Elections

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

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2008.
Polling date: Thursday 1st May 2008
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • John HIPKIN  (Independent)
  • Valerie HOLT  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Stephen Roger LAWRENCE  (Green Party)
  • Edward Alexander MACNAGHTEN  (Conservative Party)
  • Sam WAKEFORD  (Labour Party)

Questions for Castle ward candidates (8 questions)

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

# 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?

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

Ensure that all on-road cycling facilities offered consider the challenges (or obstacle courses) which valiant cyclists navigate whilst transporting children on bikeseats, trailers.(e.g. width restrictions, kerbs, wonky pavements and roads, safety particularly in peak rush-hour periods).

Valerie HOLT
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes I think that the lettering on signs and signs generally could be easier to read as many of the cyclists are in effect tourists and clearly do not read the signs. I know that the visiting students are given instruction already but they need more (maybe more published information)...many near accidents occur as they seem not to realise that pavements are not for cycling on...again signing might help. Run a competition for a replacement bike every week...for those cyclists whose bikes have been stolen/purloined and reported to the police as missing.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

(See also Q 8 for other points.)
Lets get some more bike-parking at the railway station NOW!
In general I think we have to see people's transport/economic needs being met using a variety of transport modes (eg cycle-bus-walk, or walk-train-cycle, or working-from-home, or hiring-a-car, or hire-a-bike, or electric bike, IN THE WAY THAT REAL PEOPLE ALREADY SOLVE THEIR TRANSPORT PROBLEMS, not in the way traffic models operate. Incidentally, does the 5km rule apply to electric bikes too?)

Edward Alexander MACNAGHTEN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sam WAKEFORD
(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?

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

Yes, but I think a type of 'cycle-light' amnesty in the Autumn would be more effective. Would the cycle shops around the city be prepared to 'set up shop' at various venues throughout the city to fix and fit lights? So people would be reminded to do it on their journey home!

Focus on the city centre with traffic policing to make sure all cyclists know that how the one-way system operates, e.g. Round Church junction leading to Sidney Street is consistently flaunted . Also, some cyclists seem to think there is a contra-flow along Trinity Street. The mix of pedestrians and cyclists in the city centre is increasingly dangerous as so many visitors to the city are not familiar with the mix of cyclists and pedestrians which exists in Cambridge. Many view town centres as pedestrianised, so they forget about the demarcation between path and road.

Valerie HOLT
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes I do support your views but think that you need to remember that most of us passed our driving test before cycle paths were introduced and as a result many older people are unclear about how to react ... eg I am amazed how many people ignore the cyclists box at traffic lights completely...this is because we did not learn about them when we did our tests. I am not condoning the behaviour only offering an explanation. Education is needed.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Certainly it needs to be a priority for someone, though I'm not sure the police are the right people. For instance, the widespread disrespect for the one-way system in Trinity/Market/Sidney Streets could be countered with the regular placing of 'marshalls' - from the City Council? - at key junctions just sending people in the right direction. I think maybe police are the sort of people to call in only if other alternatives have failed.

Edward Alexander MACNAGHTEN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sam WAKEFORD
(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?

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

Yes. I would also list my areas of concern for Castle ward:

Madingley Road and particularly the junction with the North Cambridge site
Huntingdon Road and Girton village turn
Huntingdon Road (Oxford Road and Storey's Way) - the link between Oxford Road (cycle route) across the Huntingdon Road to Storey's Way (cycle route continues onwards to the University path linking to the North Cambridge site and onwards to the Coton footpath).

Valerie HOLT
(Liberal Democrat)

I can imagine that this is true but I have never experienced a problem here. Generally though the lanes are badly marked.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

I cycle this route only very occasionally, I remember most the need for more dropped kerbs to allow easier switching from on-road to off-road. See Q. 8 re funnelling of peds and cyclists thru traffic islands.

Edward Alexander MACNAGHTEN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sam WAKEFORD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 4

Over the A14 between Histon and Girton is a bridge, currently used by NIAB. If this were opened to cyclists as part of NIAB land developments it would enable many to avoid the Histon A14 roundabout and other sections of busy road. In principle, would you support the development of a cycle route across this bridge?

