Elections

Local elections (City/SouthCambs), May 2008: West Chesterton

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2008.
Polling date: Thursday 1st May 2008
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Steven James MASTIN  (Conservative Party)
  • Ian NIMMO-SMITH  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Sarah PEAKE  (Green Party)
  • Mike SARGEANT  (Labour Party)

Questions for West Chesterton ward candidates (8 questions)

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

# 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?

Steven James MASTIN
(Conservative Party)

- Increased provision of cycle lanes
- better education of cyclists about safeguarding their bikes

Ian NIMMO-SMITH
(Liberal Democrat)

Include cycle information in welcome packs for new residents; ensure that bicycle access and facilities are highlighted in all visitor information; extend Waitrose based trailer loan scheme to more locations; work to achieve more city centre cycle parking; better signage; boost role of cycling promotion as part of green travel plans required as a condition of planning consent.

Sarah PEAKE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike SARGEANT
(Labour Party)

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 judgements about what is proposed.

# 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?

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.

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.

Sarah PEAKE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
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

# 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?

Steven James MASTIN
(Conservative Party)

Yes, most definitely.

Ian NIMMO-SMITH
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes.

Sarah PEAKE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike SARGEANT
(Labour Party)

Yes, segregated cycle routes are clearly desirable in general, and would be particularly appropriate for increased cycle access to the station.
It is not clear whether this should involve another cycle bridge in addition to the one at Tesco/Riverside which appears to be the current Chisholm proposal.
We would want to be very cautious in supporting replacement of unused rail trackway with cycle path, since we believe more use of rail is an even higher priority than promotion of cycle routes there are some pinch points on the route which would cause issues.

# 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?

Steven James MASTIN
(Conservative Party)

Supportive of this idea. Chesterton Road would be a good place to start.

Ian NIMMO-SMITH
(Liberal Democrat)

Looks interesting and well worth evaluating. Possible candidates that I would support investigating: Milton Road (as suggested); Chesterton Road; Elizabeth Way; Gilbert Road.

Sarah PEAKE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike SARGEANT
(Labour Party)

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

# 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?

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.

Ian NIMMO-SMITH
(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.

Sarah PEAKE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike SARGEANT
(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

# Question 6

At present, permitted car parking in cycle lanes on Gilbert Road makes cycling unpleasant and unsafe in an area through which thousands of school children travel daily. Given that virtually all houses have their own off-road car parking, would you support the replacement of the on-road parking on Gilbert Road with on-road red mandatory cycle lanes?

Steven James MASTIN
(Conservative Party)

Yes, in principle. I should like to see the area for myself before committing wholeheartedly.

Ian NIMMO-SMITH
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, and believe this could be introduced relatively quickly and inexpensively. I would however be interested in the evaluation of hybrid options (see above).

Sarah PEAKE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike SARGEANT
(Labour Party)

Any solution for Gilbert Road needs to meet the needs of all road users and residents. The road has for instance many schools feeding on to it - 3 directly. There is a danger that the road would be seen to be even more of a through road with this proposal and might encourage faster traffic. A scheme is therefore needed which reduces the speed of the traffic and creates an environment where all users and residents can co-exist. The County Council have prioritised Gilbert Road for action, due to the high accident level and provided a budget, but with the ward County Councillor have been unable to deliver a solution.

# 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?

Steven James MASTIN
(Conservative Party)

This requires a lengthy answer about the nature of the house building and alternatives to the congestion charge tax. Low income families will always be hit hardest as well as public sector workers like nurses and teachers (of which Cambridge has a large share) who travel into and out of the city in the mornings. As a state school teacher I would be expected to pay an extra £5000 a year through the congestion charge.

Ian NIMMO-SMITH
(Liberal Democrat)

High quality cycle network planned in from the start, with good integration to rest of city. Streets designed to place private cars at the bottom of the hierarchy below pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. Adequate cycle parking for significant modal shift.

Sarah PEAKE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike SARGEANT
(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

# Question 8

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

Steven James MASTIN
(Conservative Party)

Keep at it. I wholeheartedly support your campaign to promote and improve cycling facilities in Cambridge.

Ian NIMMO-SMITH
(Liberal Democrat)

Cambridge is fortunate to have a pressure group of the quality and calibre of CCC. Your voice is principally that of the experienced, confident cyclist. You need to check that you are also aware of the perspective of the under confident and infrequent cyclists.

Sarah PEAKE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike SARGEANT
(Labour Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.

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.