Elections

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

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2008.
Polling date: Thursday 1st May 2008
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Ben BRADNACK  (Labour Party)
  • Jonathan Charles Scott NEWTON  (Conservative Party)
  • Elizabeth PARKIN  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Simon David Francis SEDGWICK-JELL  (Green Party)

Questions for Petersfield ward candidates (9 questions)

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

# Question 1

Cambridge suffers from a huge shortage of on-street public cycle parking, and a staggeringly high rate of cycle theft - over 10% of reported crime. We want to see a formal strategy to get on-street cycle parking provided all around Cambridge, with a target of say, 100-200 spaces per year initially. Do you support this?

Ben BRADNACK
(Labour Party)

Labour councillors have already secured small cycle parking provision in for example Ainsworth St., and sites are being pursuedin Gwydir St and Kingston St; and would welcome suggestions for others. However I have no idea whether the target you have suggested is appropriate for the city. Cambridge Labour councillors believe the Cambridge Cycling Campaign is a very successful lobbying organization, which already has a number of successes of which it can boast, and some of us are members of the Campaign. But we would not presume to know better what is good for cycling than the Campaign itself, and will rely on the Campaign continuing to come up with challenging proposals, but will also expect to retain some critical distance which will enable us to make judgments about what is proposed.

Jonathan Charles Scott NEWTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elizabeth PARKIN
(Liberal Democrat)

We recognise the need for more cycle parking and want to increase provision. In Petersfield, it is not easy to balance the needs of cyclists, pedestrians and car users but we know that more cycle parking is needed.

Simon David Francis SEDGWICK-JELL
(Green 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?

Ben BRADNACK
(Labour Party)

Probably, but we would need to know what priority it would replace in police consideration. For example, public drinking and anti-social behaviour on Mill Road are even more important to the residents of Petersfield than cycling on pavements ! We cannot in any case expect police to prioritise all aspects of their traffic work; all forms of enforcement are demanding of police resources, and enforcement is usually only effective at the margins, even when it is rigorous; so the question needs closer definition in terms of local and temporary circumstances

Jonathan Charles Scott NEWTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elizabeth PARKIN
(Liberal Democrat)

We believe that cyclists are let down by those who cycle through red lights, ride without lights or use pedestrian only pavements. We do highlight this to police at local area committees - indeed Nichola Harrison did this at the East Area Committee at the start of the new university year last autumn. We support the view that traffic policing is important for the safety of all road users.

Simon David Francis SEDGWICK-JELL
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 3

Cycle parking at the railway station is in extremely short supply, with all spaces full even early in the day. Do you support conversion of more car parking spaces at the station to cycle parking now before the area is redeveloped?

Ben BRADNACK
(Labour Party)

Possibly, but better organization of the existing provision is probably a higher priority

Jonathan Charles Scott NEWTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elizabeth PARKIN
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, this would be a good idea.

Simon David Francis SEDGWICK-JELL
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 4

Some cyclists have told us they feel unsafe riding alongside the two short stretches of Lensfield Road and East Road where car parking is allowed in spite of the heavy traffic. Such car parking narrows the space available considerably. Do you support removal of this car parking in the interests of improved traffic flow and the safety of cyclists?

Ben BRADNACK
(Labour Party)

In Petersfield I would like to see parking on East Rd prevented effectively and entirely - current restrictions are constantly flouted by users of fast food outlets and are clearly not adequate

Jonathan Charles Scott NEWTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elizabeth PARKIN
(Liberal Democrat)

I used to cycle along East Road quite often. I'm now better at finding alternative routes as it is such a busy road. We could look at encouraging more use of alternative cycle ways. Otherwise we have to consider all the time the balance of the needs of local businesses and other users.

Simon David Francis SEDGWICK-JELL
(Green 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?

