Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

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

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2012.
Polling date: Thursday 3rd May 2012
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • John HIPKIN  (Independent)
  • Alan LEVY  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Nikesh Anil PANDIT  (Conservative Party)
  • Jack Benjamin TOYE  (Green Party)
  • Ashley WALSH  (Labour Party)

Questions for Castle ward candidates (8 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8 

# 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.

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

YES and I mention it in my election leaflet.

Alan LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I am very much in favour of the Chisholm Trail.

Nikesh Anil PANDIT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jack Benjamin TOYE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Yes, both I and the Cambridge Labour Party support the proposal for 'The Chisolm Trail'.

# 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.

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

I might depending on wider budgetary factors.

Alan LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I don't believe in getting hung up about job titles, however totemic, provided that the work is still being done. The city council has repeatedly made it clear that it has not reduced its capability to support cyclists or pedestrians and that the important work that was previously being done by the cycling officer is still being done. I would of course be much more concerned if that were not the case.

Nikesh Anil PANDIT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jack Benjamin TOYE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Yes, I support the reinstatement of the full-time Cycling Officer position. In the Alternative Budget set out recently by Cambridge Labour councillors, we committed ourselves to resinstatement and to exploring the creation of a second full-time post. Cambridge needs at least one full-time officer because it is currently missing out on funding and bids due to limits on the current part-time officer's time.

# 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?

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

YES, I think the C.C.C should take a more critical view of some cyclists' behaviour.

Alan LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I understand there is significant evidence to show that catching more offenders is a much more effective deterrent than simply increasing the penalty. A change in police priorities may well help to stop road users from behaving dangerously, so I do support it.

Nikesh Anil PANDIT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jack Benjamin TOYE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Yes, I agree with the Cycling Campaign's view that traffic policing should be a greater police priority. This is especially important in Castle Ward as it comprises such busy roads as Huntingdon and Madingley, key routes out of the city centre, and large parking areas particularly around Shire Hall. The police should devote greater resources on main roads to stopping and fining cyclists without lights, as they have done in the recent past. Cambridge Labour's manifesto for the 2012 local elections (see http://cambridgelabour.org.uk/pdfs/Manifesto.pdf) also lays out plans for more enforcement officers to prevent vans parking on double yellow lines.

I am an enthusiastic cyclist, and I ride safely and responsibly with a helmet and lights. I believe the Cycling Campaign and councillors rightly try to encourage a culture of responsible cycling, whereby cyclists try to use the roads in harmony with pedestrians and motor vehicles. Irresponsible cyclists do a disservice to us all.

# 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?

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

I agree with your statement.

Alan LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I agree that the priority is to catch the rogues without jeopardising the others and obviously I want the correct measures to be introduced to achieve this. The purpose of the city council's consultation exercise is to identify what these correct measures are. I don't have a strong opinion about what I think would be the right thing to do, but I await the results of the consultation with interest.

Nikesh Anil PANDIT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jack Benjamin TOYE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

I favour Option 1 - a penalty point system according to the complaint or offence - because accumulation of points will encourage a driver to seek to avoid gathering sanctions, rather than committing offences on occasion and avoiding serious sanction. Because of this, I agree that complaints and offences ought to be considered over longer periods - perhaps three and five years - as it would help to encourage this culture whereby drivers behave responsibly.

# Question 5

The Department for Transport has now authorised the use of a clear 'No entry except cycles' sign, in recognition of the clear safety benefits of allowing two-way cycling, which means shorter cycle journeys and fewer junctions. There are a small number of streets left in Cambridge which anomalously do not allow two-way cycling. Will you support proposals for two-way cycling in Shelly Row, Albion Row, and Mount Pleasant?

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

Not until I have more deeply considered the evidence.

Alan LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

In general I support the idea of cyclists being permitted to cycle both ways along all roads unless there is a good reason why they should not. In the specific case of Shelly Row, Albion Row and Mount Pleasant I can clearly see why it is not currently allowed. In summary the combination of parked cars, heavy traffic queues during rush hours, relatively fast speeds at other times and blind bends at some of the corners would make it extremely dangerous to permit two way cycling on these roads. If the Cycling Campaign can propose suitable measures that would effectively address these concerns I would be happy to lend it my support.

Nikesh Anil PANDIT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jack Benjamin TOYE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Yes, I would support this for these three roads in Castle. The signs have worked well on Bene't Street, off King's Parade, and these roads are wide enough to accommodate two-way cycling. It also means fewer cyclists would be forced onto Huntingdon Road, Castle Hill, and Madingley Road.

# Question 6

Do you agree that Huntingdon Road should be a 30 mph road with on-road cycle lanes at least 2m wide?

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

STRONGLY AGREE.

Alan LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I agree and I have been campaigning for this change to be introduced, along with my Lib Dem colleagues in Castle Ward.

Nikesh Anil PANDIT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jack Benjamin TOYE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Yes, absolutely. At present, cars drive too fast along this straight road and it is a hazard to cyclists who attempt to turn into residential roads and who use the traffic lights at the top of Castle Hill. Cambridge Labour, further, supports a 20 mph speed limit on all residential roads.

# Question 7

What are your aspirations for the major new developments in your area? Do you agree that Dutch-quality cycle provision, separate from pedestrians, is a standard to which the City should generally be holding developers to?

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

YES

Alan LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I agree with the principle and I understand that this is being considered for inclusion in the revised Local Plan.

Nikesh Anil PANDIT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jack Benjamin TOYE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Yes, this should be the aspiration for infrastructural development in the city. As Cambridge University plans to develop housing and buildings in north-west Cambridge, roads should be equipped with wide cycling lanes. This is especially important on such busy roads as Huntingdon and Madingley.

It is also important in Castle, as an area which connects main routes into the city with the city centre itself. As such, the Cambridge Labour councillors plan to budget for secure cycle parking at the station and the city centre. Councillors also plan to invest with the County Council in repairing and improving cycle ways - particularly with restoring pavements and filling potholes.

# 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?

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

As I say I highlight the work & campaigns of the CCC.

Alan LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I supported the introduction of double yellow lines and improved cycle lanes on Gilbert Road, where I live. I am campaigning for the introduction of a 30mph limit on Huntingdon Road and for a change to the traffic lights at the junction of Warwick Road, Histon Road and Gilbert Road to make it easier and safer for cyclists to get out of Warwick Road at busy times. I also support the proposal to introduce a 20mph speed limit on residential roads in the city.

Nikesh Anil PANDIT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jack Benjamin TOYE
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Cycling is one of the most convenient and effective means to reduce global warming while encouraging good health. Cambridge is fortunate enough to have the road space to accommodate responsible and safe cycling. We should do more to encourage safety and take-up rates, including local school visits. I am a member of the Labour Campaign for the Environment and I have argued for a protection of cycling budgets and environmental investment. Police priorities should also be used to prevent cycling on pavements, cycling the wrong way on one-way roads, and irresponsible behaviour at traffic lights and crossings.

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.