Now that voting is open for the leadership of Scottish Labour and both candidates have announced their manifestos, where do they stand on active travel – and have they responded yet to our letter?
We haven’t had a direct detailed reply yet, but we have had a response from both on Twitter – and both manifestos do mention active travel
First up, Richard Leonard (because he was the first to respond) who tweeted:
Hi, have just launched my manifesto, mentioned active travel and infrastructure. Looking forward to working on this https://t.co/XulEvZWDcK
— Richard Leonard (@LabourRichard) October 27, 2017
Active travel does make it into the very last paragraph of his manifesto, and suggests he will increase investment and explicitly mentions infrastructure, although there are no real specifics:
“Support methods of ‘active travel’ such as walking and cycling through more investment in our transport infrastructure. Not only will encouraging more people to walk and cycle reduce carbon emissions, it helps contribute to a healthier society.”
Anas Sarwar wasn’t far behind, tweeting:
Happy to confirm my vision for Scotland proposes ⬆️active travel funding. Full detail: https://t.co/nECu2gkpob
— Anas Sarwar (@AnasSarwar) October 27, 2017
His manifesto also leaves it right to the end, but explicitly promises to increase active travel’s share of the transport budget:
“We will re-regulate Scotland’s bus system to save lifeline routes, and fight for public ownership of ferry services. We will create a loan fund to encourage councils to consider municipal bus services, modelled on the success of Lothian Buses, and increase the proportion of the transport budget spent on Active Travel.”
If you’re a member of the Labour party and want to know more about the two candidates’ policies, please do get in touch with them directly – the more they hear about active travel during the campaigns, the more they will understand that it’s not just an afterthought – it’s key to such things as health inequality and childhood health, both of which they emphasise in their policies.
And whether you’re a member of the party or not, do please get in touch with your MSPs because there is a debate next week on active travel. Let them know what points you think are important at this crucial time, as the government prepares to spend the extra investment it has promised. Both Spokes and Pedal on Parliament have some thoughts on this that might help.