November 2015

Public mtg calls for Fairer Funding

Two main themes ran through our Nov 17 Climate/Transport/Cycling public meeting – the need for fairer funding, and the importance of concerned individuals (such as you?) being pro-active in making friends, colleagues and politicians more aware of climate and transport issues, and their interaction…

Over 100 people braved the rain to join one of Spokes’s best ever public meetings.

Really enjoyed event tonight.  Great talks from other speakers, great questions, lots of knowledge in the room” tweeted speaker @DaveGormanUoE.

Martin pic of chatting time CROP REDUCE

Arriving for the meeting

Really enjoyed – thoughtful and challenging – & thanks to attendees for participating in our gender balance approach to Q&A” tweeted @KirstyLewin who chaired the QA.

Excellent speakers and discussions at the meeting this evening, refreshing to meet new cycle enthusiasts in a new city” tweeted audience member @ali_wali86.

Martin stall pic CROP REDUCE

Spokes stall + Alison Johnstone

And apart from the main meeting, there was a great chatting/networking/coffee period 6.45-7.30, as people arrived, with stalls by WalkCycleVote, Presumed Liability, Ed2Paris, Edinburgh Council’s planned East-West city-centre segregated route and of course our own Spokes stall [see picture].

Below you can find links to the speeches, the powerpoints, summary notes of the QA, related tweets, and links to any other reports or blogs we hear of.

Public meeting outcomes

At the end of the meeting, each speaker was asked to summarise what messages they would take from the meeting and what they hoped we in the audience would do.

Tom Ballantine [Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland]

  • Fair funding is vital if the Scottish Government is serious over its climate and its cycling ambitions, as current spending patterns are pushing us the wrong way.   Significantly more money should go into cycling, whilst Air Passenger Duty should not be cut.
  • We all have a responsibility to increase public and political awareness of what is happening on transport funding and on climate.

Dave Gorman [Ed Uni Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability]

  • DG committed to redoubling his own efforts to get all parts of the university to always to think how actions and decisions relate to climate, and what their work can do to make a positive impact.
  • He urged us all to learn more about climate issues and make the connections with transport and with fairness [for example, see a world map with the size of countries represented by the size of their emissions]…
  • … to be pro-active on these issues with friends, colleagues and politicians, and also to take on the sceptics.

Alison Johnstone MSP [Co-Convener of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Cycling]

  • Fair funding is vital.   The Scottish Government is spending more than ever before on trunk roads, whilst less than ever before goes into maintaining local roads, and cash for walking/cycling is less than 2% of the transport budget.   This is unjust for those who rely on walking or cycling, for the poorer sections of society and for those affected by climate change impacts now and increasingly in the future.
  • We all have a responsibility to increase awareness of these unfairnesses.
  • As one questioner had suggested, AJ promised to try and set up a Scottish Parliament cycling day or week – in which all MSPs would be encouraged to experience the pleasures and pains of getting about by bike in Edinburgh.

Public meeting resources

And next…

Scotland’s Climate March, Sat 28 November

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