Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (County), May 2013: East Chesterton

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in May 2013.
Polling date: Thursday 2nd May 2013
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Clare BLAIR  (Labour Party)
  • Peter BURKINSHAW  (UK Independence Party)
  • Tom KERBY  (Conservative Party)
  • Ian Geoffrey MANNING  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Peter Harry POPE  (Green Party)

Questions for East Chesterton 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?

Clare BLAIR
(Labour Party)

I cycle most days to and from town as it is generally far quicker and easier and certainly cheaper. After a long day I particularly enjoy cycling home along the river.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

None

Tom KERBY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian Geoffrey MANNING
(Liberal Democrat)

I cycle to work across East Chesterton everyday. I don't own a car so mostly cycle places at weekends, with the occasional taxi/bus journey or use of a Zipcar (formerly streetcar) car club car.

I go on the Reach Fair cycle ride and keep meaning to sign myself up for something vagely competitive – one day I'll get around to it.

I joined the cycle campaign at the very first meeting, with a break whilst I was at Uni and rejoined a few years ago.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

35 years.

# 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?

Clare BLAIR
(Labour Party)

Yes. High quality cycle routes are very important as part of a good transport network. They should take into account the typical travel to work distance and we also need to ensure a good public transport network. Within and connecting new developments good cycle and pedestrian provision also facilitates access to shopping and leisure activities.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

You are asking for benefits paid for by other road users.
I would prefer more car parks.

Tom KERBY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian Geoffrey MANNING
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

Yes.

# 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?

Clare BLAIR
(Labour Party)

Talking to people frequently on the doorstep speeding cars and poor behaviour by some cyclists come up quite often and it is important to address those concerns. At the same time enforcement action by the police is most effective when it is side by side with education and other measures to promote good behaviour by all road users.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

Cyclists are by far the most undisciplined road users.
On several occasions, I have had to stop or dodge cyclists riding through red lights when
crossing at pedestrian crossings. More police attention to cyclists would be useful.
Cars are not a danger to other road users, provided they in turn act sensibly.
It should be borne in mind that motorists have to pass a driving test. Cyclists are not tested for competence or knowledge of road signs and traffic lights.

Tom KERBY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian Geoffrey MANNING
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, but only where it is needed: I don't think we should police for the sake of it.

The key of course is how you measure the danger – for which I think it should be in proportion to the amount of harm each form of transport can cause.

It is important to communicate that this doesn't mean that less dangerous forms of transport get no enforcement (not that this is campaign policy) in order to not alienate people.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

I am not an expert on policing priorities. I do support the introduction of 20mph limits and having more officers using bikes themselves. These measures would create a more sympathetic environment for cyclists and pedestrians, increase cycling uptake, reduce congestion and thereby shift priorities to a more rational basis.

# 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?

Clare BLAIR
(Labour Party)

Yes, we do. We share a similar geography and needs to many Dutch towns and there is a lot we could learn from them.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

No. This proposal amounts to theft from the people who pay to use roads and the benefit given to those who don't.

Tom KERBY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian Geoffrey MANNING
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. In Cambridge it isn't always physically possible to reproduce this though, but preference should be given to sustainable transport in that case.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

Yes.

# 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?

Clare BLAIR
(Labour Party)

Yes, wherever possible given road layouts and the narrow width of some Cambridge roads.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

It would be useful if a separate cycling lane were provided when new roads are planned.
Having lived and worked in Holland, giving cyclists priority at side roads is only safe if
there are separate traffic lights for cyclists at such crossings which cyclists actually obey.

Tom KERBY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian Geoffrey MANNING
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

Yes.

# Question 6

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.

Clare BLAIR
(Labour Party)

Yes. A high quality cycle and pedestrian route would provide a real alternative to the car. I was at the 3 day master planning workshop for Marshall’s recently and it is clear it is vital to ensure its success. At the same time it’s important to identify and address concerns and ensure that environmentally sensitive areas such as the Leper Chapel, Ditton Meadows and Stourbridge Common are recognised and protected as well asking closely with local and citywide green space organisations such as Cambridge PPF and Friends of Stourbridge Common or with parishes such as Fen Ditton. The Trail needs a clear plan and staged implementation which can go out for full consultation with local communities, users and businesses.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

Only if cyclists pay for it.

Tom KERBY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian Geoffrey MANNING
(Liberal Democrat)

I strongly support the Chishom trail, and in particular the new bridge over the river Cam. It is vital this bridge is in place before the new rail station opens to prevent a massive increase in car journies from South of the river and to encourage a culture of cycling & walking to the new station from its opening.

As the only opposition group on the County Council to present a fully costed alternative budget, Liberal Democrats commit to completing the trail in its entirity and have worked out how we'd fund it.

The Labour group don't even bother preparing a budget.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

Yes.

