead wanted to see investment in more sustainable solutions. Thank you to the over 1000 of you that responded. Thanks to you, the Government has now committed to move away from the motorway proposal and instead review putting this investment into new east/west rail links and upgraded cycling routes.

Layla Moran, Liberal Democrats: Yes. Combating the climate emergency is a core part of the Liberal Democrat manifesto. Our plan to do so is fully costed and ready to be implemented if we were to get the chance to.

WANTAGE

Richard Benwell, Liberal Democrats: Yes. This is party policy: let’s make it happen.

Mark Gray, Independent: Yes. I would be happy to subscribe to this pledge were I to be elected.

Jonny Roberts, Labour: Yes. My party has pledged to increase the cycling and walking budget and if elected I would speak immediately with John McDonnell and colleagues I’ve worked with before in the Treasury team, like Jonny Reynolds and Anneliese Dodds, to ensure that funding meets the 5% of transport spending pledge and 10% by 2025.

WITNEY

Rosa Bolger, Labour: Yes, I have. The UK has much catching up to do with Holland and Denmark for example. With our towns and rural areas often acting as commuter hubs to cities like Oxford and London, a key focus must be integration of public and active transport for multi-modal travel; not just traversing within West Oxfordshire which requires secure segregated infrastructure. The Labour Party has pledged to increase the cycling and walking budget too – in fact we’ve said we’ll make England one of the most cycling and walking friendly places in the world and I’m committed to ensuring West Oxfordshire does its part to realise that.

Charlotte Hoagland, Liberal Democrats: Yes. Having worked for a Member of Parliament, I am itching to get to work on this and other priorities. Not only do I know how Parliament works, but I also have existing cross-party relationships which will be vital to any meaningful change.

Q3. Will you support a total ban on vehicles parking on pavements and bike lanes across England? If ‘yes’, please comment further, including what will you do to ensure legislation passes quickly.

BANBURY

Tim Bearder, Liberal Democrats: Yes.

Ian Middleton, Green Party: Yes. Absolutely. But unfortunately this is only part of the solution. We also need to increase resources on enforcing these restrictions. I’m involved with this issue at the moment in my District Council ward where cars park consistently over a cycle path. The problem is that putting parking restrictions in the area won’t work unless we also have a proper enforcement regime. This requires funding and resources that we need to see coming from central government. As an MP I would be able to push for that. I would also like to push for better protected cycle lanes so there would be no opportunity for cars to park over them or encroach into them and so come into contact with cyclists. It’s about time cyclists were treated as fully entitled road users, rather than an afterthought!

Victoria Prentis, Conservative: No. There are many problems with vehicles parking on pavements, particularly with access for disabled people. However I don’t think a blanket ban is workable. I have campaigned locally for bans in a specific area.

Suzette Watson, Labour: Yes.

HENLEY

Laura Coyle, Liberal Democrats: Yes. Yes this is seen far too often and is incredibly dangerous.

Jo Robb, Green Party: Yes. Our Green New Deal bill would be the first bill we would put to Parliament. We could campaign for this to be passed into legislation. We Greens are proudly non-Tribal and would happily work across the political spectrum to ensure that legislation supporting cycling, reducing dependency on private cars and protecting cyclists in towns, cities and on rural roads, is passed urgently.

OXFORD EAST

Chaka Artwell, Independent: No. We all need to act with civility rather than using the criminal law.

Anneliese Dodds, Labour: Yes. Yes I would be interested in such a ban. We obviously have some streets in Oxford where car parking spaces are marked out as partly on pavements, so this would need to be taken into account. But as a general principle we should *not* have cars parking on pavements or in/across bike lanes (or on top of yellow markings at schools).

Alistair Fernie, Liberal Democrats: Yes. Although additional legislation can help with this agenda, the priority is enforcement capacity within councils. Ensuring the financial penalty is sufficient to deter offences may also generate more revenue to help cover costs from those who continue to offend. A public education campaign could also help.

David Henwood, Independent: Yes. In some areas of London have introduced banning parking on the pavement. Unfortunately, we seem to be playing catch up in what is a common sense piece of legislation. With the introduction of CPZ’s in Oxford enforcement officers are now able penalise drivers who choose not to park in designated areas. To ensure this legislation passes quickly, I would make this a priority issue if elected to represent Oxford East.

