Elections

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Question 3 - 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 wards, namely: Abbey, Arbury, Castle, Cherry Hinton, Coleridge, Cottenham, East Chesterton, Histon & Impington, King's Hedges, Market, Newnham, Petersfield, Queen Edith's, Romsey, Trumpington, West Chesterton.

37 of the 74 candidates (50%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

In general I am in favor of education and prevention over criminalization. I would always argue for grants and funding to be spent in a progressive and rewarding way for cyclists not a punitive one. On making the roads safer for cyclists so they don't cycle on the pavement and investing in schemes where bikes are maintained and kept road worthy (including lights) through cycle to work plans and work in schools and with other institutions.

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.

Vince MARINO
(Conservative Party)

I think a policy to safer cycling should start at the roots ,it may be a good idea to start with profficiency tests installing safety and care awareness for cyclists,then we cxould progress if needed to fines and speeding restrictions.
We should also look further ahead of how cycling traffic will increase ,as this will be the case ,should we be looking at making cycle lanes seperate to paths and roads with raised kerbs for safety

Philip James SALWAY
(Conservative Party)

The police seem to do this only around the start of term
and I think it needs doing all year round.
The Conservatives have undertaken several cycle surveys
including one last year that showed that over 50% of cyclists
didn't have lights along Mill Road. Clearly this is dangerous
and a reason why so many drivers don't take cycling seriously.
We should be doing more to make everyone safe.

Edward James Anthony TURNHAM
(Conservative Party)

I agree that traffic policing needs to be improved. I was proud to be present when Cambridge's last Conservative councillor, Chris Howell, fought successfully for speeding to be retained as a policing priority in Coleridge.

Inconsiderate cyclists should be dealt with by beat officers as part of their daily duties. It shouldn't be necessary to declare a police priority for this to be done. With other potential priorities being high on the agenda - burglary, anti-social behaviour, motorist speeding, etc. - I would be hesitant to add cyclists to the list. Making everything a priority would mean that nothing would be a priority!

Timothy John WOTHERSPOON
(Conservative Party)

The police were always very strict when I was a student - especially about lights. Has enforcement become a bit lax over the past twenty years then?

I do feel strongly that anti-social cycling gives all of us a bad name, so I do believe that offending cyclists should be treated the same as anyone else who flouts the law.

Alexandra COLLIS
(Green Party)

Absolutely. Cycling needs to be safe for everyone.

Jane Sarah ESGATE
(Green Party)

Yes, cyclists without lights are an obvious danger to all path and road users; however usage of pedestrian only pavements may seem to some an inevitable choice where no safe provision has yet been made.

Neil Alan FORD
(Green Party)

Cyclists get a bad name by not using lights and I would support this.

Ceri Barbara GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

I support the cycle campaigns position on promoting safe behaviour by vehicle drivers and lorries as well as cyclists. We should be setting the same type of standards that are found in Holland where road, pedestrian and cycle traffic are mainly separated. Vulnerable road users being of the road so it is safe for children and vulnerable adults to cycle and cyclists are not concerned about their own safety as many British people are.

Jamie GIBSON
(Green Party)

Yes; responsible cycling ensures the safety of all users and I am usually dismayed that some cyclists can flout a number of road rules, causing panic and potential injury to fellow cyclists and pedestrians.

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.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)

Yes I do, but I would emphasise that the lack of a city-wide cycle plan of any consequence, by council has directly lead to the competition for limited resources (space) by cycles, cars, buses and pedestrians. I see this as part of an even wider deficit that I would actively campaign for, such as education.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

If there was a separate traffic police unit, possibly. "This is common in other countries".

Stephen Martin LINTOTT
(Green Party)

Very mixed views as the police have so many priorities

Donald Allan MCBRIDE
(Green Party)

As long as the law is enforced fairly I belive cyclists should obay the laws of the road. It is clear that some cyclists (and some motorists) do not know or understand the Highway Code.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

Yes. The issue of cyclists without lights is especially distressing as it brings the cycling movement into disrepute.

Brian WESTCOTT
(Green Party)

Yes, and I would include cycling the wrong way doen one-way streets and cycling through traffic lights showing red as cyclists doing both have narrowly missed me as a pedestrian.

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....

Gerri BIRD
(Labour Party)

Enforcement of by-laws, ensuring that our roads, cycleways and pavements are sensibly and safely used and that users are aware of their rights and responsibilities. I also agree that coming up with practical solutions that could help to stop incidents, Better signage, improved infrastructure and even simple things like the repainting of lines on cycle lanes can help avoid incidents occurring in the first place, saving police time and money.