# Question 7

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

Clare BLAIR
(Labour Party)

Without better cycling and pedestrian infrastructure the new station will mean a large increase in the volume of cycle and pedestrian traffic over the Green Dragon bridge and up Fen Road, both of which would struggle to cope. Any new bridge must take into account the highly sensitive location as Stourbridge Common is a nature reserve and Conservation area and is protected by statute. It will be key to see if it is possible to hang it off the existing railway bridge on the Fen Ditton side and then route cyclists and pedestrians to bring them out on the East Chesterton side of the Fen Rd railway crossing. It is also important to ensure that significant enhancements are made at the same time to Fen Road and the existing railway crossing there and that the interests and amenity of residents in Moss Bank are protected given the volume of commuter cycle and pedestrian traffic likely to go past their homes. The County Council must invest time and money getting this right and working with residents on any design and consideration of the need to protect and enhance the Common and Ditton Meadows. The new railway station should also include a pedestrian and cycle bridge to enable current and future residents on the SCDC side of the railway crossing alternative access to East Chesterton and the Milton Road area. So far pressure on the County Council from the Fen Rd Steering Group has made them allocate £100,000 from the NCATP but given the high cost of highway improvements it is unlikely to be enough to do all the works necessary to Fen Road and the railway crossing. To my mind the County often adopts a piecemeal approach to transport infrastructure rather than a cohesive area wide plan which engages with local communities.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

Again, only if you don't expect everybody else to pay for it.

Tom KERBY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian Geoffrey MANNING
(Liberal Democrat)

We need to get this bridge in well before the rail station opens.

I'm sad that my Labour opponent has boasted publically of slowing the bridge down and stopping the funding package from going through.

We should be sensitive to concerns about Stourbridge common, but the new bridge must provide safe and easy to access from both sides of the river.

I have already put nearby residents in touch with the project team to advert the risk of any legal challenges holding the project up. I've spoken to local groups like Friends of Stourbridge Common and OCRA and ensured their concerns are heard.

There is already a £10,000 project to look at environmental impacts – this will make sure the common isn't damaged.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

Yes.

# Question 8

Orchard Park contains many areas of unfinished public infrastructure, misleading ‘Cyclists dismount’ signs, absent cycle parking and more. All those conspire to discourage high levels of cycling. What would you do to ensure the developer fixes these before the County Council adopts this, to avoid taxpayers paying to deal with these problems in future years?

Clare BLAIR
(Labour Party)

Orchard Park is an ongoing development and one with which I am very familiar as I am Chair of Governors at its primary school ,Vice Chair of the Community Council and our lead on all planning matters and liaison with developers . The County Council must work with South Cambs DC and the Community Council to agree and implement any changes together with Gallaghers. The lack of road adoption is itself a problem as the lack of traffic management measures and enforcement action means drivers develop bad habits including parking on streets rather than in their parking spaces. This creates a difficult environment for pedestrians and cyclists to navigate as well.
The Community Council has strongly supported the Cycling Campaign’s proposals for Ring Fort Path to improve access to and from Histon and Impington for pedestrians and cyclists. We have also run an extensive transport survey through residents and that has given us a very clear direction on what residents want, including 20 mph, traffic management measures, better bus services and improvements in some cycling areas. We are actively working on community transport options and are also seeking a further pedestrian and cycle crossing of Kings Hedges Rd which remains a real barrier for many. The Cycling Campaign has recently audited cycling infrastructure in Orchard Park and it would be useful to present this to both the Community Council and South Cambs and see what can usefully be done to enhance our own provision and learn for the other urban fringe developments.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

Nothing

Tom KERBY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian Geoffrey MANNING
(Liberal Democrat)

I don't know a lot about Orchard park as it isn't in East Chesterton, but I do know it isn't very cycle friendly.

The VIE, where I live, initially wasn't – but I got extra cycle parking spaces put in as well as making sure car parking was controlled, and got a car club on site, which discourages second car ownership.

We can't ignore that people need cars to work, but we can take practical steps to make sure that not everyone needs to rely on them. That benefits everyone.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

Make this a priority for S106 payments.

# Question 9

Do you agree that the shared-use paths along Milton Road are in general highly unsatisfactory, and that proper cycling provision should be provided, maintaining priority at sideroads? Do you condemn recent police action to ticket cyclists using pavements on Milton Road that join up with shared-use areas, despite no white lines or clear signs being present to delineate clearly the section where the status changes?

Clare BLAIR
(Labour Party)

Shared use paths are often unsatisfactory and this route is used by many children cycling to school. Policing priorities are set through area committees and once set of course the police must action them so it is important that the process allows for full information and understanding by councillors and police.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

No. The shared paths work fine, provided that cyclists don't also use the pedestrian half.
I presume that "proper provision" would mean stealing road space from the people who pay for it.

Tom KERBY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian Geoffrey MANNING
(Liberal Democrat)

Shared use paths aren't ideal, and Milton Road is plagued by it being inconsistent and dangerous for cyclists.

Police action is set by elected representatives, via area committees: they should be held to account. The Police themselves should not be "condemmed".

That said, i refer back to my comments in question 3 about how priorities should be set. Also Police should only police when there is a problem: not just because someone is making a minor transgression.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

I agree.

