Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (County), May 2013: Arbury

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in May 2013.
Polling date: Thursday 2nd May 2013
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Stephen Roger LAWRENCE  (Green Party)
  • Daniel Stephen LEVY  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Ali MEFTAH  (Conservative Party)
  • Hugh MENNIE  (UK Independence Party)
  • Paul SALES  (Labour Party)

Questions for Arbury division candidates (10 questions)

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

# Question 1

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

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Cyclist since 1981 - commuted for some years - use a bike daily, and commute out to Hauxton once a week. I have two bikes.

Daniel Stephen LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I live within walking distance of the places where I went to school, university, and now work. Because of this, I've always been an avid pedestrian and seldom cycle anywhere.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Hugh MENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Paul SALES
(Labour Party)

I do own a rather creaky bike and am occasionally even seen on it. I walk a great deal and support anything which helps people keep fit and get around.

# 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?

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

In short, yes

Daniel Stephen LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

Safe, high quality cycle routes are going to be an important part of the infrastructure needed to support growth in Cambridge and the surrounding areas. The Liberal Democrats are already seeking to have £8m invested in cycling and the Chisholm Trail. If elected I would support this measure.
However, investment in other forms of travel, including facilities for pedestrians and frequent, reliable bus services will also be needed. As a councillor, I would seek to find the best possible balance between all these various facilities.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Hugh MENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Paul SALES
(Labour Party)

Without good cycling and pedestrian routes and good public transport linking new developments to the city for work and leisure growth here just won’t be possible. We need the County, City and South Cambs councils to have a fully integrated plan for growth including a wide ranging transport strategy.

# 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?

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

"Evidence-based" is the word. Also "based on levels of danger". However, people have their own priorities. Blitzes are popular, and do also work (viz success with bike lights). So we should say "the evidence suggests this" and "but peoples' preferences are this" so "as a compomise we'll do this". Ie as educative as possible, without IMO being judgemental. We do have to police our community together, after all.

Daniel Stephen LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I fully support evidence-based policy making, but I'm not sure I agree with the rather strange definition of the term that is given in the question. If something is evidence-based then it should be based on all the available evidence, not just the bits that fit with a particular agenda.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Hugh MENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Paul SALES
(Labour Party)

Policing priorities are set in area committees and we must make sure that there is good information available when that happens. Education is as important as enforcement.

# 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?

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

I do, and I believe my party does too

Daniel Stephen LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

While we support a greater provision of cycle routes and facilities, but while we would like to see things such as dangerous routes being brought up to a safe standard, a London-style scheme would require us having lots of relatively wide roads running throughout area, including in the city centre. It may also be difficult to construct such roads in outlying areas, as the effect of doing this on the local environment would need to be considered. Cambridgeshire needs a scheme designed to fit it, rather than large cities such as London or Amsterdam.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Hugh MENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Paul SALES
(Labour Party)

I certainly support Improving cycling infrastructure but it needs to be a scheme to fit Cambridge’s unique environment.

# Question 5

The County Council now has responsibility for public heath. As a member of the Council, how would you address such urgent and diverse issues as air quality, obesity, children’s independence, and the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle?

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Refer to local party statement (see Simon Sedgwick-Jell)

Daniel Stephen LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

As well as investing in cycle routes, I would seek to protect and improve public transport, provide outdoor play areas and sports facilities for children and invest in green energy and spaces.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Hugh MENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Paul SALES
(Labour Party)

That’s a huge question to answer in brief and many health issues across the County are rooted in the inequality and deprivation that can be found in some Cambridge wards and in Fenland and East Cambs. Addressing child poverty would be a good start and under this government those levels are rising daily. But of course on a local level providing safe routes to school, ensuring children can learn how to ride bikes safely on roads and filling in potholes so they don’t come off then would be good.

# Question 6

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?

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Yes, nevertheless I think this mostly appliesto extant routes / general routes not within new build (cycle parking an exception)

Daniel Stephen LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I think that while these measures should be looked at in new schemes, the effect they would have on the environment, congestion and pedestrians would have to be considered very carefully. I would also support consulting on them for modifications to existing schemes where appropriate. The Liberal Democrats are already seeking to enhance local cycle routes, however it may not be possible to bring them up to the “Dutch-quality” levels described in the question.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Hugh MENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Paul SALES
(Labour Party)

Yes if possible within the constraints of some city streets.

