Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (County), May 2013: Abbey

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in May 2013.
Polling date: Thursday 2nd May 2013
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • David Ian AMBROSE SMITH  (Conservative Party)
  • Christopher John BROWN  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Brett Mark HUGHES  (Green Party)
  • Joan WHITEHEAD  (Labour Party)

Questions for Abbey division candidates (11 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11 

# Question 1

What experience do you have of cycling in the Cambridgeshire area?

David Ian AMBROSE SMITH
(Conservative Party)

In the past, considerable experiance of cycling as a leisure activity. Working from home I no longer have the need to comute, however the volume of traffic is now such that I find the thought of cycling somewhat daunting.

Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

I cycle in Cambridge several times a week, particular to the Railway station and to the town centre. I have cycled around much of the town over the years and also to a number of villages outside of Cambridge.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)

I ride my bike 6m, to and from work each day, diagonally across the city. I use it to get about socially at weekends and evenings. I know most of the Cambridge Roads from the perspective of the cyclist.

Joan WHITEHEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 2

Cambridge is seeing massive housing growth, with tens of thousands of new journeys into the city expected daily. Given that building tunnels, knocking down houses, or providing new public transport is very expensive, would you agree that creating very high-quality cycling routes to encourage new people to cycle offers by far the best cost-benefit ratio for transport improvements that facilitate growth of the City and surrounding areas?

David Ian AMBROSE SMITH
(Conservative Party)

Yes but other forms of transport need to be considered also.

Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

I think that providing high-quality cycling routes is an essential part of enabling the growth of Cambridge, given the restrictions on other infrastructure development, and that it offers good value for money. With cycling being such a popular mode of transport in the City it is important that new residents are also encouraged to get on their bikes.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)

I see cycling as a vital link for any growth in or around the city and view the slow introduction of cycling infrastructure as a great opportunity missed. People in Cambridge expect more and so do it's many frequent visitors.

Joan WHITEHEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 3

Do you support our view that traffic policing, of all groups of road users (cyclists, drivers, etc), should become a greater police priority, and that this should be evidence-based, namely based on the relative levels of danger presented by each such group?

David Ian AMBROSE SMITH
(Conservative Party)

Yes, traffic policing needs to have a high priorty. Speeding and on street parking both need to be addressed.

Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

In such a busy City it is important that all road users are aware of their responsibilities and that the police ensure compliance with traffic laws and deter offending. I support the actions which have been taken to encourage all cyclists to have lights when necessary, but also believe that motorists, myself included, have an important responsibility to always consider cyclists on the road given their greater vulnerability. The Police should enforce speed restrictions within the City.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)

Yes. I am disturbed but the recent reports of road conflict between cyclists and both cars and pedestrians. This is surely evidence that more needs to be done.

Joan WHITEHEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 4

London’s Mayor has launched plans for proper prioritisation of space for cycling in London, with a 15-mile substantially-segregated route by removing traffic lanes from cars, three ‘mini-Hollands’ and more. Do you and your party support a new London-style bike plan for Cambridgeshire?

David Ian AMBROSE SMITH
(Conservative Party)

The Netherlands have a very civilized approach towards all road users and we would do well to copy some of their practices.

Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

Being a regular visitor to London I have seen the very difficult conditions and risks cyclists often face in the capital and support any action there to reduce deaths and injuries to cyclists. For Cambridgeshire I am certain that there are some elements of these plans that would benefit the county, especially junction improvement in Cambridge, further segregation and developing and signing quiet routes.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)

Look, every innovative strategy is always viewed with skepticism before it is introduced and often subsequently accepted as normal. Cambridge has much experience in accepting such change. County really needs to play to more of this capacity.

Joan WHITEHEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 5

Do you believe that Dutch-quality cycle provision, with cycle tracks that are separate both from pedestrians and motor traffic and that have priority over side roads, should a) be included within all new traffic schemes and b) be considered and consulted on for all modifications to existing schemes?

David Ian AMBROSE SMITH
(Conservative Party)

Yes

Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

Cycle tracks that are separate from traffic and pedestrians be encouraged and where practical and viable incorporated within new traffic schemes. Both cyclist and pedestrian facilities should be considered and prioritised on road and network modifications.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)

I would love something along these lines. As a result I think everyone would be more accommodating to each other. I think much bitterness comes from car drivers resentment of an infringement on their territory, silly as that sounds.

