Elections

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

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2008.
Polling date: Thursday 1st May 2008
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Alain DESMIER  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Valerie Teresa HOPKINS  (Green Party)
  • Christopher John HOWELL  (Conservative Party)
  • Tariq SADIQ  (Labour Party)
  • Albert Charles WATTS  (UK Independence Party)

Questions for Coleridge 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?

Alain DESMIER
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John HOWELL
(Conservative Party)

The best think the Council can do to promote cycling is to get the infrastructure as good as possible, primarily within the planning system for new developments.

There may be some scope for further promotional work with employers on travel to work, and they should continue to support literature e.g. cycle maps etc and other information provision, but it would be easy to spend a lot of money on promotion without significant measurable improvements in takeup, so it may be hard to justify placing further burdens on Council Tax payers for promotional activity.

Tariq SADIQ
(Labour Party)

I have previously suggested a car free day in Cambridge like they occasionally have in some other cities around the world during which cycling and walking would be promoted.

Albert Charles WATTS
(UK Independence 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?

Alain DESMIER
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John HOWELL
(Conservative Party)

Yes, although there needs to be some perspective as to the relevant risks being taken by various types of activity.

Cycling without lights in the dark is always going to increase danger so OK to clamp down on. Other activities (such as cycling both ways on some one-way streets) may greatly increase convenience without increasing risks significantly to any road users so should be permitted rather than enforcement action taken against.

Tariq SADIQ
(Labour Party)

Yes, probably but we must also recognise that the Police have many pressing priorities and do not always have the resources available for enforcement. There may well be specific places and times of the year when resources could be focused on this problem when it will have greatest effect e.g. when the clocks change and evenings get darker earlier.

Albert Charles WATTS
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 3

Cambridge Cycling Campaign is promoting a new route for pedestrians and cyclists called the 'Chisholm Trail', alongside the railway, joining up many journey destinations between Addenbrooke's to the south and the Science Park to the north. This would make many journeys much quicker. Do you support this in principle?

Alain DESMIER
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John HOWELL
(Conservative Party)

Yes - see posting on my blog http://cherryhintonroad.blogspot.com/2008/03/yorkshire-to-chisholm-trail.html

Tariq SADIQ
(Labour Party)

Yes, if it can be made to work and is safe.

Albert Charles WATTS
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 4

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?

Alain DESMIER
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John HOWELL
(Conservative Party)

Good idea in principle, but the fundamental problem is that of road space - current Cambridge roads are just too narrow in almost all cases - there is competition from other modes of transport and there would be significant opposition if the plans involved loss of trees/verges or parking spaces. Taken together, lack of car parking and related problems (mangled verges, parking near junctions, cost of installing dropped kerbs to allow off road parking etc) is already just about the number one complaint from Coleridge residents when asked without prompting for the biggest problems in the local area, so it is unrealistic to think it will be acceptable to lose further parking spaces.

New developments however are an entirely different matter, and hybrid lanes are the type of cycle facility that should be encouraged as part of comprehensive measures needed in new developments to make sure there is sufficient transport infrastructure of all types.

Tariq SADIQ
(Labour Party)

Yes, fine in principle but we have such narrow roads in Cambridge that it is difficult to see how this could be done without severely constraining space for other users even further.

Albert Charles WATTS
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 5

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?

Alain DESMIER
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John HOWELL
(Conservative Party)

I don't accept the whole premise of the TIF bid - you must have congestion charging or you can't have the money for transport improvements. This is all in the context of thousands of new houses being forced on the sub-region by central Government. I would argue that the government needs to come up with the cash for transport improvements or we shouldn't contemplate allowing the houses to be built.

I also don't accept the argument that you can't improve transport provision for cyclists/public transport without annoying car drivers. (See http://cherryhintonroad.blogspot.com/2008/03/congestion-charging.html)

The list of projects that I think are justified by the current Cambridge transport situation and I support would include:
The Chisholm Trail
A new railway station at Chesterton
Improvements to various cycle routes e.g. the Tins
Bus service improvements, faster roll out of real time information systems
A footbridge from the Leisure Park site to the station.
More cycle parking city wide (see http://cherryhintonroad.blogspot.com/2008/03/coleridge-cycle-parking.html)

But we also urgently need improvements to roads such as the A14.

The Government and/or needs to come up with the cash for these improvements without strings.

Tariq SADIQ
(Labour Party)

It is by no means certain that the Congestion Charge will go ahead and Labour does not support the current scheme. If it happens and the County gets the money then a proper consideration will have to be made about how this money should be spent.

Albert Charles WATTS
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 6

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?

Alain DESMIER
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John HOWELL
(Conservative Party)

Further to question 5, significant new developments need to be supported by significant land use dedicated to all types of transport infrastructure - much more so than recent developments seem to have managed. The generally very good Cycle Campaign publication 'Cycling in New Developments' outlines many ways I would support to build significant cycle infrastructure into new developments that I think would significantly encourage cycling in new developments. However I do not accept the premise that to encourage cycling it is necessary to take additional measures to reduce car usage just for the sake of reducing car use, although making new residential roads encourage lower speeds by design rather than through inept traffic calming schemes full of humps and bollards would be reasonable.

Tariq SADIQ
(Labour Party)

All new developments have to be based on a sustainable transport infrastructure being put in place from the outset. If this is done and affordable, efficient, frequent public transport designed to go where people want to go is available, that should reduce car usage thereby freeing up road space for cycle routes, hybrid lanes etc.

Albert Charles WATTS
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 7

The pavement on the western side of Rustat Road stops before the entrance to the cycle bridge. Are you willing to press for a continuous pavement along this side of Rustat Road to enable pedestrians to walk past the entrance to the cycle bridge without having to walk in the cycle lane?

Alain DESMIER
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John HOWELL
(Conservative Party)

Yes, I've always thought this lack of pavement was a bit bizarre, although I don't know what the issues are stopping the pavement being extended, and it will still require pedestrians to cross the cycle lane even if pedestrians are no longer encouraged to walk along the cycle lane.

Tariq SADIQ
(Labour Party)

Yes, in principle if it is practicable and safe to do it.

Albert Charles WATTS
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 8

Are you willing to press for the reopening of a cycle route linking Ashbury Close with Golding Road to provide a safer cycling route for children attending schools in Radegund Road?

Alain DESMIER
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John HOWELL
(Conservative Party)

Yes - it's the quickest way for me to cycle home from large parts of Coleridge ward. (Subject to slight caveat of wanting to consult some of the local residents to find out what objections they might have.)

Tariq SADIQ
(Labour Party)

As 7. above. That would be ideal but I don't think there is a physical barrier preventing access between Ashbury Close and Golding Road and cyclists can push their bikes through without much trouble.

Albert Charles WATTS
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 9

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

Alain DESMIER
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John HOWELL
(Conservative Party)

I have been a member of Cambridge Cycle Campaign for several years, and almost of my journeys within Cambridge are by bike so I am keen to see improvements for cyclists.

Tariq SADIQ
(Labour Party)

More cycle training for visiting summer students and encourage bike hire companies to use more bikes with dynamo lights or to provide batteries for lights.

Albert Charles WATTS
(UK Independence 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.