Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (County), May 2013: King's Hedges

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in May 2013.
Polling date: Thursday 2nd May 2013
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Anette KARIMI  (Conservative Party)
  • Fiona ONASANYA  (Labour Party)
  • Ian TYES  (Independent)
  • Neale UPSTONE  (Liberal Democrat)

Questions for King's Hedges 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?

Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Fiona ONASANYA
(Labour Party)

I used to cycle from Chesterton to Trumpington when I was younger, now I tend to cycle (when I do) for leisure as opposed to study. In my personal experience it's both convenient and cost effective.

Ian TYES
(Independent)

I have lived in Kings Hedges for 30 years and cycle most days in and around the city. I also drive and walk, but predominantly cycle everywhere when I can.

Neale UPSTONE
(Liberal Democrat)

I first cycled in Cambridge 23 years ago, since I arrived as an undergraduate, having cycled daily before predominately on roads from age 12 to 18.

I cycle to work daily, which has often involved cycling to the railway station, but now is a more pleasant ride along the river to Castle Park.

My out of town main road cycling is limited to when I need to for work, and for enjoyment preferring instead to get off road (e.g. Thetford Forest).

# 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?

Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Fiona ONASANYA
(Labour Party)

Whilst high quality cycling routes are a vital part of a good transport network, based on the maximum distance someone will bike for work/education/ leisure; they need to be accompanied by good provision for pedestrians and a good public transport network. Some developments are quite a distance to city centre so suburban and new settlement infrastructure is very important

Ian TYES
(Independent)

Yes. In simple terms, creating and enhancing the cycling routes and joining them up into a proper linked network, away from roads and pedestrians, would encourage more people to cycle with all the obvious benefits, and is far easier than creating any equivalent car, bus or rail routes and is far more flexible.

Neale UPSTONE
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. In particular, I believe dedicated off-road routes are the only mass transit solution as shown in Europe.

# 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?

Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Fiona ONASANYA
(Labour Party)

Enforcement action by the police is most effective when accompanied by education and other measures to ensure good behaviour by all road users including cyclists and drivers.
Speeding cars, bad driving and poor behaviour by some cyclists come up on the doorstep quite often and it is important to address concerns expressed and ensure good understanding between different road user groups including pedestrians.

Ian TYES
(Independent)

I see the Police involvement as a last resort. If elected, I would focus on transport as my main priority and try and get round table discussions between all road users to redesign each junction in the city to take into account reducing ambiguity, improving safety and visibility and reducing accidents. As such, with less risk and clearer routes, the conflict between various road users would be reduced. As well as encouraging education and road sense in schools, and also foreign language schools, the need for Police involvement should be reduced.

Neale UPSTONE
(Liberal Democrat)

Broadly, yes. I think safety should be the priority, injury accidents whether injury drivers, cyclists or pedestrians have a massive impact on people's lives and a cost to taxpayers. I think we need to start talking about *dangerous* anti-social behaviour (both driving and cycling) and prioritising that over pestering teens in hoodies.

The incident on Hills Road could well have been me having caught up with a reckless driver and made my views on their speeding known. The police response when reporting the threats from the passenger who got out and 'in my face' should not have been "it's better to ignore speeding drivers". My response: I'll be ignoring what you said as I want our streets safe for children, and I will not live in fear of bullies.

# 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?

Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Fiona ONASANYA
(Labour Party)

We support a new Cambridgeshire bike plan, including:-
learning from Dutch towns and country cycling and;
radical thinking, given similar needs (and flat topography) in Cambridgeshire.

Ian TYES
(Independent)

London and Cambridge are substantially different in many respects, but what Cambridge needs is a joined up transport policy and if elected I would focus on this as my main area of interest. As an independent, i can have limited effect on many areas of county council responsibility where priorities are set nationally, but transport is one area where I hope to be able to make small but significant improvements. Without an overall integrated transport policy for the whole Cambridge sub-region, we end up with a series of disconnected bits of a network - the wonderful Milton and Chesterton cycle bridges have no obvious connection to each other. The busway cycle route ends at Milton Road and resumes at the railway station. It is daft!

