Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (County), May 2013: Cottenham, Histon and Impington

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in May 2013.
Polling date: Thursday 2nd May 2013
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Brenda Mary BIAMONTI  (Labour Party)
  • Sue GYMER  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Lynda HARFORD  (Conservative Party)
  • Eric HEAVER  (UK Independence Party)
  • John David JENKINS  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Huw JONES  (Labour Party)
  • Mike MASON  (Independent)
  • Joe WEBSTER  (UK Independence Party)
  • Timothy John WOTHERSPOON  (Conservative Party)

Questions for Cottenham, Histon and Impington 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?

Brenda Mary BIAMONTI
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sue GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

I have over the past 20 years cycled for leisure and commuting to work both at the Science Park and West Cambridge. Paths and racks have improved greatly but so has the amount of traffic. I now tend to limit myself to cycling in the villages after damaging my knee.

Lynda HARFORD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Eric HEAVER
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John David JENKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

I cycle frequently: for sport, to local shops and sometimes to meetings in Cambridge

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

I am a daily cycle commuter.

Mike MASON
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Joe WEBSTER
(UK Independence Party)

Four years as a student in Cambridge a few decades ago. I also used to do some cycle touring and middle-distance cycling when I lived in the northern part of the county. Nowadays, I rarely get on a bike but do occasionally cycle around the Cottenham and Rampton area.

Timothy John WOTHERSPOON
(Conservative Party)

Almost all my journeys in Cambridgeshire are by bike, and whenever I go to London I take a bicycle on the train.

# 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?

Brenda Mary BIAMONTI
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sue GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

I like to keep things simple, lets fix what we've got and put in cycle friendly drain covers. Less potholes, better safety at junctions, good well maintained roads and paths, properly drained, gritted in the winter and lower speed limits in some residential areas.
When we have the money we can consider the grand schemes. I will be vigilant for grants from Government or Europe that encourage cycling schemes.

Lynda HARFORD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Eric HEAVER
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John David JENKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

I would agree that providing these routes to enable easy getting about and access to healthy life styles is obviously the right thing to do. I don't know about 'best cost-benefit ratio' but could believe it to be true.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

The tunnel proposal is laughable. Knocking down houses for grand road building schemes appears to increase traffic volumes without reducing congestion and without reducing environmental impacts such as air pollution. While public transport options may be expensive, they are essential, particularly for groups who might find cycling alteratives difficult or impossible. We need to recognise the advantages of solutions that integrate public transport with cycling and walking.

Mike MASON
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Joe WEBSTER
(UK Independence Party)

There is some argument for this but cycling would still remain impracticable for many people. I think there is more of a case for improving public transport for those who need to get into the city for work. Bus journeys are not only rather too expensive; they are also unnecessarily tedious.

Timothy John WOTHERSPOON
(Conservative Party)

Of course.

# 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?

Brenda Mary BIAMONTI
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sue GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

If someone is breaking the law and it is detected then that is a matter for the courts, especially when it could result in serious injury. The police have tried to encourage compliance rather penalties and I would like to see more carrot than stick. Great idea to get cyclists to buy lights rather than take a fine.

Lynda HARFORD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Eric HEAVER
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John David JENKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes but ... I know it's a minority but I would like to see the cycling community leading by example. Cycling without lights at night-time on unlit roads is simply dangerous.

And we do need all groups to recognise their roles in a hierachy of users and to relate appropriately to each other.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

Generally, Cambridge cyclists and motorists treat each other with a great deal of consideration. However, there are significant minorities among both groups whose behaviour needs to improve. The police have a role to play in this.
Policing is only part of the solution. Cycle safety training in schools needs to be supported and strengthened, particularly with regard to making sure cyclists understand the importance of visibility. Driver awareness of cyclists' vulnerability needs to improve; perhaps driver 'speed awareness training' should include a section on the needs of cyclists or maybe a session to experience cycling in heavy traffic.

Mike MASON
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Joe WEBSTER
(UK Independence Party)

I am partially in agreement with this but I think that the police's principal priority should be crime prevention. In so far as they spend time on traffic matters, I believe their principal priority should be accident prevention, which may well include the enforcement measures you have in mind.

