Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (City/SouthCambs), May 2012: Queen Edith's

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2012.
Polling date: Thursday 3rd May 2012
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Sue BIRTLES  (Labour & Co-operative)
  • Richard Graham JEFFS  (Conservative Party)
  • Martin LAWSON  (Green Party)
  • Amanda Joan TAYLOR  (Liberal Democrat)

Questions for Queen Edith's 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.

Sue BIRTLES
(Labour & Co-operative)

I think that creating such well thought out routes is an essential part of encouraging more people to travel to work, school etc by bike and to help cut down on car dependence. This route connects the north and south of the city whilst avoiding the heavily congested city centre. Queen Edith's is home to one of the largest employers in the city Addenbrooke's as well as many of the city's secondary schools/Sixth Forms. As part of wider cycling initiatives it could really help to encourage many of those who work in this area of the city but live in the north of the city, and vice versa, to leave the car at home.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(Conservative Party)

Yes. The cycling path alongside the Guided Busway has turned out to be an enormous success. It is very well-used, and seems to have encouraged many people in villages along the route to cycle more regularly. Users of this route need to finish their journey using the roads as the Guided Busway doesn’t continue through the centre of the city. The route beside the railway would be an ideal way to join the two halves up, would encourage a lot more cycling along the route, and would be much safer than using the roads.

Martin LAWSON
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

Although it goes round Queen Edith's, many of my constituents would benefit from having better cycle route provision to the north of the city and other parts.

I certainly support the Chisholm Trail and am pleased that some parts of it have already been implemented. We must now make more progress on the links, to make it possible to do more of a journey on safe cycle routes.

# 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.

Sue BIRTLES
(Labour & Co-operative)

Like all Labour candidates I would support the reinstatement of a full-time Cycling Officer which was abolished by the Liberal Democrat-run Council. Cycling provision is an essential part of the infrastructure of our city and the amount of work that effective provision demands is too much for one person. The role of the cycling officer is essential to ensure that the needs of cyclists are being taking into consideration as part of all planning applications.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(Conservative Party)

According to the LGA (the Local Government Association), Cambridge City employs 915 full time equivalent staff, amongst the highest numbers for a District-level council in the country, and far more than South Cambridgeshire’s 463 (they have more residents than we do). This needs to be addressed. However, cycling is an important issue, and it ought to be higher up on the list of the Council’s priorities, especially given that Cambridge is famous world-wide for its cycling. Reducing inefficiency and waste in other areas of the Council’s activities could free up resources to devote to cycling issues – an area where a small amount of extra effort could lead to lots of progress.

Martin LAWSON
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

The Council has not reduced any functions; the duties once carried out by the Cycling & Walking Offer are now done by another member of staff.

# 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?

Sue BIRTLES
(Labour & Co-operative)

The actions of irresponsible cyclists unfairly tar the reputation of cyclists as a whole. I think it is important that traffic policing become a greater police priority in order for this kind of behaviour to be stamped out. It is understandable that such behaviour develops when there is no suggestion of negative consequences for those who break the rules. I think an important part of this is in education which promotes responsible cycling and I believe that this is an area in which the City Council could work with the Cycling Campaign to develop and extend. Furthermore, as your paper identifies, such behaviour can be encouraged by poor road design which does not support the needs of cyclists an area in which I believe the role of the full time cycling officer is crucial.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(Conservative Party)

Yes, I think that the enforcement of traffic laws in specific problem areas could keep Cambridge moving more safely. It is in the interests of all cyclists to obey the law, as we are far more vulnerable to injury through accidents than motorists. By obeying the law, we also encourage motorists and other road users to respect our rights on the road. I would like to see more opportunities for training of the highway code, especially for young cyclists.

Martin LAWSON
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

Cycling without lights is dangerous and I would expect police to deal with any cyclists they find without lights at night. I know that the police carry out campaigns to address this. I would like to see imaginative ways of making lights available at garages and shops for those cyclists who are conscientious, but find themselves without lights because of theft, or even sudden battery failure.

Cycling on pavements is reasonable for young children, but adults should be on the road. Many pedestrians, especially the elderly, get very frightened by bikes on the pavement, and it is particularly dangerous for the blind and visually impaired.

I would equally like to see the police paying more attention to vehicles parked in cycle lanes and on the pavement, endangering cyclists and pedestrians.

# 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?

Sue BIRTLES
(Labour & Co-operative)

The regulation of taxi firms is an essential part of ensuring public safety. I understand the need for a system by which complaints made against taxi drivers can be recorded and taken seriously. Both proposals seem to differentiate between the severity of various offences which is important. However I would object to some parts of the Option 1 proposal which seems to allow unsubstantiated claims against taxi drivers to hold sway. I see this as problematic since it seems to leave the system open to abuse and undermines the need for a system in which both the taxi firms and the public can have confidence.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(Conservative Party)

I am in favour of a stepped approach to the enforcement of taxi licence conditions. The proposed changes will help the City catch up to South Cambridgeshire District Council, which already takes account of drivers’ records over three years, or more for serious incidents, and considers offences and complaints together.

