Elections

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

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2008.
Polling date: Thursday 1st May 2008
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Sam BARKER  (Conservative Party)
  • Len FREEMAN  (Labour Party)
  • Keith Alexander GARRETT  (Green Party)
  • Catherine SMART  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Tom WOODCOCK  (Left List)

Questions for Romsey ward candidates (6 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

# 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?

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)

As we are working within a finite budget, any 'soft' promotion of cycling, through leaflets, events etc should come out of existing transport budgets, and clear cost-benefit analyses, and subsequent reveiws of effectiveness should be undertaken in order to protect council taxpayers. However cycling is crucial in both green and transport terms, and policy, particularly with regards to cyclepaths and bike parking (it is these necessities, rather than eye-catching initiatives, which will most incentivise cycling), must always reflect that.

Len FREEMAN
(Labour Party)

Some cycle routes, especially on busy roads such as Elizabeth Way could be made safer, and therefore more likely to be used. This requires the detailed routes to be carefully examined, to note the danger points along routes, and then to rectify the problem. I would want to hear the views of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign regularly made to the council, as the Campaign has probably got the most informed ideas about getting people to bike more!

Keith Alexander GARRETT
(Green Party)

Overall the city should be made more cycling friendly in order to promote cycling. There should be a significant increase in places to store bikes. This is especially true at Cambridge station where there should be more spaces with lighting and CCTV. There should be consideration of making much of Cambridge a low speed zone to increase cycling and walking. All transport planning should consider cyclists, pedestrians and public transport over cars. Sections of the city like Mill Road should be considered for one way or access only measures as the current situation is dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.

Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom WOODCOCK
(Left List)
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?

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.

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.

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.

Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom WOODCOCK
(Left List)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 3

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?

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)

Hybrid cycle lanes are excellent, particularly where bicycles are given equal priorities to road users. However their nature means that something must give, either in road space, or pavement area, and so each case must be considered on its own merits. In Romsey, whilst Coldham's lane in particular could be considered for such provision, my biggest concern is cycling (as I do) on Mill road and over the railway bridge.

Len FREEMAN
(Labour Party)

I completely support this, but in my ward, Romsey, the streets are very narrow and it's hard to see how this could work here. But certainly in new developments, or in areas with wide roads, it does seem worthwhile.

Keith Alexander GARRETT
(Green Party)

Where there is enough space and constant car flow has to be allowed they appear an excellent solution. I think they could be tried on Brooks Road and Coldham's Lane.

Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom WOODCOCK
(Left List)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 4

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?

Sam BARKER
(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.

Len FREEMAN
(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.

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.

Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom WOODCOCK
(Left List)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 5

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?

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)

Again providing good cycle lanes on major roads through the city, secure parking and safe cycle routes is key. Boris Johnson has pledged £2 million for safe cycle parking in London and to work with boroughs to improve existing cycle and walking routes - it will be interesting to see what lessons we can learn from that. Cross town routes, such as the Chisholm trail, will also be a key part of such planning. As it is probable that many dwellers will be train-commuters, good access to the station, and quality parking there is key. Finally, given that development solutions should be outside, rather than within, Cambridge, dedicated cycle (or cycle/pedestrian) routes should be created and maintained, such as those running south out of Cambridge

Len FREEMAN
(Labour Party)

One absolute priority should be for the provision of adequate and secure parking spaces for bikes. Within any large developments the construction of safe cycleways must be planned for. The same problems would face residents though, when cycling outside the new development -into town for example, so continued effort is needed for better city and county wide cyle routes.

Keith Alexander GARRETT
(Green Party)

New housing developments should be created on a minimal car use basis. There should be spaces for car share schemes and people who require cars for mobility. Secure cycle stands should be provided in large numbers close to all the homes. A low speed limit should be set on all roads within a development. Regular public transport with long running hours should be provided.

Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom WOODCOCK
(Left List)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 6

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

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)

As the conservative candidate for Romsey my key concerns for cycling are, safer cycling over the mill road and coldham's lane railway bridges, safer cycling (and better bike parking) along mill road, brooks road and coldhams lane, and better cycling to the community focal points, mill road and vinery road shops, St Philips school, Brookfields, Sainsburys and the TA centre, and our churches and post offices.

Len FREEMAN
(Labour Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Keith Alexander GARRETT
(Green Party)

There needs to be a complete rethink about how the city functions. Not only will fuel prices continue to increase but we have been living in a city overrun by cars for too long. The car is not an efficient way to move around the large number of people we need to move around in Cambridge.

Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom WOODCOCK
(Left List)
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.