Metro Mayor candidates agree to plan a Tees Valley-wide cycle network

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All candidates in the Tees Valley have pledged to plan Tees Valley-wide cycle network. Photo: samsaundersleeds

Metro Mayor candidates agree to plan a Tees Valley-wide cycle network

All candidates in the election for Metro Mayor of the Tees Valley have pledged support to campaign asks devised by Cycling UK and the Tees Valley Cycling Campaign.

Ahead of the election for the Tees Valley’s new Metro Mayor on 04 May, the Tees Valley Cycle Campaign, working with Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, has secured support from all four candidates to improve cycling in the region by agreeing to the following asks:

  1. Plan a strategic Tees Valley-wide network of safe cycle routes
    Produce a costed plan for a strategic and integrated network of safe cycle routes, linking residential areas, business areas and key educational facilities    
  2. Ensure developers cater for the needs of cyclists
    Major developments are planned across the Tees Valley. The mayor needs to work with developers and the Tees Valley Development Corporation to make sure that cycling is considered from the outset and planned for appropriately
  3. Actively seek funding to build your network
    Create a dedicated budget for cycling and to actively seek enough funding to build the network to a high standard, with a view to spending at least £10 per person annually on cycling

Cycling UK is working with local groups in each of the six Metro Mayor locations, to get candidates to sign up to a set of local-specific asks. The Tees Valley is the second location to have all candidates from the main parties unanimously pledge their support for Cycling UK’s campaign asks, after the West Midlands.

Sue Jeffrey (Labour) said: 

“I have answered yes to each [ask] as I strongly believe we should be doing more to inspire people to choose cycling and walking. I was really pleased that the Tees Valley received £3m in January to spend on projects to encourage more people to cycle, walk and use public transport. 

“If elected I would want to work with Cycling UK and other organisations to look at these suggestions as well as considering what else can be done to promote walking and cycling in the Tees Valley.”

Chris Foote Wood (Lib Dem) said: 

“You can count on me (a) to fully support your campaign (b) to take the initiatives you suggest and (c) show strong personal commitment to increasing walking and cycling to encourage personal fitness, reduce road traffic and air pollution. It's win-win-win!”

John Tennant (UKIP) said: 

“The fact remains that there aren't enough cycle lanes in Tees Valley or indeed enough awareness of cyclists on our roads. I would encourage Council Leaders to put safety and access for cyclists and drivers on their agendas as a way of looking into how we can make cycling both safe and attractive to residents.”

Ian Sproxton, Chair of the Tees Valley Cycle Campaign, said: 

“It is very encouraging that all the candidates have indicated that they are prepared to take the views of cycling voters into account.

“The Tees Valley Mayoral elections offer the potential for a candidate with the necessary vision to implement a co-ordinated transport policy across the region as a part of much needed economic development. As part of formulating this transport policy, local cyclists can contribute to planning sustainable, economic and environmentally friendly routine travel.”

Tom Guha, Cycling UK’s Space for Cycling Campaigns Officer, said: 

“Over the next ten years, the Tees Valley Combined Authority plans to create 25,000 new jobs and build 22,000 new homes. Such bold ambitions require a modern and efficient transport system – we are very pleased that all candidates have acknowledged the essential role cycling plays in achieving this.

“The election of a Tees Valley mayor is an opportunity for the region to re-vamp its transport system to be more people-friendly, to alleviate congestion and to tackle lethal air pollution. 

“We're encouraged by the level of engagement from all candidates– and we look forward to working with whoever is elected to make a success of all the candidate’s pledges.”

You can take action at www.cyclinguk.org/votebike17

ENDS

For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07786 320 713 or email publicity@cyclinguk.org or email the Tees Valley Cycling Campaign on ian.sproxton@ntlworld.co

Contact information 

Cycling UK Press Office
Email: publicity@cyclinguk.org
Telephone: 0844-736-8453

Notes to editors 
  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. The Space for Cycling campaign is a campaign for better cycle infrastructure, so that anyone feels safe to cycle anywhere. It was created by the London Cycling Campaign in 2014 and has since been taken national by Cycling UK. For more information on the history of the campaign see https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/campaigns-guide/space-for-cycling-background
  3. The Vote Bike campaign is a tactical campaign launched by Cycling UK in response to elections.
  4. For more information on our campaign asks in the Tees Valley, including more detailed quotes from each candidate, see: https://www.cyclinguk.org/blog/tomguha/vote-bike-tees-valley
  5. Under the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016, combined authorities are offered a selection of new powers on condition that they agree to be chaired by a directly elected Metro Mayor. For more information on Metro Mayors and their roles and responsibilities, see http://www.centreforcities.org/publication/everything-need-know-metro-mayors/#whois
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