Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

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

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2011.
Polling date: Thursday 5th May 2011
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Sam BARKER  (Conservative Party)
  • Jamie GIBSON  (Green Party)
  • Zoe MOGHADAS  (Labour Party)
  • Raj SHAH  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Tom WOODCOCK  (Cambridge Socialists)

Questions for Romsey 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?

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jamie GIBSON
(Green Party)

I give my full backing to the conclusions of Cycling Vision 2016 and definitely think there is scope to increase cycle parking facilities along Mill Road (in particular) and ensuring residential roads are safe for cyclists (20mph limits are numerous in Romsey).

Zoe MOGHADAS
(Labour Party)

As a resident of Greville Road, I am keen to monitor the impact of the new 20mph speed restriction has on motorists. Whilst broadly in favour of the scheme, I am aware of issues arising in relation to enforcement and would not rule out other measures that, for example, physically prevent vehicle speeding.

I support the introduction of additional parking spaces for cyclists. However, I am also conscious that there is also an issue with respect to bicycles simply being abandoned (in various states of distress), wasting spaces which could otherwise be utilised.

I am not familiar with the dutch cycling schemes to which you refer, and would need further information on the impact that the changes you propose to the road network/junction widening, and the costing of same, before I feel able to comment on the specifics of the proposals. However, as a keen cyclist, I would be keen to promote any scheme which not only increased the safety but also the number of cyclists (as opposed to motorsits) on our roads.

I am fully in favour of the widening of cycle lanes, and this is something that has long perplexed me!

To be honest, I have only ever cycled within Cambridge City and, as such, I do not feel that I can properly comment on the issues surrounding the necklace village links without further information.

Raj SHAH
(Liberal Democrat)

I agree to the general 2016 Cycling vision. The city council has shown its commitment to it in the Sustainable Transport Fund by putting the emphasis very heavily on cycling, unlike many of the other district councils. Outside Romsey, I think the Chisholm Trail is the flagship project for the 2016 vision; it links up lots of other cycle routes very effectively and would make commuting by bike much more practical. In Romsey my general commitment is to changing the road culture to a “shared space”, and to supporting cycling as well as sustainable transport in general. The next major developments I would like to see in the area are: a/ development of the link between Mill Road and the Tins Cycle Path. It is an amazing resource but many people don’t know about it. b/ Cycle and bus friendly traffic calming measures on Mill Road. These rise very slowly over ten metres and descend at a similarly smooth gradient. There is a pedestrian crossing on top. These are key to the kind of shared space I envisage on Mill Road.

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

I support the plan and think it would represent a very big step in the right direction. Of course I feel that it does not take us as far as I would like to see in terms of cycle priority but we are where we are and I would campaign and argue hard in the council and scrutinize the joint transport committees decisions and findings if elected. The really positive part is to try to ensure that cycle provision is given before developments happen - this has long since not been the case and the cycle campaign has often been left having to carve out space for cyclists after the facts. Therefor I feel that the forward thinking parts of the document relating to new developments and the villages (2.3) are the highest priority.

# 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?

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
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.

Zoe MOGHADAS
(Labour Party)

Yes.

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.

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.

# 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?

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jamie GIBSON
(Green Party)

Yes, but it must be enforced properly. Whether this is through width restrictions (as opposed to speed bumps) or another method would be decided in consultation with the residents that will be most affected by construction works and its existence.

Zoe MOGHADAS
(Labour Party)

Whilst broadly in favour of the 20mph speed limit for local roads, I am concerned as to enforceability. I am also aware that in my own street two signs have already been vandalised and believe that education/information in relation to the scheme, it's implementation and potential benefits have not sufficiently been conveyed to local residents.

Raj SHAH
(Liberal Democrat)

I believe 20mph should be the norm in residential areas. That is why, along with my Lib Dem colleagues, we have expanded the 20mph zone to most of Romsey. The County Council refused to extend it to Coleridge Road and beyond, but we are confident that, with time, we will be able to extend it. 20mph zoning was trialled in Portsmouth where it was modestly successful. We hope it will make motorists more aware that Mill Road is a densely residential space shared with pedestrians, children and cyclists – not a corridor for them to barrel along at 30mph plus. (Speeds on the railway bridge are sometimes ridiculous.)

