Elections

Local elections (City/SouthCambs), May 2012: Abbey

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2012.
Polling date: Thursday 3rd May 2012
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • William John BIRKIN  (Green Party)
  • Christopher John BROWN  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Timothy James HAIRE  (Conservative Party)
  • Richard JOHNSON  (Labour & Co-operative)

Questions for Abbey ward candidates (6 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

# Question 1

Do you support our proposal for 'The Chisholm Trail', a cycling and walking route 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.

William John BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Timothy James HAIRE
(Conservative Party)

Yes. The Chisholm trail is an excellent project. As well as providing much needed infrastructure big projects like this are crucial to encouraging people to get on their bikes.

Richard JOHNSON
(Labour & Co-operative)

Yes. I give the 'Chisholm Trail' my full support. It is an exciting project. Having a joined-up and inter-linked route between the three main employment centres of Cambridge will encourage more people to leave their car at home and travel to work by bike, alleviate the gridlock on our roads and reduce vehicle emissions. It will also boost the Cambridge economy. I am pleased that funding has been committed by the County Council to start putting into practice its recommendations.

# Question 2

Would you reinstate the full-time Cycling Officer position, or even expand this to two full-time posts? This post has been crucial in the past for scrutinising new developments for cycling-related issues, as well as developing work to promote responsible cycling.

William John BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Timothy James HAIRE
(Conservative Party)

No. I believe the needs of cyclists need to be embedded throughout the planning process to left as a bolt on to one person to look at plans after they have already been drawn up.

Richard JOHNSON
(Labour & Co-operative)

In a word, yes. This is in the Labour manifesto. Labour councillors included funding to reinstate the full-time Cycling Officer in our alternative budget. If it were possible then we would support expanding the role to two full-time posts.

We believe having a full-time Cycling Officer is incredibly important. In addition to the reasons mentioned in the question, it would be easier than is the case currently to bring forward new capital investment in cycling infrastructure and deliver more secure cycle parking.

Having a full-time Cycling Officer would also enable a better working relationship with the County Council to rapidly fix cycleways and ensure better co-ordination with the County Council to deal with neglected pavements and potholes.

# 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?

William John BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Timothy James HAIRE
(Conservative Party)

Yes. As well has making our roads safer stopping motorists and cyclists for minor traffic violations can lead to arrests for more serious offences.

Richard JOHNSON
(Labour & Co-operative)

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.

A Cambridge Labour council would appoint a new City Centre Enforcement Officer which would assist the police in cracking down on dangerous and illegal cycling in the city centre.

However, any decision through Area Committees to make traffic policing a greater priority should be viewed within the context of other important police priorities at the time when councillors make their decision, such as violent crime, burglary and anti-social behaviour. Area Committees should continue to be free to select the most appropriate priorities for the wards in that particular area at a particular time.

# Question 4

The City is currently conducting a consultation on taxi licensing. This Campaign strongly supports the proposal that complaints should be taken into account in determining if a driver is a fit and proper person to hold a taxi license. We prefer Option 1 in the consultation as this allows evidence of both offences and complaints to be taken together. We also suggest that complaints and offences should be considered over three and five year periods, as well as over one year (which is the proposal in the consultation), as this makes it far easier to set trigger levels that are likely to catch the (few) rogue taxi drivers without jeopardising the others. What is your view?

William John BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Timothy James HAIRE
(Conservative Party)

I also prefer option 1. Although we need to ensure any new rules are not overly bureaucratic and are fair to all parties.

Richard JOHNSON
(Labour & Co-operative)

In my judgment, I believe it is a good idea to link complaints and offences together. I am also sympathetic with the view that a longer timeframe would be fairer. Reviewing a taxi driver’s record over a three or five year period would stop somebody unfortunate to have had a few unjustified complaints from being disadvantaged. It would also ensure that the taxi drivers who are not fit and proper are more likely to be identified and for the most appropriate action to be taken.

# Question 5

Our Cycling Vision 2016 report, available on our website 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?

William John BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Timothy James HAIRE
(Conservative Party)

I think this is an excellent document that contains many good ideas. In particular the sections on the Chisholm trail and the need for more secure cycle parking.

Richard JOHNSON
(Labour & Co-operative)

The Cycling Vision 2016 is a very detailed, ambitious document that places at its heart the importance for better and more integrated transport in the city that would enable cyclists, pedestrians and motorists to co-exist in a much better way than currently. I support the broad aims of the report in promoting better safety and quality of the cycling infrastructure in Cambridge.

There are certainly interesting proposals within the Cycling Vision that could potentially benefit Abbey residents. The proposals for Newmarket Road is something I’d like to be looked at in more detail, especially as it would help ease the present difficulties faced on the stretch of the road by the Retail Park. Having zebra crossings to get from one side of the road to the other, in prominent locations (i.e. bus stops), is certainly something I think should be taken seriously.

I am in agreement that the Newmarket Road/Elizabeth Way bridge roundabout is extremely hazardous for cyclists. I support the proposal outlined in the Eastern Gate Framework, which suggests a new layout (4-way traffic light control) that would prioritise cyclists at junctions - removing the roundabout that is called for in the Cycling Vision - and for the inclusion of advance stop lines.

I also agree that there should be a proper and safe crossing for cyclists and pedestrians at the Newmarket Road/Ditton Lane junction.

# Question 6

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?

William John BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Timothy James HAIRE
(Conservative Party)

As someone whose primary means of transport in Cambridge is a bicycle I am passionate about cycling. As deputy chairman of the local Conservative party I always make sure that cycling and transport in general are at the heart of our policies

Richard JOHNSON
(Labour & Co-operative)

I congratulate the Cambridge Cycling Campaign in speaking up for cyclists and for its suggestions in improving the Cambridge cycling experience. I am a keen advocate of public transport and commute to work by bus. I do not own a car for financial and moral reasons – I try to ensure that my personal carbon footprint is as low as possible.

Over the last year I have been working closely with Cllr. Caroline Hart and the Labour team over several cycling-related issues/projects that I pledge to continue working on behalf of Abbey residents if elected. We have been pressing the City and County Councils to:

- Improve the safety and visibility of cyclists and pedestrians on the bend into Stanley Road from Garlic/Oyster Row;

- Put into place safety improvements at the junction of the cycle path from Cheddars Lane to the footpath on Riverside;

- Create a cycle path from Wadloes Road to Ditton Meadows with seventeen priority points;

- Improve Green Dragon Bridge;

- Ensure proper demarcation of the cycle and pedestrian paths to the approach of the ‘Tesco’ bridge at Riverside.

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.