Elections

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Question 2 - we asked:

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?

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.

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)

Anti-social cycling endears no-one to the cause (likewise anti-social driving). Police priority must be fighting crime first, and anti-social behaviour second. Unfortunately the bureacracy they 'Labour' under sees them spending more time at their desks and less time on the beat. I agree that police should take action on traffic infringements, but until a Conservative Government is elected and cuts the red tape I fear placing greater burdens on them would rob peter to pay paul.

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

Cyclists must know that there is a will to enforce laws relating to cycling in order to increase levels of compliance. Cycling without lights, on pedestrian-only pavements and through red lights is not only directly dangerous but contributes towards a perception among other road users that cyclists ignore the law; this is in no-one's interests.

However, there are many other important calls upon policing resources and it is right that residents should be able to select their own policing priorities. Conservatives propose the introduction of directly elected police commissioners to aid accountability. We also support the chief constable's call to the Government for funding for Cambridgeshire's police to reflect growth in the area.

Donald Fisher DOUGLAS
(Conservative Party)

Yes - definitely. People used to laugh at me when, as a Councillor, I proposed "cycle calming" - there are too many irresponsible cyclists which give all cyclists a bad reputation and who threaten the safety of pedestrians and other cyclists..

Peter Norman HASE
(Conservative Party)

Yes - but I would champion Council funded and run training as opposed to the fines / big stick approach. In other words, unless a persistant offender, the police could direct a cyclist that broke the law towards a training programme. The exception must be cyclists that "jump" traffic lights, which is dangerous to themselves and others.

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.

Sheila LAWLOR
(Conservative Party)

I am concerned about cyclists breaking the rules or law and causing danger to others, especially cycling on the pavements, and breaking the law on one way routes and lighting up. I support law enforcement across the system.

Steven James MASTIN
(Conservative Party)

Definitely! There have been several occasions when I have been in the town centre and cyclists without lights have driven down pedestrian zones right past police officers. It is not a priority in Cambridge and this should be addressed.

Keith Alexander GARRETT
(Green Party)

Yes. Cyclists breaking the rules generate bad feeling towards the majority of legal cyclists and can cause dangerous accidents. More positive measures might be considered like selling lights to cyclists in place of a fine or ensuring they attend a cycling skills course paid for with the fine.

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.

Teal Richard RILEY
(Green Party)

Yes, this should be a priority where it is a problem. Although it should be acknowledged that many primary school age children (and their parents) are more comfortable with them cycling to school on the pavement, which isn't to my knowledge a problem in Girton. It would be unfortunate that if it were to become a police issue then children may ultimately be discouraged from cycling to school.

Margaret Elizabeth WRIGHT
(Green Party)

Yes

James Christopher YOUD
(Green Party)

I regard this with great importance as cyclists being safe towards each other encourages those less experienced cyclists to stay on their bikes.
However I am not in favour of large fines dealt just because they can and would seek to bring law enforcement, cyclists and councillors together, to see where rules are being broken consistently whether these rules are appropriate.
It would also be my wish that those on lower incomes are given free or discounted bike lights and fitting.

Douglas DE LACEY
(Independent)

Yes, entirely.

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.

Gerri BIRD
(Labour Party)

I think that the police should be firmer about traffic policing in general - including cyclists. Police priorities are agreed at Area Committees and by the Safer Community Partnership, so this is where the case should be made.

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

Robert Paul DRYDEN
(Labour Party)

I believe anything that can be done on this issue would be helpful as it is very disturbing to see how many cyclists ride at night with out lights.

Len FREEMAN
(Labour Party)

In principle, but what should then have a lower priority? Discussion with the police, eg at area committees, could be one way of doing this.

William Lawrance REDFERN
(Labour Party)

Probably, but we would need to know what priority it would replace in police consideration. 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 quite rigorous; so the question needs closer definition in terms of local and temporary circumstances

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.

