Elections

Local elections (County), June 2009: Newnham

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in June 2009.
Polling date: Thursday 4th June 2009
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Lucy K NETHSINGHA  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Malcolm P SCHOFIELD  (Labour Party)
  • James A SHARPE  (Conservative Party)
  • Robert YOUNG  (Green Party)

Questions for Newnham division candidates (6 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

# 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?

Lucy K NETHSINGHA
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Malcolm P SCHOFIELD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
James A SHARPE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Robert YOUNG
(Green Party)

There is indeed a massive need for improvements to cycle parking. I have been victim of cycle theft in Cambridge several times and the fear of losing another bike means that I always think twice before parking my bike in Cambridge. I now very rarely leave my bike anywhere in central Cambridge or around the station in public view. Fortunately my usual alternative to cycling is walking, but I think that this lack of security for cyclists forces other people into cars, taxis etc. For Cambridge to be a truly cycle-friendly city, cyclists must be confident that when they lock their bikes up, they'll be able to find them intact on their return.

Newnham contains a wide variety of types of area, from the dense residential area between Lammas Land and Grantchester Meadows to the historic centre around King's College. It would be essential for me to consult closely with those who live and work in these areas to determine the best types of bike storage and the most convenient locations for them.

I would not only support, but push for cycle racks to be given priority over car-parking. Especially where there is little or no pavement space. Where there is pavement space, access to bike racks should be easy without dismounting and it should be segregated from pedestrians.

I would be happy to see a small proportion of on-street parking replaced by bicycle parking. Working jointly with the City the Police and cyclists I would wish to ensure every shop, pub, cafe or any social amenity has secure bicycle parking. Since cycle crime is expensive, inconvenient and annoying for those of us who lose our bikes, I would also like to see money put into subsidizing good quality locks for those who are on low incomes and children.

I would like to work with the police to ensure that tackling organized bike theft becomes a higher priority.

# 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?

Lucy K NETHSINGHA
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Malcolm P SCHOFIELD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
James A SHARPE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Robert YOUNG
(Green Party)

I agree that traffic policing should become a higher priority and that all road/ cycle path/ pavement users who put others at risk should be targeted. This should be accompanied by a redesign of the city's transport infrastructure to eliminate the existing perverse incentives and temptations for cyclists to break the rules. There should be a public information campaign and clearer signage to ensure that all road/ cycle path/ pavement users understand the rules.

Examples of the infrastructure faults which can tempt cyclists to break the rules include:
“Cyclists dismount' signs on foot/cycle bridges, which should be replaced with “Cyclists give way to pedestrians” signs, where the bridge is not wide enough for separated areas for cyclists and pedestrians
Cycle lanes that stop, without warning, leaving cyclists with nowhere to go, such as the one on St Andrews Street by the rising bollard
Signs that prohibit cyclists from carrying out reasonable and safe manoeuvres, such as the “No right turn” sign where the Gresham Road cycle path joins Gonville Place

All cyclists should have lights after dark and money taken in fines should fund the policing of bike crime and the subsidy of bike locks and bike lights.

One-way streets wide enough to accommodate a cycle only counter-flow should be changed to allow cyclist to travel in either direction.

It is important to emphasize that tackling cycle crime should remain a high police priority.

# 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?

Lucy K NETHSINGHA
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Malcolm P SCHOFIELD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
James A SHARPE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Robert YOUNG
(Green Party)

I believe that this suggestion would make cycling more comfortable and attractive and that it would therefore increase cycling in Cambridge. I therefore support it fully. I think that on connecting roads where the limit is higher, hybrid cycle lanes should be introduced to give less confident cyclists a clear gap between them and motor traffic.

The Green Party is Norwich successfully pushed for 20mph speed limits for residential streets I would like to do the same in Cambridge. With 20mph limits and proper enforcement, more of Cambridge's traffic can move onto bikes, pollution and congestion can be reduced and we can all travel round the city more easily and safely.