Kevin BLENCOWE
(Labour Party)

The issue of cyclists without lights and of adult cyclists using pedestrian-only pavements particularly in busy areas is regularly raised on the doorsteps by residents. It gives cycling a bad name when we really want to promote it in a good light. Again to tackle this, those with responsibility to deal with these problems need to grasp the nettle and give it a real commitment rather than the tokenism of the rare one-week campaigns per year to make believe they're doing something about it.

Richard JOHNSON
(Labour Party)

Yes I do. Enforcement of by-laws, ensuring that our roads, cycleways and pavements are sensibly and safely used and that those users are aware of their rights and responsibilities is important. I also agree that coming up with practical solutions that could help to stop incidents and bad traffic behaviour is vital. Better signage, improved infrastructure and even simple things like the repainting of lines on cycle lanes can help avoid incidents occurring in the first place, saving police time and money.

However, any move to making traffic policing a greater priority should not be to the detriment of other important police priorities, such as robbery, burglary and anti-social behaviour. Also Area Committees should continue to be free to select the most appropriate priorities for the wards in that particular area – these priorities can vary depending where you are in Cambridge.

Kenny LATUNDE-DADA
(Labour Party)

I do agree that increased traffic policing is required to deter and to apprehend errant cyclists.

In the absence of compulsory insurance and licensing, I believe that this is the only means to making the streets and pavements safer for pedestrians, motorists and yes cyclists as well.

Godson LAWAL
(Labour Party)

Traffic policing should now be given stronger consideration as that is part of the sense of safety that the people want. It takes just few cautions and fining that will send the messages right across and that will make more cyclists be willing to abide to the rules.

Zoe MOGHADAS
(Labour Party)

Yes.

Carina O'REILLY
(Labour Party)

Yes, with the caveat that this must be done after discussion with police as to what would be moved down the priority to allow it to happen. Dangerous cycling is a menace not just to pedestrians but to other cyclists, and drivers, but it may not contribute to a sense of personal danger as much as other crimes that are currently police priorities, and setting police priorities needs to be done with a wide vision of what's important to keep residents feeling safe.

Mike SARGEANT
(Labour Party)

There are many needs to improve the policing of cycling. My biggest concern is adult cyclists who ignore traffic lights and other traffic junction regulations. This sets a very bad example to younger cyclists and puts them at risk.

Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

I agree that police should fine all those who cycle without lights because it is a danger to themselves, to pedestrians and to local motorists. I also agree that cycling on pavements, for similar reasons, must be stopped where possible. It will only become harder to forward the case for cycling if cyclists simply end up annoying pedestrians and motorists.

Clare Frances BLAIR
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, though there is also a role for educating and helping cyclists of all ages become more responsible.

Jonathan Peter CHATFIELD
(Liberal Democrat)

Police should certainly target those breaking the law whether they be car drivers, bus drivers, skip drivers or cyclists. This should include speeding, driving too close and traffic light offences.

Alan LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

The bad behaviour of a significant minority of road users is a major problem right across Cambridge. It makes the roads less safe both for the perpetrators and for everyone else. The poor behaviour exhibited by some cyclists is particularly unfortunate because it is regularly used by non cyclists as an excuse for their own bad behaviour and for not improving the provision of cycling facilities.

Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

In the two examples you cite, these would be areas I could support police action on. However, I would be wary that without further direction and training a police crackdown on traffic to include cyclists could be unproductive, either through errors in application of the rules or focusing on the wrong points. (E.g. stopping a well-lit rider without a helmet but ignoring another cyclist who is wearing black, at night, with no high-vis - as I understand it, there have been cases where this has happened in the not-to-distant past)

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.

Andrea Curti REINER
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. I agree with the position paper that you have posted, that enforcement of traffic policing of cyclists should go hand in hand with better policing of motorists.

Raj SHAH
(Liberal Democrat)

Firstly I think there needs to be a greater commitment to education in these matters. The County Council actually does some good work on this. I know my colleague Kilian Bourke has been pushing for them to maintain this. Julian Huppert too.

However I think the best way to engage with the constant vilification of cyclists is to take the moral high ground and demand that it is better policed. If I were to cycle without bike lights in the dark I would fully expect to be fined: it is hazardous for all road users. A spot fine gives people a wake-up call to start cycling responsibly.

Julie Elizabeth SMITH
(Liberal Democrat)

I am certainly committed to traffic policing being a high policing priority, as shown in my contributions to the West-Central Area Committee over the years. It is clearly important that cyclists obey the law, not least for their own safety, just as drivers are expected to do.In addition to the issue of lights or cycling on pavements, in Newnham there are issues about cyclists crossing the Sidgwick Avenue/Newnham Road/Queens Road/Silver Street while the lights are still red. The police have taken this and other cycling offences in West-Central seriously but it is something that we need constantly to raise, particularly in the autumn when new cohorts of students, not all experienced cyclists, arrive in Cambridge and acquire bikes.

Philip Andrew TUCKER
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes See below.

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.