Mike SARGEANT
(Labour Party)

Probably, but we would need to know what priority it would replace in police consideration. 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 quite rigorous; so the question needs closer definition in terms of local and temporary circumstances

Salah AL BANDER
(Liberal Democrat)

Law enforcement should, indeed, be at the top of the list. I am aware that the South Area Committee have insisted on this being a police priority. This is particularly critical during summer time (tourists, language students, summer schools ~Eetc). However this must be joined by moves to educate and raise awareness of road safety, including tourists and day visitors. As a cyclist and Arabic speaker, I would be prepared to help with this.

Tim BICK
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes.

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.

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.

Vanessa Ann KELLY
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, the general public's perception of cyclists is that they're all a bunch of law-breakers. The guilty minority needs to be made aware, by increased policing and fines, that its behaviour is unacceptable. Inconsiderate parking obstructing mandatory cycle lanes, cycle bypasses and shared-use paths causes real dangers, but seems a very low police priority. Speeding through our 2 villages causes huge concern amongst vulnerable road users, but I know it has been demoted to 'low priority status' for local police. It shouldn't be!

Jennifer Susan LIDDLE
(Liberal Democrat)

Priority over what? I would certainly argue that the police should not ignore cyclists being naughty, but there are a great deal of things that people would like the police to prioritise; burglary, mugging, domestic violence, non-domestic violence, hate crimes, distraction burglaries of older people. In terms of priorities, cycling without lights doesn't even come close.

Having said that, the public do get to tell the police what they would like to see the police prioritise in their neighbourhoods, at the Area Committee Meetings. I would urge people to come along to the meetings and have their say.

Neil Michael MCGOVERN
(Liberal Democrat)

The North Area Committee, which covers Kings Hedges among others has recommended that enforcing of these issues should be a top priority for local traffic policing. I'm fairly disappointed that this hasn't been followed through as much as I'd like, and if elected would be pushing hard to ensure that these are enforced.

Ian NIMMO-SMITH
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes.
I have agreed that the council write to the constabulary requesting they agree (as is permitted under existing legislation) to delegate powers to PCSOs enforce against these abuses.
I am also working with David Howarth MP to press for changes to legislation so that parking enforcement staff can be authorised to act against vehicles stopping/parking in mandatory cycle lanes.

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.

Sian REID
(Liberal Democrat)

We do ask police at local area committees to focus on cyclists without
lights and crossing redlights. We can present Cycle Campaign views at area
committees, where we meet the police, more often and appreciate the links
given.

Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

We ask police at local area committees to crack down on cyclists without
lights -- but I have also asked them to take more action against motorists blocking cycle lanes, eg on the Hills Road Bridge, and on motorists ignoring red lights, an enormous danger and a bad example for children cycling and trying to learn the rules of the road.
I would also like to see the police act on motorbikes andcars using the pink spaces in front of traffic lights to keep them free for cyclists.

David John WILLINGHAM
(Liberal Democrat)

Road traffic laws are there for the safety of all road users. They apply to everyone and should be enforced. I think it would be worth investigating whether the is any way for the LAPE wardens to be able to enforce cycle and bus lane parking offences, and whether the new regulations allowing for CCTV to be used would allow better enforcement of both static and moving vehicle offences. I also think that in certain areas encroachment into cycle lanes could be prevented with better highway engineering, making it self-enforcing. I also believe that schemes allowing cyclists to treat the leftmost exit of a traffic-light controlled junction as a give-way and cycle-only contra-flow schemes should be promoted.

Anyone who jumps red lights should be prosecuted, but this is clearly easier in the case of cars that have registration plates. However, I can understand why the Police would find it hard to justify waiting at a set of lights in case cyclists jump them, but if there is sufficient information about particular junctions that are frequently being abused, maybe the Police could use this intelligence to mount a targeted operation.

With regard to the cycle lighting issue, I believe that the Police should mount a two-week operation specifically targeting cycle lighting in the weeks following the clocks going back to GMT every autumn, as the dark evenings make these the most dangerous weeks of the year for traffic collisions. This should not prevent action being taken at other times of the year.

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.