# 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?

Lucy K NETHSINGHA
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Malcolm P SCHOFIELD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
James A SHARPE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Robert YOUNG
(Green Party)

Cycling in Cambridge is a more attractive mode of transport than it is in many other British towns and cities, but it still lags a very long way behind other places where I have cycled (e.g. Leiden in the Netherlands). My top priority for the County Council's money would be for an integrated cycle network that allows residents and visitors to travel into and around Cambridge in safety.

There should be hybrid cycle lanes on all major roads, segregation of cyclists and pedestrians across commons and where on-path cycle routes exist. Cycle paths to the surrounding villages would reduce the need for people to drive into Cambridge and congestion would be cut. We would allocate at least £50 Million for these purposes.

I would be in favour of public transport infrastructure such as new stations at Chesterton, Addenbrookes and Cherry Hinton. All electric or bio-fuel buses would be introduced to reduce pollution particularly for cyclists and pedestrians.

I would support a new interchange for buses in Cambridge as well as the upgrade of the interchange at the station and implementation of the plan for a coach station there.

I would like to see money spent on an integrated transport system, allowing people to transfer from bus to train to bike back to bus, and so on. This means giving cyclists secure and easily accessible parking at transport interchanges.

I would like to see a major rethink on transport policy at the county council: it is clear that car drivers are given the highest priority in the current system. I would like to see cyclists, pedestrians and users of public transport given higher consideration in future.

# Question 5

As part of the Old Press / Mill Lane site changes, we would like to see the Downing Street / Mill Lane direction becoming the default priority direction at its junction with Trumpington Street. This would enable the high pedestrian and cycle flows to be catered for better. Do you support this idea?

Lucy K NETHSINGHA
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Malcolm P SCHOFIELD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
James A SHARPE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Robert YOUNG
(Green Party)

My current position on this proposition is that I support it in principle. However, I would remain open to other arguments as I learn more about the Old Press/ Mill Lane development.

For about six years I cycled from Mill Lane to Downing Street and then again from Downing Street to Mill Lane on my daily journeys to and from work. This experience persuades me that the current priority system is unsatisfactory (favouring car drivers travelling from Trumpington to the Lion Yard car park over cyclist and pedestrians). My own personal low-light at this junction was the occasion when I was waiting for a safe gap in the traffic to emerge from Mill Lane and the driver of the car behind me decided that he was tired of waiting and nudged the back wheel of my bicycle with his bumper.

This junction is an accident waiting to happen and I would make it a priority to make it safer and more convenient for cyclists and pedestrians. If we are to increase the amount of cycling in Cambridge and encourage those who currently lack confidence to get on their bikes, then it is spots like this that need to be addressed urgently.

# Question 6

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?

Lucy K NETHSINGHA
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Malcolm P SCHOFIELD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
James A SHARPE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Robert YOUNG
(Green Party)

We in the Green Party adhere to a transport hierarchy. Pedestrians are at the top, then cyclists, public transport and so on until you get to the car at the bottom. The Green Party believes that investment in transport should be apportioned according to where each mode lies in the hierarchy, within reason.

I am an enthusiastic, all-weather cyclist and cycling and walking have always been my main mode of transport around Cambridge. I own two bicycles and no car, but as a car club member, I understand that in some circumstances car use can be part of an integrated transport system.

Cambridge is very lucky to have such high rates of cycling, but without the forward and radical thinking of the Green Party, cyclists will still be scared off their bikes, especially in busy areas and many who might otherwise cycle will stay in their cars thus exacerbating the congestion problem for all of us.

The County Council has paid lip-service to high quality facilities for greens modes of transport; if you vote for me as your County Councillor, I can assure you that I will fight to see that these facilities are actually delivered. Greens have and always will support this as part of better, greener communities and a planet that we must look after. It is the responsibility of government, national and local, to allow all of us to be able to get around in an efficient and environmentally non-destructive way.

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.