Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

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

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council (and South Cambs District Council) in May 2012.
Polling date: Thursday 3rd May 2012
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Rachel ECKERSLEY  (Labour Party)
  • Philip SALWAY  (Conservative Party)
  • Catherine Helen Lindsay SMART  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Tom WOODCOCK  (Cambridge Socialists)

Questions for Romsey ward candidates (7 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7 

# 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.

Rachel ECKERSLEY
(Labour Party)

Yes, I do support Cambridge Cycling Campaign’s important proposal for ‘The Chisholm Trail’, as does the Labour Group on the City Council. The proposal for the trail should be assessed in conjunction with other current and proposed public transport measures and the cost implications of these.

Philip SALWAY
(Conservative Party)

This is a great idea and I can see hundreds of people using it to cross the city safely
and avoid traffic..

Catherine Helen Lindsay SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, I think it would be a good addition to the major cycleway network in the city for all the reasons you give. I also think the sooner the better before the available land is taken by other things. I think it ought to have a specific mention in the new local plan - which, as you know,will have the first stage of the public consultation this summer

Planning aside, the County Council would be responsible for some parts of the project, and my ward colleague on the county council recently submitted a motion to it calling for them to commit to completing the project by
2020: http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/CMSWebsite/Apps/Committees/AgendaItem.aspx?agendaItemID=5126
In this way the Romsey Lib Dem team is working in a co-ordinated way on both the City and County councils to make this vital project happen as soon as possible.

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

Yes. This should have been part of the development of the guided bus. We need to campaign to ensure that there are lots of places you can join the route as well. The currwent section of the guided bus cycleway (although the best thing about the whole debacle) makes limitted use of access to key junctions and is poorly lit in large parts!

# 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.

Rachel ECKERSLEY
(Labour Party)

Yes, I would and the Labour Group on Cambridge City Council is committed to reinstating a full-time cycling officer; a crucial post in a city where more than 25% of local people cycle to work. It may well be possible to expand this to two full-time posts.

Philip SALWAY
(Conservative Party)

I think this would require more than just one councillors wishes to happen
but yes in principle I would support one officer, perhaps two if funds allowed
and would seriously consider applying myself for the post..

Catherine Helen Lindsay SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

As I understand it, this whole campaign is based on a misunderstanding. There has been no cut - just a reassignment of duties. The work, including a consideration of cycling facilities in developments, continues to be done.
On the question of more officers assigned to this work - when the budget is drawn up, it is usual to consider if there are areas of work which do not have the capacity that they should have. Should that be the case with work connected with cycling, I would expect that to go through the same process.

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

Yes. I am opposed to all cuts and this post should not have been cut. The bankers should pay for the crisis they caused not people with the Jobs or the environment. Crucial roles like this that can help get traffic of the roads and areone of the ways we can hold developers to account.

# 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?

Rachel ECKERSLEY
(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.

Philip SALWAY
(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..

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.

Tom WOODCOCK
(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.

# 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?

Rachel ECKERSLEY
(Labour Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Philip SALWAY
(Conservative Party)

Option 1 seems like a sensible approach to catching taxi drivers who
are a liablity to other road users..

Catherine Helen Lindsay SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

I would prefer not to comment in public on something that is being consulted on formally. I will wait to see what the consultation shows us, then make such decisions that are mine to make.

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

What you propose sound sensible but i would like to have more evidence and advice from taxi drivers before I committed fully.

# 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 Belgrave Road, Hemingford Road, Ross Street (south), Fairfax Road, Thoday Street, Catharine Street, Sedgwick Street, Cockburn Street, Argyle Street, and a section of Vinery Road?

Rachel ECKERSLEY
(Labour Party)

The DoT’s authorisation of a clear ‘No entry except cycles’ sign is an important development. The streets in Romsey mentioned above, however, are one-way systems due in large part to the narrowness of the streets, made even narrower by parked cars. The safety of cyclists, pedestrians and car drivers is paramount and the width of these streets must be taken into account in any proposal for a cycling contra-flow. The cyclists in Romsey I have spoken to already about this matter have said that even with-traffic/one-way cycling on some of these streets is hazardous. We must ensure that two-way cycling can be undertaken safely.

Philip SALWAY
(Conservative Party)

Obviously if you live on one of these streets then 2 way cycling would benefit you,
however these roads are too narrow to support 2 way cyling safely due to parked
cars and so on this occasion I would have to emphatically say no it is not safe..

Catherine Helen Lindsay SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

I would be willing to consult residents and cyclists about this. However, they are narrow streets and most have parking both sides so the space is restricted. I am not sure all these roads are suitable for two way cycling.
The exception to this statement is Fairfax Road and the part of Ross Street north of the entrance to the Rec. I think those should be two-way for cyclists. They are wider than the others you mention, do not have quite the same parking pressures and would be especially useful because children going to St Philip's School from the west of Romsey could then legally cycle along Fairfax, that part of Ross Street and across the park. This would form a reasonable quiet, and fairly safe route suitable for young children in the earlier stages of cycle riding.

