Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (County), May 2013: Petersfield

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in May 2013.
Polling date: Thursday 2nd May 2013
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Sandra BILLINGTON  (Green Party)
  • Keith EDKINS  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Ashley WALSH  (Labour Party)
  • Linda YEATMAN  (Conservative Party)

Questions for Petersfield 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?

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)

Sadly, I spent 3/4 of an hour filling in this form and towards the end opted to read one of your supporting documents. Perhaps it was my machine but I lost everything I had written. If I have time I will do it again.

In brief, I'm no longer able to cycle, but do not run a car. I walk or go by bus.

To keep encouraging people to cycle is the only sustainable way forward. Perhaps children from deprived backgrounds could be given fun cycle events to join -- it would also help keep them fit.

Dedicated cycle routes are the best way to protect cyclists from danger from motor vehicles and also to protect pedestrians from fear of some cyclists.

Cars are not going to go away and the road round the back of the colleges is essential to keep traffic flowing. Cyclists do have alternative routes.

Sorry -- 2nd time around that's all I have time for. thank-you.

Keith EDKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

Before 2007, cycled daily to & from work (all weathers!) from Petersfield to Milton Rd Science Park and latterly to Impington.

After retiring in 2007, cycled round Cambridgeshire villages taking photos for Geograph project, sometimes starting by taking train to anywhere between Foxton & March. Cycled about 1500 miles for this project. Was often unimpressed by the lack of safe cycling options beside main roads.

I still cycle frequently to all parts of the city.

Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

I cycle in Cambridge on a daily basis because I do not drive at all. As a graduate researcher at Cambridge University, I cycle to and from the faculties and libraries but I also cycle at weekends for leisure. It's cheap, it keeps me in shape, and it's fun!

Linda YEATMAN
(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?

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Keith EDKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

Cycling provision is certainly AN important tool for transport improvements, but we have to admit that some journeys, some people, some weathers are never going to be feasible by bike. So public transport provision remains important too, even though the cost per person-mile is less cheerful.

Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Providing high-quality cycling routes for new housing developments is absolutely essential, particularly because such developments mostly take place on the edges of the city. Not only do cycle routes represent a relatively inexpensive way to improve the city's infrastructure, but they also support efforts to reduce congestion, pollution, and chronic shortages of parking. Where possible, all housing developments should seek to maximise provision for pedestrians and cyclists so that we can minimise the number of cars in the city. Alongside this, it is necessary to fund a high-quality public transport system for those who are able unable to drive or to cycle and walk long distances.

Linda YEATMAN
(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?

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Keith EDKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

I wouldn't want to be prescriptive on police priorities. I support local priority setting, as at Cambridge's area committees, where residents and councillors can redirect the police's finite resources as seems necessary from time to time.

Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Particularly in Petersfield, where there are many narrow streets and Mill Road easily becomes congested with cars, pedestrians, and cyclists, traffic should be a high police priority. Certainly, we need to reduce the number of traffic accidents on Mill Road each year.

Enforcement action is essential and it should follow the evidence of which groups of road users in each area may represent the greatest danger, be they cyclists, pedestrians or motorists. This should be supported more generally by measures including education which seek to improve relations between road users and to encourage good behaviour. There is a small minority of motorists who do not show enough care when driving by cyclists. Further, a small minority of cyclists harm the reputation of most responsible and considerate cyclists by, for instance, cycling without lights or ignoring red lights.

Linda YEATMAN
(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?

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Keith EDKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

Cambridgeshire may be more suited to a series of town-region plans rather than an overall grand plan. Liberal Democrat budget amendments provided funds to upgrade off-road paths to provide cycling routes into major centres of employment, and across villages to key rural rail stations.

Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Yes. The Cambridgeshire Labour Party absolutely supports a new London-style bike plan for the county. We should be taking examples from Dutch towns and country cycling lanes, where relations between different groups of road users have been substantially improved by radical thinking and innovative road layouts.

Linda YEATMAN
(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?

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Keith EDKINS
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

I would try to address such issues as air quality and congestion by supporting housing developments which minimise the need for cars, be they through proximity to urban centres or good cycling routes. Developments also need ample green-space provision. I have discussed such issues in recent leaflets in Petersfield as the City Council begins to lay out plans to move the Mill Road depot and potentially develop the site into housing.

