Elections

Local elections, May 2007: Abbey

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2007.
Polling date: Thursday 3rd May 2007
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Andrew James BOWER  (Conservative Party)
  • Caroline Julie HART  (Labour Party)
  • Ed SEXTON  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Margaret Elizabeth WRIGHT  (Green Party)

Questions for Abbey ward candidates (7 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7 

# Question 1

Cycling offers a huge opportunity to reduce motor traffic and free up road space. Do you have any suggestions for additional cycling promotion activities that the Council could do?

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

Ensuring there is sufficient transport infrastructure for all types of road users to accompany new developments is one of the local Conservatives' key planning priorities. We would work with the County Council and undertake a complete audit of cycle lane routes - identifying gaps in provision, underused lanes and dangerous pathways. Signage of city cycle routes can be confusing and poorly maintained. This needs to be improved.

The recent East Cambridge Transport strategy identifies a number of possible improvements to existing cycle infrastructure at relatively low cost, for example upgrading the Tins path. This could be done regardless of the unwanted plans for developing the airport site.

Caroline Julie HART
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ed SEXTON
(Liberal Democrat)

Installing more cycle racks, particularly at congested locations such as the rail station and market square (possibly via S106 funding). Promoting the installation of more cycle racks by private employers. Making a minimum amount of cycle parking a requirement in all new developments. Considering the removal of remaining cycle restrictions (e.g. Burleigh St) as has been done in the city centre.

Margaret Elizabeth WRIGHT
(Green Party)

Cambridge City Council could press the County Council to take all possible measures to reduce motorised traffic and so to free more on -road space for cyle lanes etc. In London, Transport for London is now funding transport 'advisors' to persuade residents in certain areas to cycle or use public transport with positive inducements e.g. free lights, cycle route maps, reduced transport pass etc. Council could take similar initiatives in Cambridge.

# Question 2

Cambridge suffers from a huge shortage of on-street public cycle parking, and a staggeringly high rate of cycle theft - 10% of reported crime. We want to see a formal strategy to get on-street cycle parking provided around Cambridge, with a target of say, 100-200 spaces per year initially. Do you support this?

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

Yes, local Conservatives will review the whole question of parking, both for cars and cycles, and work with our colleagues at the county council to do this. One of our priorities is to ensure provision for secure storage of bicycles is included in proposed railway redevelopment programmes.

Caroline Julie HART
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ed SEXTON
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, although I think the location is more important than the total number - another ten cycle racks on Mill Road would be more useful than 100 at Abbey stadium.

Margaret Elizabeth WRIGHT
(Green Party)

We support your call for additional on-street bike racks in the city. The cycle -parking at Cambridge Station and at Drummer Street needs more space and upgrading. We support Cambridge Cycle Campaign's opposition to the redevelopment of Lion Yard on the grounds of inadequate cycle parking provision.

Cycle theft may be 'casual' or part of organised crime.All cyclists need to be 'theft aware' and to use sturdy locks etc.Anyone using an expensive bike should expect it to be targetted. Good cycle parking should help reduce this crime.

# Question 3

Do you support our view that traffic policing (including fining of cyclists without lights or using pedestrian-only pavements) should become a police priority?

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

Yes, however enforcement of the law should be a matter of course and not just a 'priority'.

Caroline Julie HART
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ed SEXTON
(Liberal Democrat)

While cyclists without lights are often dangerous (usually to themselves), and cycling on pavements can inconvenience pedestrians, I would want to hear the opinions of police and others on the current level and nature of such incidents before advocating that traffic policing should become a police priority. Police resources are inevitably limited and must be allocated between many 'priorities' - e.g. most people in Abbey would put anti-social behaviour higher up the list than any form of traffic policing.

Margaret Elizabeth WRIGHT
(Green Party)

Yes, I do support this. I would add any aggressive cycling not on road to this list . Cyclists need the respect of pedestrians and other road users, this means that people who cycle up one-way streets, on non-shared use pavements or who do not use lights should be reprimanded as this behaviour brings down the reputation of all cyclists.

# Question 4

Following the remarkable success of 20 mph zones in Hull, we wish to see many more 20 mph zones around Cambridge for both safety and environmental reasons. Do you support this objective?

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

Local Conservatives will ask for a review of all speed limits on roads, including 20mph zones where appropriate and taking into account the provision of cycle lanes, use of the road by cyclists and the accident rate. Care should be taken that the misapplication of lower speed limits does not lead to loss of respect for rules of the road or detract from other important safety messages.

Caroline Julie HART
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ed SEXTON
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, absolutely, enforced by speed bumps and raised crossings where appropriate. This is a particular problem in my ward as motorists use various residential roads (e.g. Wadloes Rd, Whitehill Rd) as cut throughs, frequently exceeding 30mph when doing so.

Margaret Elizabeth WRIGHT
(Green Party)

We do support this. Green Councillors in Lancaster have gained cross-party support for this motion.

