Council Candidates ride!

Thanks to all the council candidates who joined us yesterday afternoon for our candidates’ ride.

Candidates line up

Candidates: left to right John Dennis, John Martin, Maureen Johnstone, Ronnie Nicholson, Keith Walters, Stacy Bradley and Belle Doyle. 

Sandy Rogerson

Sandy Rogerson (right) who had missed the photo call, chatting to Cycling Dumfries member Rhian Davies

The recent wild winds had thankfully stopped, although it was not a warm day. However we were joined by some of the staff and members of Buddies (who also lent out bikes to the candidates who didn’t have them), and members of Cycling Dumfries.

We looked at the difficulties of getting between St Joe’s and the cycle path on the Whitesands, with a couple of possible solutions, and then cycled down to the site of the new learning hub (now confusingly to be called The Bridge) and beyond to the new school being built in Lochside. We came back along the Maxwelltown path and past the station through town, although by then we were rather a select group, as a number of participants had left early due to other commitments

Hopefully the candidates got some idea of the way sometimes quite small details can make a big difference to whether people choose to walk and cycle or drive.

Attempting to negotiate the entrance to McDonalds. Drivers don’t necessarily give way to people on foot or on bikes. When the new school opens, this will be a busy route for teenagers heading into the learning hub

McDonalds entrance

Are three lanes – and a nice sweeping curve – really necessary to allow cars in and out of the drivethru?

Interestingly, the thing that seemed to make the biggest impression on them was the newly widened entrance to the McDonald’s drive thru which now has three lanes – which seems a bit excessive in a largely residential area on a route that will be busy with schoolchildren once the new school opens. We can talk all we like about encouraging active travel (and healthy eating) but as long as our street layouts give priority to people in cars buying fast food, we can’t expect people to listen.

We wish all the candidates the best of luck in their campaigns and thank them for coming along and allowing their ears to be bent. Several of them have now added their support to We Walk, We Cycle, We Vote – you can find out where your candidates stand here

 

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