Elections

Local elections (City/SouthCambs), May 2011: King's Hedges

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2011.
Polling date: Thursday 5th May 2011
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Martin BOOTH  (Cambridge Socialists)
  • Annette KARIMI  (Conservative Party)
  • Mike PITT  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Kevin PRICE  (Labour Party)
  • Ian TYES  (Independent)

Questions for King's Hedges ward candidates (7 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7 

# 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?

Martin BOOTH
(Cambridge Socialists)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Annette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike PITT
(Liberal Democrat)

There are many excellent ideas, and my colleagues in the LibDems and I broadly welcome them.

Kevin PRICE
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian TYES
(Independent)

As someone who regularly cycles from Kings Hedges to the railway station, I think the 'Chisholm Trail' is a great idea and happy to lend my support to this as a priority. In the interim, junction improvements and removal of cycling from poorly labelled shared use pavements would be a priority and I agree with much of your strategy. I would have to give an opinion on each proposal individually, which I cannot do here. I would also look to improve the use of Hawkins Road/Downhams Lane cycle path by switching the lanes to make it safer for cyclists, plus regular cleaning to remove the broken glass that often gives me punctures!

# 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?

Martin BOOTH
(Cambridge Socialists)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Annette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike PITT
(Liberal Democrat)

I would support more cycle parking facilities, particularly in the flats/courts areas and near our local shopping centres.

However, this is not an issue raised by residents with me in King's Hedges. Residential parking is at a massive premium and already leads to issues that we are working to resolve, so we need to be careful to not make one problem worse and fail to resolve another.

Kevin PRICE
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian TYES
(Independent)

Of course it is no use being able to cycle to places if you cannot lock up your bike safely (and ideally undercover) when you get there. I am not happy with the current shape of cycle 'racks', which seem to be an inefficent use of the space. I am sure you could attach double the amount of bikes in the same space with a better design. The railway station particularly suffers from abandoned bikes taking up the spaces and this issue also needs to be addressed, perhaps through the use of 'ticketing' and regular removal of over-staying bikes. The city centre design is badly suited to bike parking and perhaps disused shops could be temporarily used for under-cover cycle parking. I do not think that EVERY residential street needs secure cycle parking as people in most residential areas would keep their bikes at home. I think the focus should be on 'destinations' - such as the Leisure Park, town centre, bus and railway station rather than on-street parking. Maybe an option to pay for more secure parking with the money used to provide the extra security, particularly for long-stay use at eg the railway station.

# 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?

Martin BOOTH
(Cambridge Socialists)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Annette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike PITT
(Liberal Democrat)

I have in my last four years asked for the police to raise the priority of traffic policing on King's Hedges Road and Northfield Avenue to deal with specific problems of speeding and dangerous driving. The City Council does support various police campaigns, such as the annual city centre clamp down on cycling without lights.

However I would not raise this as a city wide priority at the moment: other concerns (such as types of violent crime) are more pressing.

I would urge members of the Cycling Campaign to raise specific issues at the Area Committees to get the local police priorities to deal with issues.

Personally I would like to see more enforcement at traffic lights, a number of drivers and cyclists seem to flout these.

Kevin PRICE
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian TYES
(Independent)

I do not believe that this would work. Whilst spot fines and 'blitzes' catch a few, education and better-bike design is far better way to ensure that the rules are followed. For comparison, cycle helmets are not compulsory, yet a significant percentage of people use them anyway. Lights are compulsory and yet in my experience less people use lights than cycle helmets. Bikes could be designed with unremoveable lights powered by hub dynamoes. Bells could also be impossible to remove. Biles could be painted with flourescent/reflective patches for higher visibility. If junctions were better designed, sensing systems on traffic lights detected bikes, more use of left-turn bike green filters and filter lanes, less (preferably NONE!) shared use footpaths, more completely off-road cycle-only routes (like Chisholm Trail) then the problems would occur less and cycling would be safer. Of course, you could introduce a system of insurance and 'number plates' in order to trace cyclists and hold them accountable more easily....

# 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?

Martin BOOTH
(Cambridge Socialists)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Annette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike PITT
(Liberal Democrat)

Short answer: yes.

We have tried to get a 20 limit in Northfield Avenue, and I would like to see wider 20 limits.

