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Question 3 - we asked:

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?

We asked this question in all 17 wards, namely: Abbey, Arbury, Castle, Cherry Hinton, Coleridge, Cottenham, East Chesterton, Girton, Histon & Impington, King's Hedges, Market, Newnham, Petersfield, Queen Edith's, Romsey, Trumpington, West Chesterton.

43 of the 69 candidates (62%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

(Cambridge Socialists)

Yes. But I am in favour of a more supportive approach towards encouraging cyclists to ride and ride safely. Dangerous and irrisponsible driving is a real problem in some parts of the city. In Romsey Coldhams Lane is a particular hotspot.

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 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.

Steven James MASTIN
(Conservative Party)

Cyclists are like any other road user and should be treated as such. Therefore, I support the police prioritising infringements by cyclists in the same way as any other road user.

(Conservative Party)

Fully support this

(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.

(Conservative Party)

It's not the police's top priority but of course these issues need tackling,
Conservative night time observations on Mill Road alone show around 50%
of all cyclists do not have lights, this is unacceptable..

Alastair John SIMPSON
(Conservative Party)

I support the Campaign’s approach to responsible, legal cycling. It concerns me to see a minority of cyclists flout the Highway Code, common sense and general courtesy, which so often unfairly gives all of us cyclists a bad name. I don’t favour new rules, but would like to see an increase in awareness and better enforcement of the existing ones, even if this means fixed on-the-spot fines. The rules for cyclists are not unreasonable. I valued the cycle proficiency programme when I was at school, and believe its successor, Bikeability, is a great scheme to help promote safer and more responsible cycling to all ages.

Edward James Anthony TURNHAM
(Conservative Party)

I agree that traffic policing needs to be improved. I was proud to be present when Cambridge's last Conservative councillor, Chris Howell, fought successfully for speeding to be retained as a policing priority in Coleridge.

It shouldn't be necessary to declare a police priority in order for the police to take firm action against inconsiderate cyclists. With other potential priorities being high on the agenda - burglary, anti-social behaviour, motorist speeding, etc. - I would be hesitant to add cyclists to the list, and risk diluting the value of the 'priorities'.

It is certainly the case that many cyclists adopt aggressive, illegal tactics as a result of poor road layouts and inappropriate rules. There should be a greater difference between the rules that apply to cars and those that apply to bikes, which are much smaller and less dangerous vehicles.

(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

Ceri Barbara GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

Policing of bad behaviour from drivers of cars, taxis, buses and lorries and cyclists should be in proportion to their use of the public spaces. The focus on cyclist’s bad behaviour often does not represent the actual risk cyclist’s offer to other road users and pedestrians. Cyclists certainly should act safety while cycling e.g. they must have lights on at night and where there is joint use of road, paths and tracks they must take consideration of other users in slowing speed to very low levels or stopping if need be when there are vulnerable pedestrians around e.g. elderly, children and dogs. However the safety of cyclists should be part of National Strategy as it is in Holland where cyclists are provided with off road dedicated lanes separate from pedestrians. At present there is often a muddled approach by City and the County council to provision with mixed use of pathways and short stretches of cycle paths that do not link up or cycle paths on the road under policed when blocked by drivers. While the occasional use of police time to highlight bad behaviour of cyclist can help to focus minds I do not support greater police resources focusing on cyclist behaviours only. I‘d like to see better policies in provision of dedicated cycle paths that favour use of cycles over other private vehicles as long-term solution to reducing bad behaviour.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)


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.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

The extent of the problem with cyclists having no lights is so great that policing seems a very blunt instrument to deal with it. I prefer a change in technical standards that would require all new bicycles to have robust lighting built into the frame. The technical and cycling expertise in Cambridge must have the answer to this one.

Douglas Raymond DE LACEY



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

(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.

(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.

George OWERS
(Labour & Co-operative)

Traffic policing and enforcement to target dangerous cycling, especially cyclists who illegally ride on pavements, cycle without lights or go through red lights is one of my top priorities. In Coleridge, many raise this as a concern, and I will consider supporting making it an East Area police priority in the future. This needs to be accompanied with greater efforts at education, which I would be happy to work with the Cycling Campaign to achieve.

Margery ABBOTT
(Labour Party)

A Labour Council would appoint a new city centre enforcement officer to help crack down on dangerous and illegal cycling, including parking of vans on double yellow lines, as well as changing the culture of cyclists who ride without lights lights or ride unsafely on pavements.

Sarah CAIN
(Labour Party)

Yes: Labour's Manifesto commitments include the pledges to "Use the new City Centre Enforcement Officer to encourage positive cycling behaviour and crack down on dangerous and illegal cycling in the city centre"; also to "Work with police around the whole city to tackle dangerous cycling, such as cycling on the pavement and not wearing lights, and also bike theft."
At the same time, I also want to make sure that safe drving and car use is promoted, and traffic policing better enforced to prevent danger to cyclists and pedestrians - including a 20mph speed limit throughout residential zones of the city, with enforcement of the 20mph speed limit a priority for police resources.

(Labour Party)

More enforcement officers are needed because of vehicles parking on double yellows and in cycle lanes, as well as trying to encourage the small minority of cyclists to stop cycling without lights at night or riding on footpaths

(Labour Party)

Yes, in principle, traffic policing should become a greater police priority because cycling in Cambridge must be undertaken safely, and more enforcement officers are needed to ensure that it is. This work must be viewed, however, in light of their other key activities: solving serious crime and tackling anti-social behaviour.

