Elections

Local elections (County), June 2009: Romsey

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in June 2009.
Polling date: Thursday 4th June 2009
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Samuel J W BARKER  (Conservative Party)
  • Marjorie R H BARR  (UK Independence Party)
  • Kilian BOURKE  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Christine FREEMAN  (Labour Party)
  • Philip RICHARDS  (Green Party)
  • Thomas A WOODCOCK  (Independent)

Questions for Romsey division candidates (7 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7 

# 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?

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?

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.

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.

Christine FREEMAN
(Labour Party)

See q7.

Philip RICHARDS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
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!

# 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?

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.

Marjorie R H BARR
(UK Independence Party)

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

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.

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

Philip RICHARDS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Thomas A WOODCOCK
(Independent)

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

# 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?

Samuel J W BARKER
(Conservative Party)

In romsey we already have plenty of traffic calming.

Marjorie R H BARR
(UK Independence Party)

Yes, I think there will have to be more areas with lower speed limits as our streets are becoming more congested.

Kilian BOURKE
(Liberal Democrat)

I've been campaigning for this all year. See the following letter to CEN: http://kilianbourke.mycouncillor.org.uk/2008/08/04/19/ I've raised the issue at almost every full council I've been present at, and eventually Conservative Cabinet member Matt Bradney reluctantly agreed to review their policy, and to revert to government guidance (20mph limits can once again be introduced on roads where the average speed is 24mph or less, as opposed to 20mph or less.) I've also repeatedly pressed, along with Nichola Harrison of Petersfield, for the Portsmouth 20mph blanket zone to be implemented in Cambridge. This is now being trialled experimentally in the city-centre, but it's the residents areas that really need it. I am concerned that the County is going about this scheme in a way that is designed to fail: having attended the Cycle Campaigns "20's Plenty" presentation, I know that the Portsmouth scheme only worked because it was promoted through schools and launched, in a blaze of publicity, across the city all at once. Cambridge County Council's "a little bit here, a little bit there" approach is doomed to fail.

Christine FREEMAN
(Labour Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Philip RICHARDS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Thomas A WOODCOCK
(Independent)

Yes

# 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?

Samuel J W BARKER
(Conservative Party)

As everyone knows, the government are linking this money with congestion charging arbitrarily: why should whitehall decide what's right for Romsey? Reducing congestion is right (I am sceptical about the power of a charge to do this): we should get the money and plough it into sustainable transport: cycle lanes, trams and buses.

Marjorie R H BARR
(UK Independence Party)

My first priority would be for better bus services for Cambridge residents (who have been sidelined under previous transport plans) and better bus travel to and from Cambridgeshire villages. Then I would support increasing facilities for cyclists as you are suggesting and extending cycle tracks.

Kilian BOURKE
(Liberal Democrat)

Vastly improved bus services. More Park and Ride sites much further out of town: the existing system only alleviates congestion, but not pollution. All the cars drive 90% into town and then 90% of the way back. If there were more and smaller sites, emissions would plummet. A dramatic improvement of the cycle infrastructure in and around the city: we need a cogent, connected cycle route through the city-centre, to which arterial routes from outside it lead. Ideally a tram in the Romsey area, which could connect to any development on the Marshall's site, if it ever happens; or, alternately, a pod-system, like they have recently installed in Heathrow. And improved rail services in general. The number of disused rail tracks in the area is just silly.

Christine FREEMAN
(Labour Party)

This question raises a great many issues when we don't even have a congestion charging proposal which satisfies local needs yet. This needs a more coherent, holistic planning approach to establish priorities.

Philip RICHARDS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Thomas A WOODCOCK
(Independent)

Trams, trains and cycles.
They should give us the money to us for tpublic transport without the fiasco of the congestion charge.
If we don't want cars in the city centre then stop all cars from going inside inner ring road - don't creates an flat tax that hits the poor. The congestion charge will continue to prioritize cars to be dominant transport in the city!

# Question 5

Do you agree that two-way cycling should normally be allowed in one-way streets, because of the way this can replace longer and more dangerous cycle routes with more direct routes? (This is the norm in many European cities and we are unaware of any evidence to suggest any significant danger.) In which locations in your ward would you support increased convenience and safety by allowing two-way cycling?

Samuel J W BARKER
(Conservative Party)

given the parking on both sides of the roads in Romsey, I would only want to countenance this on a case by case basis, although I see no reason not to be biased towards it.

Marjorie R H BARR
(UK Independence Party)

I don't agree with cyclists being able to cycle in the opposite direction down one way streets as this can be dangerous. I would not want this encouraged in Romsey.

Kilian BOURKE
(Liberal Democrat)

I think the system works well in Romsey: there are two-way routes to the Carter cycle bridge by the rail station, which works well; but there is a one-way loop on the other side of the ward, because the roads are just too narrow and there is so much pavement parking. But in general I am all for it where it is possible.

