Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

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

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2012.
Polling date: Thursday 3rd May 2012
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Sandra BILLINGTON  (Green Party)
  • Gail MARCHANT-DAISLEY  (Labour Party)
  • Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Peter PATRICK  (Conservative Party)

Questions for Petersfield 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.

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)

"The Chisholm Trail". running through a large part of central Cambridge, is an excellent plan. Whatever can be done to make cycling a realistic alternative to car use, needs to be supported. And, from everyone's point of view, designated cycle and pedestrian paths -- separate from motorised traffic -- are a good thing.

Gail MARCHANT-DAISLEY
(Labour Party)

Emphatically, yes. We need to make sure that this informs the policy review of the Local Plan.

Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. I am a firm believer in schemes that separate out vulnerable road users from faster moving traffic and the Chisholm Trail is a good example of this. It is a desperately needed piece of infrastructure and I would seek to safeguard any land needed to work towards its realisation.

Peter PATRICK
(Conservative Party)

Yes, I support this proposal, but I think that the some of the cited motivation for it is misplaced. I cycle to Addenbrokes every day from my residence in Petersfield, and am satisfied with the journey by road. Most of my colleagues also cycle to Addenbrokes, using the road, and from more distant homes. There simply is no need to use a car to travel within Cambridge if one is physically able to cycle, with or without the cycle track. A dedicated cycle track for this journey should improve the safety of cyclists, and be more family friendly, but I do not think there is an urgent need for it as most roads have dedicated cycle / bus lanes, which are sufficiently safe.

# 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.

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)

As I am recently domiciled in Cambridge, I don't know how the Cycling Officer functioned in the past but the position seems valuable both for examining new developments and as an arbiter between cycling needs and those of other road and pavement users.

Gail MARCHANT-DAISLEY
(Labour Party)

Yes, Labour provided for this in our budget and I argued for it in council, but it was turned down by the Lib Dems.

Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

The same amount of officer time is available to cycling issues as was before, it has just been split up amongst different posts.

Peter PATRICK
(Conservative Party)

It is important to have a cycling officer officer in Cambridge, as cycling plays a part in the lives of most people here. However, I don't think the role needs to be full time, and people need to be encouraged to take personal responsibility for their safety and health. This can be achieved by cycling proficiency being taught in schools by teachers, the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, councillor lead initiatives, and the consideration of new developments from the point of view of the cyclist (which can be done by anyone who cycles).

# 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?

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)

Cyclists do need to be reminded of their responsibilities. At present there is some aggressive cycling on pavements, and only young children should be allowed to use pavements, where there is no designated division of use. Reminders from officers, with the option of a fine where appropriate, would be fair.

In practical terms, there are fewer policemen on the streets this year, so implementation could be a problem

Gail MARCHANT-DAISLEY
(Labour Party)

Yes, greater enforcement is needed and I agree that in order to ensure the widest public support, it is important that rogue cyclists as well as rogue motorists are dealt with.

Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, although I believe careful guidelines need to be issued to police on how to do this so we do not end up with undesirable situations, such as stopping someone who is doing the right thing by wearing highly visible clothing and carrying a light, e.g. on their helmet, but missing a light mounted on the bike itself.

More enforcement of cycle/bus lanes is something that needs to be looked at, as they are routinely abused by some drivers, especially on Newmarket Road.

Peter PATRICK
(Conservative Party)

"Cyclists" on pedestrian-only pavements are a problem that I have regularly encountered, and in addition to this being illegal it is dangerous and antisocial. There are various reasonable excuses that one might use for cycling without proper lights: that they have been stolen (this has happened to me), that their batteries have run out, or that they fallen off without one realising; there can however be no excuse for cycling on pavements.
Dangerous cycling should be discouraged, and one way to achieve this would be greater policing. To put it in context though, there are more important things that the police should be concentrating on, and it might be more cost-efficient to hand cycle policing authority to other council staff that work around pavements and roads that are regular sites of breaches of the law, for example street cleaners, road maintenance men, post-men et cetera.

# 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?

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)

Taxis -- no opinion at present.

Gail MARCHANT-DAISLEY
(Labour Party)

Agree with complaints and offences being dealt with together- also with the wider timeframes, not only for the reasons set out above, but also to seek to prevent an applicant who may have been unlucky with unjustified complaints from being disadvantaged - longer timeframe should sort this out.

Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

I am supportive of better regulation of poor behaviour by taxi drivers and look forward to seeing the results of the consultation before adopting a final position.