Timothy John WOTHERSPOON
(Conservative Party)

Irresponsible cycling gives us all a bad name, but as you say is far less likely to cause physical injury to anyone than - for example - texting whilst driving.

# 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?

Brenda Mary BIAMONTI
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sue GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

LD nationally are very supportive of cycling and Julian in the city is an advocate for 2 wheeled transport. At CCC the LD group has repeatedly put cycling on the agenda, giving ideas like the Chisholm trail, and demanding routes to be gritted; we will continue to do so led by Susan Van Der Ven.

Lynda HARFORD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Eric HEAVER
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John David JENKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

Sounds like a good idea

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

Despite many years experience as a cyclist I do not feel safe on the county's 'A' roads and many of the 'B' roads are pretty scary too. I personally support Sustrans and support their approaches. Good quality routes are needed if the Cambridge cycling phenomenon is to take root in all of Cambridgeshire.

Mike MASON
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Joe WEBSTER
(UK Independence Party)

We do not, as far as I am aware, have a party policy on this matter. UKIP councillors are expected to try to discover and to represent the views of their electors. If elected, that is what I would do.

Timothy John WOTHERSPOON
(Conservative Party)

Not sure what the party's view is but I certainly do.

# 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?

Brenda Mary BIAMONTI
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sue GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

Air quality is often overlooked and complex. I feel SCDC is not doing enough to ensure the planning it approves doesn't negatively affect a community. Children who discover cycling are the most independent. It should be encouraged but we should be mindful of those who aren't rich enough, physically able or confident to cycle.
Health issues due to a sedentary life style and obesity do cost the public purse so prevention and sympathetic help should be seen as a good way to head off this ticking time bomb.
But not all are as fit and healthy as the next person nor will using a bike be a panacea. It does take my lycra clad husband about the same time to cycle to work as it does for us to drive but _I_ would take twice as long.

Lynda HARFORD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Eric HEAVER
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John David JENKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

1 by example
2 by continuing to lobby that such factors should always be considered in whatever the Council does
3 by consulting and ensuring that residents' views on them are always considered,

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

My personal priority is to encourage provision of Safe Routes to Schools for both cyclists and pedestrians. Ideally cycling or walking should be the natural choice for short journeys; habits learned at an early age can establish a healthier way of life

Mike MASON
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Joe WEBSTER
(UK Independence Party)

That is rather too large and complex a question to admit of a short answer.

Timothy John WOTHERSPOON
(Conservative Party)

I like the shift in attitude from the dangers of cycling to the dangers of non-cycling! I'm very much in favour of increasing activity levels for people of all ages in all aspects of day to day living (rather than having to take exercise for its own sake).

# Question 6

Cambridge is the cycling capital of the UK. Our city is a better place, healthier, greener and more joyful for it. How do you intend to bring similar levels of cycling to the surrounding villages? What specific improvements would you support?

Brenda Mary BIAMONTI
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sue GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

Start by encouraging the local journeys to be by cycling or walking not by car. Provide good cycle racking at schools, community areas and shops.
New houses and employment areas should be planned with cycle parking and access for residents and visitors - SCDC needs to learn lessons from the City here, especially allocating 106 money.
We need to connect up the paths we have, I would like to see links to all the villages that are in the our local schools catchment areas. So Landbeach and Cottenham - and that would also give us a connection to the Waterbeach station. A connection of Cottenham to Oakington is supported by the parish councils. This would ideally be extended to Bar Hill, as it is a large employment centre. Pupils from IVC who live in Dry Drayton would benefit from a path to Oakington as well, but not at the cost of the school buses.
A dream would be making the B1049 a cycling leisure route to Ely.
I am personally looking forward to a route through the new development at Darwin Green to make a speedier and safer route to West Cambridge

Lynda HARFORD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Eric HEAVER
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John David JENKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

join up the missing bits on the B1049 (somehow)
all-weather stud-lit path from Rampton to the guided bus
Cottenham to Oakington also with a connection to the guided bus
finishing off Impington to Milton
Ring Fort Path
Tidying up Orchard Park (it's a part of CH&I). it needs the current signage removed/rationalised, more cycle parking etc.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

Safer routes linking the village colleges to their catchments would be my first priority. Links to employment hubs (Cambridge Science Park, Genome Campus, Cambridge Research Park, Babraham, Granta Park) and a safe Cambridge / Bar Hill route would be my second priority.

