Elections

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Question 1 - we asked:

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?

We asked this question in all 16 divisions, namely: Abbey, Arbury, Bar Hill, Castle, Cherry Hinton, Coleridge, Cottenham, Histon and Impington, East Chesterton, King's Hedges, Market, Newnham, Petersfield, Queen Edith's, Romsey, Trumpington, West Chesterton.

35 of the 73 candidates (48%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Matthew W ADAMS
(Conservative Party)

Clearly, we have a significant problem with provision for secure cycle parking in Cambridge as a whole, but I don’t think that simply switching car-parking for cycle-parking space is the right approach. We could, for instance, make cleverer use of space that is unsuitable for car parking.

The problem of bike parking spaces is less pronounced in Kings Hedges itself – the other end of the bike journey is more problematic (e.g. around the station, where we see the daily forest of bicycles, or in the City Centre). However, parking provision is not the only problem; theft (and vandalism) are also significant. I would encourage everyone (especially police community support officers) to ensure that cyclists to get their bikes marked so that if they are stolen, there is a greater chance of it being returned. This scheme has been known to work over many years, but each new generation of cyclists still needs to be introduced to it.

Samuel J W BARKER
(Conservative Party)

I would not support on-street car parking being converted as there is already too little. However there are often gaps left for lampposts etc where cycle racks could be placed. The first problem to be addressed is abandoned cycles clogging up cycle parking. Whilst free bikes would be nice, is Tom advocating cutting social services or punitive tax rises on Romsey residents to pay for it?

Andrew J BOWER
(Conservative Party)

As a victim, like many, of multiple cycle thefts I do support this concept. I think it is particularly relevant to neighbouring divisions, such as Petersfield and Romsey around pubs, shops and terraced houses practically fronting the highway. Kingston Street’s cycle parking is an excellent example, albeit insufficient! I am not sure that there are so many places in Coleridge where the take-up would be high enough to justify losing very precious parking spaces but would be interested in any suggestions. Another approach would be to use the odd verge for this purpose – if there were sufficient demand.

I would like to see more rigorous enforcement by city council planners of our minimum cycle parking standards for developments.

Donald F DOUGLAS
(Conservative Party)

There is a need for more and more secure cycle parking at Addenbrooke's Hospital. If the hospital and the City Council are serious about modal shift there should be greater provision for secure cycle parking.

Although it is not in the ward, the station is important to many residents. There is insufficient parking at the station and some of the car park spaces, particularly in the season ticket holders' car park could be released for this purpose.

Charles S HARCOURT
(Conservative Party)

Not applicable to Cherry Hinton. Plenty of cycle parking in my experience. Always an issue at the train station.

Do you have any ideas for getting rid of bikes left there permanently?

John M IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

I am not convinced that switching on-street car parking to cycle parking is the answer. I am sure that there are much simpler approaches (e.g. stick a rail all the way along the outside of the Guildhall) to increase the number of places where bikes can be secured. Again, these may not conform to national standards, but they might fit in better with the cycling culture within Cambridge.

Michael J MORLEY
(Conservative Party)

For many in Cambridge, cycling is the predominant method of transport; whilst West Chesterton is - perhaps - not a major destination for cyclists it is a major starting point.

Whilst it is important to consider all road users, cycle parking is important and often over looked. It should not be the case that bikes are left insecurely or - as is happening more and more - individuals and familes are installing looking points in their gardens.

Transport provisions, including secure locking facilities for cyclists, are - and should be - a matter for the Council. I believe that the Council should be looking to increase and improve current provision and would push to make secure cycle parking provision a condition for new developments, even if that means a reduction in parking for cars in some areas.

James A STRACHAN
(Conservative Party)

Most of East Chesterton is not a destination for cyclists who are commuters.

The local shopping centres do have cycle racks provided.

I am sure that there are places where we could do more, but the state of affairs is not too serious.

Obviously cycle theft is a problem - as is car theft and burglary. Unfortunately we find it difficult to trace thieves, and a large part of the solution has to be meticulous security by bike owners, car owners and house owners.

