Elections

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

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2012.
Polling date: Thursday 3rd May 2012
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Rhodri Mark JAMES  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Stephen Roger LAWRENCE  (Green Party)
  • Ali MEFTAH  (Conservative Party)
  • Mike TODD-JONES  (Labour & Co-operative)

Questions for Arbury 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.

Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

It's a carefully thought through scheme with obvious advantages, who wouldn't say yes? I'm sufficiently off the route in Arbury that it wouldn't be a great deal of benefit to me, but it's clearly a good idea.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Yes. Transformative scheme.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour & Co-operative)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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.

Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

My understanding is that the Cycle Officer job has shifted budget headings rather than been abolished, so doesn't really need reinstating as such. Given that the County Council finally seem to be taking cycling as part of their transport remit more seriously at councillor level, we're actually doing pretty well.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

I think the issue might getting cycling officers into all the main towns in Cambridgeshire. That way a culture of good design - and installation - might begin to emerge. How many times do we wonder "how could anyone (who's ever cycled) ever do that?" I remain hopeful that in time even the contractors will flag up duff designs...

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour & Co-operative)
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?

Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. I rather think we've made a rod for our own backs over a large number of years by not cautioning people more regularly over the irresponsible driving, cycling and walking that happens all over the city, which is why we see more and more of it.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Yes, with the caveat that such moves could result in "jobs-worth" action by police or traffic wardens - whereas what we need is better behaviour by cyclists, targetted at the blackspots. (Big blitzes are effective at improving public perception.) Eg On the many occasions I see (young) kids riding without niusance on pavements I don't object. On the occasions I see others causing hassle, I do.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour & Co-operative)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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?

Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

While I'm not fond of penalty point systems, Option 1 seems to have enough flexibility and discretion built in to work. I'd stick with one year, though; while three year levels catch unwary rogues more easily, they are easier to keep under if you are wary and they cut in more slowly.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

The 3- or 5-year period seems like reasonable response, assuming positive behaviour may count against negative.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour & Co-operative)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 5

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?

Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

I don't even like driving up the lower end of Arbury Road due to all the parked cars, and the busyness of the chicane makes it terribly easy not to notice a cyclist, so something clearly needs to be done. Is Arbury Road/Union Lane the right route, though? The east end of Orchard Park would seem to be better served by Kings Hedges Road/Green End Road, and the west end might be better off taking a route through Kings Hedges rather than the tempting straight line down Arbury Road. The basic problem is that there isn't space for any useful infrastructure on Arbury Road as you approach Milton Road unless you are prepared to displace a lot of cars that have nowhere else to park.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

I have not done any great study of this, but the provision for potential new cyclists seems, in general, to be more important (at the outset) than provision for more experienced riders.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour & Co-operative)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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?

Rhodri Mark JAMES
(Liberal Democrat)

No particular comments. Like a lot of people in the city I prefer to walk or cycle, and I'm lucky enough to be within walking distance of work, so I do. I haven't been more specifically involved in sustainable transport than that.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

A well-signed cycle route from Carlton Way to the busway would be nice.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Mike TODD-JONES
(Labour & Co-operative)
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.