Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (County), May 2013: Melbourn

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in May 2013.
Polling date: Thursday 2nd May 2013
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Duncan BULLIVANT  (Conservative Party)
  • David KENDRICK  (UK Independence Party)
  • Angela Mary PATRICK  (Labour Party)
  • Susan Elizabeth Kerr VAN DE VEN  (Liberal Democrat)

Questions for Melbourn division candidates (8 questions)

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

# Question 1

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

Duncan BULLIVANT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David KENDRICK
(UK Independence Party)

Very little

Angela Mary PATRICK
(Labour Party)

I have a mountain bike and sometimes go out for bike rides around the local villages.

Susan Elizabeth Kerr VAN DE VEN
(Liberal Democrat)

I cycle every day to get wherever I need to go, as much as possible. I live in Meldreth and cycle comfortably around the villages, and use a bike to get to my meetings in Cambridge. I have a three speed sit-up-and-beg Dutch bike for everyday purposes and a folding bike for the train, so try and maximize my cycling opportunities and minimize my dependency on a car that way. The A10 is a terrible experience for cyclists, and most of the route is officially without a cycle path; indeed most of the Melbourn County Division has no cycle paths whatsoever. |the official exception is a small stretch of off-road dual use path from Foxton Level crossing toward Harston. Yet moving around the villages by bicycle is so natural, as the distances are not overwhelming.
The only section of the Guided Busway cycleway that is near the Melbourn Division is of course the southern section from Trumpington Park and Ride to the Station. The existence of the Busway cycleway introduces a wonderful challenge for all of Cambridgeshire: we need more of the same. It is disappointing that the Guided Bus itself does not carry cycles and this is a missed opportunity. I have taken my folding bike on the Guided Bus to St Ives, but probably not quite legally because the canvass bag didn't completely cover it up, and had anyone else tried boarding the bus with a folding bike they'd have been turned away as only one folding bike is allowed on any bus. The X5 accommodates full sized bikes in its storage compartments so it is perfectly possible for buses to facilitate this kind of integrated transport. I took my bike on the X5 to the opening of the St Neot's Cycle Bridge and it worked very well.

# 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?

Duncan BULLIVANT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David KENDRICK
(UK Independence Party)

Within the constraints you set, the answer is probably yes. But I do not accept the premises set in the question. Building new homes in flood plains (EG Trumpington meadows, Waterbeach) is technically feasible, but that doesn't make it sensible. By reducing flood plains, we simultaneously increase the demand for water, while reducing the 'elbow room' that flood plains provide. Thus, there will be both more floods, and more droughts in the future. What should govt do? Firstly, they should do no harm. Moving Papworth Hospital to Cambridge (or even to think of doing so) is simply daft, because of the housing shortage in Cambridge. Secondly, much of the pressure of new housing comes from population increases because of nett immigration. Nationally, we should quit the EU, and regain control of our borders. Locally, our elected representatives should oppose large scale new housing, and the weakening of the green belt, unless they can be persuaded that that would be the wish of the majority in that area.

Angela Mary PATRICK
(Labour Party)

Yes definitely

Susan Elizabeth Kerr VAN DE VEN
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, absolutely, no doubt. The case is overwhelming.

# 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?

Duncan BULLIVANT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David KENDRICK
(UK Independence Party)

Intuitively, the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. But I do not feel that I would be well qualified in advising the police on the optimum use of their time in this area. If, following meetings with organisations such as yours, the police were to make recomendations themselves, that may be an effective way forwards.

Angela Mary PATRICK
(Labour Party)

I agree

Susan Elizabeth Kerr VAN DE VEN
(Liberal Democrat)

I am a driver and a cyclist and in either role I don't trust traffic dynamics for all the reasons stated in your position paper. If as a cyclist I stop at a set of traffic signals in Cambridge, I can bet that another cyclist will go through the red lights. I can also expect, on a ten minute cycle ride, to see several drivers using mobile phones. So yes sensible enforcement to obey traffic rules. On the question of lights, my son lives in Oxford and finds that cycling without lights there is rare indeed due to effective enforcement policies - there is simply an assumption that one must be organized and kitted out with lights.

# 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?

Duncan BULLIVANT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David KENDRICK
(UK Independence Party)

UKIP's general position on govt spending is to concentrate on areas where each £ of public money spent has to be of as much value as possible, both financially, and in Q of L terms. UKIP is keen on spending on upgrades to the A14, and improving the speed and quality of the repair of pot-holes, because both impact on the the Q of L of large numbers of people. In my locality, I am pleased to support the initative to improve the safety of cycling into Cambridge along the A10. As far as a 'bike plan for Cambridgeshire' is concerned, I am undecided as to whether it is better to do that, as opposed to concentrating resources where they are needed most. I'm lukewarm torwards any proposal where there is an element of 'for the sake of completeness, we should...'. I prefer to start from, 'we desperately need....'.

Angela Mary PATRICK
(Labour Party)

Yes I do

Susan Elizabeth Kerr VAN DE VEN
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, my party and I support this approach. From my experience of cycling in Holland, it makes sense to take the Go Dutch approach for all the reasons listed. What I notice most about cycling in Holland is the relaxed cycling posture, and the nearly complete absence of helmets, because people feel safe and confident. There is simply an absence of conflict. My Dutch relatives won't let their children cycle when they visit us here because of the mixing of cars and cycles on the road.