David Williams, Green Party: Yes parking on bike lane is a disgrace. It is illegal as it an obstruction so the solution to this is the police taking the issue seriously. What is needed is a new piece of legalisation outlawing obstruction on cycle ways and nearby signage to reinforce that message.  As for cars parking on Pavements it is regrettable but on rare occasions if there is controlled parking zone (CPZs) and very narrow roads it may be the only alternative to mark out a small overlap. 

OXFORD WEST AND ABINGDON

James Fredrickson, Conservative: Yes. I would support these recommendations not only due to the detriment and danger these issues cause for cyclists, but also residents using pushchairs or mobility scooters.

Layla Moran, Liberal Democrats: Yes. We need to encourage people to cycle more, not put them off. Because of this, it is vitally important that cycle lanes are not infringed by gas-guzzling vehicles. As stated in our manifesto, the Liberal Democrats will attempt to prioritise and encourage cycling.

WANTAGE

Richard Benwell, Liberal Democrats: No. Bike lane ban, yes! Vehicles absolutely mustn’t park on bike lanes and here the priority is enforcement. We’d reverse local authority cuts to make sure that rules are upheld properly. Unfortunately, on-pavement parking is so common – in some areas it’s the norm – that a huge restructuring would be required for a blanked ban. At the moment, I don’t think it’s practical, but I’d love to hear ideas. I’d focus on reducing the number of cars and our dependency on them.

Mark Gray, Independent: Yes. Absolutely. I hand out flyers in my village that say “pavements are for people”.

Jonny Roberts, Labour: Yes. If our first transport bill in our first queen’s speech doesn’t include this pledge I will put forward an amendment to do so.

WITNEY

Rosa Bolger, Labour:

New build estates across West Oxfordshire with substandard path widths or narrow roads exacerbate the barriers to active travel. A more robust local plan and DfT action are needed so we can fight and block the spread of poor infrastructure that blocks cycling and walking. I’d like to outlaw this but given the many historic areas we have, I would do it through local councils so local details are taken into account and enforcement is ensured and sensible. I would work with any other parties who share our goals on this, as is the case with all issues.

Charlotte Hoagland, Liberal Democrats: Yes. In order to pass any legislation, it must be made a priority for the governing party. Regardless of who ends up in power, the relationships that I have developed over the last few years across the house will allow me to engage with the appropriate people.

Q4. Currently the way the Department for Transport evaluates infrastructure schemes (WebTAG) systematically undercounts the health and environmental benefits of cycling and walking. Will you support a change to enable infrastructure decisions that favour these options? If ‘yes’, please comment further, including how you will ensure that the guidance in Manual(s) for Streets is made the default for thinking about roads and streets.

BANBURY

Tim Bearder, Liberal Democrats: Yes. As well as the health benefits, air pollution – mostly caused by cars – is one of the biggest causes of preventable illness in the UK, causing at least 40,000 premature deaths a year and costing the NHS £15 billion. This is why we would be: Investing in public transport, buses, trams and railways to enable people to travel more easily while reducing their impact on the environment. Placing a far higher priority on encouraging walking and cycling – the healthiest forms of transport. Accelerating the transition to ultra-low-emission transport – cars, buses and trains – through taxation, subsidy and regulation.

Ian Middleton, Green Party: Yes. As we all know government statistics usually say what the government wants them to say! If we have more Green influence in Westminster those sorts of box-ticking exercises can be challenged and the DoT can be held properly to account.

Victoria Prentis, Conservative: No. No for now, I shall look into this further.

Suzette Watson, Labour: Yes.

HENLEY

Laura Coyle, Liberal Democrats: Yes. There are so many advantages to promoting cycling and walking both for the environment and for health and wellbeing and all infrastructure projects should be designed with this in mind. Too often for example in designing new road infrastructure the safety and well-being of walkers and cyclists is ignored.

Jo Robb, Green Party: Yes. It’s essential we factor in the benefits to health and wellbeing of cycling itself in terms of cost savings to the NHS. It is also essential to recognise the benefits of reduced pollution. Toxic air kills 40,000 people a year in this country. Our understanding of the health costs of toxic air continues to grow – premature birth, smaller lungs, brain damage… the list goes on.

OXFORD EAST

Chaka Artwell, Independent: No.

Anneliese Dodds, Labour: Yes. Yes – Labour’s ‘Healthy Streets’ programme will actively promote and prioritise active travel, doubling the number of journeys made by foot or on a bike. By changing our approach to transport and land-use planning, we will make cycling and walking the best choice – a change which is crucial for healthy air and in order to tackle the climate crisis. This is something I have been fighting for in parliament – in July, I argued in a debate that new housing schemes should include cycling infrastructure as a matter of course, recognising them as an asset, rather than an added cost. I’ve also argued for changes to the Treasury’s ex post and ex ante assessments of affordability of projects, to better account for positive environmental and health impacts in the long run, from investment in active travel and other forms of infrastructure.

