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General Election 2017

With the upcoming General Election on Thursday 8 June 2017 SPACE has taken the opportunity to write to all candidates standing in the Newcastle Central and Newcastle North constituencies (Gosforth straddles both constituencies).

The following series of questions we believe are essential to how people move around safely in our community.  This is our request:

Congratulations on being selected as a candidate for the Newcastle Central constituency.

SPACE for Gosforth is a volunteer led constituted community group which aims to promote a healthy, liveable, accessible and safe neighbourhood, where:
1. Walking and cycling are safe, practical and attractive travel options for residents of all ages and abilities.
2. Streets are easier and safer to navigate for residents or visitors with limited mobility and for residents or visitors with disabilities or conditions for whom travel is a challenge.
3. There is good walking and cycling access to local community destinations including schools, shops, medical centres, work-places and transport hubs.
4. Streets are valued as places where people live, meet and socialise, and not just for travelling through.
5. The negative consequences of excessive vehicle traffic including injury and illness from road traffic collisions, air pollution, community severance, noise pollution and delays are minimised.

We would like to hear your views on our aims, whether you support them and, if so, what would you do to help achieve them?

In addition, our members would like to hear your response to the following:
1. What is your position on increasing the proportion of the transport budget spent on walking & cycling?
2. Do you see better infrastructure for active travel as a priority in our area?
3. How would you champion walking and cycling in your role as a Member of Parliament, if elected?
4. What do you think the main barriers to active travel are locally, and how should they be solved?
5. How would you propose to reduce air pollution in our constituency (a defined Air Quality Management Area) and what would you do to lead the change?

We would very much welcome your response to the above questions and please feel free to contribute to debate on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/space.gosforth/

SPACE has emailed the following candidates:

Newcastle Central

Newcastle North

The deadline for the delivery of nomination papers to the Returning Officer is Thursday 11 May 2017 at 4pm.  We will email any new candidates when they are published.

We will publish responses from candidates as soon as we receive them.

Special thanks to the Scottish campaign “I walk I cycle I vote” for helping with the succinct questions and have also published a briefing sheet which has many pieces of information that are appropriate for the rest of the UK and Gosforth.

4 thoughts on “General Election 2017

  1. SPACE for Gosforth

    Final list of candidates and current status:

    Newcastle Central:
    Nick Cott – Lib Dem – emailed
    Steve Kyte – Conservative – emailed
    David Muat – UKIP – email address requested
    Chi Onwurah – Labour – emailed | acknowledgement received
    Peter Thomson – Greens – emailed

    Newcastle North:
    Duncan Crute – Conservative – emailed
    Anita Lower – Lib Dem – emailed
    Timothy Marron – UKIP – email address requested
    Catherine McKinnell – Labour – emailed
    Brian Moore – Putting North of England people first – seeking contact details
    Alison Whalley – Greens – emailed

    Reply
  2. SPACE for Gosforth

    Alison Whalley | Green Party | Newcastle North

    Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to respond to the issues that SPACE rightly care deeply about.

    Last Tuesday morning, 9th May, at 8.30am Newcastle Green Party launched its General Election campaign on the footbridge, connecting Ellison Place to Northumbria City Easy campus, over a busy motorway. We focused on air pollution. We made a short video that can be viewed on our Facebook page.
    As a matter of urgency we need to improve air quality and measures to do this will also help achieve your group’s aim to make walking and cycling much more convivial, safer and healthier ways of getting around.

    If I was elected as an MP I would make it a priority for the following to happen:

    • A new Clean Air Act and expanded Clean Air Zones
    • Investing in cleaner public transport, especially buses
    • Developing safe and convenient walking and cycle networks between residential areas, key services and workplaces
    • Safe walking routes to schools and cycle training for children, reducing school run traffic and allowing children the freedom to travel actively
    • Park-and-ride transport hubs with competitive pricing
    • Implementation of work place travel plans with major employers and encouraging less polluting forms of travel
    • Investing in renewable clean energy, tackling climate change too
    • Schemes to encourage car sharing.

