The Bristol Walking Alliance has written to all mayoral candidates that we could identify. We asked them to support the BWA pledge:
“I share the goal of the Bristol Walking Alliance to make Bristol the best city for walking in the world. I too want to create an environment for those on foot that is welcoming, safe, convenient, and inclusive.
If elected, I will:
- appoint a walking champion, a senior council officer to bring together action on walking across the council;
- update Bristol’s Walking Strategy, and report regularly on progress against it;
- monitor against targets to increase walking, to increase satisfaction with the walking environment, to reduce accidents;
- improve the street environment by reducing through traffic, removing the most polluting vehicles, creating pocket parks;
- improve footway maintenance and access for all by faster repair of defects and more effective removal of obstructions;
- make walking routes easier to use with wider pavements, better signage, more places to rest, and improved crossings;
- create ‘showcase’ routes for walkers including commuter routes and key neighbourhood routes;
- encourage walking for transport, leisure and health with a city-wide programme aimed at people of all ages and abilities.”
Replies so far are below. We’ll be writing to other candidates that have recently emerged, once we find out their email address.
Kay Barnard: I walk both as a means of transport to get around and also for pleasure. Nothing clears the mind more than a good walk. I am happy to support this and to make sure that such improvements are incorporated in future plans for transport in Bristol.
Tony Dyer: I commit to implementing the actions called for by the Bristol Walking Alliance. I accept the challenge to make Bristol the best city for walking in the world and am looking forward to working with the Bristol Walking Alliance to establish the criteria by which we measure our progress towards attaining that goal. There is substantial evidence from around the world that cities that target improvements for walking also generate positive impacts in areas such as health and wellbeing.
George Ferguson. [Response awaited.]
Charles Lucas: I am afraid I am not signing anything on any issue prior to the election. I do support walking but as with every issue there has to be a balance and if elected I must be able to make balanced decisions.
Marvin Rees: If I win I will give this to the Director of Public Health (who I will be raising back to the most senior level in Bristol City Council). This must form part of the city transport plan, public health plans, education plans, economic plans, cultural plans. it’s really cross-cutting. I will also ask councillors to champion the Bristol Walking Alliance to their neighbourhood partnerships and ensure walking initiatives and resources are appropriately targeted at those most vulnerable to disadvantage.