Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (City/SouthCambs), May 2011: Coleridge

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2011.
Polling date: Thursday 5th May 2011
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Jeremy BENSTEAD  (Labour Party)
  • Andrew James BOWER  (Conservative Party)
  • Valerie Teresa HOPKINS  (Green Party)
  • Thomas Spencer YATES  (Liberal Democrat)

Questions for Coleridge ward candidates (8 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8 

# Question 1

Our new Cycling Vision 2016 report, available on our website and as featured in the local media recently, outlines a range of proposals for increasing the rate of cycling in the area. Do you give Cycling Vision 2016 your backing, and what are you most keen to see implemented?

Jeremy BENSTEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

The vision is an impressive report. A core of high quality cycling backbones across the city would really make a big difference. Some of the junction improvements are badly needed.

I also like the idea of removing substandard cycle lanes - we need all road users to be fully aware that cyclists do belong on the highway and not on substandard cycle lanes.

Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)

As a regular cyclist and non car owner, I fully support the proposals to increase cycling in the area and am most keen to see the speed reductions implemented. Cars, pedestrians and bikes do not mix and keeping them separate is important.

Thomas Spencer YATES
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 2

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 work towards a situation where every resident and every worker in every ward can keep a bike safe?

Jeremy BENSTEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

I do support this idea. I think it is particularly relevant to neighbouring wards, such as Petersfield and Romsey around pubs, shops and terraced houses practically fronting the highway and in the city centre. Kingston Street’s cycle parking is an excellent example, albeit insufficient! I am not sure where in Coleridge the take-up would be quite so high (except from cycling canvassers of course!) but would be interested in any suggestions.

In critical areas it may also be worth converting the odd verge for this purpose - perhaps one that is already mutilated by car parking.

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

See my blog for further comments on cycle parking and theft:

http://cherryhintonroad.blogspot.com/search/label/Cycle%20parking

Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)

Myself and my family have been victim to many cycle thefts over the years and this is frustrating when our bicycles are relied upon every day. Cycle parking is always full especially at the Rail Station. I hope that plans for redeveloping the area include sufficient areas for safe locking of bikes. In my ward I am concerned about the shops/takeaways on Cherry |Hinton Road where cars mount the pavement to park and this causes problems for cyclists and pedestrians as cars reverse out onto a main road. I would like to see this parking removed and replaced with cycle parking and perhaps a lay-by instead to allowparking for a few cars or deliveries to those shops.

Thomas Spencer YATES
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 3

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?

Jeremy BENSTEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

I do support this view.

I campaigned for proper police enforcement of speeding on problem roads in the area, including holding police officers to account at the council’s East Area Committee. I persuaded my colleague who was Conservative councillor to get police enforcement of speeding made a priority in our area, which was eventually successful despite being opposed by councillors from different parties all along the way.

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.

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

I organised a survey of bicycles on Mill Road over a couple of nights to gauge the extent of the problem of cycling without lights and found that 50% of lights were missing. I achieved some publicity as a result of this survey and consequently found police paying attention to the problem. It is important that policing of cycling is not just confined to a token annual check on Sidney Street.

http://cherryhintonroad.blogspot.com/2009/10/bicycle-lights-on-mill-road.html

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Home/Half-of-cyclists-snub-law-on-lights.htm

http://cherryhintonroad.blogspot.com/2009/11/police-respond-to-unlit-cyclists-on.html

We should be trying to increase the total amount of policing by cutting out police bureaucracy, doing more patrols individual rather than in pairs and allowing the public to elect no-nonsense police chiefs directly, something I am delighted to note that the new government is planning.

Cycle offences such as riding in the dark without lights 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.

Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)

I agree that traffic policing should become a greater priority as cyclist without lights give all cyclists a bad name. However I also feel that traffic policing of car drivers using mobile phones is more important as this is such a common thing I see as I cycle around Cambridge.

Thomas Spencer YATES
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 4

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?

Jeremy BENSTEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

I certainly agree that many such streets in our area are not suitable for higher speeds (over 20mph) most of the time. It is worth reading speed reports for places like Mill Road - most of the traffic was already limiting itself to this speed most of the time. We shall have to see if anything actually happens about those who used to go too fast now that the 20mph speed limit is in place there...