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

Yes but prefferably as part of a much greater consultation and plan to deal with parking and traffic issues in Romsey.

# Question 6

In most terraced streets of Petersfield and Romsey, the public realm is dominated by parked cars. No space is made available for cycle parking, trees, and other amenities that would enhance the area. Car parking is squeezed into every available remaining space, yet there is a total absence of secure cycle parking. This inequity is one cause of the high levels of cycle theft in Cambridge. Would you support the introduction of on-street cycle parking racks on most such streets, even if it would mean the removal of one parking space on the street?

Rachel ECKERSLEY
(Labour Party)

Yes, in principle. The Labour Group is keen to review all parking options/solutions and secure cycle-parking is an important aspect of any traffic solution, particularly at the railway station and the roads adjoining the station in Romsey. Labour has budgeted for additional secure parking and has opposed charging at station. We also support CCC’s idea of another city centre secure cycle park.

Philip SALWAY
(Conservative Party)

I would support the introduction of more on-street cycle parking racks,
especially by the Empress pub where drinkers have little space to leave
their bikes and they get in the way.. also bikes left on pavements outside houses
get in the way of pedestrains and wheelchair users and so more bike parking
would help alleviate this problem..

Catherine Helen Lindsay SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

It is not true to say there is no secure cycle parking in Romsey. Several new hoops were put in on St Philip's Road recently and are used particularly by customers of the Empress Pub. There are also hoops by several of the shops on Mill Road. When funding was available we wrote to residents across the ward and had racks installed where demand was high.

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

I would remove more than one parking space. There are a number of places in Romsey and Petersfield where underground and secure off street parking for cars could both totally revelutionise the parking situation and open up and relandscape open spaces. For this I include actual road space! If the council stoppedletting developpers put flats in every single spare space then this would be even more feasable. The council also needs to invest in its own community car and van scheme that includes reasonable long term car loans for going on Holiday!

# Question 7

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?

Rachel ECKERSLEY
(Labour Party)

I would like the city council to do more to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport. My husband and I walk with my 3 year old daughter to and from the city always, and to her nursery as often as possible. I take a bus to the station and then the train to London for work, and we run only one car; one of the reasons for living in Cambridge is the ease with which you can walk or cycle to work and across the city. I support, therefore, a citywide 20 mph speed limit in residential areas to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, and the restoration of the city centre Shuttle bus, as well as better regulation of bus fares and timetables. I also support Labour's commitment to work with the County Council to repair key cycle ways, pavements and potholes in the roads.

Philip SALWAY
(Conservative Party)

I can't speak for the other candidates but I cycle a lot,
at least 10 hours a week, and recently rode the Paris-Roubaix
bike race challenge -so I am very into my cycling. I think the council
and Cambridge would benefit from having a genuine pro-cyclist on
the council and I would welcome the opportunity to get more involved
in cycling issues.

Catherine Helen Lindsay SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

The most important thing I have done for sustainable transport is to bring the Car Club to Cambridge. I campaigned for it for many years and have chaired the joint City and County Council Steering Group since its inception.
I very much welcome the way Zipcar (formally Streetcar) has grown, especially recently. A report this month said that they had 889 members - many in Romsey. They have 24 cars in 21 locations. A new one will shortly become operational at the Mill Road end of Thoday Street now the work at St Philip's Church is nearly finished. This is the last of the 14 new locations which were planned last summer. As it is believed that one club car means that 20 private cars have been dispensed with or not bought, that is going a little way to relieve the pressure on the streets referred to in question 6.
I realise that many members of the cycling campaign will regard this as a side issue but I contend that people are far more willing to rely on their cycles if they have available a back-up in the Car Club for some occasions.
I continue to campaign for secure cycle parking near every car club bay to make the cars easier to use by cyclists.

The other important thing I have done for cycling in Romsey was to campaign (along with others, of course) to have the Coldham's Lane cycle and pedestrian bridge constructed. As your members will remember, previously this bridge was extremely dangerous, and the cause of many serious accidents. I was greatly relieved when the County Council built it.
I have also campaigned to protect our local buses, and have real time bus information signs on Coldham's Lane and (soon) Mill Road.
Public transport, the car club, and safe routes for cyclists are all aspects of a sustainable future for our city.

Tom WOODCOCK
(Cambridge Socialists)

Coldhams Lane needs to be completly relandscaped as does the far end of Mill Road!
I also don't think that the potential traffic impact of changing the Elizebeth way/Newmarket Rd roundabout to traffic lights has been though through in relation to Coldhams Lane. This needs to be part of anly changed proposal to this junction.

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.