Christine FREEMAN
(Labour Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Philip RICHARDS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Thomas A WOODCOCK
(Independent)

Where this is in place in Romsey it works. Lets do more of it!

# Question 6

What do you think should be done to improve the poor walking and cycling environment on Mill Road?

Samuel J W BARKER
(Conservative Party)

It will be much better now that the country council is set to resurface it, but we should have a cycle lane if possible, particularly over the railway bridge.

Marjorie R H BARR
(UK Independence Party)

As Mill Road is a through road to other areas of Cambridge it would be difficult to pedestrianise it without affecting the flow of traffic through other roads, especially East Road. I would like to see the speed limit reduced to 20 m.p.h. with traffic calming at intervals along the road to back it up.

Kilian BOURKE
(Liberal Democrat)

This year I have got the County Council to commit to resurfacing much of Mill Road, and have asked them to pay particular attention to the kerb-side section of the road, which is treacherous for cyclists. There should be no missing lumps, or slippery, sinking grates. I am already pressing for the rest of the road to be resurfaced.

I have also, along with Nichola Harrison of Petersfield, secured £400,000 of accident reduction money for the road. I envision the accident reduction scheme involving 1/ a 20mph limit (inexpensive), and 2/ a series of "raised intersections" at some of the junctions with Mill Road. This involves smoothly raised the level of the road to that of the pavement (indeed, they become one, for a short stretch); the top of the intersection is laid with bricks, and forms a pedestrian crossing; you plant trees at the corners of it, to prevent motorists going on to the pavement; and then it smoothly slopes down again. This is pedestrian friendly, looks nice, doesn't inconvenience cyclists, and isn't a horrible "sleeping policeman". A series of these would diminish speeds on the road: this is especially important around the railway bridge, where speed surveys show many cars doing well over 30mph, as they accelerate to overtake cyclists on the way up.

A cycle bridge on the railway bridge would not be effective: it would only solve the problem for 50 metres, and then you would have to rejoin the road, which would be dangerous; and the sheer expensive of such a bridge could be put to much better use improving cycle facilities in other ways. The Carter bridge already exists for those who want to avoid Mill Road. (I say this as a dedicated cyclist myself!)

Christine FREEMAN
(Labour Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Philip RICHARDS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Thomas A WOODCOCK
(Independent)

Ban private cars from Mill Road between at least Tenason Road and Ross Street and give access for deliveries and buses only. Widen the pavements for the cafes. Increse car access for residents in Petersfield from Hill Road and Newmarket Road and in Romsey from Coldhams lane and Cherry Hinton Road.

For this to work we need much better public transport and cycling!!

# Question 7

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?

Samuel J W BARKER
(Conservative Party)

Cambridge is flat, and the sun is out: if David Cameron can do it in London, there is no excuse not to get on your bike in Cambridge! Look out for the Cambridge Conservatives battle-bike (maybe John Prescott could take a leaf out of our book...).

Marjorie R H BARR
(UK Independence Party)

I have not been an elected councillor so far but if I am elected I will encourage cycling as a form of transport in Cambridge and in the County.

Kilian BOURKE
(Liberal Democrat)

I cycle for a rickshaw company in Cambridge City every summer (greenwheels pedicab tours) so know the cycle situation very well. I also did electric bike traffic reports for a local radio station, so know the cycle-traffic interface quite well. I have been consistently supportive of improvements in cycling as a member of the Area Joint Transport Committee, and always read the campaign's comments. Cambridge is exceptionally suited to cycling in many respects: the huge proportion of people who cycle to work, despite the bad infrastructure, makes this clear. We need to improve that infrastructure and start getting towards the kind of figures you can find in Europe.

Christine FREEMAN
(Labour Party)

My stance is that I'm pro-cyclist and have pedalled round this city for over 30 years.....

1. Ensure adequate support for the Cycling Campaign which has good grass roots links.
2. The City Council already employs cycling officers - their objectives and achievements should be more widely publicised. Perhaps they should consult on and develop local strategies which could be monitored through area committee meetings. They should, at the very least, use area committees to raise issues, listen to concerns and respond to local problems.
3. Improve and increase cycle parking facilities.
4. Improve road surfaces - cycling through many city streets is like going over a ploughed field!
5. Clarify rights of way etc especially in city centre and ensure that cycle paths are clearly marked and safe. (What is the purpose of that extraordinary bit of path outside Mandela House on Regent Street which just stops?! ) There feels like a growing de-regulation of cycle/ car/ pedestrian use and a lack of clear signage which is creating something of a free-for-all. People don't quite know what they should be doing and this causes confusion, irritation and many minor spills.
Road crossings, like the one outside the Gonville Hotel, are very difficult to use safely.

Philip RICHARDS
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Thomas A WOODCOCK
(Independent)

Trains and buses should have more space for cycles all of the time even in Rush Hour!
How else can you integrate a transport system!

I have won affiliations to the cycle campaign from The local NUT and Trades Council.

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.