However, I do think the obsession with 20mph zones detracts from wider arguments about safety and by being unnecessarily broad in cases can undermine support for traffic restrictions. Safety measures should certainly be deployed for safety reasons only, not social engineering.

Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)

As a parent of four teenagers I am very concerned about rat running by cars thru built up areas. There is a 20 mph zone in Wulfstan Way near me and I have never seen it enforced. I am sure that some parents continue to drop their children off in the car because they fear that they are not safe in the morning and afternoon rush hours. Car users need to be discouraged from speeding and targeting areas and handing out fixed penalties is the only way to do this.

Thomas Spencer YATES
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 5

There have not been enough cycle stands at the station for at least a decade now. Given the level of cycle theft, congestion and growth in the city, what steps will you take to solve this and in what timescale?

Jeremy BENSTEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

I support the cycling campaign's continued pressure on railway companies to release parking spaces for cycles at the station. But this should not be the only avenue as the financial incentives may not be aligned there to see action... Regular removal of unused cycles is also important but also cannot be seen as a panacea. New developments nearby really should have been required to include much more cycle parking with them - we must not allow that to happen again.

Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)

As | mentioned earlier the Rail Station is severely lacking in cycle parking and bikes parking needs to be improved. Green Councillors have already been successful in obtaining extra parking at Cambridge United and the Green Party will continue to ensure that developers take cycle parking seriously when planning applications are submitted.

Thomas Spencer YATES
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 6

Will you give your active support to the proposal to construct a proper cycle path linking Ashbury Close to Golding Road?

Jeremy BENSTEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

I have already given active support to this proposal:

http://cherryhintonroad.blogspot.com/2010/08/connecting-asbury-close-golding-road.html

I have put the case strongly to local residents as to how the scheme is a good one but in final decision making I will only support the scheme if we have been successful in gaining the support of local residents when it eventually goes to consultation. They have to live with the consequences either way.

Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)

As my son has a paper round in this area I am all too aware that cycling is restricted between Ashbury Close and Golding Road. It is an ideal thru route to Mill Road and Coleridge School and keeping cyclists off the main road is preferable. I would definitely support it.

Thomas Spencer YATES
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 7

Do you support our proposal for 'The Chisholm Trail', a cycling super-highway that would run roughly along the railway, joining up the Science Park to Addenbrookes? More details are in our Cycling Vision 2016 document. This high-profile scheme would cut journey times, give people a genuine, realistic alternative to car use and help the city cope with the population increase which will take place in the coming years.

Jeremy BENSTEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

I do support the Chisholm Trail and would do what I could to get rail companies and any other relevant bodies to facilitate the scheme.

The Conservative-controlled county council is open to the idea of the trail and Cambridge Conservatives have supported it for many years.

Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)

Any cycle route that takes cyclists off the main roads I support for reasons of safety and pollution. With the rise in petrol prices even more people are taking their bikes out of the shed in an effort to save money and more routes like this are needed if people are going to be convinced that the bike is a much more preferable way to travel around the city.

Thomas Spencer YATES
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 8

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 recent past?

Jeremy BENSTEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

Cycling has been my primary mode of transport for many years.

I have promoted cycling with lights, defensive cycling, the need to open up what I call value-added cycle paths (not the same as a splash of white paint on the road/pavement) which open up new options for cyclists, adequately sized cycle lanes (many in the city are not) and have campaigned to get speeding vehicles under control.

I oppose road measures that make life more difficult for cyclists, such as road humps. I have been sceptical of the culture in government of painting white lines on the road or sharing pavements and calling that a cycling facility. Cyclists need to feel confident cycling on the main highway, through promotion, law enforcement and training.

I recently wrote some notes about commuter cycling in Cambridge:

http://cherryhintonroad.blogspot.com/2010/09/commuter-cycling-in-cambridge.html

Valerie Teresa HOPKINS
(Green Party)

I am a member of the BUG-WAG at Addenbrookes and want to ensure that as the site expands over the next few years that cyclists are provided for to encourage people to look for alternatives to the car to get to work.

Thomas Spencer YATES
(Liberal Democrat)
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.