Elections

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Question 2 - we asked:

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?

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)

I do support this view, although of course it needs to be balanced against other issues (as I mentioned, we have a significant vandalism problem at the moment which is concerning Kings Hedges residents). That said, while irresponsible cycling is not necessarily the kind of problem that gets brought forward as a policing priority, it is a continuous low-level concern for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists alike, especially those with limited mobility or prams and pushchairs.

At the very least, I would like to see that the existing rules of the road are adhered to, including the proper use of one way streets and shared pavements, and the use of lights after dusk. Again, though, we don’t need a rigid enforcement-of-the-law approach. This is about civil behaviour, proper respect for all our road users, and a mutual understanding of the different needs of cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. A lot can be done by local people before this needs to become a police resourcing issue.

Samuel J W BARKER
(Conservative Party)

No, I think the police should be dealing with more serious crimes. A Conservative Government would cut police bureaucracy so that they could spend more time on the streets and less in the office - this would have a soft impact on cycling misdemeanours.

Often cycling on pavements is not out of choice, but out of fear for safety (e.g. over Mill road railway bridge). we need better cycle lanes.

Andrew J BOWER
(Conservative Party)

I do. I supported Coleridge Conservative Councillor Chris Howell’s year-long battle for the East Area Committee to adopt police enforcement of speeding vehicles as a priority in the area, over which he eventually managed to persuade other councillors to support him. While that particular quarterly priority is not as broad as your suggestion, one of the advantages of using police to enforce speed limits is that they can also tackle other motoring and cycling offences at the same time.

Of course there are many other important areas of policing which should not be displaced – we need to see what we can do to increase the total useful policing activity, such as by cutting out bureaucracy and doing more individual, rather that paired patrolling.

As you say, cycle offences such as riding in the dark without lights, which is very dangerous, and using pedestrian-only pavements, which intimidates pedestrians, should be taken more seriously. I think the prevalence of shared-use footpaths as part of a box-ticking culture towards cycling provision has created uncertainty and led many to assume that cycling on footpaths is always permitted.

I look forward to the prospect of directly elected police chiefs implementing residents’ policing priorities if a Conservative government is elected!

http://cherryhintonroad.blogspot.com/2009/05/surprise-victory-on-policing-speeding.html

Donald F DOUGLAS
(Conservative Party)

Yes - and the penalties should be greater and publicised more widely. Irresponsible cyclists (jumping red lights, passing other cyclists on the left...) should also be fined.

Charles S HARCOURT
(Conservative Party)

I do support it. And being a daily cyclist, I'm appalled at the number of cyclists going through red lights. They don't observe the code of the road. More fines, please.

John M IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

Cyclists without lights should definitely be a police issue.

Cycling on the pavement is a much harder problem to address sensibly. We have run extensive surveys in Trumpington on this issue and the majority of people are extremely understanding of cyclists on the pavement, particularly where children are concerned. This is therefore not an issue that lends itself to rigid policing. The core problem seems to be the non-deferential way in which cyclists often react to pedestrians - i.e. it is really an ASB issue. In Trumpington, I think that more work needs to go into understanding the problem locally and devising a local strategy before policing becomes a limiting factor.

Michael J MORLEY
(Conservative Party)

My pet peeve is cyclists who, on narrow bridges, ignore "Cyclists Dismount" signs. It is ignorant and inconsiderate behaviour, showing little respect for the safety of others.

Enforcing the law is, by definition, the role of the police. Ensuring that roads and pavements are safe for all users should be a high priority. Cycling without lights at night, or the wrong way down one-way streets, or on pavements is a danger both to the cyclist and to other road users.

It should, of course, be a greater policing priority - acting on cyclists breaking the law should be a matter of routine for the police. I do not believe that the current methodology is sufficient: as I cycle around Cambridge, for most of the year, the policing attitude to cyclists is relaxed. However, at some points - for a couple of nights - 'spot checks' happen. I recally this recently happening on Trinity Street: police stopped a great many cyclists to fine on-the-spot for not having lights, or for cycling the street the wrong way. Not only did this create resentment amongst cyclists (as, the nights before and after things went back to 'normal') but merely encouraged them to take alternative routes and tip others off to the police presence.

Only by continual enforcement of the law would the behaviour of cyclists be changed.

James A STRACHAN
(Conservative Party)

Yes.

It would do police officers a lot of good to get out of the office, and out of the canteen, into the fresh air.

