Jon Snow, the president of Cycling UK, has written to Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) candidates asking them to support roads policing and reverse a decline in traffic police numbers. The Channel 4 news presenter has also written to Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh regional candidates, asking them if they will support cycling in their areas.
Cycling UK says that ten years ago, full-time equivalent traffic police officers accounted for five per cent of total officer numbers. After a 37 per cent reduction in numbers, they now account for 3.4 per cent.
PCCs set force budgets and decide the proportion allocated to roads policing. Snow has therefore asked candidates:
“If elected as PCC, will you commit to increase the amount allocated to roads policing within the force budget by at least 2% above inflation each year for the next four years, and by more if that is what is required to ensure that traffic police officer numbers within the force account for 5% of total officer numbers within four years?”
Cycling UK has also written to regional representative candidates across the devolved nations.
In Wales, it is calling for Assembly Member candidates to support a call for funding of at least £10 per head as well as increased open access, while in Scotland, it is supporting the collaborative campaign of Walk Cycle Vote, which is seeking MSP candidate support for funding, infrastructure and safety.
In Northern Ireland, the organisation is working with NI Greenways and Sustrans Northern Ireland and asking MLA candidates for annual cycling investment of between £10 and £25 per head of population as well as calling for a 600 mile plus greenway network making use of former railways. So far, 50 per cent of candidates have expressed support.