Neale UPSTONE
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. I think we need better transport alternatives to make it as obvious, but if we're bold, we'll paint a clear vision of why we need ... to be bold!

# 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?

Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Fiona ONASANYA
(Labour Party)

Cycling and walking have an important role in any public health agenda; both in their own right and also in accessing other sporting and leisure opportunities. For example,
Cycling or walking to school is very beneficial for children. The County Council can play a key role in safer routes to School, providing sufficient bike shelters on sites and supporting programmes to help primary aged children learn to ride safely on the roads.

Ian TYES
(Independent)

As an independent I would have limited effect on changing any of these issues, hence my focus on transport in general and cycling in particular, as this has public health benefits as well as the other factors indicated. I used to cycle on my own from an early age and it did encourage my confidence and feelings of independence, which helped in later years. Making cycling easier to access, safer, off-road, direct and the logical choice would tackle these issues - but only with a joined up and integrated policy. Whilst you are clearly focused on the cycling approach to tackling the list of important issues mentioned, I would also be looking at motorbike, car, bus and rail changes to tackle these issues as well. Better signage on the M11, A14 and A11 would reduce driving in Cambridge and encourage people to go wound the city to get nearer to their destination, for example. An eastern link between A14 east and A11 south would complete the outer ring road. A park and ride site around 6 mile bottom directly on the under-used Ipswich rail line and close to A14/A11 would help. The Cambridge Science Park Station will reduce cross-city traffic. A local road alongside the A14 in the north of the city and closing junctions would improve cross-river congestion. Reducing right turns and changing phasing of lights to be controlled by traffic flow would improve congestion in the city. The crazy £32 million for an Ely southern bypass so that a few hgv's won't have to wait at the level crossing in Ely could be far better used on junction improvements throughout the area.

Neale UPSTONE
(Liberal Democrat)

Partly, I'd push for the real 'externality costs' to be factored in. I'm on the LibDem Tax Policy Working Group for the LibDems nationally, and pushing for economic reform (also via the Systemic Fiscal Reform think tank) to better align what is common sense to a child (e.g. tax unwanted behaviour and take tax off wanted behaviour - doh!), with what is policy going into the next general election.

# 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?

Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Fiona ONASANYA
(Labour Party)

Wherever possible given road layouts and the constraints of some very narrow Cambridge roads; cycle tracks that are seperate from both pedestrians and motortraffic should be considered and consulted on. If 20 mph is applied across the City there will also need to be some re-engineering of roads to make it work.

Ian TYES
(Independent)

Yes. I believe that properly segregating cyclists and pedestrians is crucial to improving walking and cycling experience in the city. I dislike so-called 'shared-use' footpaths as the ambiguity of rights of way is SO dangerous and I have had numerous near misses with confused people, particularly where there is not even a white line and marking to indicate which side of the pavement should be used. The recent Police prosecutions for being on the wrong bit of pavement have further highlighted the absurdity of the situation and the appalling standard of markings and no doubt have had a negative impact on cycling use in the city.

Neale UPSTONE
(Liberal Democrat)

Absolutely. When I was a city councillor I was distraught with the stupidity of the design of the six-lane Addenbrookes Road/Hauxton Road intersection which I believe should have featured a vehicle or pedestrian and cycle underpass. We have better facilities for crossing by foot and bike in Northfields Avenue!

# Question 7

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?

Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Fiona ONASANYA
(Labour Party)

Providing residents agree following consultation (and we hope they will), yes.

20 mph requires a major shift in driver behaviour which can only happen if it is accompanied by education, a significant programme of road re- engineering, signage and, effective police enforcement. It needs both the City and County Councils to work together and substantial money invested.

It is also important to work with Stagecoach and other bus companies to ensure that bus services are not affected as many elderly residents rely on services such as the No 17 to get to shops or services.

Ian TYES
(Independent)

I believe that this is an expensive, symbolic and meaningless gesture. The half million pounds could be far better used in improving junctions and reducing ambiguities. The Police don't enforce it and the roads are generally not suitable for travelling at 20+ for very far anyway. I can generally only exceed 20 on my bicycle!