The County Council is responsible both for public health and schools. The Council should seek wherever possible to provide safe walking routes to schools. For instance, parents in Petersfield continually worry about the safety of the junction between East Road and Mill Road for children walking either to St Matthew's Primary or to Parkside School. Schools - new and old - should have excellent bike shelter provision and the council should expand cycling proficiency lessons in primary schools, encouraging safety and responsibility on the road and good bike maintenance.

Important arterial roads should be regularly monitored for air quality and, whenever they are upgraded or altered, public health should be a top priority.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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?

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Keith EDKINS
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Yes, absolutely. Separate cycle tracks should be, wherever possible, provided in all new traffic schemes and for modifications on existing schemes. Given the large number of narrow roads in Cambridge, it may not always be possible; but it should be a priority across the entire county.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 7

Currently most streets in terraced areas have no cycle parking but up to 100 cars per street. There is clear demand for cycle parking, in the form of cycles parked insecurely against houses, cycles locked to drainpipes near pubs, and notices in nearby houses not to park cycles. Do you think the current balance of cycle parking (0 cycles vs 100 cars) is a fair balance, and would you support the conversion of one car space per year on each street to secure cycle parking?

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Keith EDKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

I would certainly like to see better cycle parking to give security and avoid blocking pavement passage for wheelchairs and buggies. However actually reducing car-parking spacing would require careful negotiation especially where householders are paying for residents' parking schemes. In the meantime I would believe spaces could be provided by constructive use of dead spaces off-carriageway, for instance on verges and behind free-standing street-name signs.

Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Petersfield has a very large number of terraced streets where these problems are a continual menace. Particularly in areas, like Petersfield, where a large number of residents cycle but also where the local economy (including pubs and shops) rely on people being able to cycle conveniently onto Mill Road or through the terraced areas, the balance is demonstrably unfair. The conversion of a car space into secure cycle parking has been trialled on Kingston Street recently and attained approval from residents. Given this, I would support conversion provided that I first consulted residents and gained support for the change.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 8

Do you support the principle of a considerable improvement for cycling along the inner ring road, in the form of a Newnham to Newmarket (N2N) cycleway? In our view, 2.1m wide cycle tracks could be achieved for much of this while in many places not affecting vehicle capacity.

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Keith EDKINS
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Yes. I support improvements along the inner ring road in the form suggested and the Cambridgeshire Labour Party supports a review along these lines. We would also prioritise cycling and pedestrian provision on all roads from the inner ring road inwards.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 9

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.

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Keith EDKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, and I welcome the Liberal Democrat County Group's budget proposals to identify specific funding for advancing this project.

Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Yes. The Labour Party in Cambridge and Cambridgeshire enthusiastically support the Chisholm Trail, which would begin in Petersfield at the train station and run alongside the railway into the northern part of the division. The route represents a realistic alternative to car usage between the station and the Science Park and will support cycling on such new developments as the Wing development on Newmarket Road.

The Chisholm Trail will require a great deal of planning before it is taken forward, taking account of the need to protect green spaces like Stourbridge Common, Ditton Meadows, and the Leper Chapel as well as the proximity to the railway line. This will require the democratic input and support of residents - and I would be only too happy to make the case to residents - but the county Labour group will be keen to fund and implement the first stages as soon as possible.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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?

Sandra BILLINGTON
(Green Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Keith EDKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

I am a member of CCC and Sustrans and have joined in publicity events such as the annual Reach Fair Ride.

Ashley WALSH
(Labour Party)

Cycling represents a convenient and effective way to reduce global warming and to encourage good health and Cambridge has historically supported responsible and safe cycling. Cambridge leads the county of Cambridgeshire on cycling and we should do everything possible to support cycling initiatives across the county.

If elected, I will be keen to work with the Cambridge Cycling Campaign wherever possible. I certainly will try to work closely with the campaign to advance plans for the Chisholm Trail, since it will be an integral part of Petersfield. Important planning issues in Petersfield, including the potential development of the Mill Road depot site on which I have recently been campaigning, must also provide safe cycling routes.

More generally, I wish to work with the campaign to improve cycling on all main roads in Cambridge, whether it be simply campaigning to resurface roads or to improve safety at junctions (as will hopefully be the case at the junction between Gonville Place and Hills Road). Potholes are a continual issue and the Labour Party plan to support 48-hour resurfacing of potholes to reduce accidents.

Other important sites include roundabouts; I opt not to cycle across several roundabouts in Cambridge because they are simply too dangerous. The Cambridge Labour Party also supports a charter for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists in Cambridge to encourage good relations, awareness of rules, and to support police enforcement.

Linda YEATMAN
(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.