# Question 5

Cambridge Cycling Campaign is promoting a new route for pedestrians and cyclists called the 'Chisholm Trail', alongside the railway, joining up many journey destinations between Addenbrooke's to the south and the Science Park to the north. This would make many journeys much quicker. Do you support this in principle, and would you like more information?

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

Yes, in principle.

Local Conservatives will encourage the continued development of off-road cycle routes, particularly towpaths along waterways and former railways, to create safe, traffic-free cycling routes.

Caroline Julie HART
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ed SEXTON
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, subject to costs and funding sources of course (as your newsletter suggests, such projects are relatively cheap and could be partly financed by S106 funding). The route makes sense as detailed in your newsletter, but please do send me more information!

Margaret Elizabeth WRIGHT
(Green Party)

We support this in principle. (I am a member of Cambridge Cycling Campaign and have information about it as per your recent newsletters)

# Question 6

Many cycling schemes effectively force cyclists onto the pavement, resulting in an inadequate cycling environment, and in resentment from pedestrians. Do you support our view that the Council's priority should always be to improve the general road environment first, including the provision of cycle lanes at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) wide?

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

Yes. Cycle facilities should add value rather than encourage cyclists either to take unsafe road positions or to intimidate pedestrians. Where present, cycle lanes should be of an adequate width, should have a good quality surface, should not vanish or wander unexpectedly and should not cause cyclists to take significantly longer routes than other road users. Cyclists should be allowed to feel that they have an equal right to the carriageway as users of other vehicles.

Caroline Julie HART
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ed SEXTON
(Liberal Democrat)

I'm not too sure I fully understand this one - if it means that the council should always prioritise the road environment rather than the pavement or other aspects of the urban environment, then no. I fully support cycle lanes that are wide enough so that cyclists can overtake each other without having to pull out in front of a truck, but I would not want to see 1.5m as a required minimum for cycle lanes - if the choice is between a 1m cycle lane and no cycle lane, I'll take the 1m.

Margaret Elizabeth WRIGHT
(Green Party)

yes. This is Green Party policy in Cambridge and is in our Manifesto for Cambridge.

# Question 7

Do you have any other general cycling-related comments or points?

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

Provision for cyclists should reflect cyclists' genuine requirements rather than merely allowing for 'box-ticking'.

Measures designed to discourage motor traffic should be examined for possible negative side-effects on cyclists.

Local Conservatives will ask the government to remove rigid Whitehall targets for the introduction of new cycle lanes and allow us the discretion to spend money on cycling as we determine - such as providing better information on existing cycle routes and the proper promotion of cycling training in schools.

We welcome the extra cycling opportunities presented by the Guided Bus.

Pedestrians and cyclists can expect new facilities, with a new bridleway and cycle route running alongside the Busway route. We hope that the Cambridge Cycling campaign will join us in supporting the Guided Bus.

Caroline Julie HART
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ed SEXTON
(Liberal Democrat)

It would be nice if the police held regular (at least quarterly) auctions of stolen/unclaimed bikes within the city, as I believe they used to.
The council should encourage businesses etc in Cambridge to install showers, lockers, etc, as many city firms in London have done. Similarly showers and lockers at the station would be well used if they are not too expensive (maybe £1?) - cycling in a suit is simply not viable, particularly when it's raining, muddy or very hot.

Margaret Elizabeth WRIGHT
(Green Party)

If elected, I would use my authority as a councillor to raise all issues in relation to increasing cycle use and safety .

I have found the authorities slow to respond to reports of pot-holes/broken kerbs etc. in Abbey Ward and elsewhere.

Certain designated cycle routes are a farce. I cite the route behind the Grafton Centre parallel with Newmarket Road which eventually emerges on to East Road by the car-park access route as one highly dangerous route. Perhaps better not to pretend there is any such cycle route?

Access to Newmarket Road cemetery over Ditton Lane at Newmarket Road junction is dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. The roundabout at the junction of Wadloes Road/Newmarket Road is very dangerous to cyclists in spite of cycle lane being clearly marked.

The pedestrian/cycling crossing nearet to Queen Elizabeth Way roundabout near the Abbey Church must be one of the most dangerous in the city. Frequent 'minor' accidents..one recently witnessed ..back wheel of cycle buckled by passing vehicle as cyclist was in central island.This island has been narrowed and is thus now unsafe.

Other issue; I am concerned that electric powered bikes are being used across the commons (e.g. Midsummer Common) and on shared use paths.no ruling apparently exists.

Ongoing parking of motor cycles in cycle-designated parking areas at Cambridge station ..failure of relevant authoriiities to act about this.

Overall...people cycle to where they live, work, shop etc....while specially designated cycle routes are good, safe cycling should be a priority everwhere to cater for this reality . Unless cycling is specifically banned for whatever reason, it should be a safe option.

Camcycle is a non-partisan body. All candidates are given an equal opportunity to submit their views. Information published by Camcycle (Cambridge Cycling Campaign), The Bike Depot, 140 Cowley Road, Cambridge, CB4 0DL.