Alistair Fernie, Liberal Democrats: Yes. The Liberal Democrat manifesto supports investment in public health to reduce demand for NHS services, and taking into account a wider set of wellbeing factors when making all government decisions. We will push for these considerations to run across all government departments, not just the Department for Transport, for example through the creation of a wellbeing budget (as in New Zealand) and a Minister for Wellbeing, and the introduction of wellbeing impact assessments for all government policies (p 27).

David Henwood, Independent: Yes. There is already a significant amount evidence to support the health benefits of cycling and walking. What is needed is a collective political decision based upon the individual case studies to support differentiating infrastructure schemes the DfT is responsible for. This can be achieved by working with lobbying colleagues to commission and develop amendments in the form of a paper to prioritise infrastructure funding for that supports and promotes the environmental befits of cycling and walking.

David Williams, Green Party: Yes The present system was designed for the domination of the Motor Car. That must stop. All transport systems that have low carbon emissions must be prioritised  and those such as cycling that promote good health must be given top priority. All street planning must involve a senior cycle officer and not be dominated by the motor lobby. The key is a specific percentage of development money being allocated to cycle improvement in every project. The Greens are committed to spend an extra £2.5 billion over the present, Conservative target specifically targeted on cycle ways.

OXFORD WEST AND ABINGDON

James Fredrickson, Conservative: Yes. The Government’s Environment Bill already sets out new measures for encouraging consideration of cycling in new infrastructure and housing plans. I would also support the National Planning Policy Framework being strengthened so that local planning authorities were better empowered to enforce these standards.

Layla Moran, Liberal Democrats: Yes. As stated earlier, the Lib Dems are committed to making cycling an integral part of our transport system. I am so glad to represent a constituency that is leading the way with regards to cycling: Oxford is a proud cycling city and I hope to build on this and hope that the rest of the country will follow.

WANTAGE

Richard Benwell, Liberal Democrats: Yes. The Lib Dems are committed to reforming public decision-making so that it focuses on more than costs to business! We will introduce a Wellbeing Budget and minister, so that more holistic ways of making decisions are adopted in every department. This is a prime example.

Mark Gray, Independent: Yes.

Jonny Roberts, Labour: Yes. Yes I think this is essential so that we properly invest in cycling and walking and recognise the contribution such investments – at grand scale – make to our mission to reach net zero emissions and tackle obesity and related health conditions. Ultimately every pound put into cycling is going to be repaid in multiples by the savings to the NHS and tackling the climate crisis at a more expensive delayed point in time.

WITNEY

Rosa Bolger, Labour: I will absolutely support a change to enable decisions that favour options for cycling and walking, and these are things I’m already exploring in my capacity as chair of the local Climate and Biodiversity and committee – clean alternatives to transport that produce harmful emissions must be found swiftly. If elected, I would certainly work to shape spaces to play, think and enjoy around homes so critical to create liveable streets that balance community health and vitality.

Charlotte Hoagland, Liberal Democrats: Yes. We cannot continue to exist in a situation whereby the health and wellbeing of cyclists and walkers at best comes second and at worst is a complete afterthought. The only way to force a change on this is by changing guidelines such as the one you mention above. The short-sighted, austerity driven politics must end and we must consider health and wellbeing of all road users as a key metric of success.

Q5. How else will you personally use parliamentary processes and your influence to promote cycling and walking (active travel) in your constituency?

BANBURY

Tim Bearder, Liberal Democrats: Planning law needs to be reformed so that council’s require developers to contribute to a safe integrated cycling network and I would work to ensure this happens.

Ian Middleton, Green Party: By ensuring that cycling, walking and public transport facilities are included as an integral part of future planning law, rather than as an aspiration used by developers to gain planning permission, before conveniently forgetting all about it! Also by ensuring that cycling and walking infrastructures are developed in a consistent and connected way. There’s no point in having isolated facilities that don’t join up. This can only be achieve through central government influence.

Victoria Prentis, Conservative: If successfully re-elected I will work closely with colleagues in the DfT to ensure our manifesto commitments are delivered.

Suzette Watson, Labour: Through our huge social media network, and via live campaigns, I would create and personally promote a cycle challenge, provide inexpensive and free cycles to disadvantaged communities and promote cycling for children and young people who are from hard pressed families by working with manufacturers to provide subsidies for cycles and join up the active cycling community with this new work.

