The local elections on the 5th May are an excellent opportunity to show candidates how important safer streets, cleaner air and better public transport are to you. They will be keen to hear your views, and if enough people tell them that sustainable transport is a priority, they will be more likely to make it one too. Ideally, if you are a member of a local group, your group might have asked candidates to sign up to a particular pledge – taking action on pavement parking, installing cycle lanes, improving bus services, etc. This can be a good way of holding candidates to account, although they often get swamped with requests so don’t always respond.
Speaking to local candidates isn’t always as easy as it should be either. In some areas, local groups will put on hustings: bringing together the candidates to discuss particular issues. So keep an eye out for any happening in your area and get along to them if you can. It’s worth being prepared with a few choice statistics to back up your case, for example:
- Two-thirds of all adults, and 71% of women feel, it’s too dangerous to cycle on the roads.
- The poorest in society are least likely to own a car and are most dependent on walking, cycling and public transport.
- The World Health Organisation has recommended new guideline levels for Nitrogen Dioxide and PM2.5 that are a lot lower than our current legal limits.
It is important for you to have your say as otherwise, councillors too often take the lead from the vocal minority, rather than the silent majority, many of whom would welcome changes to reduce traffic and pollution. Your vote really could help make a difference.
How to get in touch with your local candidates
- Find out who is standing in your local area. Who Can I Vote For? is a fantastic tool that makes this quick and easy to do. Simply put in your postcode and it will tell you the elections taking place in your area and the candidates running. It will also show you any events taking place where you can meet and hear from the candidates before the elections.
- Send them an email, letting them know the issues you are passionate about and asking them any questions you have.
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