Mike MASON
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Joe WEBSTER
(UK Independence Party)

Dealing with the pot-holes! Actually, I think the best thing that could be done around the villages would be some proper re-surfacing not only of the roads but also of the cycle lanes where they do exist.

Timothy John WOTHERSPOON
(Conservative Party)

Well, while not ideal, the links between Cottenham and Rampton and Cottenham and Histon are much better than they used to be. The Histon to Girton and Oakington links are OK. Histon and Orchard Park are broadly connected to the Busway cycle track. It would also be good to have a link from Cottenham to the track along the Busway. At the moment this requires taking King Street, Cuckoo Lane and one of the road-planings tyre tracks along Reynolds Drove out of Rampton. (And don't mention the obstacle course to Longstanton the other side of the Busway! That will be improved as Northstowe comes forward.) Oakington to Longstanton ought to be a pleasure along the airfield road - if only the cars using it illegally were not doing so! There is no cycle link from Cottenham to Oakington, though something like this may come forward in association with Northstowe. And the roads to the railway station at Waterbeach are not for the faint-hearted right now. Butt Lane is having its middle third done (currently at hardcore stage). Not sure how many cyclists will take the very long detour to avoid the mouth of the entrance to the commercial premises there, but I guess this counts as "good practice". The Landbeach Road cycle track seems to have had at least one layer of blacktop but comes to a sudden stop. must find out why. I've just got in from Rampton Annual Parish Meeting and there was a call for a better link to Willingham. Most of the feedback I get from Rampton, however, calls for a smoother (and illuminated) link to the Busway as highest priority.

# Question 7

What are your views on cycling provisions for commuting into Cambridge from Cottenham, Histon and Impington? Are the existing facilities adequate (and why or why not)?

Brenda Mary BIAMONTI
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sue GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

Commuting is more complex than providing a good cycle route, are there adequate facilities at work and are employers flexible if the journey is interrupted by a puncture or broken cable?
The routes needs maintaining, sweeping and gritting. The entrance crossing in Cottenham is unsafe and I hope will be rectified when money becomes available. People aren't just going into the centre of Cambridge so well signed routes/ maps/ apps are useful for other destinations.
A14 crossing and internal village routes are issues to also work on.

Lynda HARFORD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Eric HEAVER
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John David JENKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

The lanes along Histon Road in Cambridge are inadequate.

Crossing the A14 is a problem but will be sorted shortly.

Route through Histon is a little problematic by the Green

see above answer to Q7

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

I have lived in Histon for 20 years and provision has improved during that time. Congestion in Histon/Impington at peak time remains a problem which discourages cycling for the 'school run'. Parts of Cottenham High Street would benefit from cycle lanes that would offer a measure of security.

Mike MASON
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Joe WEBSTER
(UK Independence Party)

I have no recent first hand experience of that route, but most of it doesn't look too bad once you get as far as the cycle lane on Histon Road, Cottenham. Coming from slightly further out, getting on and off the cycleway between Rampton and Cottenham is a bit difficult and dangerous and the surface of the cycleway itself is bad (see above!) so many cyclists (not me) evidently prefer to use the road rather than the cycleway.

Timothy John WOTHERSPOON
(Conservative Party)

Your question asks whether adequate, and the answer has to be yes, it does the job. Ideal? No, but we all know the story. All the same, I give this one high marks. It has succeeded in enticing almost all of us cyclists off the road. Before the widening and smooth surfacing most cyclists (including me) preferred the road. Drivers behind would get very bad-tempered, but I only ever gave way to buses. (The speed limit on the road has been reduced too.) Pity about the mud, sand, gravel and broken glass opposite the skips place.

# Question 8

In what way should crossing junctions such as the B1049/A14 slip roads be improved for cyclists and pedestrians?