    In answer to your five specific questions:

    1. Proper investment in walking and cycling is essential in order to make active travel the default option for people to do. This will mean a budget that reflects that. I would not support investment that would lead to an increase in private vehicular use.
    2. I definitely see better infrastructure for active travel as a priority as we have to encourage people to use their cars much less and walk, cycle and use public transport much more.
    3 and 5. Please see above proposals for how I would champion walking and cycling and reduce air pollution. For a Clean Air Act to really work councils would have to be given not just responsibility to implement measures, but a duty and resources to do so.
    4. The main barrier to active travel is a lack of political will. If the will is there then the other barriers that exist will be easier to overcome.

    Groups such as yourselves are invaluable in exploring and lobbying for cleaner, safer and healthier ways of getting around. Car- centric travel that dominates our streets has to be significantly reduced and alternatives put into place as soon as possible.

    with kind regards

    Alison Whalley

    Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Newcastle North

    https://www.facebook.com/NewcastleGreenParty

    Reply
  3. SPACE for Gosforth

    Catherine Mckinnell | Labour | Newcastle North

    Thank you for getting in touch on this hugely important issue, which I know is of increasing concern to many local residents across Newcastle North, including Gosforth.

    I fully support SPACE for Gosforth’s aims, and look forward to continuing to work with you – and representing your members’ concerns – both locally, and nationally, if re-elected as Newcastle North’s MP.

    1. What is your position on increasing the proportion of the transport budget spent on walking & cycling?

    I lobbied the Government to ensure that a Cycling and Walking investment strategy was included within the Infrastructure Act, however, there is clearly little point in developing and publishing such a strategy if it’s not properly funded. I therefore agree that cycling and walking infrastructure should be allocated a greater proportion of the transport budget, if we are to see the step-change in active travel that Newcastle – and the rest of the country – needs.

    2. Do you see better infrastructure for active travel as a priority in our area?

    Yes, absolutely. We all know that we are facing a public health crisis – both in terms of people’s activity levels and our air quality – and better active travel infrastructure can only help to address this.

    3. How would you champion walking and cycling in your role as a Member of Parliament, if elected?

    I would continue to lobby the Government to make walking and cycling transport priorities; continue to press the Government to make children’s road safety a national transport priority (and therefore provide local authorities with adequate funding to support this, including through school crossing patrols) – an issue I have been actively lobbying the Transport Secretary about; and continue to campaign on the need for walking/getting about to be made safer for older people and those with disabilities (or indeed people with prams and buggies) by properly tackling pavement parking and street clutter…amongst other things!

    4. What do you think the main barriers to active travel are locally, and how should they be solved?

    I think many local residents understandably feel concerned about safety – particularly in relation to cycling along Gosforth’s busy streets – and, whilst we’ve seen some recent improvements to cycling infrastructure, these are clearly not sufficient to encourage enough people out of their cars and onto their saddles. Of course, we also have a vicious circle where people won’t cycle, or walk, because they think it’s too dangerous but the fact there then remain so many cars on the roads does nothing to remove that perception. Increasing investment in active travel infrastructure should assist this.

    5. How would you propose to reduce air pollution in our constituency (a defined Air Quality Management Area) and what would you do to lead the change?

    I would continue to campaign for improved infrastructure and incentives for the take-up of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles; for older buses to be replaced or retrofitted to reduce their emissions; for improved infrastructure for active travel; and will campaign for, and support, the introduction of a Clean Air Act. Critically, I will continue to press the Government to commit that our departure from the EU will not result in any watering down, or reduction in, crucial environmental protections.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Regards

    Catherine

    Catherine McKinnell
    Labour candidate for Newcastle North

    Reply
  4. SPACE for Gosforth

    Current status:

    Newcastle Central:
    Nick Cott – Lib Dem – emailed
    Steve Kyte – Conservative – emailed
    David Muat – UKIP – emailed
    Chi Onwurah – Labour – emailed | acknowledgement received
    Peter Thomson – Greens – emailed

    Newcastle North:
    Duncan Crute – Conservative – emailed
    Anita Lower – Lib Dem – emailed
    Timothy Marron – UKIP – emailed
    Catherine McKinnell – Labour – Replied
    Brian Moore – Putting North of England people first – seeking contact details
    Alison Whalley – Greens – Replied

    Reply

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