Alexandra L J COLLIS
(Green Party)

I believe that the main priority for police should be tackling the problem of cycle thefts. However, cyclists also have a responsibility to cycle safely and should abide by the law, for the benefit of pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. Where people are cycling without lights after dark, they should expect to be stopped and to receive a fine. The revenue raised through fines could be better used by putting it towards subsidising locks - lights - for those on low incomes, as discussed above. Local educational providers also have a part to play in ensuring that seasonal visitors are fully aware of - and comply with - their responsibilities as cyclists.

Ceri B GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

I am concerned by this position taken by the Cycling Campaign. I notice and feel concerned that cyclists are often portrayed as the perpetrators of unsafe practices, when the main perpetrators are those who use motorised vehicles because their vehicles move at a speed that bring pedestrians and cyclists into risk/danger.

At present locally and nationally, joint use of pedestrian pathways by vulnerable groups may be the safest method of travel for them. In this case, careful and considerate cycling should always be priority; priority to pedestrians, particularly older people and children.

There is not a comprehensive cycling network at present and many cycle paths end without appropriate links to safe cycling areas, or the end of the cycle path is unclear or confusing.

Some people do not feel safe to cycle on the road or find cycling on the road too unpleasant re noise, pollution and a general sense of threat - and these are quite reasonable concerns and fears. This leads to these people activity using their cars more frequently than needed, even when they are sympathetic to cycling.

Where cyclists cycle aggressively and do not pay attention to shared use of space on designated and undesignated space then I believe strong policing should be in operation.

It is often not clear in Cambridge where there is joint use of pathways and this gives pedestrians a confusing message about whether the space is shared, so as a result can cause offence. Where there are pathways side by side or designated only-cycling, pedestrians choose to walk on the cycle path as it's smoother and wider. This indicates to me that a much better network of cycle and pedestrian paths are required.

Frail, elderly people, children and carers: Children are very vulnerable to cycle accidents and therefore where there is joint use of pathways they should take priority. Cyclists should slow to minimum or step off the cycle.

In areas where pathways not designated as joint use are used infrequently by pedestrians, this should be joint use and an audit of these paths should be made ASAP.

All cyclists should have lights.

Keith A GARRETT
(Green Party)

The police should be dealing with cycling illegalities but they need to be seen to be fair. There is a general feeling that the police are not at pro-cycling as they could be. Incidents between cars and bikes should be treated as very serious given it is always a potential lethal situation. All police around Cambridge should be on bikes at some point to understand the issues.

Valerie T HOPKINS
(Green Party)

The police in the past have been a bit harsh fining cyclists without lights. I don't condone cycling without lights but think that concentrating on tackling the organised bike thefts in Cambridge is more important. The introduction of cycling down one-way streets the wrong way has been increased and this could be extended where feasible.

Teal Richard RILEY
(Green Party)

As already said I believe that the polices priority for cyclists should be to spend time getting to the route of bike thefts and weeding it out.
All cyclists should abide by the law and most of the time this is to the benefit of both cyclists, pedestrians and other road users.
However police can often be heavy handed to cyclists that have only broken minor rules. These rules are also often obscure in terms of signage. Cycling up one-way streets is not acceptable but fining that cyclist is bizarre.
All cyclists should have lights after dark and any monies that are taken in from fines given out should stay in system funding the policing of crime the subsidy of bike locks and bike lights.
The policy of cyclists not being allowed up wide one-way streets where there could be counter-flow cycle only traffic should be looked at and extended where possible.

Catherine E TERRY
(Green Party)

There is nothing on the road more annoying to me than watching the cyclist in front casually edge forward to roll over the junction at a red light. All cyclists should abide by the law. Those that do not are bringing us all into dispute.
While cycle thefts are a policing priority, cycle safety is a priority for all of us! All cyclists should have lights after dark, and I encourage the police to fine cyclists without lights. Any monies that are taken in from fines given out should stay in system funding the policing of crime the subsidy of bike lights.

James C YOUD
(Green Party)

As already said I believe that the polices priority for cyclists should be to spend time getting to the route of bike thefts and weeding it out.
All cyclists should abide by the law and most of the time this is to the benefit of both cyclists, pedestrians and other road users.
However police can often be heavy handed to cyclists that have only broken minor rules. These rules are also often obscure in terms of signage. Cycling up one-way streets is not acceptable but fining that cyclist is bizarre.
All cyclists should have lights after dark and any monies that are taken in from fines given out should stay in system funding the policing of crime the subsidy of bike locks and bike lights.
The policy of cyclists not being allowed up wide one-way streets where there could be counter-flow cycle only traffic should be looked at and extended where possible.

