Last updated afternoon of Tuesday 4th May 2021
Originally scheduled for 2020, but postponed due to the pandemic, elections will be held on Thursday 6th May 2021 for the election to the post of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire.
A member of the Campaign has emailed each of the candidates standing for election the below question, the responses to which we’ve added below;
Please tell me what you will do to:
– keep people who cycle safe;
– to raise awareness that everyone could be a cyclist – including the people who gave you your covid vaccinations, who see you when you go to your doctor’s surgery, or who operate on you if you need medical intervention;
– to get across the message that all road users deserve respect and none should be singled out for verbal or physical abuse, or intimidation, or subjected to ‘close- or fast- or punishment-passing by any driver;
– encourage uptake of cycling of all age groups, by people of all levels of physical fitness and ability, and cognitive ability such that we reduce pollution, are a happier, fitter society with reduced deaths due to obesity and isolation, as well as on the roads.
Alison Hume (Labour & Co-operative Party)
Road crime is real crime and if elected I will take strong action to make roads safer for cyclists and the whole non-car road using community. As a member of York Cycle Campaign and an early adopter of the bike trailer in York in the late 90’s to transport my two children around the city I am passionate about keeping cyclists safe. As Commissioner I would review the road safety policy In North Yorkshire to place pedestrians, cyclists and people with visible and invisible disabilities at the centre of it rather than as an afterthought. I have twenty years of disability campaigning experience in York behind me and equality is in my DNA.
Speeding is a huge problem on too many roads in York & North Yorkshire. It’s dangerous, intimidating and anti-social, as well as one of the main factors in fatal road accidents. As well as harm, death and injury speeding has a huge environmental impact. It’s time to take tougher action. There are so many examples of dangerous roads for cyclists in our city but one area I am concerned about is Tadcaster Road along the Knavesmire along which hundreds of school children cycle but which is not safe. I want to see the police enforce speed limits as well as dangerous driving such as clipping on overtaking cyclists. Currently enforcement is poor. I will support greater enforcement action against those who endanger the lives of road users and pedestrian. I will monitor and report on it to the public.
We all have the right to be safe and protected from speeding drivers and I would call for the implementation of a 20-mph speed limit within the York city walls. North Yorkshire Police do not currently support wide area 20mph limits but I do. I absolutely say 20s Plenty and I love 30! I would collaborate with Traffic Authorities in multi-agency teams to add 20mph enforcement to 20mph engagement and education. In 2018 Avon and Somerset issued 25,060 Notice of Intended Prosecutions on 20mph roads. In the same year North Yorkshire could not provide any figures. I will make it easier to upload head and dash cam footage of incidents and infringements as Operation Spartan is unsatisfactory. I also support the trial and introduction of fixed speed cameras (North Yorkshire is one of a handful of counties who do not use them) in areas and villages blighted by speeding.
As your Commissioner I will make road danger reduction a priority, tackle speeding, be transparent and accountable and work with the cycling community in York to understand your concerns and priorities. I will discuss with the Chief Constable about introducing a road crime unit and a comprehensive road policing strategy. At a national level I would lend my voice to the push to introduce tougher sentences for drivers who kill or maim. At a local level I will work closely with councillors who play a key role in improving cycling access and safety in our city and are best placed to encourage more people to take up cycling.
I pledge to make our roads safer for all.
James Barker (Liberal Democrat)
As the PFCC candidate I want to see safer roads, I want my kids to be safe when they are out on their bikes. I want to educate all road users to be tolerant of others. And I will work with stakeholders and those that know far more about this than I, to make this possible so far as we realistically and reasonably can. I look forward to meeting YCC to discuss ways of taking this further should I be elected
Keith Tordoff (Independent)
As a keen cyclist who uses a road bike I can relate to the problems faced by cyclists on a daily basis. People who drive dangerously close to cyclists, deliberately target them by driving through water, throw things or shout abuse at them should be prosecuted.
Cyclists need protection and if elected Independent Police Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire I will look to introduce new initiatives.
Education is key to changing people’s habits. Starting in schools for children and for drivers who are alleged to have driven carelessly or dangerously. I will work with individuals and cycling groups on a campaign to highlight the problems.I will work with bike retailers to look at helmet camera and bike security.
Theft of bikes if they are marked will help to make it more difficult for thieves to dispose of them. The welcome introduction of more electric bikes also makes them attractive to steal due to there high value.
One of my priorities is to encourage Police and Firefighters to purchase bikes on the buy a bike for work schemes as well as introducing electric bikes for high visibility Policing (and Firefighters) involved in communities. In general I will encourage everyone where possible to cycle and as Police Fire and Crime Commissioner protect them and their bikes.
Philip Allott (Conservative & Unionist Party)
Some of the things you highlight are the responsibility of the local authority.
However, I will support and implement 20mph in urban locations, where local authorities are prepared to support it. A request has already been made to York City Council to work with me on this which could reduce a lot of injuries and fatalities for everyone and especially cyclists.
As part of a bigger initiative to reduce mental illness which is a contributory factor to criminal offences (70% of prisoners have mental issues) I want people to be more fit and healthy, which is where cycling can play an important role.
I also support the electrification of certain police vehicles to reduce emissions, plus improvements to CCTV in North Yorkshire to allow the Police real time access.
In summary I will do as much as possible to keep you and other cyclists as safe as possible.