Biggest ever Camcycle election survey informs voters and the results could transform transport

This article was published in 2021, in Magazine 151.

Camcycle 'Vote Bike' logo with a screenshot of Mayor Nik Johnson from our online hustings event
We asked Cambridgeshire residents to ‘Vote Bike’ in local elections – compiling our biggest ever election survey and holding a Mayoral hustings to inform their decisions. At the hustings Dr Nik Johnson (Labour & Co-operative) – now Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – said he would make cycling one of the five ‘Cs’ that would define his role: the others were Compassion, Co-operation, Community and Change.

On 22 April, Camcycle published its biggest ever election survey, working with regional campaign groups to send questions to over 400 candidates standing in five local elections. We wanted to inform the vote of residents from Romsey in Cambridge to Ramsey in Huntingdonshire and are grateful to members of CTC Cambridge, Ely Cycling Campaign, Milton Cycling Campaign, Waterbeach Cycling Campaign, Hunts Walking & Cycling Group and St Ives Eco Action who added their questions to those of our members so we could find out what Cambridgeshire candidates had to say about cycling and transport.

We also held a Mayoral hustings event – which the eventual winner, Dr Nik Johnson, attended. He’s said he will prioritise public health and climate change, focusing on buses (rather than a metro) and active travel. Together with a change of administration at Cambridgeshire County Council (which will also affect the balance of power at the Greater Cambridge Partnership), the new shape of local politics could mean big changes for cycling and walking in our region. Do get involved to help us continue to press for inclusive cycling for all from local authorities.

Local election results 2021

Cambridge City Council
Labour strengthened their majority with 27 seats out of 42. Liberal Democrat 12, Green 2, Independent 1.

Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough
Dr Nik Johnson (Labour & Co-operative).

Police and Crime Commissioner
Darryl Preston (Conservative).

Cambridgeshire County Council
No overall control. Conservatives have most seats (28), but the others (Liberal Democrats 15, Labour 9, St Neots Independents 2, Independents 2) have united to form a joint administration.

South Cambridgeshire District Council by-election
Liberal Democrats won all four of the contested seats.

What happens next?

Camcycle will reach out to decision-makers and present our vision at local meetings, based on briefing papers we are preparing with members. We want to see:

The role of cycling championed at every level of governance
Mayors across the country have active travel champions – we need one here too. We urgently need a new Walking and Cycling Officer at the city council and a county cycling champion as well.

Collaboration on transport
Local authorities must work well together for a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Quick wins on cycling and walking
Progress on cycling projects has often been slow: it’s time to deliver tranche two of the Covid active travel fund, speed up the Greenways and deliver rapid improvements to active travel infrastructure in urban and rural areas across the county.

Read what your elected decision-makers had to say at camcycle.org.uk/elections