Brenda Mary BIAMONTI
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sue GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

In the interim the scheme to adjust the lights to give safe passage is a good stop gap.
I am hoping with Darwin Green we can adjust our route through Impington to run through the new development (especially if it is fast and pleasant) using the NIAB or a new bridge across the A14. We must be mindful of desire lines.

Lynda HARFORD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Eric HEAVER
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John David JENKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

Project as agreed would be a good start.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

The current situation is poor. The proposed light controlled crossings should improve matters. I await the outcome

Mike MASON
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Joe WEBSTER
(UK Independence Party)

A tunnel under the A14 wouldn't be a bad idea if the money for such a thing could be found, Failing that, I think the present provisions are probably about as good as can be achieved. If, however, you have some better ideas, I am more than happy to listen.

Timothy John WOTHERSPOON
(Conservative Party)

I'm not a highway engineer so I'll leave this to those who know about these things. Improved crossings are on the way, though, in association with the Ring Fort Path scheme, and I have already met the new county council officer working on them. See http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport/around/cycling/cycleroutesandparking/default/b1049a14interchange.htm

# Question 9

The Busway cycleway has recently been underwater, making it impossible for people to cycle and walk through legally. This is despite our warnings of this problem for many years. What pressure will you bring to see this fixed?

Brenda Mary BIAMONTI
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sue GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

I think it just shows the political thinking of the ruling Tory group is not centred on cycling - remember it is only a maintenance track, the rest of us consider it to be some of the finest cycling in the country.
Solutions have been proposed and the money should be used, they are sitting on 1 million for CGB maintenance, why not use it?

Lynda HARFORD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Eric HEAVER
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John David JENKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

There are lots of issues remaining with the busway (concrete blocks still in place, incomplete environmental mitigation etc) and we continue to lobby for them to be sorted. The underwater problem is just one of a long list which I/we continue to remind the Council about.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

I would not prioritise this issue ahead of Safer Routes to Schools

Mike MASON
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Joe WEBSTER
(UK Independence Party)

We knew that this was going to happen, didn't we? I think pressure needs to be brought upon the contractors to sort it out properly.

Timothy John WOTHERSPOON
(Conservative Party)

This is such a shame - spoiling the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar. Each time I pass this "sunken" stretch I wonder how it might be raised. There must be a solution. Do you have any specific proposals?

# 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?

Brenda Mary BIAMONTI
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Sue GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

I looked back at my answers from 2009 and some things have actually progressed. We pushed for studs on the cycleway when money was tight. We have had an increase in cycle racks in the villages.I have played my part in putting the right groups together or encouraging schools and villages to apply. We have worked with our excellent local cycling officer and have been supportive of his brilliant work across Cambridgeshire.
We still only have one car for a family of 5 and it has an integrated cycle rack on the back especially for those days when the bike or the rider has failed to reach its destination.

Lynda HARFORD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Eric HEAVER
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John David JENKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

No other general points.

I have been consistent in my support for cycling, walking and sustainable transport (including buses and trains) and have a well-documented record in this respect. There are many examples on www.chilibdems.co.uk.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

I am a member of Sustrans and I used to be a Safer Cycling trainer at Histon Junior School.

Mike MASON
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Joe WEBSTER
(UK Independence Party)

I have no further comment at this stage and I confess to not having personally done anything very useful about these matters so far.

Timothy John WOTHERSPOON
(Conservative Party)

I always highlight the advantage of providing showers at the workplace. Such facilities are bound to attract higher-calibre candidates for employment!

As chairman of the Northstowe Joint Development Control Committee I invited your Robin Heydon to give us a presentation on continental ways of doing things (German, Danish and Dutch), which was very warmly received. I have no doubt that detailed planning applications at Northstowe will be carefully scrutinised for the priority promised for cyclists. I know you don't like orderings like these, but there is supposed to be a transport "hierarchy" with pedestrians at the top, and so on.

I have very much enjoyed this questionnaire and looking at the links as I have gone through. Keep up the good work.

I welcome representations from all residents, so any suggestions for improvements in this division are most welcome. Feel free to contact me directly: tim@rollingstructures.com

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.