(Labour Party)

Traffic policing is essential to modify the behaviour of anti-social individuals whether they are cycling or driving. It is difficult to accept the curent rate of injury and death on the roads in Cambridge. Policing should play a role in resolving these issues, alongside education and engineering solutions.

I would like to add a comment that I feel Cambridge cyclists are poorly served by the police regarding cycle theft. My family and I have had a succession of bike stolen and the police seen to take a very laid back attitude to reports. Someone is making a lot of money through cycle theft yet it is treated as a trivial issue.

(Labour Party)

I support the fair enforcement by the police of all traffic regulations, including fines for cyclists not having lights, ignoring red lights and reckless, anti-social cycling. However, as police resources are limited, I believe it is better for the safety of the public if the limited police resources are used to enforce the 20 mph speed limit for vehicles in residential areas, for example, rather than concentrating on cyclists.
I think that it would be more effective if there was a city wide strategy to raise awareness and educate the public about anti social cycling that involved the police, the council, the media, and the Cycling Campaign, A focus should be put on foreign students through their language schools and the bike hire shops. A practical thing would be for safety guidance leaflets to be issued to every cyclist by hire shopsand all hire bikes to be fitted with lights. Also encourage the hire shops to supply safety helmets with each bike hired.

(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.

(Labour Party)

More enforcement is needed including stopping the parking of vehicles blocking cycle routes. I would also like to see publicity to change the culture of both cyclists and motorists in how they observe junctions and the advanced stop lines. Only when cyclists and motorists see each other as equally valid users of the roads and observe the Highway Code will we improve the situation.

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.

(Liberal Democrat)

I believe law execution should be at the top of the list. I know that the South Area Committee have insisted on this being a police priority. This is particularly critical during summer time (tourists, language students, summer schools …etc). I supported this in any discussions and in any level as a Cycling Champion, a member of the Cycling and Pedestrians Steering Group or as a Ward councillor. I have no doubt those efforts must be joined by moves to educate and raise awareness of road safety, including tourists and day visitors. I will repeat again what I said 4 years ago; as a cyclist and Arabic speaker, I would be prepared to help with this.

(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. And I think they need to be supported by better signage from the highway authority in some aspects and by education of foreign visitors.

(Liberal Democrat)

It is important that the police enforce laws on cycling (my own gripe is those cycling the wrong way across junctions) and, of course, motoring, and publicise that they are doing so. How high a priority this should take is, I suggest, best left to the existing priority setting sessions at area committees - there is a limit to how many conflicting sets of priorities the police can work to.

Richard William GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

I think there is a good case for encouraging cyclists to ride legally and to have respect for other road and pavement users. I would prefer to see police concentrating on car drivers who hold mobile phones to their ear while driving, as this has more potential for injury if the driver loses control.

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.

(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.

(Liberal Democrat)

I would support a crackdown on all unlawful traffic activity - be it cyclists or motorists.

Neil Michael MCGOVERN
(Liberal Democrat)

I think that use of PSCOs and City Council staff, such as the Rangers would provide a very useful support for the police to deal with these issues. I believe that the recent approach by the City Council of issuing a FPN, but also fitting free bike lights is also correct!

(Liberal Democrat)

As a long time promoter of cycle training and cycle safety I am offended by the bad behaviour
of some cyclists and road users. Cambridge City Council is devolving decision making powers
to local area committees and residents need to attend their local meeting and engage with
their Local Sector Inspector if they want to influence policing priorities but they should expect
to be competing with others with different priorities.

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.

(Liberal Democrat)

I wouldn't say a blanket yes to this, but I would like to see some traffic enforcement as a higher prioirity on occasion and in some areas. I have argued for this in the past when setting police priorities at North Area Committee, particylarly over enforcement of speed limits in residential areas, which would benefit cyclists as well as other residents.

With regard to cyclists, this should be a higher priority at certain times. For example it should be a priority when the clocks go back. There should also be extra education efforts at key times: start of school and university years, for example. The City Council has supported such programmes.

Red lights need better enforcement for both motorised vehicles and bicycles!

(Liberal Democrat)

Policing cyclists is regularly a priority set by local councillors and the police at area committee meetings and that is the place to compare cycling as a prioirity against other priorities. I often support cycling as a priority in these discussions such as tackling crossing red lights in my ward. I am happy to ask the police and councillors about pavement cycling at future meetings, and cycling without lights - as well as enforcement parking of motor vehicles in cycle lanes.

Catherine Helen Lindsay SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

Police priorities are regularly discussed at the Area Committees. The main cycling related one I have spoken for is tackling cycle theft which is far too high and while cyclists can do much to protect themselves, I have advocated the police making it a priority.
We have also made traffic policing on Mill Road a priority. I want to promote a culture where all road users are more responsible and mutually aware.

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.

(United People's Party)

I do not believe that this would work. Whilst spot fines and 'blitzes' catch a few, education and better-bike design is far better way to ensure that the rules are followed. For comparison, cycle helmets are not compulsory, yet a significant percentage of people use them anyway. Lights are compulsory and yet in my experience less people use lights than cycle helmets. Bikes could be designed with unremoveable lights powered by hub dynamoes. Bells could also be impossible to remove. Biles could be painted with flourescent/reflective patches for higher visibility. If junctions were better designed, sensing systems on traffic lights detected bikes, more use of left-turn bike green filters and filter lanes, less (preferably NONE!) shared use footpaths, more completely off-road cycle-only routes (like Chisholm Trail) then the problems would occur less and cycling would be safer. Of course, you could introduce a system of insurance and 'number plates' in order to trace cyclists and hold them accountable more easily....

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.