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Question 14 - 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 in all 16 wards, namely: Abbey, Arbury, Castle, Cherry Hinton, Coleridge, East Chesterton, Girton, Histon & Impington, King's Hedges, Market, Newnham, Petersfield, Queen Edith's, Romsey, Trumpington, West Chesterton.

33 of the 71 candidates (46%) who were asked this question responded as below.

(Conservative Party)

It is disgusting that the Labour government are blackmailing the county council in this way - the money is not 'free' - why can the government not fund the council to do what is best for cambridge, not what is dictated by Gordon Brown and Whitehall. If the money came with no strings attached, I would support better bike parking across the city, sorting out the parking at the Station, and moderating that most hairy of experiences, cycling down Mill road.

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

Cycle parking facilities across the city are inadequate and in residential areas often non-existent. I would support a massively increased volume of (good quality) cycle parking provision throughout the city.

Other priorities would be the improvement of the road surfaces that cyclists have to use, the widening of cycle lanes to recommended widths, completing gaps in cycle lanes, removing dangerous cycle lanes that cannot be made safe and removing the street furniture that slows down cyclists and fosters aggression towards cyclists.

Donald Fisher DOUGLAS
(Conservative Party)

The charge is blackmail by the Labour Government - no money unless you agree to the charge. I think we should spend the money first and then decide if further deterrents are needed and what form they should take. The County Council has already outlined what it wants to spend the money on: new P&R. a station at Chesterton, better bus facilities and so on and I support it.
Meanwhile the Lib Dem demand for a huge discount for residents is just a vote winning maneouvre - and unlikely to do much to prevent climate change.

Peter Norman HASE
(Conservative Party)

I do not condone or agree with a new Congestion Charge tax for Cambridge and deplore the Labour Government approach to give back funding if we add a new tax.

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.

(Conservative Party)

I'd like to consult on the implications of the different possibilities.

Steven James MASTIN
(Conservative Party)

I am strongly opposed to a congestion charge tax in Cambridge and think it shortsighted. Alternatives such as a Cambridge bypass, the guided bus and the north Cambridge railway have yet to be implemented or, in the case of the bypass, given serious consideration.

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.

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)

Teal Richard RILEY
(Green Party)

The priority for additional cash would have to be excellent provision in new developments instead of patching up old. The developments in Northstowe, NW Cambridge and the infill between Madingley Rd and Huntingdon Rd would be my priorities for the provision of first rate cycle routes separate to existing roads.

Margaret Elizabeth WRIGHT
(Green Party)

I'd hav e to be sure that this promise would be kept and the funding hypothecated for better conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and bus/public transport users.
priorities;1. pedestrian safety measures 2. cycling improvements.3. public transport

James Christopher YOUD
(Green Party)

Investment in new train stations and spur lines both in Chesterton and on the proposed marshalls developement, allowing a metro style train network would be one of my first priorities. Investment in new transport corridors would also need to include cycle lanes and these should be prefered over road traffic.
Implementing major new cycle and pedestrian infrastructure would be soming that could stand Cambridge in good sted for increased cycling both from new developements. And unlock the potential from closer out-lying villages.
Within the city remodaling junctions and pinch points to allow for cycle safety and less accidents must also be a top priority.

Douglas DE LACEY

My main priority would be to prevent the County installing more of the same appalling "facilities" currently on offer to cyclists. The Campaign's position paper on Cycling in New Developments is excellent document and (although this is not a District issue, I think) I'd want the Campaign to be not just consulted but actively involved in planning if we get to the next stage of the TIF bid. (I do think that the money on offer, though, is far too small for a really coherent re-think of transport.)


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.

Gerri BIRD
(Labour Party)

It is vitally important that the City and the County work together to devise an integrated transport plan at the heart of all new development and to serve the existing city: this must include major provision for public transport, cycling and pedestrians to reduce car use.

(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.

Robert Paul DRYDEN
(Labour Party)

I think before I could actually answer this question I would need to consult with the people I represent.

(Labour Party)

This is a bit hypothetical, at the moment. I am not in favour of the current proposals for congestion charging - one implication is the threat to common land. I think it is better to see what happens first to this proposal, before thinking of desirable schemes for better public transport.