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.

Thomas A WOODCOCK
(Independent)

I would prioritize the money towards better cycling and safer road layouts.

Christine FREEMAN
(Labour Party)

Area committees are now including regular agenda items on local policing priorities - this is the place for such decisions to be considered. Some people are very upset by reckless cycling, eg on pavements, but residents may feel generally that existing police and PCSO resources should be used for other local enforcement issues. Local blitzes on eg lights can be very effective. balanced by enforcement

Leonard A FREEMAN
(Labour Party)

I think that lights are a crucial problem, particularly for cyclists themselves. It may be that CPSOs could be given more authority to deal with this problem, as well as the usual police force.

Michael G SARGEANT
(Labour Party)

I believe there should be increased training of cyclists combined with publicity campaigns. This should be combined with periodic campaigns to tie in with clock changes.
Priority for the police should be decided on the basis of the level of accidents in particular areas and the risk of specific behaviour. I think it would be wrong to discourage children from riding on the pavements and pushing them on to the roads which might cause more accidents.

Sadiq TARIQ
(Labour Party)

Greater police enforcement is necessary but it should not take greater priority over more serious crimes like burglary, violence, and serious anti-social behaviour. Police resources are limited and local people do have the opportunity to help set local policing priorities through their Area Committees.

Kilian BOURKE
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. The usual Autumn-blitz on offenders isn't enough. Mill Road should be a particular target. I'm a cyclist, and if I don't have lights I should expect to be penalised. Dangerous cyclists make motorists treat even responsible cyclists badly. We need to take the opposite approach to most motorists / taxi-groups, and to positively encourage enforcement.

Keith EDKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, also fining of cyclists going the wrong way in one-way streets with no contra-lanes. They are a danger to other cyclists and pedestrians as well as to themselves, and cannot expect to be exempt from the law.

Susan GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

I believe that education is more important than enforcement. The aim of police enforcement is to reduce injuries - mostly to cyclists. I am shocked at the number of cyclists who don't have lights at night.

Nichola J HARRISON
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, I absolutely agree. Inconsiderate and illegal cycling is one of the top issues raised with me by local residents and I find it frustrating that the urgent need for improved cycling provision (eg contraflow measures, cycle parking, cycle lanes etc) is often harder to argue because of a fairly widespread anti-cycling mentality that is fed by the bad behaviour of a small(ish) number of cyclists.
I have argued for better enforcement and education by the police and have also discussed the roles of County and City councils with cycling officers from both councils.

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.

David JENKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes.

Cyclists are members of our society like anyone else and have rights (safe routes etc) and responsibilities (use lights, cycling on pavements etc).

Rupert W G MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

I am pleased to have been involved in the establishment of Area Committees and the setting of policing priorities at such meetings. In the North Area Committee there have been periods when the people of the area have asked the police to prioritise such enforcement and that had moderate success. The police should respond dynamically to local needs and wants. If the people want traffic policing to be a higher priority, it should be.

Andrew R PELLEW
(Liberal Democrat)

I think this is really down to the residents in each area to decide the policing priorities for their area. I'm not aware of local residents raising this as a priority in King's Hedges.

Sarah C WHITEBREAD
(Liberal Democrat)

I agree cyclists who don't have lights, or go through red lights, should be a police priority. Cycling on pavements I would say is slightly less of a concern. Because of the number of shared use pedestrian / cycle paths in cambridge, sometimes cyclists might not be clear whether they're allowed on the pavement or not. The important thing is to cycle in a considerate manner, aware of other road users / pedestrians.

Siep S WIJSENBEEK
(Liberal Democrat)

Very much so. Cycling without lights is a danger for the car driver as well as for the stupid cyclist!

Kevin WILKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. The project whereby cyclists without lights were given lights on paying their fine on getting caught seemed a pragmatic, helpful way to encourage better cycling and I would be keen to see this continue.

I have also argued at the Cambridge Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnership that dealing with cycle theft should also be a greater police priority.

Thomas S YATES
(Liberal Democrat)

Unsafe road usage is often against the law, and when it is, it shouldn't be tolerated. Where apparently-unlawful activities are actually permissible, such as shared-use paths and streets which are one-way for motor vehicles but two-way for bicycles, I'd like to see very clear signage so that vehicle users are very aware this is happening, and cyclists don't mistakenly come to believe they are permitted everywhere.

Marjorie R H BARR
(UK Independence Party)

Yes, I think the police should patrol the roads more often - but not in fast cars.

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.