HENLEY

Laura Coyle, Liberal Democrats: I am a collaborative person by nature and would look to promote work across levels of government and within the community to promote cycling and walking throughout decision making process including new infrastructure projects and planning and the design of urban environments.

Jo Robb, Green Party: I will lobby for change in Planning Laws at with Oxfordshire County Council to make cycling paths an essential component of any new residential development. I will campaign for cycling also to be an essential element in the planning process for new commercial development. On the South Oxfordshire District Council planning committee I already push for safe cycle storage, for cycle paths and for reduced car spaces to encourage active modes of transport.

OXFORD EAST

Chaka Artwell, Independent: If people do not understand that the human body is designed for movement, that would explain why the huge increase in obesity.

Anneliese Dodds, Labour: I will continue to support brilliant local organisations which promote cycling and walking in Oxford East. Cycling is an integral part of my commute to parliament already – and I will keep it that way! Supporting local councils, where appropriate, in their transport programmes, too, will help to ensure that cycling and walking are safe options for many in Oxford. Alongside working to implement labour’s ‘Healthy Streets’ programme, I will personally continue to advocate for active travel in parliament, and for a recognition of the value of cycling.

Alistair Fernie, Liberal Democrats: I will consider introducing a private member’s bill to promote some aspect of the active travel agenda should I be successful in the ballot, in consultation with Cycling UK and other groups, eg on standardising cycle lane road markings across the UK. I will continue to cycle in Oxford and Westminster – leading by example. I will play an active role encouraging the City and County Councils to press ahead with Connecting Oxford. I will meet with and where asked convene active travel groups, working with the Coalition for Healthy Streets and Active Travel, to increase public awareness of this agenda and maximise their influence on other decision-makers in Oxford, Oxfordshire and Westminster. I will seek to increase learning from other countries with higher rates of cycle use and better infrastructure than the UK, such as the Netherlands and Denmark (building on a London to Amsterdam cycle ride I did this year).

David Henwood, Independent: Introduction of specific case work to promote walking and cycling, and a specific working group within parliamentarians and constituents to further lobby and promote good practice with Oxford’s twin cities.

David Williams, Green Party: If I could I would move a private members bill to introduce the separate cycle systems on roads. (The Benelux System). It is that which makes cycling in Europe three times safer than the white road marked line system here. I would also keep a constant eye on the next roading building project by the County Council , and the Highways Authority to ensure that cycling is not an after thought but the primary driver. Local authority budgets and their sense of priority for cycling must also be monitored to ensure that they understand that cycling brings many benefits and must be a top priority.

OXFORD WEST AND ABINGDON

James Fredrickson, Conservative: Locally i would also be working with our NHS CCGs and GPs to help promote active travel as a healthier lifestyle choice and a means to reduce our carbon footprint.

Layla Moran, Liberal Democrats: I will be sure to ask Parliamentary Questions to the relevant Transport Minister, to make sure that cycling is a top priority for the next government.

WANTAGE

Richard Benwell, Liberal Democrats: The Liberal Democrats are the strongest voices on local councils in Wantage, with 30 councillors in the Vale and 13 in South Oxfordshire – linking up local and national advocacy for cycling to make sure we see real change in our towns (and in between our towns!) is essential.

Mark Gray, Independent: I will use train and cycle to get to and from Parliament.

Jonny Roberts, Labour: I’ve set out much of this in my answer to point 2 [question 1 above] but I would also join the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group.

WITNEY

Rosa Bolger, Labour: I’ll personally champion a robust cycling and walking infrastructure around all of our schools in West Oxfordshire to ensure that we protect our children – and the rest of the community – from harmful emissions; secondly, I will ensure cycling and walking be a key part of our discussions in our local Climate and Biodiversity committee; and lastly, I would also commit to join the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group.

Charlotte Hoagland, Liberal Democrats: New and safer cycling and walking paths.

List of candidates who did not complete our survey by Friday 6th December 2019:

HENLEY (2/4)

John Howell, Conservative

Zaid Marham, Labour

OXFORD EAST (3/8)

Roger Carter, Brexit Party

Louise Mary Staite, Conservative

Phil Taylor, Independent

OXFORD WEST AND ABINGDON (2/4)

Rosie Sourbut, Labour

Alison Wild, Brexit Party

WANTAGE (1/4)

David Johnston, Conservative

WITNEY (1/3)

Robert Courts, Conservative

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