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

Yes I agree fully. I also feel there are a number of anomalies where roads have speed limits of 40mph and should really be 20 or 30mph. Most notably Long Road and parts of Barnwell Road. This is extremely unsafe for pedestrians and Cyclists alike.

# Question 4

In most terraced streets of Petersfield and Romsey, the public realm is dominated by parked cars. No space is made available for cycle parking, trees, and other amenities that would enhance the area. Car parking is squeezed into every available remaining space, yet there is a total absence of secure cycle parking. This inequity is one cause of the high levels of cycle theft in Cambridge. Would you support the introduction of on-street cycle parking racks on most such streets, even if it would mean the removal of one parking space on the street?

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jamie GIBSON
(Green Party)

Secure cycle parking is a real concern and proper, secure bike stands should be placed in some car parking spaces in Romsey. However, if the roads aren't safe to use (particularly in the Mill Road stretch over the railway tracks up to Kelsey Kerridge) then residents won't switch from cars to cycles, thus there will be no free space to install these stands.

Zoe MOGHADAS
(Labour Party)

Whilst I would be in favour of the introduction of cycle parking racks, I would wish to canvass the opinions of the residents of the street to be effected before sanctioning the loss of a parking space. I am only to aware that parking is an issue to many Romsey residents.

Raj SHAH
(Liberal Democrat)

Far from there being no cycle racks, we have had new ones installed in a number of locations around the ward, mostly on or around Mill Road. The most popular are those near the Empress. We have also emailed a number of local residents organisations asking if they would like to have cycle racks installed on residential streets. The fact is that the overwhelming number of responses indicated that when it comes to locking up their bikes at night, people don’t want to lock it on the street, but in their house, shed or garden. So we want to introduce more cycle parking, but in short-term locations like pubs and shops rather than overnight locations. If people have suitable locations in mind, whether on residential streets or commercial ones, get in touch!

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

I agree with this fully and would go further. THe issue of parking in the areas mentioned is not going to be solved without a proper look at planning (particularly housing), transport and other key decisions around parks leisure and recreational facilities. I feel we should be looking towards a much more integrated approach to reducing cars and a vision of residential parts of the city like Petersfield and Romsey that would seriously open up more public spaces - of which cycle are given priority over cars.

# Question 5

Two-way cycling in one-way streets produces increased cycling safety and convenience, because it enables people to avoid longer routes on busier roads. Allowing two-way cycling in Kingston Street has been a success. Now that it appears that 'No Entry Except Cycles' signs will be permitted, will you work to allow two-way cycling in the one-way streets of Romsey?

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jamie GIBSON
(Green Party)

Yes I do support this. Allowing cyclists priority on quieter roads is important if the main trunk roads can not be made safer for cyclists.

Zoe MOGHADAS
(Labour Party)

Provided that no safety issues arise as a consequence of same, then yes.

Raj SHAH
(Liberal Democrat)

Without question. I have already been pushing for this and hope to put it on the agenda at the Area Joint Transport Committee soon.

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

Yes this is a first step to the sort of approach I am proposing in my answer to question 4.

# Question 6

What do you think should be done, in addition to the measures already approved, to improve the poor walking and cycling environment on Mill Road?

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jamie GIBSON
(Green Party)

The Mill Road reclamation scheme is very radical and I agree with most of the points raised. The important balance is between maintaing the influx of stock for local businesses and improving cyclist and pedestrian safety, so consultation would need to be undertaken. As part of this it may be wise to create an incentive scheme, so that businesses are actively encouraged to use smaller, economical vans which will then reduce the need for passing points. There is definitely a role for local community groups to get involved in this project, both in proposing ideas, implementing them and monitoring the effects.

Zoe MOGHADAS
(Labour Party)

I must have thought about this issue on countless occasions since moving to Greville road 12 years ago. To be perfectly honest, I avoid Mill Road when cycling, and take the more circuitous route over the cycle bridge, as I do not feel safe when on my bike. I am aware of the arguments for and against the introduction of speed cushions, the removal of the centre lines and other calming measures but have yet to be convinced one way or the other.
I love the unique nature of Mill Road, and would wish to ensure that any decision did not adversely affect the shopkeepers - For instance, I am aware from my own discussions with traders, that the various closures of Mill Road to traffic have had a devastating effect on trade.

