Active Travel Summit

Leading politicians, campaigners and academics met in Camden on the 16th March to explore how Labour can advance public health, community cohesion, jobs on the high street and social justice by enabling active travel.


Heidi Alexander – Deputy Mayor of London for Transport

10:45 – Active travel & Labour – What does a radical, people-centred vision for our communities and streets look like?

11:00 – Inclusion & fairness on our streets – the politics of movement – Dr Rachel Aldred, University of Westminster

  • We have become accustomed to symbolic and physical violence on our roads.
  • The rate of pedestrian deaths amongst those who are not in work or are long-term unemployed (NS-SEC 8) is 20 times higher than parents with professional jobs (NS-SEC 1)
  • Car ownership is not only higher amongst the highest income quartiles, the highest income groups also drive four times further than the lowest quartile.
  • Environmental injustice in the distribution and production of poor air quality means that ‘the communities that have access to fewest cars tend to suffer from the highest levels of air pollution, whereas those in which car ownership is greatest enjoy the cleanest air’. Mitchell & Dorling 2003
  • Loss of independent mobility – Only 25% of primary school children are allowed to travel home from school alone compared with 86% in 1971.
  • We need to move from a system of road safety to road danger reduction (or from blaming the individual to a safe system).
  • Ped/bike infrastructure can be a force for equality but is often unequally distributed

Rachel Aldred -Labour_Cycles_Camden 2019

11:45 – Persuading colleagues, engaging communities – Panel session – Lessons from Birmingham, Hackney, Camden and Cardiff

  • Cllr Wassem Zaffar – Birmingham City Council – Executive for Environment & Transport – Birmingham experience

  • Owen – Active Travel Lead – Cardiff Cycle City Group

13:15 – Three big ideas to improves our streets for everyone (3 x 15 min)
– School Streets – Ensuring we building communities for autonomous kids – Jono Kenyon
 Unions & active travel – The new health battle for sedentary workforces – Amy Foster

13:30 – How do we carry communities – Lessons learnt delivering change locally – Cllr Clydes Loakes, Waltham Forest

14:00 – Manchester, Crayons and Maps – Startling lessons from Manchester’s radical Made to Move / Beeline programme. – Brian Deegan

14:30 – Group Workshops

– Lessons in engaging fellow councillors to support a healthy streets approach to your council?
– Forget the big cities – what does an active travel policy look-like in our towns and more rural communities?
– Schools streets and play-streets – Do these more focused interventions get communities thinking about car use differently?

15:00 Ruth Cadbury MP – Chair of the All Party Group on Cycling

15:40 – Wrap up, Chris Kenyon Chair of Labour Cycles

  • Summarised Labour Cycles objectives at a national level and at local level.
  • Outlined the scale of the political work to do to help most councillors in the country understand the links between transport policy and public health, community cohesion, access to jobs and to reviving high streets.
  • Covered activity over the last year including – the inaugural conference in Manchester, attendance at the national conference in Liverpool, LGA Labour’s event in Warwick, over a dozen meetings with the shadow transport and treasury teams
  • Outlined the excellent progress at a national policy level and look forward to the launch of a new walking and cycling policy.