Kevin PRICE
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian TYES
(Independent)

I am reluctant to support this. As someone who driver and cycles and tries to obey ALL speed limits, I do not like 20 mph speed limits in areas where there is no real need. One of the few sensible traffic people I ever heard said that speed limits are more likely to be respected if they appear to match the situation. In the centre of cambridge, it is not normally possible to drive at 20mph anyway so it is all a symbolic waste of time. In surrounding villages, I would have to be convinced of the benefits on a street-by-street basis. I would rather see cars and bikes and pedestrains completely separated on separate "roads" to minimise collisions rather than tinkering with speed limites. In any case, I understand that the police cannot enforce 20mph limits, so they would only apply to 'honest' drivers anyway and these are probably least likely to cause the accidents through speeding in the first place. Since I believe in less laws rather than more and only introducing laws that are going to be enforced, I do not on balance believe that this is a necessary improvement.

# Question 5

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.

Martin BOOTH
(Cambridge Socialists)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Annette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike PITT
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes.

Kevin PRICE
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian TYES
(Independent)

Brilliant idea in principle! I think the misguided bus should follow it as well rather than going down Milton Road and stuck in traffic!

# Question 6

There is no usable infrastructure supporting less confident cyclists along Arbury Road, Union Lane and Church Street, but very many pinch points and parked cars. Recent proposals were opposed by Cambridge Cycling Campaign, as they risked harming cyclists interests without providing a continuous, safe route along Arbury Road and Union Lane. Do you support a cycle route from Orchard Park to Riverside Bridge and if so, what infrastructure measures do you propose to encourage cyclists of different levels of ability and confidence here?

Martin BOOTH
(Cambridge Socialists)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Annette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike PITT
(Liberal Democrat)

Such a route is needed, but as always we run into problems with conflicting demands for space. I agreed with the advice of the Cycling Campaign over the recent proposals outside St Lawrence' school. Shared use paths and young children do not mix well!

I do think that a safer route down Northfield Avenue might be better for the top end, although that joins to an end of Orchard Park not the centre which would not be ideal.

A 20mph limit would appear to be the easiest option for Arbury Rd and Union Lane, although this might shift traffic to another residential road (King's Hedges Road or Gilbert Road). The wider sections of Arbury Rd (outside the Manor for example) might allow cycle lanes, but a patchy solution might be worse than leaving things as they are.

Kevin PRICE
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian TYES
(Independent)

The Chisholm Trail would still be of some use to people travelling from orchard Park to the centre as the misguided bus route links Orchard Park to it. However, Arbury Road is too narrow to be of use, but Hurst park Avenue is a better route and quieter. it should be possible to find a route behind the Meados and across the park to Hurst park Avenue - there is already a crossing near the end of HPA across Milton Road, then through to Chesterton Road and over the bridge by the Fort St george. Alternatively, I would use the Downhams Lane/hawkins Road route and improve the Milton Road/Union lane junction by banning right turns from Milton Road s/b into Arbury Road (easy to use the roundabout), removing the Union lane phase altogether for cars (by allowing traffic INTO but not OUT of Union lane (can use Elizabeth Way), although bikes can get off and cross on the lights.

# 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 recent past?

Martin BOOTH
(Cambridge Socialists)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Annette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike PITT
(Liberal Democrat)

The Cycling Campaign are a useful voice.

I hope that soon we will finally succeed in getting the second station in North Cambridge, a long standing campaign.

Kevin PRICE
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian TYES
(Independent)

I am not happy with the Elizabeth Way/Chesterton Road 'cycle-only' left-turn lanes on 3 of the 4 corners - they are very dangerous and unnecessary as most traffic goes straight across. I have left additional commenst above in amongst the other points.
I also support the creation of Chesterton Station and this should be designed with cycling access in mind - it would be close to the Chisholm Trail as well.
I would like to see safe overnight bicycle parking provided at park and ride sites so people could drive in to the park and ride site and then use their bike to reach their destination. perhaops bike scould be available for hire at these points as well? I would liek to see more space on trains for bikes. I would like to see space on buses for bikes as well, particularly express services and longer distance buses/coaches and some encuragement to use them. Whilst I oppose in principle the use of shared pavements for cycling owing to the confusion over which bit of pavement you can and cannot cycle on and the bemusement of pedestrians, if they have to be used, then they should be wide enough for cyclists to pass in opposite directions and more thought shoudl have been given to the multitude of blind junctions with people's driveways and other miscelleneous obstructions.
I contributed to the CHUMMS study and have made numerous suggestions for general traffic improvemenst in the area, all of which have bene ignored. Unless one has a position of power, one cannot make real improvements! So vote for me and I will do my best to improve cycling infrastructure for Kings Hedges in particular and for Cambridge and the necklace villages in general!

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.