Alexandra L J COLLIS
(Green Party)

Reducing cycle theft is a key Green priority, and I believe that it is time to stop accepting this problem as an occupational hazard of living in Cambridge - and time to formulate a coherent and realistic response. Like many of us, I know several people who have had bikes damaged or stolen over the past year, even when they have been locked up securely. So, I would actively push for cycle parking to be given priority over car parking. It is vital that every shop, cafe, pub - any social amenity - has a secure bicycle parking area for users/customers. Awareness of security could be raised on cycling proficiency courses, and the county could also subsidise locks (which would need to be of a high quality, rather than the easily removed type) for families on low incomes and children/young people, who may be unable to afford such measures - and are disproportionately affected by cycle thefts. Finally, while I understand that the police have many conflicting demands upon their time, I believe that they still have an important role to play in tackling the organised bike thefts that are a particular problem in the city. I have accompanied police patrols as an observer, and know that they do perform stop checks, but I feel these are too inconsistently applied. A more consistent approach to tackling this problem - involving police, the local authority, local businesses AND local people - can only improve the situation.

Ceri B GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

Trumpington is a mixed area, with generally available areas for cycle parking. Cf in areas of congestion such as Botanic Gardens to Lensfield cycle parking and road parking may well be in conflict. I would prioritise cycle parking in selected areas. Further south, Brooklands Avenue there is plenty of space that could be utilised for cycle parking in public areas or people's front gardens.

Keith A GARRETT
(Green Party)

The council should actively seek to add cycle parking where there is an obvious need. Removing parking spaces to add good cycle parking is an excellent idea that would show that Cambridge is moving away from cars and towards bikes.

The station has always been a problem. The area for cycling needs to be doubled in sized at least. This might be achieved with a multi-story cycle park or acquiring of additional land. CCTV and better lighting needs to be added at the station to deter bike theft.

Cambridge should require all businesses to have cycle parking for their workers.

Valerie T HOPKINS
(Green Party)

I agree that there is a shortage of suitable cycle parking and this should be addressed with priority given over on-street car parking. I myself have been victim on more than one occasion and it is very frustrating especially if it your main means of transport. I can understand that people would be put off using their bike when there is no suitable provision of cycle racks. Bicycles are expensive and the provision of parking outside shops and amenities is important if we want to encourage people to change their lifestyles. There should be more police checks if organised theft is on the increase.

Teal Richard RILEY
(Green Party)

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 but segregated from pedestrians.
Where car-parking could be turned into space for bicycle parking planting of trees and shrubs around the bike parking space should be implemented to protect cyclists from the road.
Cycle crime is something we all want to reduce. Cambridge, as I have already said, has theft rate that has left many of us in despair. 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. It would also be good if the county along with the police could subsidise good quality locks for those who are on low incomes and children who are all to often affected most by bike crime.
It should also be a priority for the police to weed out any organised bike theft.
Stop checks for cyclists may be inconvenient for you and me, but it is more inconvenient to wake up and find your bike stolen! The police all to often take a soft approach and say, there is nothing they can do.
If 10% of all crime is bike related, surely 10% and more should go into reducing this.

Catherine E TERRY
(Green Party)

I absolutely agree that there is a shortage of good quality cycle parking around the city, which increases the potential for cycle crime. 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 cycle parking should be easy without dismounting and should be segregated from pedestrians. I would encourage the planting of trees and shrubs near to bicycle parking to allow cyclists more room and protection from other road users. Cycle crime is something we all want to reduce. Working jointly with the City Council, the Police and cyclists I would wish to ensure every shop, pub, cafe or any social amenity has nearby secure bicycle parking. It should also be a priority for the police to weed out any organised bike theft. Stop checks for cyclists, while inconvenient, are a necessary step in preventing and solving bike crime. The requirement for cycle storage on new developments is helpful, but I would push for these to be of a standard and in a location that enables all new residents to feel happy using them.

James C YOUD
(Green Party)

There is indeed a massive need for improvements to cycle parking. I myself have had 3 bikes stolen in the last year, one of which was locked to a bike rack.
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 but segregated from pedestrians.
Where car-parking could be turned into space for bicycle parking planting of trees and shrubs around the bike parking space should be implemented to protect cyclists from the road.
Cycle crime is something we all want to reduce. Cambridge, as I have already said, has theft rate that has left many of us in despair. 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. It would also be good if the county along with the police could subsidise good quality locks for those who are on low incomes and children who are all to often affected most by bike crime.
It should also be a priority for the police to weed out any organised bike theft.
Stop checks for cyclists may be inconvenient for you and me, but it is more inconvenient to wake up and find your bike stolen! The police all to often take a soft approach and say, there is nothing they can do.
If 10% of all crime is bike related, surely 10% and more should go into reducing this.