Joan WHITEHEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 6

Do you support the principle of a considerable improvement for cycling along the inner ring road, in the form of a Newnham to Newmarket (N2N) cycleway? In our view, 2.1m wide cycle tracks could be achieved for much of this while in many places not affecting vehicle capacity.

David Ian AMBROSE SMITH
(Conservative Party)

Yes,
I would also like to see a cycleway along the top of the river banks and tow paths from Cambridge towards Kings Lynn.

Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

Living just off Newmarket Road I often cycle in to the City along East Road and Lensfield Road and this can be a difficult route for cyclists. Traffic congestion is also a significant problem in these areas, so a detailed investigation of the impact of any changes would be an important first step. Overall some improvements to this route for cyclists would be positive.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)

Absolutely, and even more could be done on the radial routes into Cambridge as well.

Joan WHITEHEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 7

Do you support our proposal for 'The Chisholm Trail', a cycling and walking linear park 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.

David Ian AMBROSE SMITH
(Conservative Party)

Yes. I would like to think that this proposal is given serious consideration

Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, I support the proposed Chisholm Trail and think this would greatly improve cycling across the city and encourage more people to opt to use their bikes.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)

Long awaited by me. I would use it every day to get to work. Necessary for the northern growth of the city and a much wiser, cleaner and greener investment than the guided busway.

Joan WHITEHEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 8

Do you support the provision of a cycle bridge over the River Cam and related cycleways alongside or near the railway bridge?

David Ian AMBROSE SMITH
(Conservative Party)

Yes

Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. As part of the Chisholm Trail and with the planned new Chesterton Station I believe new route over the River Cam is an important element in linking up the route and giving access to the new station for people south of the river.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)

Yes.

Joan WHITEHEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 9

Newmarket Road, especially towards the inner end, is bad for cycling partly due to abuse of the bus lanes by cars. What would you do to try to improve it?

David Ian AMBROSE SMITH
(Conservative Party)

I believe that the proposals put forward in Newsletter 97 have considerable merit and are worth detailed consideration.

Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

Firstly, there should be improved enforcement of the bus lanes along Newmarket Road. The area around the Elizabeth Way roundabout, much of it in the Abbey division, needs a great deal of improvement for cyclists and pedestrians and this should be a priority area for improvements in the city.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)

That is part of my daily route and a lifeline for residents of Abbey. New developments will put even greater pressure on this. I cannot tell you how many close shaves I have had on this road. In my mind this is the biggest disaster waiting to happen, and County will be the negligent responsible party when it does.

Joan WHITEHEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 10

Green Dragon Bridge currently has ‘cyclists dismount’ signs, which mean that people can legally cycle over it but that the landowner advises that people do so at their own risk. The Bridge is wider than many shared use paths over which there have not been complaints. Do you support our view that legal cycling should remain permitted, that the signs should read 'Cyclists give way to pedestrians' and that conflict would be reduced by removing barriers to increase the amount of space here?

David Ian AMBROSE SMITH
(Conservative Party)

The proposal regarding signage and barrier removal again has some merit.
If I have concern it would be the speed at which some cyclist travel. This matter needs careful conderation for the benifit of all users.

Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

I have not found it an issue to dismount from my bike for the short distance across the Green Dragon Bridge and given that I have seen many pedestrians with pushchairs crossing this bridge, it is probably safest to request cyclists to dismount.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)

Yes I do.

Joan WHITEHEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 11

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?

David Ian AMBROSE SMITH
(Conservative Party)

I was previously an enthusiastic cyclist. The volume and speed of traffic I now find daunting. I no longer cycle as a lesuire activity having become a dog owner and walking has taken over my main form of exercise.
Many pedestrian routes, as with cycle ways are not fit for purpose.

Christopher John BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

Cycle parking is still an issue in a number of areas, especially at the Railway station and in a number of shopping areas. These should be progressively improved.

Brett Mark HUGHES
(Green Party)

I would like to see some experimentation with differing technologies for the surface of cycle lanes, and many, very quickly, become hazardous and poorly maintained.

Joan WHITEHEAD
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

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.