Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (County), May 2013: Hardwick

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in May 2013.
Polling date: Thursday 2nd May 2013
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Adam John DUTTON  (Labour Party)
  • Peter Robert FANE  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Stephen Peter FROST  (Conservative Party)

Questions for Hardwick division candidates (7 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7 

# Question 1

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

Adam John DUTTON
(Labour Party)

I cycle regularly (though not regularly enough) between Comberton and Sandy to work. I also cycle into Cambridge and around the county. I've considered joining the cities cycle club but I can be clumsy so worry about riding in a group. If I get in shape this summer I was considering trying some time trials.

Peter Robert FANE
(Liberal Democrat)

I am an occasional cyclist, mainly for recreation, and would cycle more if we had more safe cycle routes in the County.
For instance, the road from Dry Drayton to Cambridge via Madingley and Coton junction has sharp bends and hidden dips, and is too narrow for cars to overtake cyclists in safety. As chair of Dry Drayton parish council, I have been part of a group with Madingley, Bar Hill and Coton PCs, to secure an off road cycle path, and we have now secured agreement in principle from Trinity College who own the land beside the road for much of its length, to grant a permissive cycleway. See http://www.bhddmadcycle.com/ . This will encourage more people to cycle to Cambridge, whether for work or recreation, and encourage more parents to get their children cycling.

Stephen Peter FROST
(Conservative 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?

Adam John DUTTON
(Labour Party)

It would seem likely that high quality cycle routes would offer enormous value for money: reducing congestion, the carbon budget of the county and reducing health and care costs.

Peter Robert FANE
(Liberal Democrat)

High quality cycling routes, connecting to other forms of sustainable transport (including the CGB) are very cost effective ways of reducing road congestion and are essential when new communities are being considered. I have been involved in pressing the case for section 106 funds to create or extend cycleways from NW Cambridge (via the existing M11 underpass) and Northstowe phase II (along the Oakington Road) in particular.

Stephen Peter FROST
(Conservative 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?

Adam John DUTTON
(Labour Party)

I think it is hard to argue with your position paper. The huge blind spots of trucks and relative vulnerability of bicycles when moving away at junctions, relatively slowly to traffic hoping to overtake, clearly leaves an incentive for cyclists to move away from the traffic as soon as possible. It is clearly important that we take action to deal with these problems given the number of unnecessary deaths suffered by cyclists.

I have also experienced intimidating behaviour from motorists and with less provocation. Thankfully they did little more than shout at me. Too many motorists seem to believe that cyclists taking defensive positions upon the road (I sometimes do this to prevent them from overtaking in places where it is unsafe) is in some way a personal slur against them. Long term I'm unsure what the answer is to this kind of behaviour but I would be happy to discuss ideas.

Peter Robert FANE
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes enforcement of traffic rules, including for cyclists, is important and should be given greater priority by the police; we have good police co-operation in Dry Drayton for the speedwatch group in recording speeding through the village, and I would be confident of similar co-operation throughout Hardwick division when the case is made effectively.

Stephen Peter FROST
(Conservative 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?

Adam John DUTTON
(Labour Party)

I certainly support the ambition and Cambridgeshire's Labour party supports further investment in cycling. In practical terms - medieval towns and in some places even older country roads leave less space than we would hope for. I do not know enough about the budgets and road-space available in Cambridgeshire to fully understand where the compromise should be but I would hope it would be significantly further in that direction than we are.

Peter Robert FANE
(Liberal Democrat)

Rural Cambridgeshire has very different issues to London, but we have much to learn from experience in Netherlands, Denmark and elsewhere in continental Europe. In particular, as a member of the Lib Dem group on Cambridgeshire County Council, I would support the Netherlands model, see for instance your ‘Go Dutch’ in London campaign - http://www.camcycle.org.uk/newsletters/107/article12.html. This it is rooted in tried and tested practice in Holland and Denmark which are considered exemplar in terms of cycling infrastructure, and where cycling is so much safer than it is here.

Stephen Peter FROST
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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?

Adam John DUTTON
(Labour Party)

Clearly that list of issues ties cycling's benefits together quite neatly. So of course cycling would play a part. However I would also expect that: car sharing initiatives (air quality), encouraging non sporting physical activities (obesity), improving green spaces and reconnecting children to nature (independence) amongst many other possibilities would form part of a more complete policy.

Peter Robert FANE
(Liberal Democrat)

I have always seen cycling and walking as important to improving health, as with the ‘Walking the Way to Health’ campaign we started in the former Countryside Agency , of which I was a board member in the early noughties, an approach which I have supported since whenever the opportunity arises. See http://www.nationalrural.org/organisation.aspx?id=66230418-77fb-4ed3-879b-c26409492a0f. National cycle routes should also be supported (see http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/countryside-agency-funding-points-the-way-on-new-pennine-cyclewa/03826 ). Safer cycling is also an important aspect of helping children to develop independence.

Stephen Peter FROST
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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?

Adam John DUTTON
(Labour Party)

Since moving to the area I have been hugely impressed with the cycle routes available. And whilst I have been grateful for the long routes on pavements provided they have two unfortunate effects:

A) I cannot ride at full speed on them as it is unsafe.
B) It gives some drivers the impression that cyclists are obliged to use them whilst they are not suitable for road bikes. This has led to a friend of mine being threatened by motorists.

I would support any efforts to separate cyclists from both motorists and pedestrians where possible. I would also support efforts to allow cyclists to move along these roads unimpeded as a car would be so that they can be used as genuinely useful commuter routes.

In terms of extending routes in my Division I would certainly be interested in campaigning for any feasible route increases - starting with those with the highest likely demand.

Peter Robert FANE
(Liberal Democrat)

Cambridge is indeed high on the list of cycling cities, though we are sometimes prone to be a little complacent about this when we consider that we have only limited segregated cycleways, and a number of unsafe routes, such as Brooklands Avenue and the start of Hills Road, in Cambridge City as well as in the rural villages I seek to represent, and should not congratulate ourselves too much when we persist with practices which would not be accepted in Netherlands or Denmark, for instance wide bus lanes, along Milton Road, and Newmarket Road, which end just before difficult junctions The key is more segregated cycling routes, with kerbs to maintain safe widths, and more off-road routes in rural areas. Cycleability and other schemes should be expanded to help ensure children learn to cycle safely and with confidence.

Stephen Peter FROST
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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?

Adam John DUTTON
(Labour Party)

I'm relatively new to public life but have personal interests in cycling, walking and the environment.

While I lived in Oxford I did write to my MP Andrew Smith to ask about providing VAT exemption for the kit of mountain rescue teams if that counts. He was very nice about it and put some effort into looking into it but apparently it was a no go.

Peter Robert FANE
(Liberal Democrat)

As mentioned above, I have long been an advocate of safer routes for cycling and walking, particularly in the countryside, and involved in particular in the campaign for safer routes around Madingley and Coton, which we have met to discuss.

Stephen Peter FROST
(Conservative 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.