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

Yes

Valerie HOLT
(Liberal Democrat)

From what I understand about this it would help cyclists but also help motorists so surely it would be foolish to oppose this idea, would it not?

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

yes, Seems a good idea

Edward Alexander MACNAGHTEN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sam WAKEFORD
(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?

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

Could certainly be tried along the Madingley Road or Huntingdon Road, but don't know how well such 'hybrid cycle lanes' mix with pedestrians, bus stops and retaining green verges and avenues of trees!

More pressure needs to be put on the County over the suspension of the proposed cycle path from Madingley Park and Ride to Queen's Road. This seems to have been shelved since the TIF proposals were mooted. It involved reclaiming highway land to the boundaries of residential properties running from the Madingley Park and Ride site as far as Queen's Road. It would have included significant loss of hedgerows and greenery and resulted in a very wide feel to Madingley Road. Also felling of trees near Churchill College was mooted. A single on-road cycle lane was proposed for the opposite side of the road.

Valerie HOLT
(Liberal Democrat)

My response to this is the same as above. If these are introduced they need to be publicised and explained so that they are properly used and understood by motorists to be lanes with priorities otherwise they are dangerous to cyclists rather than helpful. We have very few roads that are wide enough for them to be introduced in Cambridge City but there are many places where they would be useful ...eg beyond the Castle Hill traffic lights or 30 mile limit on the Huntingdon Road.(Cambridge Lodge Hotel/Storey's Way turn.)

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

On the routes I use frequently at the moment (Shire Hall-Trinity St- Kings P - Trumpington Rd - Hauxton) no locations spring to mind, but certainly the idea should be tested out. There might be a conflict with loss of verges. North part of Histon Rd? Milton Road? Station Road?

Edward Alexander MACNAGHTEN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sam WAKEFORD
(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?

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

Ensure that money is not filtered away to the Guided Bus programme because on-street bus provision is all that the city of Cambridge is getting from the guided bus! Ensure no urban extensions are built without infrastructure funding being secured.

Close off Magdalene Street to traffic and relocate some of the bus stops which currently clog up Bridge Street to Park Street (knock down the city car park which would be a big dent in Cambridge City Council's income). Get rid of the double decker tourist buses along Bridge Street.

Bring in a system of mini-buses which move frequently and speedily throughout the city on one-journey routes full of passengers! Make sure they have roof-racks to store passengers cycles, children's pushchairs, car-seats. Rather than monster buses clogging up the medieval streets with their engines running, devise a system where the minibuses could be 'stacked' when not in use.

Improve taxi system in the city.

Coaches should park outside the city at the Park and Rides.

Valerie HOLT
(Liberal Democrat)

A low fixed-fee or free county and city integrated bus route and timetable service so that cars are not the superior answer to getting to school, to the station or to Addenbrookes, and Hopper buses to take even more cars off the road during the day as well as during rush hours. In Hong Kong no-one in their right mind takes out a car as the Hoppers are far more efficient and in Nice, France, you pay 1 euro whether you travel from Grasse to Nice(20 miles) or from the airport into the centre of the town (1 mile)...please let us stop worrying about who gets more value out of the system and think about how to get cars off the road. Circumnavigation bus routes around the city so that you can get from Huntingdon Road to the Science Park etc and more Park and ride sites, especially one for the Huntingdon Road. We should ask how many people really need to go into the heart of the city...from outside and ask where they really need to go...Science Park, Addenbrookes etc I'm not sure that we have precise enough data.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

a) I'll use your phrase "Promotion of fast direct cycle routes to people who don't cycle at present".
b) Provision of new railway station IN TOWN (Newmarket Rd-Coldham's La area) not just the commuter-biased North Cambridge Parkway.
c) Investigation and possible funding of a tram-train based system, possibly coming in down Newmarket Road and/or Coldhams Lane to a terminus near Grafton Centre North.
d) Footbridge over railway lines to provide a southern exit at the main railway station into Cambridge Leisure Park (and the car park there)

Edward Alexander MACNAGHTEN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sam WAKEFORD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 7

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?

