Elections

Local elections (County), June 2009: Trumpington

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in June 2009.
Polling date: Thursday 4th June 2009
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Ceri B GALLOWAY  (Green Party)
  • John M IONIDES  (Conservative Party)
  • Caroline SHEPHERD  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Pamela M STACEY  (Labour Party)

Questions for Trumpington 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?

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.

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.

Caroline SHEPHERD
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Pamela M STACEY
(Labour 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?

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.

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.

Caroline SHEPHERD
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Pamela M STACEY
(Labour 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?

Ceri B GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

Yes

John M IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

This depends very much on the eventual definition of "residential areas". There are many areas where I would strongly support a 20mph limit. However, I think it would be a mistake to extend this into roads where speeds of 30 mph are common when traffic is light (cf City Centre 20 mph zone; I do not think that Trumpington St and Regent's St would be a good choice for a 20mph zone -- there is simply too much space)

Caroline SHEPHERD
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Pamela M STACEY
(Labour 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?

Ceri B GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

While £500m would represent a considerable increase in funding for public transport & cycling facilities in terms of the county-wide work required to improve public access to Cambridge and other towns and villages, this money should be targeted carefully towards measures that would benefit CO2 reduction. County-wide cycle facilities need to be joined up and comprehensive cycle paths in the city as a priority, and regular public transport.

John M IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

I strongly oppose the congestion charge for a number of reasons which have been well publicised and have been debated at length with members of the CCC. There are a number of transport scheme that have been proposed that could be worth supporting (e.g. bus tunnels, taking the Guided Bus over Stourbridge common to Newmarket Rd etc. However, realistically, all these scheme promote yet further growth which I do not feel is in the city's interest. Indeed, it staggers me that there is a seemingly a strong environmental lobby in favour of a scheme like congestion charging [yes, I mean you, Martin] that would only lead to the single largest source of pressure on the environment - more people. If - and it is a big if - this funding could be decoupled from extra expansion then there is a strong case for just tidying up a lot of the road layout and improving pavements and road surfaces. There is also a strong case for an extended network of cycle paths to the west of Cambridge (e.g. Hardwick - Toft - Comberton; Madingley - Madingley Rd) as travelling between many of these villages is only really possible by car (or very confident cyclists). I imagine similar cases might be made for villages in other directions, but I do not know them so well.

Caroline SHEPHERD
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Pamela M STACEY
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 5

Hills Road Bridge has always been a very poor environment for cycling, with high speeds and aggressive traffic, and lack of on-road space. The County Council proposes a scheme involving one traffic lane uphill, and two traffic lanes downhill, in each direction, plus a 2.1m on-road ‘hybrid’ cycle lane on both sides. We think this represents national best practice and would lead to many more people feeling able to cycle here. Do you support the proposals in principle?

Ceri B GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

Yes

John M IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

It is very dangerous to implement a scheme such as this purely because it fits into "national best practice". It should be judged on its own merits, given local knowledge etc.

On Hills Rd bridge, given that the feeders in both direction are effectively single lane then the scheme seems to make sense. Indeed, the acknowledgment that the Guided Bus work has NOT caused as much additional congestion as was expected has been, I think, a significant factor in putting this proposal forwards.

Against this, the "no right turn" rules applied during the work have probably had a big effect on traffic flow, so the impact of the proposed scheme on traffic flows once these are put back in place will not necessarily be so benign.

From my personal point of view I would prefer to retain the old configuration because I am confident (and fast) enough to cycle in the middle of the lane so sticking me in a cycle lane (often less well maintained than the main carriageway) is not appealing.

However, I can see the value of the scheme to less confident cyclists so would be inclined to support it provided that it was clear that it did not impact on the ability of motor vehicles to flow through this key pinch point as fast as possible.

Caroline SHEPHERD
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Pamela M STACEY
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 6

We favour the removal of car parking on at least one side of Trumpington Road outside the Botanic Gardens. The current lanes are against government policy, as they are in the 'dooring zone'. Our proposal would allow wider cycle lanes and a buffer zone to protect cyclists from opened car doors . Do you support this?

Ceri B GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

Yes

John M IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

Again, care should be taken in applying "national policy" to individual circumstances. I am a strong believer in localism, and am wary of "one size fits all" guidelines.

In this particular case I would want to know more about the accident record at the site, and to talk to cyclists on the pavement who chose not use the cycle lanes. My instinct is that this is an case where we could spend a huge amount of money to satisfy a guideline but with relatively little benefit to cyclists, but it would warrant further investigation.

Caroline SHEPHERD
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Pamela M STACEY
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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?

Ceri B GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

I fully support spending to be prioritised for cycle provision in the city and county in general. I believe dedicated cycle-only paths should be created similar to those in Holland so that cyclists need not use the road network.

In areas where this is not possible joint use should be carefully monitored, and pedestrians and cyclists made aware of each others' fears and concerns.

Aggressive cycling should be controlled and were more people wishing to cycle at high speed, dedicated cycle lanes should be used on the roadway. High speed cycling should be banned on current cycle paths that are jointly used by vulnerable cyclists as the two do not work together. Long distance and little used areas obviously can be used if set up for high speed use.

John M IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

Yes. You have completely ignored the issues of quality of surface, especially potholes. This has been a big issue on the doorstep, and is very much under County control. As a cyclist who prefers to cycle on the road, this is a big problem.

You have also ignored the issue to cycle path maintenance - both from the point of view of how good the surface should be, and what maintenance regimes should be put in place in order to ensure the existing infrastructure lasts well.

Although not a County issue, there is also a significant problem keeping some of the more fancy cycle lanes in Trumpington free from dirt and leaf debris. As the street cleaning machines cannot access them, they need to be cleared by hand on a separate rota and this frequently seems not to happen (well, I have ended up chasing StreetScene on this sort of thing more times than I feel I should).

These are all significant issues in Trumpington.

Caroline SHEPHERD
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Pamela M STACEY
(Labour 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.