Elections

Local elections, May 2007: Romsey

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2007.
Polling date: Thursday 3rd May 2007
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Jonathan Hugh GOODACRE  (Labour Party)
  • Jesse Liam GRIFFITHS  (Green Party)
  • Angela OZTURK  (Conservative Party)
  • Raj SHAH  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Tom WOODCOCK  (Respect)

Questions for Romsey ward candidates (6 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

# 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?

Jonathan Hugh GOODACRE
(Labour Party)

I would love to see a cycling campaign, perhaps a 'Cambridge Cycling Month' which could have a variety of activites to encourage cycle use in the city. This could include a cycle race, sponsored cycle ride, information services like a cycle van at which you could get a bike 'check-up' and learn about the benefits of cycling and safety elements etc. It could be a collaboration between City and County Councils, South Cambs District Council, bike shops, police service, the Cycling Campaign and others within the city.

Aside from this, there is much that can be done through the provision of simple information about what is currently available in the city.

Jesse Liam GRIFFITHS
(Green Party)

I think promotion or 'marketing' of cycling (and walking and public transport) has been shown time and again (mostly in other countries unfortunately!) to have significant potential for encouraging modal shift away from the car. Sustrans have been promoting the 'Travelsmart' individualised marketing programme since 2001, an approach which is commonly used in other countries and has an excellent track record. Working with students and parents around Safe routes to schools shemes should be a major priority for Cambridge, given the large congestion effects of the school run. 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. These kinds of schemes should be used across Cambridge.

Angela OZTURK
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Raj SHAH
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom WOODCOCK
(Respect)

The biggest problem cambridge cyclists face is traffic. We are seeing both more cylcists and more traffic as Cambridge grows. There is need for much better cycle routes, cycle route signs and directions and cycle parking. However i belive that the best way to increase cycling is to reduce traffic and this needs to be done by increasing the size of the no car zones in the city centre, designating more free residents parking schemes, more no-through-routes and much much better and more intergrated public transport.

# 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?

Jonathan Hugh GOODACRE
(Labour Party)

Yes and the state and style of parking racks/stands (sorry don't know official name) also needs to be improved. The stands outside the Co-op in Mill Road are very poor for example. I don't know exactly what is wrong with them - I think they may be the wrong length and in any case they are poorly maintained. There are plenty of un-utilised spaces where racks could be put in. City Council should work with traders in places like Mill Road to see how the cycle parking situation could be improved.

Jesse Liam GRIFFITHS
(Green Party)

Of course! I think your target is, however, way off what is needed, though I understand why you need to be realistic in your demands. The best approach, I think, would be to estimate the suppressed demand for cycle parking and provide enough space so that we begin to see half empty racks everywhere instead of the overcrowded ones which are ubiquitous now. I think all large cycle parks should be protected by CCTV, and there should be an increase in the quality of existing parks; for example by introducing sheltered parking. There really is no downside to encouraging more people to cycle, so I would support a 'predict and provide' approach - no one chould be discouraged from cycling because they fear they won't be able to park conveniently, or because they don't want their bike to get wet or stolen. As well as supporting your call for on-street bike racks, other areas where urgent improvements are needed include the train station (where I note the covered spaces for 100 bikes opened at capacity last year - if evidence for suppressed demand were needed, there it is!) and at Drummer Street . The Green Party supports Cambridge Cycle Campaign's opposition to the redevelopment of Lion Yard on the grounds of inadequate cycle parking provision.

Angela OZTURK
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Raj SHAH
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom WOODCOCK
(Respect)

Cyclists are put in unnecessary conflict with pedestrians far to ofter as a result of poor cycle provision and a lack of safe cylcle parking. I agree with the need for on street cycle parking and feel it should be a massive priority for the city and county council. i know of at least 10 places in Romsey alone where this sort of provision is desperately needed. In many cases, particularly in residential areas, you could put four or six bike spaces instead of ten. Often this would not effect the number of car parking spaces as it would only use half a space. In some parts of old Romsey Town (and other parts of Cambridge) a few stands at more regular intervals would also mean people would not need to walk so far to park their bikes. Large provision (more than ten spaces) should be built outside pubs, cafes, shops, very dense housing and other busy facilities.

In my view parts of Cambridge need to have a major street furniture overhall. The pavements on Mill Road and in other plars of town are littered with half lamp posts, old bits of sign of electricity boxes and all sorts. Some of these thinks are useful to lock or lean cycles to but that is not in the interest of the pedestrians.

