A letter to the Labour leadership candidates ….

With nominations closed for the leadership of the Scottish Labour Party, we’re writing to both candidates to find out where they stand on active travel:

Dear Richard Leonard / Anas Sarwar

Congratulations on your nomination for the leadership of the Scottish Labour Party.

We are writing on behalf of We Walk, We Cycle, We Vote, a collaborative campaign supported by a wide range of organisations across Scotland, from community and active travel groups to health charities. We want to see all parties in Scotland support three ‘asks’ which we believe will turn Scotland into a healthier, wealthier, happier country and help transform our lives and the lives of our children.

We would like to know where you stand on the following three asks, and whether you would make these Labour party policy if you were elected leader:

  • Investment: Provide sustained, long term investment in both cycling and walking, reaching 10% of the transport budget.
  • 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.

We would be happy to discuss any of these policy pledges in more detail but it is now well understood that investment in the right conditions for active travel brings many benefits, from reduced congestion and pollution, to improved health benefits and reductions in social isolation. The current SNP administration has already raised the bar with the announcement of a doubling of spending on active travel over the course of the current parliament. We hope that Labour party policy would not reverse this progress, and indeed would go further.

We will be publishing this request to both candidates on our website, along with your replies, with your permission.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sally Hinchcliffe and Suzanne Forup

On behalf of We Walk, We Cycle, We Vote

We will keep you posted with any replies as they arrive.