Senedd election candidates to be quizzed on vision for cycling and walking

Cycling UK wants Wales to be a cycling nation
Rob Kingston's picture

Senedd election candidates to be quizzed on vision for cycling and walking

Active Travel Hustings, organised by Cycling UK and Living Streets, will give the public the chance to question candidates about their party’s plans to make Wales a cycling and walking nation
  • Virtual event on Tuesday 23 March, to be chaired by BBC journalist Mark Hutchings
  • Five candidates currently confirmed to attend
  • Registration now open to the public

Candidates for the Senedd elections on 6 May are being invited to share their vision for active travel in Wales at an online hustings organised by Cycling UK and Living Streets. The event, chaired by BBC journalist Mark Hutchings, will allow members of the public to ask the candidates about their plans to promote and facilitate cycling and walking if elected.

Cycling UK and Living Streets both recently published Welsh election manifestos, laying out their vision for a Wales where people feel safer cycling, wheeling and walking, the air is cleaner, and more of the population chooses active travel for essential journeys to school and work.

Sarah Mitchell, chief executive of Cycling UK, and Mary Creagh, chief executive of Living Streets, will attend the event to discover how the candidates and their parties plan to commit to this vision.

Rhiannon Hardiman, manager at Living Streets Cymru, commented: “In the run-up to the Senedd 2021 election, we want politicians to commit to creating walkable neighbourhoods, reducing car dependency, tackling loneliness, improving air quality and getting more people walking. This, in turn, can lead to safer, happier and healthier communities.

“We have a climate-change crisis, toxic levels of air pollution and a crisis in public health due to our sedentary lifestyle – and too many local journeys are made by car. Walking more and driving less is part of the solution, and that requires safer streets and pavements so that we can prioritise people over cars.”

Gwenda Owen, engagement officer for Cycling UK in Wales, said: “Our manifesto for cycling outlines the commitments we want from the next Welsh Government, to create a Wales where active travel is an easy and attractive option. This means not just investing in infrastructure but also encouraging behaviour change.

“Our hustings will allow people to find out what the parties will do to fulfil these targets, and show them that committing to active travel will win them votes on 6 May.”

The event will be streamed via GoToWebinar, from 6.30pm to 8pm on Tuesday 23 March. Registration in advance is required: find out how to register and submit questions.

Candidates currently confirmed to attend

Helen Mary Jones MS, Plaid Cymru, Llanelli

Helen Mary was elected to the new National Assembly for Wales for the Llanelli constituency in 1999. Prior to her election as AM for Llanelli, she was senior development manager at the Equal Opportunities Commission in Wales.
An Assembly Member from 1999 to 2011, she returned to the National Assembly in August 2018 as AM for Mid and West Wales and had the portfolio of the Shadow Cabinet on Health, Social Care and Sport. She is Plaid Cymru's national spokesperson on the Economy, Tackling Poverty and Transport.

Mia Rees, Conservatives, Cynon Valley

Throughout her life Mia has strived to provide a voice for communities who are not listened to. She has worked for Welsh charities focused on homelessness and supporting young people into education, training and employment. Mia is standing for Cynon Valley for the Welsh Conservatives in 2021, where she is focusing on jobs, health and education. Currently Mia is a councillor and works in education policy. 

Anthony Slaughter, Green Party, South Wales Central

Anthony was elected Wales Green Party Leader/Spokesperson in December 2018, having previously served as deputy leader in 2014 and 2015. He has been an active WGP member and campaigner for several years both locally, in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, and nationally across Wales.

In 2017 he was the candidate for the ward of St Augustine’s, one of WGP’s two target seats. Alongside campaigning for the Green Party, Anthony has had a long engagement with local community based environmental organisation Gwyrddio Penarth Greening which he chaired for several years. This engagement has involved various campaigns and practical grassroots community projects, including the planting and maintenance of the GPG Community Orchard.

Lee Waters MS, Labour Party, Llanelli

Lee led the campaign for the world’s first Active Travel Act while director of Sustrans Cymru. Having being elected as MS for Llanelli in 2016, he founded the cross-party group on Active Travel and for the past two years has led the agenda in the Welsh Government as deputy minister for economy and transport.

David Wilkins, Liberal Democrats, Clwyd West

David lives in Rhos-on-Sea and is a teacher at a local secondary school and is passionate about continuing to invest in children to give them the skills they need to succeed. He is also a keen environmentalist and views tackling the climate emergency as the biggest issue we face. He wants to see Wales embrace green technologies, such as tidal power, both to decarbonise our society and create well-paying jobs for the future.

David believes in equality of opportunity, so is fighting for a society that values all people equally and grants the same opportunities and support to all to allow everyone to thrive.

Contact information 

For more information, please contact the national Cycling UK press office. Due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, currently the main press office number (01483 238 315) is not being monitored. If you would like to speak to a member of the press office during working hours (0900 - 1700) please call Rob Kingston on 07880 424 912 or email robert.kingston@cyclinguk.org. Out of hours, call 07786 320 713 or email publicity@cyclinguk.org

Notes to editors 
  1. Cycling UK, the UK’s cycling charity, imagines a world where the streets are free of congestion and the air is clean to breathe, where parents encourage their children to cycle to school and everyone shares the exhilaration of being in the saddle. For more than 140 years, we’ve been making our streets safer, opening up new traffic free routes and inspiring more people to cycle more often: www.cyclinguk.org
  2. Cycling UK Cymru’s vision is for a Wales where more everyday journeys involve active travel, our countryside is more accessible, the air is cleaner, and our health and wellbeing are prioritised.
  3. Living Streets Cymru is part of the UK charity for everyday walking. We want to create a nation where walking is the natural choice for everyday, local journeys; free from congested roads and pollution, reducing the risk of preventable illnesses and social isolation.
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