Elections

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Question 3 - we asked:

There are incentives to buy electric cars, but not for alternatives such as e-bikes and electric cargo bikes. Should there be a role for government here?

We asked this question in these 3 constituencies: , Cambridge, South Cambridgeshire.

5 of the 11 candidates (45%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

Jeremy CADDICK
(Green Party)

Yes. The government will need to use all of the levers available to it to encourage the transition to sustainable transport such as e bikes and electric cargo bikes.

Daniel ZEICHNER
(Labour Party)

Labour is promising a £200 purchase subsidy, which has been successful in France. I am a huge fan of e-bikes - I purchased one four years ago, and am convinced that this is the ideal mode of travel in Cambridge, although they remain too expensive for many people. Despite the talk about electric vehicles, more e-bikes were sold in the UK last year, but our progress is tiny compared to our European neighbours - over 1 million people in Germany purchased e-bikes last year. In France, 300,000, with the help of grants from the Government. In Holland, 24 people per thousand have e-bikes, in the UK, just 1. I spoke on this in a short speech in a very crowded Parliamentary debate on July 19 which can be accessed online (10.19), concluding with:
“My mantra for many months has been revoke and remain. It is now revoke, remain and recharge.​“

I believe that any grant schemes proposed by Government should include e-bikes and electric cargo bikes. I and others on the All Party Cycling Group pressed the current Government to raise the amount available through the Cycle to Work scheme, which helps, but doesn’t generally help poorer people - a direct subsidy at purchase is much preferable.

Rod CANTRILL
(Liberal Democrat)

Absolutely. Electric bikes make a huge difference to people's lives.
For some they're the difference between getting out and about and staying at home, for others the extra speed and range makes them a viable alternative to the car.

But prices are still too high for many. Liberal Democrats want to cut VAT on electric vehicles to 5%, and use schemes like the workplace travel plan and local sustainable transport fund to further reduce the cost of electric bikes.

Ian SOLLOM
(Liberal Democrat)

I am campaigning on this issue during the election. E-bikes have so much potential to transform mobility and widen the number of people using bikes to get around. With an e-bike, making regular journeys of 5-10 miles or more becomes a possibility for so many more people. This will be especially important in South Cambs, where we are building new houses in locations that are many miles from workplaces and that currently have poor public transport. I think that active government support, for example in the form of loans, will be a huge boost to e-bike take up.
Electric cars will be an important part of the future transport system, but they do not in themselves solve a lot of the current problems, like congestion, harm to public spaces and overall energy consumption. We’ve currently got the balance wrong and I will be fighting to right it in favour of bikes, in particular electric ones of all types.

Keith GARRETT
(Rebooting Democracy)

My party has no policies on any particular subject except for the way we make decisions.

Locally, the people may look at the evidence and decide that money is well spent on getting people out of cars. This would have to be weighed against other priorities and also the extent those decisions can be put into place (until the whole of the UK is being run in a truly democratic way.

Our response to the pollution issues and the climate emergency would need to be dealt with by a large nationwide Citizens' Assembly that would give a direction we need to head in regarding our emissions and lifestyle.

Within this Citizens' Assembly such items as electric bikes and cargo bikes would be considered. It would also need to look at embodied energy of electric cars, charging infrastructure etc. You can imagine it would be a big endeavour, but the answers would be coming from the people themselves after considering the evidence and listening to stakeholder and rightsholders giving us an equitable way forward.

Camcycle is a non-partisan body. All candidates are given an equal opportunity to submit their views. Information published by Camcycle (Cambridge Cycling Campaign), The Bike Depot, 140 Cowley Road, Cambridge, CB4 0DL.