# 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?

Clare BLAIR
(Labour Party)

The bridge is a narrow structure with steep inclines coming out onto Water Street close to a blind bend and a busy pub garden area with people frequently crossing the road from the pub entrance to the pub garden. Any proposed changes here must go through full local consultation. On the Stourbridge Common side any proposed changes to improve how cyclists come off the bridge - and there may well be scope to alter the paths at the bottom - must take into account the need to protect Stourbridge Common. The bridge is used daily by hundreds of cyclists along with pedestrians, many of whom are also dog walkers. When crossing it myself I dismount and walk over and enjoy the view. All indications at present are that residents who have lived besides and used this bridge for decades and the pub, which is a vital business for East Chesterton, consider the barriers necessary to slow down cyclists and so any proposals for changes will need to make a very convincing case to them if they are to be accepted.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

I don't use Green Dragon bridge, so am not able to make an informed comment.
However, I am constantly subjected to verbal abuse from cyclist riding of the footbridge
at Jesus Lock when I ask them to stop ignoring the please dismount signs.

Tom KERBY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian Geoffrey MANNING
(Liberal Democrat)

The question should not be about the legal meaning of the signs, but about how we want the bridge to operate in future.

Again the approach should be evidence based: there is already money allocated to work on this, and how that money is spent should be based on facts.

I held a public meeting March (which the cycle campaign were invited to & attended) to gather opinions.

Many residents say here is a problem of inconsiderate cycling & pedestrian/cycle cafety that needs addressing.

The majority of considerate cyclists and pedestrians should not suffer because of the actions of an inconsiderate minority.

If re-elected I would conduct a survey on the bridge to identify when/if there are near misses/conflicts, as well as getting data from the County on its view on the same.

If there are any cyclists who are inconsiderate I would get a regular police presence to discourage the behaviour.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

I have used the Green Dragon bridge for 35 years. Cyclists should certainly give way to pedestrians but I would take advice from professionals over the removal of barriers. There are occasionally issues with cyclists locking bikes to the railings and obstructing access.

# 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?

Clare BLAIR
(Labour Party)

Having spent four years recently looking at transport from a strategic perspective for the City area and wider County, plus being on planning committees including the major sites Joint Development Control together with a hands on element experiencing the reality of a major new development at Orchard Park right from its outset, I have a fairly good grasp of the key issues and that the planned growth of our City and its continuing success is dependant on an effective transport strategy which must reduce car usage as much as possible. Locally, both at Orchard Park and my home ward of East Chesterton, I put knowledge into practice whenever possible and useful which has included finding the relevant S106 clause to unlock c £46,000 from the Vie S106 for traffic management around that area and remove car parking from the junction close to the Riverside Bridge and make cycling down St Andrews Rd safer, signposting North Area Committee members to the NACTP to lever money from there for Fen Road, which is an unsafe experience currently for cyclists and pedestrians and a whole host of measures on Orchard Park including our support for Ring Fort Path. In the City I led the devolution of money, including S106, down to area committee level and I think the County need to devolve significant sums of transport money down to area committees to allow for local solutions to go through local scrutiny and gain agreement. I am not a fan of the closed Minor Highway Improvement Panels which have effectively replaced the AJC or of the way County operates to concentrate decision making in the hands of single members – be that Cabinet members or ward members - rather than engaging with communities and groups directly.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

Why are there cycle tracks on Hill's road on both the road and footpath?
Road space is required for motorised vehicles who pay for it. It shouldn't be wasted on people who don't.
Just for your information, I walk to most places in Cambridge, but you should bear in mind that if everybody cycled, there would be no roads to ride on.
What is "sustainable transport"? Is it using things that other people pay for?

Tom KERBY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ian Geoffrey MANNING
(Liberal Democrat)

really wanted to say: cycling's good for all road users, but let's not be too millitant about it. Someone made a comment on twitter recently about Cambridge having high levels of cycling despite of its infrastructure: I think that's correct.

To correct that:

I've submitted a number of highways and environmental improvement projects in the last 3 years, many of which encourage or make cycling easier.

I volunteer with YouCanBikeToo – a charity which provides adaptable cycling.

Because of my engagement the new rail station will have cycle facilities spread out rather than in one corner.

From the £90m Lib Dems got the County to spend, I've submited a number of bids to improve problem pavements around East Chesterton.

The £100,000 I have got the County to allocate to look at traffic calming on Fen Road will also include enhancing the Water Street/Water Lane end to be two way for cyclists, and will make the level crossing safer.

I and City Councillor Susannah Kerr have a City Council bid in to make the cut through from the Cam to Fen Road easier for bikes.

The corner of water lane/high street in chesterton was stopped from being muddy because of me.

I held a public meeting into how the Green dragon bridge was used, and invited the Cycle Campaign to express their ideas.

New external cycle racks at the VIE were installed at my request.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

The best way to support cycling is to do it; carefully. The issue of cyclists without lights is frightening and High Tech Cambridge should sponsor a competition to design lights that are built-in to the frame, indestructable and always-on whilst riding.

I have supported the development of Chesterton Station with good access for cyclists.

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.