On Wednesday 14th May, Leeds Cycling Campaign sent this letter to all 177 candidates standing for election in the Leeds City Council elections on 22nd May 2014.
We asked them to support the Space for Cycling campaign and indvited them along to the ride on Saturday 17th May.
Thanks to the super-speedy Royal Mail, we got our first responses on Thursday morning, so here they are for your perusal!
|Adel & Wharfedale||Paul Marchant||Green|
|Ardsley & Robin Hood||Tim Atkin||Conservative|
|Beeston & Holbeck|
|Bramley & Stanningley|
|Burmantofts & Richmond Hill|
|Calverley & Farsley|
|Chapel Allerton||Mike Davies||Alliance for Green Socialism|
|City & Hunslet|
|Cross Gates & Whinmoor|
|Farnley & Wortley|
|Garforth & Swillington|
|Gipton & Harehills||Neil Seepujak||Green|
|Guiseley & Rawdon|
|Hyde Park & Woodhouse||Edward Hardy||Conservative|
|Killingbeck & Seacroft|
|Kippax & Methley||Dave Webb||Green|
|Alliance for Green Socialism
|Otley & Yeadon||Owen Brear||Green|
|Rothwell||Stewart Golton||Liberal Democrats|
|Roundhay||Malcolm Christie||Alliance for Green Socialism|
Stuart Long, Independent candidate for Kirkstall (via Twitter)
Thank you @LeedsCyclists for your letter this morning, happy to support if I can !
— Stuart Long (@StuartLong01) May 15, 2014
Jonathan Pryor, Labour candidate for Headingley (via Twitter)
@LeedsCyclists hey! Thanks for your letter. Sorry can't make your event this sat, but cycling infrastructure is one of my key priorities!
— Jonathan Pryor (@Jonathan_Pryor) May 15, 2014
Sam Murray, Green candidate for Wetherby (via email)
I wish to fully pledge my support for your campaign and if elected intend to do my best to help you fulfil your aims. Having just been to Copenhagen, where everyone has a bike, has safe specific cycling paths around the city and where kids can ride to school having exercise as part of the everyday regime, I would like to see the same in Leeds. As a member of the Green Party we share a common vision to use more ecologically friendly forms of transport of which the bike is probably the most carbon-neutral form of transport going! We need to see motor vehicle speeds lowered for safety, create more safe cycling routes and making schemes that encourage people to use bikes rather than cars that are affordable and accessible.
Dave Webb, Green candidate for Kippax and Methley (via email)
Thanks for your letter – I’ll be there for the “Space for Cycling” event – complete with bicycle!
As a Green Party candidate standing in the Kippax and Methley ward in a few days time, I certainly support your campaign to improve the roads of Leeds for cyclists (and pedestrians).
Paul Marchant, Green candidate for Adel and Wharfedale (via email)
I fully support the Leeds Cycling Campaign, in fact I am a member of it (and the CTC too). It is Green Party policy to encourage cycling.
Cycling offers great benefits for the environment & human health and in making cities more pleasant places to be in.
Warren Hendon, UKIP candidate for Alwoodley (via email)
I support in principal your campaign as a regular cyclist myself and would like to be informed of more about your activities.
Peter Morgin, UKIP candidate for Harewood (via email)
Thank you very much for your letter.
I have had a fairly good look round your website, which I think is excellent. I think that your approach to making Leeds a cycle-friendly city is very positive, and one that I will be very happy to support. I will be happy to support you even if I don't get elected. I used to enjoy cycling, but I have to admit that I am exceedingly nervous when out on the road. So much so that I have stopped using my bike
Fiona Venner, Labour candidate for Kirkstall (via email)
Thank you for your letter about Leeds Cycling Campaign. Your work sounds very interesting and I am happy for you to publish that I support your aims. As you may be aware, two of the current Kirkstall councillors are cyclists, John Illingworth cycles everywhere and Lucinda's tricycle is famous in Kirkstall! I am not a cyclist myself, but, through John, I am aware of the issues facing cyclists, particularly with regard to safety. John was telling me today that reducing speed limits to 20mph in residential areas and increasing cycle lanes will make a huge difference to cyclists.