# 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?

Duncan BULLIVANT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David KENDRICK
(UK Independence Party)

A big, tough question, and in truth, not one that is particularly party political. I drive a gas-powered car, because I think it is right thing to do. However, as a private citizen, I try to avoid sounding too smug about it, though I'm disappointed that it has not become a more 'fashionable' fuel. AFA children's care is concerned, I think the govt interferes too much, rather too little. There should be a presumption that the parents are right. I understand that some children may suffer more, but really the state should only intervene in the most extreme cases. A 'laisser-faire' upbinging style should be a legitimate option, rather than offending against whatever the current fashion is in child rearing.

Angela Mary PATRICK
(Labour Party)

I agree with encouraging a healthy life style for all

Susan Elizabeth Kerr VAN DE VEN
(Liberal Democrat)

Transport is inextricably linked into the public health agenda and indeed is a priority within the County Council's Health and Well Being Strategy. This needs to include public transport and lifeline transport, but also cycling for that large sector of the population which has the potential to benefit from it. As a member of the council I would support this.
There's a large amount of work that can be done by councillors at the local level in terms of encouraging walking and cycling. Through the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group I have supported better cycling provision for rail users, including fair cycles-on-trains policies negotiated with the train operator for our stations; and also work with local primary schools and playgroups, Melbourn Village College students, Young People out of Education, Employment and Training, Duke of Edinburgh volunteers, and village gardening clubs, on various sustainability themes - we have established flower and vegetable gardens, sustainable watering systems and wildlife habitats at each of our three local rail stations. With this project comes an implicit encouragement to use the sustainable transport network on our doorstep. So more community projects that reach ground level and encourage changes in lifestyle, in combination with supportive council policies. As a county councillor I have worked with officers to help get Bikeability rolled out to schools county-wide, and also to set up the first 'Bike Bank' project, piloted in Melbourn - a bicycle maintenance course for young people, to gain employable skills and an independent and sustainable means of transport. Much more can be done.

# 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?

Duncan BULLIVANT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David KENDRICK
(UK Independence Party)

Pot holes disadvantage cyclists more than motorists, and I think their proper repair ought to be one of the highest priorities.

Angela Mary PATRICK
(Labour Party)

Encourage locally based cycling groups and events.

Susan Elizabeth Kerr VAN DE VEN
(Liberal Democrat)

In January of this year I launched the A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign. I have been amazed at the huge support it has attracted, reflecting the obvious strong interest of so many people who want to see improvements for cycling in this area - not just for a good quality A10 off-road cycle path (connecting Royston and Cambridge) but also better cycling provision for the villages in between. The biggest surprise has been the demand for cycling to work, reflecting the 2011 Census data. There is also a strong interest in cycling for leisure and health, and in reducing vehicle traffic in our increasingly congested village high streets. We can promote improved cycle parking at shops, businesses and stations, and we can actively encourage people to cycle - for example raising awareness of the County Council's cycling allowance for sixth formers who choose to cycle to college, rather than opt for a bus pass. Our May 19th Cycle Ride will include an encouragement of the Trumpington Meadows developer to expedite the opening of the Trumpington-Hauxton off-road cycle path. Cycling between our villages is also simply beautiful and exhilarating. Our website is a10corridorcycle.com

# Question 7

What are your views regarding the options for the Harston stretch of the Royston to Cambridge A10 corridor bike path?

Duncan BULLIVANT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David KENDRICK
(UK Independence Party)

My LD opponent, Susie van de Ven, has been sure footed in her support for this work. Were I to be elected in her place, I would take my cue from her.

Angela Mary PATRICK
(Labour Party)

I support cycling paths and measures to make cycling safer

Susan Elizabeth Kerr VAN DE VEN
(Liberal Democrat)

I'm part of the working group looking at options. There are some exciting off-road options that could connect Harston and Haslingfield, but this should not preclude improvements to Harston High Street itself, and this is obviously the core problem that needs sorting. So close to Cambridge and yet such a difficult village for cycling around and out of.

# Question 8

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?

Duncan BULLIVANT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David KENDRICK
(UK Independence Party)

I suggested to the village website that people should be invited to list their regular journeys, especially to work, on the website. To give a simple example, if somebody leaves for work at Stanstead airport at 07.30 each morning, wouldn't that be useful information?

Angela Mary PATRICK
(Labour Party)

I encourage local groups to walk and cycle and to take more exercise, it is difficult for us in our village to rely on bikes to take us from A to B as we live so far from the towns and amenities.

Susan Elizabeth Kerr VAN DE VEN
(Liberal Democrat)

We need to promote a whole package of sustainable transport options in Cambridgeshire. As a county councillor I've put a lot of time into improving access to local rail, which is a great resource in my area and offers everybody the potential to get around by public transport. We've got the student discount fare significantly improved. I've campaigned for the council to retain the principle of subsidizing buses in areas where commercial transport operators have not been able to run a business. The subsidized bus battle has had some success, with £1.5 million put back into lifeline transport, but still the network of rural bus services has taken a massive hit. A great concern for everybody is the state of roads, pavements and cycle paths - pot holes are dangerous for everyone, including walkers, people in wheelchairs, and cyclists, and it is quite overwhelming to witness the continuing deterioration of the network. I hope the council will somehow be able to get to grips with this very serious problem. We need more cycle paths, and need to know that they will be maintained to a decent standard. In this context I'm not sure how the county council administration can justify and indeed trumpet the virtues of 'local contributions' to the A14, which is the responsibility of national government.

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.