Elections

Local elections (City/SouthCambs), May 2008: Arbury

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2008.
Polling date: Thursday 1st May 2008
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Tim HAWKE  (English Democrats)
  • Rhodri Mark JAMES  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Shapour MEFTAH  (Conservative Party)
  • Catherine Elizabeth TERRY  (Green Party)
  • Mike TODD-JONES  (Labour Party)

Questions for Arbury ward candidates (9 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 

# 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?

Tim HAWKE
(English Democrats)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

I'm aware that the Sustainable City team already do a certain amount of promotion of cycling. I'm not normally involved in the relevant portfolios, but one idea I'd like to see "road tested" is encouraging employers to provide more cycle parking and encourage their employees to cycle to work. I have been relatively priviledged working up on Castle Park where there is a great deal of cycle provision, but even there the racks get full. People who work in the city centre, particulary around the Market Square, can make use of the cycle parking in the Grand Arcade car park, but that's a lot more limited than any of us would like. People who work off the centre don't have a lot of cycle parking options that make any sense.

Shapour MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine Elizabeth TERRY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 2

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

Tim HAWKE
(English Democrats)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. Having said that, I am acutely aware that the police are a finite resource, and that the 'regular' round of burglaries and anti-social behaviour work uses a lot of police time for some very significant benefits. There is a balancing act here; at the moment I think the police do too little traffic enforcement, but they will never have the resources to do as much as we want.

Shapour MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine Elizabeth TERRY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 3

Some cyclists have told us they feel unsafe riding over the A14 Histon junction, because of crossing the exit roads down onto the A14, and along Histon Rd, because of its narrowness. Do you support measures to improve safety for cyclists in these two areas?

Tim HAWKE
(English Democrats)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

To an extent. I certainly support improving the A14 Histon junction -- I'm not overly fond of using it myself -- but the problem with Histon Road itself is, as you observe, its narrowness. I'd have to be convinced that any safety solution for cyclists would not actually make matters worse before I'd support it.

Shapour MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine Elizabeth TERRY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 4

The changes to King's Hedges Road as a result of the Arbury Park development have made cycling much more difficult in this area, with the result that few people now cycle there. Would you support works to remodel this area extensively to add new 'hybrid cycle lanes' (2.5m wide, on-road but with cobble separation) to make cycling there a more attractive option?

Tim HAWKE
(English Democrats)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

This sounds like a good idea, and King's Hedges Road certainly needs fixing. I know of a number of people who have stopped cycling to work as a result of these "improvements", which is not an acceptable state of affairs.

Shapour MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine Elizabeth TERRY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 5

We are seeking a trial of a new type of cycle provision in the city - 'hybrid cycle lanes', as used in Holland and Germany. These are 2-3m wide, on-road but with a degree of separation from other vehicles. They combine the best aspects of both off-road and on-road cycle lanes but without the downsides of both. The picture on our website illustrates the concept. What do you feel about this idea, and is there anywhere in your ward where you think these could be tried?

Tim HAWKE
(English Democrats)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

Nowhere springs to mind. Gilbert Road is wide enough, but I sincerely doubt that the residents would accept such a scheme (see below). However, question 4 suggests an answer; this isn't an idea I would want (or I suspect that county would agree) to trial in more than one area, and if hybrid lanes are a solution for King's Hedges Road then using that as the trial would seem reasonable.

Shapour MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine Elizabeth TERRY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 6

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?

Tim HAWKE
(English Democrats)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

Bus services -- I'll leave you to fill in your own opinions of Stagecoach's cost estimates.
Cycle ways -- particularly sorting out Gilbert Road (see below), where any solution likely to be acceptable to the residents is going to be very expensive.
Cycle crossing (or even bridges) across King's Hedges Road, to link Arbury Camp to the rest of the city without requiring them to brave the morning traffic jams.

Shapour MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine Elizabeth TERRY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 7

At present, permitted car parking in cycle lanes on Gilbert Road makes cycling unpleasant and unsafe in an area through which thousands of school children travel daily. Given that virtually all houses have their own off-road car parking, would you support the replacement of the on-road parking on Gilbert Road with on-road red mandatory cycle lanes?

Tim HAWKE
(English Democrats)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

No. The Gilbert Road cycle deathtraps -- sorry, cycle lanes -- have been a diplomatic nightmare for successive councillors over the decades, and no one has come up with a solution that pleases anybody, never mind everybody. The key word in the question is "virtually"; not all houses along Gilbert Road have off-road parking, and there are spots where there is quite a stretch of houses that have no other parking than the street.

My favorite solution (as in something I could see working, even if I don't like all the implications) is a variation on something former councillor Maurice Leeke proposed a few years ago; either widening the pavement to include a cycle path, or putting a cycle path where the grass verges currently are, on both sides of the road. The big problem with that is that there are a lot of lighting columns and trees in the way, and I don't particularly want to lose the trees and the grass!

Shapour MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine Elizabeth TERRY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 8

Some 47,500 new dwellings are to be built around Cambridge in the next ten years, increasing the population by perhaps 125,000 people. Although a Congestion Charge with half-a-billion pounds of up-front government money is proposed as a key means to deal with this, what would your suggestions be for reducing car usage and encouraging cycling in the new developments?

Tim HAWKE
(English Democrats)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

Building in proper dedicated cycle paths from the start that go where people want to go, and signposting them properly. At the same time, the car routes should not be direct, but wander somewhat the way that cycle routes tend to now. If we reverse the usual layout -- i.e. make cycling obviously the shortest, most direct route, rather than the big straight roads -- that on its own will produce a lot of psychological pressure to cycle rather than drive.

Shapour MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine Elizabeth TERRY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 9

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

Tim HAWKE
(English Democrats)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

I regard advisory cycle lanes (such as are on Gilbert Road) as actively dangerous, and would prefer *no* cycle lane in most cases. All these advisory lanes do is give both cyclists and drivers a false sense of safety so that cyclists swerving out round parked cars catch car drivers by surprise. Is there anywhere in the city where they make cycling safer?

Shapour MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine Elizabeth TERRY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

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.