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.

Thomas A WOODCOCK
(Independent)

I would be in favour of one or two car spaces being given over to cycle every 50 meters of so. This could be more outside shops and pub and other places of worship . .etc
Before we can get every worker and resident being able to keep a bike safe we need to get everyone feeling they can ride a bike.

I think that everybody going to work should be given a fee bike and free cycle repairs!
This would create lots of Jobs and cycle provision would have to come with it!

Christine FREEMAN
(Labour Party)

See q7.

Leonard A FREEMAN
(Labour Party)

I do suport more cycle parking, but it probably needs to be done on an area by area basis. A small amount of car parking space can be given over in some areas, but in others hoops and more wall attachments may be better.

Michael G SARGEANT
(Labour Party)

I am not sure that parking on the street would be a good idea as it would stop the flow of traffic including cycles.
There certainly ought to be more provision in the Mitcham's Corner area of West Chesterton. I would also be pleased to see a lot more parking provision for cycles in the city centre where there appears to be more than 50% shortfall in parking places.

Sadiq TARIQ
(Labour Party)

More cycle parking spaces are needed but there is always going to be a conflict with other road users for precious road space especially in places like Coleridge where there is huge pressure on residential streets because of a shortage of parking spaces for cars. Part of this is due to commuter parking near the station and if the County Council were to implement imaginative solutions like one-hour parking restrictions this would make life easier for residents and might also free up some space for extra cycle parking.

Kilian BOURKE
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, I would, and have done a survey throughout the ward asking where people would like to see cycle parking installed, potentially at the expense of parking spaces. There was an almost total consensus in the response: everyone wanted cycle parking made available at the pubs in Romsey (where bikes are scattered around at night, because of the lack of facilities) and everyone wanted as much more cycle parking near the shops on Mill Road. However, very few people wanted it on residential streets; the reason being that these would be easy targets for thieves, and they would continue to keep their bikes inside / in their back gardens, even if facilities were available. So in general, against my initial instinct, I am inclined to think parking on residential streets in Romsey is not necessarily the right solution. But if people can demonstrate a suitable location on a residential street(contact me at kilian.bourke@gmail.com) I'd be happy to recommend it to the County Officers who would then investigate and consult on this.

Keith EDKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

I think it will be of interest to cyclists living in Cherry Hinton to have adequate cycle parking at major destinations in the city centre. I am concerned that the authorities at the railway station are clamping down on "illegal" parking when there is never adequate space on the racks. More racks are also needed in the Market Square /Guildhall area.

Susan GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

As I work for the University, I am aware of the problem. One colleague has had two bikes stolen in this academic year. Where possible, secure parking should be available at work and in shared accommodation. People largely need to take their own responsibility for leaving bikes securely, marking them, and noting their details. Cycling provision for shopping has been improved with the Grand Arcade development. For new builds, both for work and for homes, then easily accessible ground floor (preferably covered) should be provided, and I would like to see this as part of the planning process in the same way as car parking spaces are allocated. We personally have no room for a car in our garage - it's full of bikes instead.

Nichola J HARRISON
(Liberal Democrat)

I think it's essential to find extra cycle parking opportunities in Petersfield, off-street where sites can be found and on-street, replacing car parking, where necessary. The loss of car parking spaces will be controversial as these are in short supply too, but I don't think there is a fair balance between car and cycle parking at present and the situation needs to be improved.
I have supported the City Council's provision of cycle racks at Norfolk Street, Gwydir Street and Kingston Street, but I don't feel I have done as much as I ought over the cycle parking issue and am happy to commit myself to a more active approach if re-elected. Martin L-S and I are due to walk the streets looking for suitable locations, and at present I am discussing with the County Council the inclusion of several locations along and around Mill Road for the trial of cycle hoops (www.cyclehoop.com) that is being funded by the Cycle Demonstration Town project.

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.

David JENKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

1: I'd make it a condition for every new development of housing that every dwelling has covered, secure cycle storage and that this is easy to use. Try owning a bike in some of the blocks of flats in Orchard Park!
2: I'd also make it a condition for every new office and industrial development and othr business unit that they provide safe, secure and readily accessible cycle storage. Where practical and economic I'd also encourage a retrofit program.
3: and finally I'd place storage where the demand is and survey the city for obvious points of defficiency. Taking out a minimum of existing car parking may be OK but this should not be an exercise in hitting the car owner. We can't just magic cars to disappear. We need to be a little more creative.

Rupert W G MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

Arbury has very diverse housing stock and there are places where gardens or other spaces provide ample opportunity for secure cycle parking. However, there are also areas where there is no practical space for self-provision. This includes many blocks of flats and Victorian terraces. There we do need to find a way for people to keep their bikes safe. Cycle hoops are a start but are of limited applicability. I have already spoken with City colleagues about providing stands outside some of the blocks such as those in Cockerrell Road where you can see cycles currently chained to the railings. In the more confined spaces in the South of the ward, there is already overdemand for spaces in the CPZ, and we have a problem with carers not being able to find somewhere to park when attending their charges but there are places where cycle space could be provided. However, it isn't clear that people would willingly use a space at some distance from their homes.

Andrew R PELLEW
(Liberal Democrat)

An obvious area for improvement in cycle parking is around Cambridge Railway station as this area in town seems to have the most use by cyclists on a daily basis.

I agree that where there is a shortage of cycle parking the issue should be addressed but I don't see the issue as forcing a choice between car or bike spaces - especially in Kings Hedges. I'm thinking in particular of the areas around Arbury Court and the Community Centre where the issue of cycle parking has been handled in a way that did not really affect the number of spaces available for cars.

If it were a straight choice though and there was a clearly visible need for more cycle parking then Yes - I would agree that replacing car spaces with cycle spaces would be a good idea.

I think the area where I would be able to have the most impact with helping residents keep their bikes safe is working with Councillors from other areas (like round the station) to increase bike spaces at the other end of my residents journeys as well as urging them to use the Immobilise.com website to register their bikes details so that in the unlikely event of a bike going missing the chance of it being successfully returned by the police is greatly increased.

Sarah C WHITEBREAD
(Liberal Democrat)

I agree cycle theft is a major issue, and more adequate cycle parking would be a great help in addressing the problem. In theory I am supportive of the idea of gradually reducing the number of car parking spaces to allow for more space for bicycles throughout the city.

Market Ward in particular is a problem, because it has the most over-subscribed residents' parking zones of the whole city, so much so that there is no pay-and-display visitors' parking in them. Any removal of car parking would not be welcomed by residents.

There are, however, locations where cycle parking can be provided without loss of residents' parking spaces which Lib Dem ward councillors have been and will be supporting. For example we have been trying to get cycle parking on the corner of King St and Manor St for 5 years but difficulties in avoiding damage to tree roots have held things up. I understand a new arrangement which avoids the problem has recently been agreed by the West/Central area committee.

Siep S WIJSENBEEK
(Liberal Democrat)

In many ways cycle parking should be increased, even if that costs car parking space.
However the hoops which are used in Cambridge are not efficient to park a lot of cycles.
Take a Velopa catalogue ( NL ) and you will find much more space efficient cycle racks.

Kevin WILKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

Cycle theft is a real problem and I would welcome more secure cycle parking.

In the south of the ward especially, car parking is in very short supply for residents but it should be possible to accommodate better cycle facilities. Similarly, I am keen to see the existing car club extended to more of the city so that more residents can use a car only when they need to, without owning one, thus encouraging them to use alternative transport more often.

Thomas S YATES
(Liberal Democrat)

I'm happy to see some on-street car parking spaces used for anything that allows more vehicles to use the spaces, or makes better use of the vehicles in the spaces: car clubs, motorcycle parking and cycle parking are three of these. Cycle theft is definitely a big problem, so secure two-wheel parking is something we need.

Marjorie R H BARR
(UK Independence Party)

Yes, I would like there to be more cycle parking places, especially near shopping and workplaces. I would be willing to see some on-street car parking replaced by on-street cycle parking.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

No

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.