William Lawrance REDFERN
(Labour Party)

This begs more questions than we can answer. The current proposals for Congestion Charge are not ones we are likely to 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. We would rather have a rational, low-risk approach to transport planning as a whole, where priorities are established by proper long-term planning, rather than a dash for cash; and if that were the case, we could make a submission setting out our priorities. Trying to put in pre-emptive bids is not good planning procedure.

(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.

(Labour Party)

This begs more questions than we can answer. The current proposals for Congestion Charge are not ones we are likely to 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. We would rather have a rational, low-risk approach to transport planning as a whole, where priorities are established by proper long-term planning, rather than a dash for cash; and if that were the case, we could make a submission setting out our priorities. Trying to put in pre-emptive bids is not good planning procedure

(Liberal Democrat)

Pedestrian safety measures, significant increase of cycle parking provision throughout Cambridge, and improvement of the street surfaces. I find uneven road surfaces and potholes a great problem.

(Liberal Democrat)

Investment in alternative means of transport within the city, of which improved cycling facilities is clearly a major one. Facilities for pedestrians and public transport are others.

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.

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.

Vanessa Ann KELLY
(Liberal Democrat)

In the local area, I would like to see TIF monies spent on a proper solution to the A14/Histon Rd junction, hybrid lanes on Histon Rd into Cambridge, high quality on and off-road cycle lanes between Histon and Cottenham, and between Impington and Milton, an upgrade of the controversial cycle path between Girton and Histon (Gatehouse Lane), and a network of routes across NIAB land north and south of the A14. A very long wish list, I know, but why not aim high?

Jennifer Susan LIDDLE
(Liberal Democrat)

The same as our current priorities for improving transport; walking, cycling, public transport. In that order.

Neil Michael MCGOVERN
(Liberal Democrat)

Although I myself cycle rather than take the bus, or drive, others, including a significant proportion of the elderly population cannot. We need to take care to ensure that this is accounted for and that a balance is found between providing alternate public transport methods for those wishing to leave their cars at home, and those wishing to cycle in to the city centre. My priority for this would be ensuring that congestion and pollution are reduced, and residents and visitors are able to visit the centre easily and effectively, whether through bus, cycling or on foot.

(Liberal Democrat)

Money to be ring-fenced to Cambridge (i.e. not diverted to road building in other parts of the county); enhancement of public transport facilities, including cycling and walking; significant improvement of on-road and off-road cycleway to establish a full credible city-wide network and extensions into more of the neighbouring villages.

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.

(Liberal Democrat)

We are advocating NO spend on road building and widening from any surplus
and all money to be spent on sustainable transport in the usual hierarchy
with walking and cycling as top priorities.

Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

We are advocating NO spend on road building and widening from any surplus
and all money to be spent on sustainable transport, with walking and cycling as top priorities.

I would like to see better cycle lanes and parking, and subsidy of bus fares.

(Liberal Democrat)

I believe that the congestion charging plans have not looked sufficiently at improving the area's rail infrastructure. There is an obvious opportunity to create a railway station to serve Cherry Hinton, this could have substantial benefits to the economy of Cherry Hinton. It is over ten years since the population of Cherry Hinton were last asked to consider this suggestion, so in light of the congestion charging plans, I believe this idea should be consulted upon again. I also believe that there should be more provision for cyclists to use bike-rail-bike to commute, a method that is currently restricted by the rail operators.

Investment should be made to ensure that all buses, coaches and taxis operating within the City have the lowest possible particulate and NOx emissions. Perhaps a target should be set of all buses meeting the Euro IV or Euro V emissions standards. I believe that the Council should track the progress of the London Low Emission Zone (LEZ), and if it is successful investigate the potential of combining this with the Congestion Charging.

The bus operators should be encouraged to trial cycle racks on their buses to allow people in villages to use bike-bus-bike, similar to schemes that operate in Snowdonia.

Clearly the congestion charge has potential to allow high-quality cycle routes to be developed in and around the city. I would like to see better on-road cycle lanes for confident cyclists as well as off-road structures for less confident cyclists, and at complex junctions. Such cycle routes need to be designed to be as direct as possible, and to allow cyclists to keep their momentum.

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.