On Earth Day, Camcycle published its biggest ever election survey in a bid to inform voters across Cambridgeshire about local candidates’ views and policies on cycling and walking before the local elections on 6 May. Over 400 candidates standing in five local elections have been contacted, making it around four times the size of previous Camcycle surveys, and the charity is grateful to the staff and volunteers who dedicated many hours of time to make this possible.
With fewer face-to-face conversations and hustings events able to take place during the pandemic, Camcycle believes the opportunity for candidates to share their views with a wide audience online is more important than ever and is proud of the reach of this survey. Voters from Ramsey in Huntingdonshire to Romsey in Cambridge can view the answers posted by their local candidates.
Camcycle also wants to raise awareness of the role cycling can play in creating a green recovery from Covid-19. Earlier this year, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate highlighted the scale of action required to cut carbon emissions in this region, which has just six years of carbon budget remaining if the county continues with a ‘business as usual’ approach. Transport makes up 44% of the county’s carbon footprint (the UK average is 37%) so helping more people choose active travel for some of their everyday journeys would play an important role in reducing the region’s carbon emissions.
Candidates for election to Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council have been sent questions on topics including climate change, rural cycling networks, School Streets and traffic enforcement, with additional questions on issues relating to each ward or division. Candidates for Mayor of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority and for Police and Crime Commissioner were invited to respond to questions on topics including investment in sustainable transport, road safety and cycle theft. Questions were prepared by members of Camcycle with the help of local groups including CTC Cambridge, Ely Cycling Campaign, Milton Cycling Campaign, Waterbeach Cycling Campaign, Hunts Walking & Cycling Group and St Ives Eco Action.
The Camcycle survey was launched in 2007 and has become a well-established part of the local election scene with candidate responses to previous surveys sparking local discussions on cycling and even gaining coverage in national media outlets. This year, the charity hopes it starts new conversations on active travel in every district in the county.
Executive Director, Roxanne De Beaux, said:
The excellent response we have had to our election survey right across the region shows that candidates recognise the important role cycling will play in delivering a thriving and sustainable future for Cambridgeshire’s towns and villages. We know that local people want to see improvements to help them walk and cycle for more journeys; we hope the survey responses will help them elect the decision-makers that will make that happen.
Voters can view candidates’ responses to the Camcycle election survey at camcycle.org.uk/elections