Ben BRADNACK
(Labour Party)

Excellent where there is road space, which is usually at a premium on Cambridge city roads, but it would clearly be particularly appropriate in new developments

Jonathan Charles Scott NEWTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elizabeth PARKIN
(Liberal Democrat)

This sounds very interesting. There is a new Joint Transport Forum bringing together the County COuncil, South Cambs District Council and the City. This could be a good proposal to take to that forum and I know some of my Lib Dem colleagues are keen to do this.

Simon David Francis SEDGWICK-JELL
(Green 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?

Ben BRADNACK
(Labour Party)

This begs more questions than you or I or anyone can answer. The current proposals for Congestion Charge are not ones Labour councillors support. They appear to be to predicated on the County Council's wish to maximize the amount it can spend of the government's money ('free' ? There is always a cost). We would rather have a rational, low-risk approach to transport, where priorities are established by proper and long-term spatial planning, rather than a dash for cash on the basis of a claim (which we do not believe) that there is only one way to solve Cambridge's problems and that this cost allocation is appropriate. Trying to put in pre-emptive bids is not good planning procedure, and this bid fails to address the serious economic costs of what is proposed.

Jonathan Charles Scott NEWTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elizabeth PARKIN
(Liberal Democrat)

If the County Council proposal for a congestion charge goes ahead, a Lib Dem City Council would advocate no spending on road building or widening. The money should be spent on public transport and have walking and cycling as top priorities.

I should add that we do not support the congestion charge as currently proposed. Any scheme should have significant discounts for city residents and a commitment to spending the available money on sustainable transport.

Simon David Francis SEDGWICK-JELL
(Green 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?

Ben BRADNACK
(Labour Party)

Primarily by more rational site allocation and transport planning, of which a key priority would be making new developments rail-accessible. Cycling is one component of any rational system, but many families believe it is and will for the foreseable future be hazardous within the streetscapes of traditional cities like Cambridge. These hazards have been accentuated by changes to one-way streets to allow contra-flow cycling, particularly in Petersfield.

Jonathan Charles Scott NEWTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elizabeth PARKIN
(Liberal Democrat)

We support limiting the car parking available in the new developments, designing streets to encouraging walking and cycling and to have cycle routes as direct as possible. The developments also need investment outside the new sites themselves to facilitate cycle access to work places etc.

Simon David Francis SEDGWICK-JELL
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 8

What support have you given for cycling and walking, or sustainable transport more generally, in the past?

Ben BRADNACK
(Labour Party)

Campaigned with other Petersfield councillors for separation and increased safety of pedestrians and cyclists at crossings Gonville Place (successful), East Rd (unsuccessful so far) and Newmarket Rd (delayed till development of Eastern Court). Secured current calming measures in Norfolk St (late 90s) and improved street lighting in Mill Rd (2000) and Elizabeth Way roundabout (2008). Campaigned against contraflow cycling in Petersfield streets which is leading to seriously hazardous behaviour by cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

Jonathan Charles Scott NEWTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elizabeth PARKIN
(Liberal Democrat)

As a new candidate, I personally have not been in a position to achieve improvements up to now. The Lib Dems in Cambridge have invested in improvements for cycling, have supported two-way cycling on one-way streets, are supporting the Cycle Demonstration City bid and are appointing a Cycling Champion for the next political year.

Simon David Francis SEDGWICK-JELL
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 9

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

Ben BRADNACK
(Labour Party)

I am of the Luddite tendency which dislikes doing business like this on-line, which may account for the slightly irritable tone of my response

Jonathan Charles Scott NEWTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elizabeth PARKIN
(Liberal Democrat)

I support the measures the Lib Dems are taking to improve the facilities for cycling in the city. I also think the Cambridge Cycling Campaign does very valuable work, bringing forward good and challenging ideas for further improvement.

I am also interested in the potential of car clubs to reduce dependence on cars and car ownership in a central location such as Petersfield. Membership of a car club can combine well with cycling and walking to give people flexible transport options without having quite so many cars parked on our streets.

Simon David Francis SEDGWICK-JELL
(Green 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.