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Question 2 - we asked:

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?

We asked this question:

4 of the 5 candidates (80%) who were asked this question responded as below.

(Conservative Party)

In conjunction with the City council, the County Council must identify areas where cycling provision isn't good enough: on- and off-road routes in states of disrepair discourage cycling for many.

Providing and promoting courses in cycling proficency would make cycling safer for children and adults alike and, in addition, bike-based activity schemes for children should be an important feature of after-school and holiday community programmes.

Keith Alexander GARRETT
(Green Party)

Overall the city should be made more cycling friendly in order to promote cycling. There should be a significant increase in places to store bikes. This is especially true at Cambridge station where there should be more spaces with lighting and CCTV. There should be consideration of making much of Cambridge a low speed zone to increase cycling and walking. All transport planning should consider cyclists, pedestrians and public transport over cars. Sections of the city like Mill Road should be considered for one way or access only measures as the current situation is dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.

(Labour Party)

1. Ensure adequate support for the Cycling Campaign which has good grass roots links.
2. The City Council already employs cycling officers - their objectives and achievements should be more widely publicised. Perhaps they should consult on and develop local strategies which could be monitored through area committee meetings. They should, at the very least, use area committees to raise issues, listen to concerns and respond to local problems.
3. Improve and increase cycle parking facilities.
4. Improve road surfaces - cycling through many city streets is like going over a ploughed field!
5. Clarify rights of way etc especially in city centre and ensure that cycle paths are clearly marked and safe. (What is the purpose of that extraordinary bit of path outside Mandela House on Regent Street which just stops?! ) There feels like a growing de-regulation of cycle/ car/ pedestrian use and a lack of clear signage which is creating something of a free-for-all. People don't quite know what they should be doing and this causes confusion, irritation and many minor spills.
Road crossings, like the one outside the Gonville Hotel, are very difficult to use safely.

(Liberal Democrat)

Better cycle-parking facilities on the Romsey end of Mill Road. Despite not being particularly cycle-friendly, this part of town is heavily used by cyclists, yet apart from a few primitive parking rails outside the Co-Op there is almost no provision for us. I have recently spoken to Sergeant Cross of Cambridgeshire Constabulary on the subject and he will be pushing for more bike parking facilities to be introduced on this side of the railway bridge on Mill Road and appropriate residential areas. And not just the standard rails: he would like there to be the full range of locking devices available.

Cycle Officers should be encouraged to do as much promotion in schools as possible, in conjunction with environmental / climate change projects as well as independently. (Every year I voluntarily give large groups of primary school children rickshaw rides at primary schools in the area during 'international transport week' and on 'parents day'; most recently St. Philip's.) This introduces children to Cambridge's cycling culture early; moreover, it will help to address the ugly congestion problems we see during term-time, when Trumpington Road, to cite one example, resembles a car showroom as you approach the independent schools -- lots of shiny new Mercs and four by fours not going anywhere in a hurry!

One of the best things the Council has done in recent years has been 1/ to cordon off the city centre from motorised vehicles during the day time, and 2/ making it a "pedestrian zone", so that cyclists are allowed to use these streets, while being pointedly asked to be respectful of pedestrians. This experiment has emphatically worked; we need more bold experimentation of this sort.

The Council should encourage both its Cycling and Transport officers - and residents! - to think of innovative cycling schemes which could be introduced to different parts of the city, and then make applications to Central Government for funding. Unfortunately the County Council in particular is desperately strapped for cash, but the government is willing to invest in innovative and green transport solutions, so let's come up with as many as possible...

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.