Neale UPSTONE
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. Definitely

# 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?

Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Fiona ONASANYA
(Labour Party)

Orchard Park is an on-going development. As such, the County Council must work with South Cambs District Council and the Community Council to agree and implement any changes together with Gallaghers.

The lack of road adoption is, in itself, a problem. The lack of traffic management measures and enforcement action means drivers develop bad habits such as parking on streets rather than in their parking spaces, which 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.

Ian TYES
(Independent)

Orchard Park is symbolic of the collective failures over many years of the planning system to integrate new developments into the existing infrastructure. The reliance on the guided bus for ALL of the Orchard Park transport needs was completely daft and is a real problem for people living there with tiny amounts of parking per property and no joined up cycle network. There are legal methods within the planning system to enforce any contractual commitments and these should be utilised, either by compelling the developers to complete the work or by doing the work and billing the contractors.

Neale UPSTONE
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. Developers too often get 'off the hook'.

# 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?

Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Fiona ONASANYA
(Labour Party)

I feel unable to agree or disagree with the statement that "the shared-use paths are in general highly unsatisfactory" as this is a subjective question and without having specific responses from frequent users (both cyclists and pedestrians) of the paths in question it would not be fair or right to comment. I will however seek more information in respect of police action.

Ian TYES
(Independent)

As stated above, i dislike ambiguity in general and shared use in particular. I unfortunately have to use this stretch of Milton Road almost every day as it is the fastest route from Kings Hedges into town. Southbound I try and cross the road into the bus lane as soon as possible. Northbound, I try and use the road rather than the pavement, particularly at night, annoying car drivers who sometimes sound their horn or even spray their windscreen wash at me. For cycling to be most effective, there needs to be clear segregation from other road users, particularly pedestrians. Unlike many other shared use pavements (eg the busway), at least there is a white line. However, many users do not understand which side they should be on and don't look before changing direction. It is also across a number of house entrances and the Milton Arms Pub where drivers pull out onto the pavement with little or no visibility or observation. Cyclists go both ways on the same narrow section and don't always pull over to the left when in conflict, causing further problems. I have had numerous near misses. The absence of clear signage here as elsewhere means that Police involvement is heavy handed and unfair. Whilst there are dangerous cyclists who should be targeted, it is the Council that caused the problem by allowing use of some (but not all) pavements for cycling and they should resolve the issues of clear markings before prosecuting people for not understanding the absurdities of the random nature of which bit is legal and which is not.

Neale UPSTONE
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. Safe cycling on large pavements should be promoted. I think Milton Road bus lane should be removed and replaced with dedicated cycle lanes both sides. Bus flow should be dealt with by dealing with congestion and financial incentives at peak times .

# 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?

Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Fiona ONASANYA
(Labour Party)

We are appy to work with the Campaign locally and citywide on further initiatives and opportunities and in addition, we also want to work with the Campaign to ensure quality smooth cycling on all main city routes. I fall into all catergories of road user, I walk frequently, cycle for leisure, use public transport and occasionally drive if and when required, as such a charter for cycling, walking and driving in Cambridge is needed given importance of modal switch, mutual respect, and clarity from police on what is enforced.

Ian TYES
(Independent)

As an independent with limited chance to make a difference with political voting likely to oppose changes in other areas, I hope to be able to make a difference in connection with transport in general and the appallingly dangerous and ambiguous state of Cambridge's roads and junctions in particular. As for my input personally, I have contributed to the CHUMMS and other studies on transport in the area, most recently with regard to the Science Park Station project. I try and cycle wherever possible and point out to other road users what they are doing wrong (not always received positively!) and I have tried to change the Downhams Lane to Hawkins Road blind junction, without success yet.

Neale UPSTONE
(Liberal Democrat)

It's time to replace the stupid signs saying "Cyclists dismount" with "Cycle slowly" where cycling is clearly legal (e.g. Green Dragon bridge")

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.