Martin LAWSON
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

It is very important that taxi drivers respect the rules of the road and do their jobs in a responsible, legal and safe manner. The Council is currently consulting on the best approach, and I look forward to seeing everyone's views.

# Question 5

Will you actively support the early construction of pedestrian and cyclist access to the guided busway maintenance track especially through the new development at the end of Clarendon Road and through the Cambridge University Press site?

Sue BIRTLES
(Labour & Co-operative)

The cycle path alongside the guided busway has proved popular. I can see the attraction of opening up further parts of the route for cyclists especially if it will allow them to avoid the Hills Road bridge since I have spoken to many people in my ward who find the cycle lane dangerous. However I think it is important that, as with all changes to the local area, that local people are consulted.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(Conservative Party)

Yes, it will help residents of the Brooklands Avenue area reach destinations further south, and help cyclists and pedestrians avoid making long detours or having to cross busy intersections. I am also keen to see an overall strategy for crossing the railway around the Leisure Park area.

Martin LAWSON
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

These links would be excellent if the owners of the land can be persuaded to grant access to cyclists through their premises.

# Question 6

Do you support enabling cyclist access from Red Cross Lane to Addenbrooke's (Robinson Way)? Currently there is a locked gate and pedestrian access only, even though this route would mean cyclists could avoid the busy Addenbrookes Hills Road roundabout.

Sue BIRTLES
(Labour & Co-operative)

I believe that all efforts should be made to enable cyclists to use routes which allow them to avoid busy roundabouts. The opening up of this access seems like a good solution to this problem especially since it is already open to people walking through. However I think it is important to consult with both Addenrbrookes and residents on Red Cross Lane.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(Conservative Party)

Provided that residents of Red Cross Lane have been adequately consulted to ensure that they aren’t inconvenienced by any changes to their street, any proposal to provide safer cycle access to the Addenbrooke’s site should be welcomed.

Martin LAWSON
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.

# Question 7

What other improvements to Addenbrooke's would you push for? Many parts of the site are currently very poor for cycling.

Sue BIRTLES
(Labour & Co-operative)

Addenbrooke's would benefit from having more spaces for cycling parking since areas are often over crowded with bikes. It might also be a good idea to separate staff and patient cycle parking since they will be using the parking areas for different amounts of time and different parts of the site may be more accessible to patients than others. I think more could be done to make the access for cyclists entering the site clearer, since it is mainly designed for cars. The one way areas around the site make it difficult for cyclists and adding time onto their journeys or being ignored. I think it would be a good idea to look at whether these routes could become two-way for cyclists. Although Hills Road has a clearly marked cycle path it is less clear towards the end of the road and on the roundabout which direction cyclists should take.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(Conservative Party)

Many sites like Addenbrooke’s were built assuming that most access would be by car, and have one or two main entrances through which cars, buses, bicycles and pedestrians are funnelled. This approach is dangerous for both bikes and people on foot; opening the site out by adding footpaths and cycleways is the way forward. I am also in favour of more secure cycle parking facilities and clearer signs and road markings.

Martin LAWSON
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.

# 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?

Sue BIRTLES
(Labour & Co-operative)

I regularly cycle around the city and think on the whole Cambridge is cyclist friendly. However where it suffers is from a lack of joined up thinking. Cycle paths and lanes sometimes end abruptly and the regulations on where and when cyclists have access to certain routes is not always clearly signposted. This is one of the reasons why I think the role of the full time Cycling Officer is so important as well as the role of educating all road users.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(Conservative Party)

I have actively supported better cycle parking at the Railway Station. Cycle parking facilities are an important element of encouraging more sustainable transport; having somewhere to put your bike when you arrive is an essential part of any journey, and there are still too many places where racks are in short supply or can’t be found. Many people drive through Queen Edith’s ward from further afield and also park their cars here. Having better routes through the area will encourage more of those people to cycle through, lowering congestion and improving the quality of life for our residents.

I grew up in the local area and have spent many years cycling here and in the centre of the City, and am committed to improving facilities for sustainable transport.

Martin LAWSON
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

I have campaigned extensively for better buses in the Hills Road area: when I first moved to this part of town, there were just two an hour, and we now have over 20. Real time information signs are of great benefit.

I campaigned to get the University to carry on with the Uni 4 bus and to keep it available for everyone, not just members of the university. It provides a useful link to Newnham from Queen Edith's, and is especially good for people doing U3A courses.

I have campaigned for better cycling provision on the Hills Road Bridge for many years. The current layout is not ideal, with cyclists having to drive in between lanes of cars. It is disappointing that the trial layout, which was popular, was different from the final result.

I am currently campaigning for lighting and signage for the Guided Bus cycleway, and backing another local campaign for remodelling of the Long Road cycleways. More information on my website: www.amandataylor.mycouncillor.org.

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.