# Question 7

Do you support major development of the A14? What do you consider the effects on Cambridge would be if or when this were done? What measures would you support to ameliorate negative effects on cyclists of any traffic increases in Cambridge that this might cause (estimates have been made of a 30% increase)?

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

My response to the A14 is that it is primarily a problem with freight. Therefore the solution involves moving "swap-body" traffic on to the rails, using a proprietary system such as Modalohr or CargoBeamer, with terminals located near Harwich (I think this is where most swap-bodies come from - Felixstowe is for containers) and the Midlands, to name the first two.

Daniel Stephen LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

As stated previously, I would support measures already being proposed by the Liberal Democrats to improve local cycle routes, as well as building new ones. This should be done along side investment in public transport and facilities for pedestrians that would reduce the number of vehicles on the road. I would also support the proposals for a 20MPH speed limit throughout much of Cambridge.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Hugh MENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Paul SALES
(Labour Party)

Yes, Labour supports the need to upgrade the A14 though the case for tolling has not been made. Details of the current government proposals need to go through full scrutiny at city and county level so that any impact on the city’s radial routes and the inner core roads can be looked at alongside the impact of the already planned growth of the city over the next two decades. The pre-emptive refusal to consider the scheme by the City Council liberal democrats before proper scrutiny by all members of the City Council might put it at risk and damage the economy of this region.

# Question 8

Do you agree that 20mph should become the norm for local streets in Cambridge and surrounding villages? Do you support this on all roads, all roads except major roads, or not at all?

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Basically "all roads", since some "major roads" (eg Victoria Road) are not suitable for 30mph (if one had to choose one of Victoria rd and Gilbert rd fr 20moh one would surely pick the former). I'd also pick 25mph, this being one of the most widely adopted speed limits throughout the word (ie 40kph)

Daniel Stephen LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I think that there should be a 20MPH speed limit on all roads except major roads in Cambridge and surrounding villages.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Hugh MENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Paul SALES
(Labour Party)

Yes, providing residents agree after consultation and if it comes in it needs to be accompanied by education, re-engineering of some roads and good enforcement action by the police.

# Question 9

Cambridge occupies a national leadership position as more than 50% of people use a bicycle once a month. How should the balance be struck between celebrating a national achievement in active transport and addressing strategically the many local shortcomings which still leave half of the population without the ability to choose active and healthy modes?

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Let's get facilities for the younger and beginner cyclist - everywhere!

Daniel Stephen LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I generally only think about balancing things when one comes at the expense of the other(s). I'm not sure that celebrating a national achievement does come at the expense of addressing shortcomings in local infrastructure and therefore I think that balancing the two may not be necessary.
I also question the claim that half the population don't have the ability to choose active and healthy models. Walking and cycling to locations around Cambridge may not always be easy, but I have found that, for walking anyway, it is generally possible for those who wish to do so. Admittedly, there are things that can be done to reduce concerns over safety that may put people off cycling or walking to certain locations but that doesn't mean that the choice is unavailable to them.
I would support efforts by the Liberal Democrats to improve visibility on dangerous junctions and ensure that road surfaces are effectively maintained. Another thing that would help is attempting to reduce the number of more dangerous vehicles such as cars on the roads by investing in things such as bus services.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Hugh MENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Paul SALES
(Labour Party)

I think more than 50% can always choose to walk which is also good for them. We also need a clear city wide and county wide cycling strategy which will help us take advantage of funding from central government as well as using CIL/S106 for schemes small and large.

# Question 10

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?

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

There are an increasing number of major cycleways which are crumbling - and could possiblly widened at the same time time as being resurfaced - eg the paths across Jesus Green.

Daniel Stephen LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

It is important to remember that cycling is only one part of a bigger picture when it comes to transport and infrastructure in Cambridgeshire. Considering it at the expense of all else may end up hurting more than it helps. Also, the benefits of things such as public transport improvements and green energy policies to cyclists should not be overlooked.

Ali MEFTAH
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Hugh MENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Paul SALES
(Labour Party)

The County Labour group strongly support cycling and the provision of good cycling infrastructure, including the Chisholm Trail, the new cycle bridge over the Cam, the improvements to the A14/B1049 junction and the dual use pedestrian and cycle path from Milton to Landbeach. What we have not supported is the County liberal democrat fantasy budget which was never going to be implemented anyway and which the County Conservatives also voted down. Our work on the County after the elections will focus on working with the Tory administration on the reality of how to develop and fund good cycling and pedestrian schemes across the county and make sure that local communities are fully consulted and involved rather than simply told about schemes already worked up.

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.