« Back to list of all 6 questions for this election

Question 4 - we asked:

If the County Council's proposed Congestion Charge goes ahead, it is likely that the free, up-front money that would be received from the government to support prior improvements to public transport and cycling would be of the order of some £100m a year for four years. This is roughly ten times the amount the County currently receives for transport. If the scheme goes ahead, what would be your priorities for use of this up-front money?

We asked this question:

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

(Conservative Party)

Improving existing cycle lanes and covering gaps in provision are two important priorities. Beyond that, security of bikes - including new and better locations to lock up - should be considered carefully as many areas in Cambridge lack the proper facilities.

In addition, promoting ('advertising') cycling and providing safety training would encourage the up-take of cycling.

Keith Alexander GARRETT
(Green Party)

My priorities would be for increased safe cycle parking and alteration of the road network to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists. Complete routes across town could be finished so that there are safe, low traffic alternatives to all the long car journeys within Cambridge.

(Labour Party)

This question raises a great many issues when we don't evenhave a congestion charging proposal which satisfies local needs yet. This needs a more coherent, holistic planning approach to establish priorities.

(Liberal Democrat)

Firstly, the money has to be spent in the areas that are primarily affected - Cambridge City and the immediately surrounding roads, not on a new road near Ely. Secondly, every penny of this money (AND the money that the congestion charge generates thereafter, in perpetuity) should be spent on improvements which can be classified as 'sustainable'. To my mind these include, in no particular order: a/ more bus routes from the surrounding area running more often and on environmentally friendly engines like the green buses which do a small loop in the middle of town, b/ better dedicated cycling facilities, and c/ taking into consideration those who choose to walk. The sheer amount of funding and revenue the scheme will generate means that, if it happens, this will be Cambridge's big opportunity to make really radical and lasting improvements in the way we travel about our city. The current proposals are seriously flawed, but if the Conservatives decide to go ahead with the Tif bid they will have to a/ conduct a formal consultation (giving the public the opportunity to criticise them and make suggestions) and b/ consult the City Council. It would be undemocratic to force their plans upon those of us most affected by the proposals without formally taking our views into consideration, which means listening to us and to our Councils.

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.