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

Roll-out more car-share schemes in residential neighbourhoods. Consider expanding Dial-a-ride scheme for residents trying to cross the city to Addenbrooks for example
Debate the possibility of expanding resident parking areas but the pricing of this should be discounted from council tax.

Tackle cycle theft in the city! Amazed with the amount of CCTV that cycle theft hasn't reduced!

Valerie HOLT
(Liberal Democrat)

A really good survey so that we know where people come from and where they have to go to and their preferred time of travel, journey time etc.
Bus routes that meet the need to get to the target destinations and circular routes to eliminate the need for a car.
Cycle routes and education in their use... better road lighting and fewer traffic lights that remain on red even when there is no traffic.
The guided bus should make a contribution as if you get used to using one form of transport and it works there is no incentive to use the other, expecially if it is not appreciably slower and is cheap and cheerful.
Subsidised fares to ensure that cars are never used by young people in their first jobs etc. Marginal utility of cash for lower paid workers should be explained in an information campaign to encourage people to use public transport to counteract the idea that it is cool to drive everywhere.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

a) Use a system of taxing 'Private Non-Residential' Parking spaces (PnRPST), not the crazily-expensive proposed congestion charge. And since PnRPST is a charge on congestion anyway, I don't see why it shouldn't fit the government's requirements.
b) We have to provide some dedicated spaces for Car-Clubs, and a lower level of residential parking generally, perhaps an option to rent spaces. Perhaps if more student-specific accomodation was provided, at high densities and with no parking at all, that would allow the many thousands of family houses converted to student accomodation to be converted back, with the generally restricted parking provision associated with them.
c) Provision of straighter bus routes, with cycle-parking en route, arrival displays, pre-purchased tickets - ie Quality Bus Route without any of the 'guided' bits.

Edward Alexander MACNAGHTEN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sam WAKEFORD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 8

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

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

Improvements for cyclists urgently needed at the following junctions:

- Oxford Rd/Huntingdon Rd access
- Storey's Way/Huntingdon Road
- Storey's Way/Madingley Rd
- Madingley Rd/North Cambridge site
- Cycle paths along Huntingdon Rd, Madingley Rd, Histon Rd (reduce speed limit along these roads for starters)
- Girton Rd junction off Huntingdon Rd
- Bridge Street and particularly area outside Magdalene College should be free of buses, taxis and all vehicles. Evidence of accidents and near misses for cyclists and pedestrians should support this.

Valerie HOLT
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, we must promote cycling as an attractive alternative to the car...faster, cheaper, better in town and more fun out of town. Fun cycles to work on local beauty spots such as Girton Woods, which need an overhaul and which won't happen without communal action and less law breaking as you have identified on your web-site...although how you encourage this amongst the visiting community I don't know.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

a) Train Highways officials and installation contractors in the art of building good cycle infrastructure.
Whole of host of design issues:
a2) Design of cycle-parking in new-build schemes is often dreadful
a3) Check that cycle-trailers, etc can get thru chicanes
b) Get rid of right-angle bends in cycle-paths (eg at roundabouts)
b2) Pedestrian crossings: please can we stop forcing cyclists thru' these (usually on rt-angle bends). Eg crossing+associated path between Gonville Place-Mill Rd is hopeless; also Trumpington PnR site.

c) More dropped (level!) kerbs to allow transition between on- and off-road lanes
d) get rid of cobble-stones between Trinity St and Kings Parade (perhaps a 'Cycle-lane' could be constructed out of smooth paving bricks of a different colour). The cobbles need attention ayway, now is a good time.

Specific to Castle Ward:
'Back entrance' to Castle Court from St Lukes St: although this is not public right of way, that doesn't stop improvements being made. Keep the gate, but put a longer, more gradual ramp, and do away with steps.

Edward Alexander MACNAGHTEN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sam WAKEFORD
(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.