Raj SHAH
(Liberal Democrat)

Cycling in Romsey has to be viewed as part of sustainable transport. We want to develop Romsey into more of a “shared space”, like in Holland; i.e., to change the culture so that motorists perceive road space as a space they share with cyclists and pedestrians.

I believe we have shown our commitment to this cause. We have introduced a 20mph zone on Mill Road and the side streets, which we hope to expand in due course. The newly re-opened Tins Path to Cherry Hinton will make it a much more functional commuter route for cyclists; we hope to secure environmental improvements funding to better advertise this hidden gem. We have introduced cycle parking. We have replaced the dangerous road-side drains with seamless cycle-friendly ones, which are much safer – have a look at the one as you go up the railway bridge, it is a big improvement.

We have also secured funding for Real Time Bus Information signs on Mill Road and Coldham’s Lane. These have been shown to increase patronage on public transport, taking people out of cars. We have also set up the Street-car club, which will reduce the number of car owners in the ward. All in all I think it is an impressive record and demonstrates our commitment to cycling and sustainable transport.

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

Seriously considering making all of Mill Road one way for motor transport is the only really viable long term option for liberating more pavement and cycle space. I am also in favor of trailing the closure of part of the road on particular days to encourage different social uses for the space. This has worked very well on the winter fair!

# 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.

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jamie GIBSON
(Green Party)

I wholeheartedly agree with this and would love to help make this come to fruition. The lack of cycling superhighways in general in Cambridge is something that I'd also fight for if elected onto the council; with the newly redeveloped Mill Road (as in question 7) we could create a series of 'highways' leading off of and to these superhighways.

Zoe MOGHADAS
(Labour Party)

Yes.

Raj SHAH
(Liberal Democrat)

As above, yes.

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

Yes

# 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?

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jamie GIBSON
(Green Party)

I am an avid cyclist and often arrange cycling workshops in my college to help students learn cycling etiquette and basic repair skills. Cambridge is almost universally renowned as a cycling city but buses, taxis and large lorries can intimidate even the most skilled cyclist, so there is a large role left for campaigns to change the face of the Cambridge road network, making it more accessible for cyclists and stopping unnecessary frustration on the part of motor vehicles when encountering cyclists.

Zoe MOGHADAS
(Labour Party)

I restrict my car use to the absolute minimum, and either cycle or walk whenever I can!

Raj SHAH
(Liberal Democrat)

I think I have covered my commitment to cycling above.  It needs to be part of a wider commitment to sustainable transport, and there needs to be a culture change to a more Dutch model of "shared space", although not necessarily in its most radical forms.  In Romsey we have replaced dangerous drains with cycle friendly ones; created a 20mph zone; introduced many new cycle racks and want to introduce more; opened the Tins Path cycle route to Cherry Hinton, which we want to promote better.  We have also secured Real Time funding for bus signs and convinced the local Smartcar scheme to set up in Romsey.

Cambridge is a city with medieval infrastructure.  The only way we will remedy this is by getting more and more people to switch to cycling and public transport. Creating better traffic flows would require massive infrastructural funding.  This is clearly not going to happen at this moment in time.  So we need to keep investing smaller scale funding (such as the sustainable transport fund) in cycling and public transport.

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

I am in favor of much further restrictions fro motor traffic in the city centre. i don't really see the need for cars to be allowed inside the inner ring road at all (with the exception of disabled and trader access). I am bemused as to why the city council allowed a car park to be built in the city centre - this would and still could make a much better public transport terminal than the one we already have allowing Christ's piece to be opened up as a social space and giving much needed priority to children and families in the city centre. The other stupid thing about public transport in Cambridge is that all bus routes go through the center of town! I am for a much more multi hub approach to transport! I opposed the guided bus and am in favor of trams and trains!

The biggest problem facing integrated transport and safer cycling are the cuts! Particularly those to bus subsidies. I have been central to opposing the cuts to public spending. They are unnecessary and counter productive. We need to spend our way out of the social, political and climate crisis now by investing in infrastructure fit for a civilized an low carbon age. I have campaigned through my trade union the NUT and in the wider movement to raise the issues of Public transport, health and cycling. I support www.cambridgeshireagainstthecuts.org.uk and http://www.campaigncc.org/greenjobs

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.