It's your moment with Tour de France coming to Leeds, so I hope that this leads to an increase in interest in cycling and improved conditions for cyclists in Leeds
Paul Drinkwater, Labour Candidate for Wetherby (via email)
I am a massive supporter of cycling. I have raced road cross MTB triathlon BMX and am currently Leeds BMX club Treasurer, a qualified BC and BCF coach, as well as being the organiser of Wetherby Tadcaster and Ampleforth triathlons. Oh I owned a cycle shop in Crossgates for a few years too. Cyclotherapy.
Owen Brear, Green candidate for Otley and Yeadon (via email)
I heartily endorse the motivation behind the Space for Cycling campaign. As a prospective Green councillor for Leeds we actively support a low carbon lifestyle and fully support the much needed move toward more cycling in the city. In fact, it's a necessity. Here in Otley, the cycling infrastructure needs considerable improvement, to the extent that Otley has little if no cycling facilities whatsoever!
We love all cycling campaigns, and yours looks superb.
Tim Atkin, Conservative candidate for Ardsley & Robin Hood (via email)
I'd certainly look to support anything that makes cycling safer for all, especially children; gets people fitter/healthier and at the same time encourage cyclists more responsible too. For example anything that can look to reduce (by children cycling in safety to, and leaving securely at, school) the parking carnage and some frankly worrying driving practices seen at the typical school run can only be a good thing.
Malcolm Christie, Alliance for Green Socialism candidate for Roundhay (via email)
Thank you for your recent letter. I am pleased to support the aims of your campaign.
Mike Davies, Alliance for Green Socialism candidate for Chapel Allerton (via email)
Firstly, sorry to have missed the bike ride on 17 May.
The Alliance for Green Socialism is 100% behind the Leeds Cycling Campaign.
Kevin Reid, UKIP candidate for Kirkstall (via email)
Thank you for your letter
Whether elected or not I will support your campaign and i do think your ideas are good.
I would also support the Liberal Democrat proposal to reduce the Council Staff Fuel Allowance from 65p a mile to 45p a mile and use the £420.000 savings to help improve cycling safety .
I do think you would have to remove speed bumps because there force drivers to go to close to the pavement ,and possibly install cameras so you could create safe cycle lanes. We should also put up signs to educate drivers about using their mirrors when turning left , as i have seen too many Cycles "cut up " and one knocked down.
I hope my ideas may help your Campaign , and you can reply on me for my support .
Ros Campbell, Alliance for Green Socialism candidate for Moortown (via email)
I fully support the aims of the Leeds Cycling Campaign, as do the other Alliance for Green Socialism candidates in the council election. It is important that Leeds becomes a city which is safe for cyclists and supportive of cycling, the most environmentally friendly method of transport.
Mark Dodsworth, Conservative candidate for Moortown (via email)
Thank you for your letter with regards to the Leeds Cycling Campaign. I'm sorry I wasn't able to make it on Saturday but be rest assured that I fully support your campaign.
Since my days travelling New Zealand and doing the first cycling I did in years I have become passionate about improving cycle facilities in this country. Most roads and green areas in New Zealand had dedicated cycle areas which made me feel much safer riding than I have ever done here in the UK where decent cycle lanes are all too rare.
If elected I will actively help develop an improved cycling infrastructure and will happily support any proposals which will improve facilities across the city, seeing cycling as part of an integrated transport system.
Please keep in contact with me regardless of the result, it would be a pleasure to be a supporter of the campaign in any capacity in the future.
Stewart Golton, Liberal Democrats candidate for Rothwell (via twitter)
@LeedsCyclists happy to support Leeds Cycling Campaign and repeat that Council should stop paying 65p mileage rate and spend the £500k on it
— stewart golton (@GoltonStewart) May 21, 2014
Neil Seepujak, Green candidate for Gipton and Harehills (via email)
I can give a pretty simple reply; I support your aims. They also seem to me to be consistent with Green Party policy. If elected I would do all within my remit to encourage cycling and make it safer to cycle in Leeds (and as a cyclist myself I appreciate the dangers)
Edward Hardy, Conservative candidate for Hyde Park and Woodhouse (via email)
Thank you for your letter about the Leeds Cycling Campaign.
I am very happy to support your work towards making Leeds a cycle-friendly city. One of my key priorities, if elected, is to work on improving cycle lanes and providing residents and students with more secure bike racks. I am definitely interested in working with you to achieve your aims and promote the many benefits that cycling can offer. As a student myself, I have enjoyed the ability to cycle into university, on a regular basis, but there is clearly more that can be done to make cycling safe and enjoyable for everyone and I look forward to working with you in the future.
This article will be updated with further responses