# 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?

Jonathan Hugh GOODACRE
(Labour Party)

Yes, but it should be supported with strong supporting information to encourage as well as admonish. Of particular concern to me are cyclists going through traffic lights at red. Also, some students staying in Cambridge from abroad need much better guidance about cycling in this country. This would be a summer priority and is as much about good road safety awareness and compliance as about the specific issue of using pedestrian-only pavements for example.

Jesse Liam GRIFFITHS
(Green Party)

Broadly, I do support this. Cyclists need the respect of pedestrians and other road users, and if we are to win the massive improvements in cycling provision in Cambridge which I think are needed, this is one aspect that needs to be tackled. However, it is also extremely important to emphasise that dealing with cyclists behaving badly should not be allowed to detract from other far more important traffic policing priorities, particularly speeding (including enforcement of 20 and 30mph zones) and dangerous driving, but also parking in cycle lanes and so on.

Angela OZTURK
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Raj SHAH
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom WOODCOCK
(Respect)

Yes. However I also feel that the council should be making a positive step to provide more lighting on paths and routes used by cycle and pedestrians. The council should be pioneering carbon neutral and non light pollutant street and path lighting.

# 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?

Jonathan Hugh GOODACRE
(Labour Party)

Yes, although again it is as much about enforcement . There's no point having a 20mph zone if car drivers continually flout it.

Jesse Liam GRIFFITHS
(Green Party)

Absolutely! Not just brilliant for increasing walking and cycling rates, but also for improving road safety and quality of life of local residents. Green Councillors in Lancaster have gained cross-party support for this motion.

Angela OZTURK
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Raj SHAH
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom WOODCOCK
(Respect)

Yes

# Question 5

Cambridge suffers from a huge shortage of on-street public cycle parking, and a staggeringly high rate of cycle theft - 10% of reported crime. Do you support mandatory inclusion of on-street cycle parking as part of any car club scheme that is introduced in Cambridge?

Jonathan Hugh GOODACRE
(Labour Party)

I don't know enough about how the proposed Car Scheme would actually work to give an informed answer about this. My initial response is that the cycle parking issue needs to be tackled anyway (see my answer in 2 above) and if the right number of spaces, stands etc are provided the compulsory inclusion wouldn't be required. However, I would want to reserve judgement on this until I know more about the Car Scheme proposals.

Jesse Liam GRIFFITHS
(Green Party)

Yes, but I think it should happen regardless of being linked to the car club scheme.

Angela OZTURK
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Raj SHAH
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom WOODCOCK
(Respect)

Yes - please also see answer to question 2

# Question 6

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

Jonathan Hugh GOODACRE
(Labour Party)

Well, I am in an interesting position in that I neither have a car nor a bicycle (I'm a great believer in walking, personally!) so it's important to understand that my answers to the questions above are based on my own observation and what I have learnt from others.

Prior to filling this in I asked a few friends and political colleagues what they felt about the situation and there is a feeling that Romsey suffers a great deal from the way that its narrow streets with bins and cars on pavements, pedestrians wandering into the road make life difficult in the area. It seems that Romsey could do with some kind of 'cycling review' to look at the way that cycles and vehicles flow through and around the area.

Mill Road bridge is still a problem in that vehicles want to overtake cyclists on the bridge and there obviously isn't room to do this.

In addition, some cycle lanes and paths don't seem to have kept up with new developments. For example, there doesn't seem to be a clear and obvious way of cycling through the Beehive Centre. The Coldhams Lane bridge over the railway is a welcome addition but where cyclists are supposed to go after that (i.e. going from Romsey into Petersfield) is not clear.

Related to this of course there needs to be a proper assessment of the way that new developments such as those proposed for the Marshalls site will impact on cycle routes in the area.

Jesse Liam GRIFFITHS
(Green Party)

I think a change of mindset is needed with regard to transport policy and cycling in Cambridge. Instead of patting ourselves on the back for having one of the best rates in Britain, we should be aspiring to the far higher rates that are common on the continent. This means putting cycling at the heart of transport policy, including taking difficult decisions like reallocating roadspace from cars, for example for on street parking or additional cycle lanes. Ultimately we all benefit - including car users - from increased cycling; in terms of cleaner air, less congested streets, reductions in accidents, and healthier cyclists!

Angela OZTURK
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Raj SHAH
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom WOODCOCK
(Respect)

Mandatory cycle provision on trains and other public transport.
More car free zones and a culture in developed in which bicycles and public transport take real priority over private cars.
Encourage employers, including the council, to subsidise cycles, bike surgeries/MOT's and provide showering and bike parking facilities and bike mileage allowance.

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.