Elections

Local elections (County), June 2009: Abbey

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in June 2009.
Polling date: Thursday 4th June 2009
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Timothy J HAIRE  (Conservative Party)
  • Julian L HUPPERT  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Paul SALES  (Labour & Co-operative)
  • Simon D F SEDGWICK-JELL  (Green Party)

Questions for Abbey division candidates (5 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5 

# Question 1

There is a major shortage of cycle parking all around the city. Cycle theft is over 10% of all reported crime in the County. Do you have any suggestions for locations for cycle parking? Would you be willing to see a very small proportion of on-street car parking being replaced by on-street cycle parking in your ward? How will you progress towards a situation where every resident and every worker in each ward can keep a bike safe?

Timothy J HAIRE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Julian L HUPPERT
(Liberal Democrat)

Cycle theft is clearly a big issue, and the provision of secure cycle parking helps significantly to deal with it; it also has many other benefits over the current situation - convenience, possible rain shelter, and a lack of clutter to impede other pavement users.

There are many possible locations where more cycle parking could be installed, and I am happy in principle with the idea of sacrificing some on-street parking towards this; on the Cambridge Traffic Management Committee (AJC), which I have been on for eight years, we have done exactly this in some places. This is especially effective if combined with schemes such as Car Clubs, which I have supported for a number of years, to reduce the overall level of car ownership in an area. One location which needs specific mention is the train station, where the lack of cycle parking is absolutely ridiculous given the demand.

In order to achieve the levels of provision required, we need to be able to be innovative in terms of the types of facilities provided. I am delighted that we are shortly to introduce cyclehoops (see http://www.cyclehoop.com/) around Cambridge; these provide a cheap and convenient way of making use of existing street furniture.

For domestic use, situations clearly vary significantly. I personally use Tusk anchors (see http://tinyurl.com/p4hozg ), as they are very small and functional, and when a bike is not attached to them they take up minimal space.

Paul SALES
(Labour & Co-operative)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Simon D F 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?

Timothy J HAIRE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Julian L HUPPERT
(Liberal Democrat)

I do absolutely support this, and have argued for this at the North Area Committee, and the police have at various stages accepted it as a priority. Unsafe road usage is an issue, whether it is car drivers speeding or using phones, or cyclists shooting red lights or not having lights at night.

It is particularly important because the actions of a few people affect the image of all cyclists; there are clearly a number of (non-Cambridge, Conservative) County Councillors who oppose expenditure on cycle facilities because 'all cyclists break the law anyway'. We must present a united, law-abiding case.

Paul SALES
(Labour & Co-operative)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Simon D F SEDGWICK-JELL
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 3

We believe that 20mph should be the norm for local streets in residential areas (as distinct from main connecting roads). 20mph would: greatly encourage walking and cycling; improve the quality of life in an area for residents; and would not delay car journeys significantly (because only the start/end of a journey would be affected). Do you agree that 20mph should become the norm for local streets in Cambridge and surrounding villages?

Timothy J HAIRE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Julian L HUPPERT
(Liberal Democrat)

I do agree with the '20's plenty' campaign. This has now been introduced in a few cities around the country, starting with Lib Dem-led Portsmouth. Locally, one of my colleagues, Cllr Killian Burke of Romsey, has campaigned very hard for such a scheme to happen here; we are finally getting some success with this campaign, and there will be more 20 mph zones. In particular, we persuaded the County Council to relax its requirements for 20 mph zones to be 'self-enforcing', requiring the unnecessary expenditure of public money to build roadhumps and suchlike to reduce speeds. We don't require any other road laws to be self-enforcing, so why should this be an exception?

Paul SALES
(Labour & Co-operative)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Simon D F SEDGWICK-JELL
(Green Party)
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 associated 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 £500m spread over five 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?

Timothy J HAIRE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Julian L HUPPERT
(Liberal Democrat)

500 million would allow us to make a step change in what is provided - but it must be done right. Rather than go through every possible scheme, let me describe some principles.

If we are to persuade people to reduce car usage, we must provide good, safe, fast, reliable and convenient alternatives. The hierarchy of preference for use is walking/cycling > buses > car. We should therefore advantage them in that order; remembering that schemes such as car sharing will also be important. I do have concerns that some of the existing proposals are overly focused on bus provision; while this is essential, we don;t want to transfer people from walking or cycling to buses, and I am uncomfortable about giving too much money and power to a single monopoly company.

We should use much of the money to improve cycle facilities; both through grand schemes, such as the long-awaited Chisholm trail, and through smaller, every day schemes such as improved maintenance - some of the existing cycle facilities are in a truly atrocious state. Gritting (or equivalent) of important routes in winter absolutely must happen; I raised this at the County Council and was delighted to support the Campaign's petition when that happened. We also need to use more innovative approaches; the hybrid facilities we have agreed for Hills Road Bridge are examples of this.

Paul SALES
(Labour & Co-operative)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Simon D F SEDGWICK-JELL
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 5

Do you have any other general cycling-related comments or points? And what support have you given for cycling and walking, or sustainable transport more generally, in the past?

Timothy J HAIRE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Julian L HUPPERT
(Liberal Democrat)

As a member of the AJC, and as Chair or vice chair for 6 years, I have done my best to provide good cycling facilities for Cambridge, given the constraints we face. I was heavily involved in schemes such as the lifting of the City Center Cycle ban, the partial closure of Silver Street, and the Riverside bridge, as well as many smaller schemes, such as removing some of the many barriers to cycling, like 'pram arms'. Sadly there are still many of these left, especially on private land, such as the barriers on the path from Riverside to Tescos, which are virtually impassible for anyone with a trailer, as well as for those in mobility scooters.

Paul SALES
(Labour & Co-operative)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Simon D F 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.