Liberal Democrat statement on cycling for County Council elections 2021

The period between the confirmation of the nomination of candidates and polling day is very busy for all political parties. We sent out individual invitations to participate on 15 April, either direct to candidates or to party organisers for them to forward. There have been some cases where these invitations have not arrived, and candidates may be prioritising other forms of canvassing.

The Liberal Democrat campaign organisers have sent us this statement about their policies regarding cycling, which should be read alongside any individual responses from candidates. We would be happy to publish statements from other parties if they wish: please contact us if you would like us to do so.

Our detailed survey includes questions about matters local to each of thirty electoral divisions, provided by our members and supporters. Please see the main survey results for these.

All Liberal Democrat candidates are committed to increasing funding for cycle and pedestrian infrastructure including where possible ensuring there are segregated cycle lanes.

We believe that linking up towns across county Durham with a proper cycle network is essential not only for the health of the public but also to help cut the impact climate change, by promoting sustainable forms of transport.

Major projects we are committed to include securing the reopening of the Belmont viaduct as a non-motorised route, completing the work to improve the A167 cycle route and Continuing to increase the number of 20 mile an hour zones to help make cycling safer.

We are also committed to retaining and improving the old railway cycle track network for recreational use and are against them being turned into railway lines again.

At this year’s budget for the council we proposed a doubling of the public rights-of-way network funding and we are committed to improving surfaces on the designated cycle tracks across the county.

In addition we want a review of on road marked up cycle routes to ensure that the surfaces are safe and that safety issues like sunken gullies and potholes are priorities and repaired properly to ensure cyclists are able to safely use them.

Increasing the number of cycle bays and electric charging points for electric bikes is also one of our commitments.

And we will end the unfair contract which makes council employees use a specific provider when purchasing a bike under the salary sacrifice scheme or forces independent retailers to pay an unfair premium for using the scheme.

We are also committed to listening to national and local cycle groups to make sure the county’s cycle strategy meets with the needs and aspirations of users.

And we will re-emphasise the need for our planning committees to fully take on board concerns of cyclists and pedestrians when considering major new planning applications.

To achieve these goals over the coming years we will seek to bring in external funding and match this with council funds and where external funding is not available we will look to identify additional council funds.

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