Peter PATRICK
(Conservative Party)

The proposal seems reasonable.

# Question 5

The City Council has policies designed to ensure a certain standard of cycle parking for new developments and changes of use requiring planning consent. But applications are often approved that do not meet these standards in letter or spirit. Under what circumstances, if any, would you fail to oppose a planning application that does not fully meet the Council's own cycle parking planning policies?

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)

I would wish to resist any planning application that lacked adequate cycle parking facitilites.

Gail MARCHANT-DAISLEY
(Labour Party)

I've been on the planning committee for the last year, and I'm sure that I have never approved an application that falls short of the Council's policies, and it is hard to imagine any circumstances in which it would be justifiable to do so.

Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

Cycle parking standards exist in the Local Plan as a clear expression of council policy concerning new developments. I believe it is important that these are properly adhered to.

Peter PATRICK
(Conservative Party)

I think that each case would have to be assessed individually, but that in general, planning applications should be made to conform with the council's cycle parking policy unless a very good reason for not doing so is supplied.

# Question 6

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 Willis Road, Guest Road, Collier Road, Emery Street and Perowne Street?

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)

There can be a problem with two-way cycling in very narrow, one way streets and the streets listed are short ones, solely for residential access, -- where there is also parking -- so it would be more practical for cyclists to dismount for the short distances. With Willis, Road, Guest Road and Collier Road, it is possible to gain cycle access by entering from the direction of allowed travel.

Gail MARCHANT-DAISLEY
(Labour Party)

Yes - there is no earthly reason not to.

Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes.

My sole concern with this would be safety of cyclists. I can see no safety-related reason why this should not be permitted on the roads mentioned.

Peter PATRICK
(Conservative Party)

I would support two-way cycling on these streets and others.

# Question 7

Some cyclists have told us they feel unsafe riding along the two short stretches of Lensfield Road and East Road where car parking is allowed in spite of the heavy traffic. Such car parking narrows the space available considerably, and on East Road the new Tesco store has made things worse. Do you support a complete ban on parking/loading/stopping in favour of a Dutch-style cycleway, in the interests of improved traffic flow and the safety of cyclists?

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)

Yes, I do support a ban on loading and unloading from main roads. The taxi rank is to be removed from St Andrew's Street. If the bus service improves as a result, and Stagecoach has not a good track record, further parking restrictions would become feasible.

Gail MARCHANT-DAISLEY
(Labour Party)

In principle,subject to alternative arrangements for deliveries, but a parking ban alone is not going to solve the problem, need to be looking at the more ambitious proposals in the Eastern Gate Visioning Document, in the debate upon which I pushed for (and obtained) provision for wider cycle lanes.

Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

On East Road, yes. There are upcoming changes here with the remodelling of the Newmarket Road/Elizabeth Way roundabout and cyclists should be considered as part of this project.

Lensfield Road is outside of both Petersfield and East Area, so I am less familiar with the concerns of residents living on and around this road.

Peter PATRICK
(Conservative Party)

I would not support a complete ban on loading/stopping on these roads, but I would support a ban on parking. I regularly cycle down Lensfield road, and don't think that this problem is particularly bad.

# 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?

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)

I have found it difficult to cycle recently, I have been campaigning to get Stagecoach to improve its service -- specifially for the no. 2.

Gail MARCHANT-DAISLEY
(Labour Party)

As I have repeatedly argued in full council and committees, if Cambridge wants to fulfil its' claim to be the UK's premier cycling city, we need to put our money where our mouth is, and that means: restoring the full-time cycling officer (& then seeing if that is adequate); providing more secure and FREE cycle parking in the city centre and at the station; using city money (where legally possible) to improve and extend cycleways and repair roadways and working with the County Council to obtain funds to improve cycleways, roadways and pavements, In addition to advocating for the above I was pleased to second the recent council motion that made Cambridge the first city to support the Cities Safe for Cycling campaign, whist pointing out to the Lib Dems, who proposed the motion, the inconsistency in doing so whilst rejecting our proposals to fund the full-time cycling officer.

Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

As well as cycling I run regularly, usually three or four times a week, so I am only too aware of the issues faced by vulnerable road users. I'm particularly keen to promote cycle and pedestrian only routes that are not available for use by car drivers as "rat runs". Petersfield faces a particular problem in this area, with narrow roads and pavements that need careful management to avoid road users ending up endangering each other.

Peter PATRICK
(Conservative Party)

I cycle every day in Cambridge and encourage friends and colleagues to cycle instead of taking the car/bus/taxi.

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.