Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (County), May 2013: Queen Edith's

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in May 2013.
Polling date: Thursday 2nd May 2013
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • John Frederick BERESFORD  (Labour & Co-operative)
  • William BIRKIN  (Green Party)
  • Tom BYGOTT  (Conservative Party)
  • Amanda Joan TAYLOR  (Liberal Democrat)

Questions for Queen Edith's 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?

John Frederick BERESFORD
(Labour & Co-operative)

Substantially more years ago than now. I am 66! I tend to use the bike for short journeys. I have in previous years been on cycle tours of Suffolk, Norfolk and Brittany and Normandy. A good way of seeing the world and keeping fit.

William BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom BYGOTT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

I don't drive a car, so I usually cycle to get from A to B within Cambridge. I commute to work via Hills Road, to and from school with my young son, in and out of the city centre, plus occasional forays further afield, eg Meldreth, Trumpington. I use both a Giant town bike and an electric bike, both bought in Cambridge.

# 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?

John Frederick BERESFORD
(Labour & Co-operative)

I certainly think cycling to work is an option to be encouraged. I used to cycle from Histon to Haslingfield and back daily when I was teaching. Where cycling is less of an option (age, disability) then good public transport links are essential. Bicycle routes are of a better quality than when I was working, and need to be encouraged, as does good provision for pedestrians (I often walk into town!).

William BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom BYGOTT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

Cambridge needs big investment in alternative forms of transport.

I would like to see better public transport AND better cycling provision. The Lib Dems are committed to building the Chisholm Trail to link Addenbrooke's to the Science Park and the new railway station in Chesterton, something that the Labour Party has opposed.

# 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?

John Frederick BERESFORD
(Labour & Co-operative)

Out canvassing, the negative behaviours of both sets of users are often raised. Education of both groups is vital, as well as mutual empathy when on the road. Effective policing of bad behaviour is also, of course, important.

William BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom BYGOTT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

Absolutely. I would like to see the police enforce the rules of the road for all road users. I support them stopping cyclists without lights; however, I am concerned that they may be spending a disproportionate amount of time on this when there are greater dangers posed by motorists breaking the law, namely speeding and dangerous parking, eg cars that flout yellow lines and zigzags outside schools.putting vulnerable road users at risk.

# 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?

John Frederick BERESFORD
(Labour & Co-operative)

I've seen how effective such a policy is in Holland, and given the nature of central Cambridge and the flatness of the countryside, I would support such a plan.

William BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom BYGOTT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

An unanticipated spin-off from the Guided Busway has been the bridleway that runs alongside it. As well as providing a pedestrian walkway away from traffic, it provides an excellent segregated route for cyclists, and I would love to see more. However, it must be recognized that many cycle journeys may need to be on public roads as well, as cycle routes will not always be able to get everyone where they wish to go.

# 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?

John Frederick BERESFORD
(Labour & Co-operative)

I was certainly fit when I cycled regularly to work. I would also encourage local children to walk or cycle to school - initiatives like pedestrian 'buses' should be encouraged. Bike shelter provision and school-based safe bicycling programmes should also be encouraged.

William BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom BYGOTT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

It's important to get children cycling young for both the reasons you mention. The Lib Dems would invest in the Bike Banks scheme, which gives young people courses in bike maintenances as well as a free bike. This would complement Bikeability. I would like to see more support for cycle training, to ensure children learn good, safe cycling habits.

Air quality can be improved by having 'green vehicles' (like the City Centre shuttle) and this is where the County can take the lead. We also need to encourage the bus companies to use modern vehicles that are less polluting, and to discourage them from leaving engines running.

Retaining rural buses would be one way in which the Council could encourage independence!

# 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?

John Frederick BERESFORD
(Labour & Co-operative)

Yes. It works in Holland. A 20 mph speed limit will help, but some of our streets are narrow, and may be difficult to achieve without some works provision.

William BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom BYGOTT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

I have heard very good things about Dutch cycling provision and would like to see more cycleways in Cambridgeshire. New developments must consider the needs of cyclists as well as other forms of transport.

# Question 7

What are your aspirations for the major new developments in the Cambridge area? Do you agree that Dutch-quality cycle provision, separate from pedestrians, is a standard to which the planning authorities should be holding developers?

John Frederick BERESFORD
(Labour & Co-operative)

I would hope that new developments provide exclusive as well as shared spaces for cyclists. Again, a 20 mph limit may help.

William BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom BYGOTT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

Please see previous answers to questions 4 and 6.

# Question 8

Do you support a modal shift away from cars and towards a healthier and more environmentally sustainable transport system (i.e. walking, cycling, trains and buses) and if so how will you make this shift?

John Frederick BERESFORD
(Labour & Co-operative)

Central Cambridge is still too easily accessible by car. Greater investment in Park and Ride should be encouraged. As a related issue, I would like to see more electrical charging points for cars-I drive a Prius hybrid, but would change to electric if the infrastructure were present.
Local bus services must be maintained and improved if car drivers are to be discouraged from driving into town centres.

William BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom BYGOTT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes I do, also to be more inclusive, as not everyone has a car or access to one.
There is a lot that the County can do indirectly to encourage cycling – eg working with employers and grant-aiding facilities that assist cyclists, such as secure cycle parking and changing facilities at workplaces.

Cycling needs to be perceived as safe, and that means good lighting for cycle lanes, decent widths (not like Trumpington Road where the lane is too close to parked cars so that a car door opening suddenly could cause serious injury), and adequate parking. In winter, pavements and cycle lanes need to be gritted just as roads are, especially the key routes.

# Question 9

There are many places in Cambridge where existing infrastructure actively contributes to conflicts between different modes of transport (for example, cycle paths that give way at every crossing). Would you support the principle that cycling infrastructure should have the same level of importance as the general road environment, even if this means some reduction in car capacity?

John Frederick BERESFORD
(Labour & Co-operative)

Certainly in the centre of Cambridge I would like priority given to pedestrians and cyclists.

William BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom BYGOTT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. The cars actually benefit too, as more people cycling means fewer cars in the traffic jam.

Hills Road is an interesting case where there has been a road space 'transfer' from cars to bikes. The transfer itself has been less of an issue with motor traffic than anticipated, although there are concerns about the danger of cyclists in between two lanes of traffic.

# 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?

John Frederick BERESFORD
(Labour & Co-operative)

I walk and cycle when and where I can.
I've been a Prius driver for 5 years.
See comments above about electric cars.
One of our local issues has been the preservation of Worts Causeway, used by local walkers, as green belt. I have supported its retention.
I would support any campaign to ensure safe cycling locally, and safe walking.

William BIRKIN
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Tom BYGOTT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Amanda Joan TAYLOR
(Liberal Democrat)

I successfully led a campaign to have transport Section 106 money allocated to lighting the Guided Bus bridleway, which is used heavily by pedestrians and cyclists. I helped a neighbour to run a similar campaign for improving the cycleways on Long Road, a key route to school. As a city councillor, I backed the scheme to link the Hills Road Bridge and the Guided Busway, and have campaigned for government money to be spent on improving local roundabouts, eg Hills/ Cherry Hinton Roads and Fendon/Mowbray Rds/ Queen Edith's Way.

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.