Elections

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Question 14 - we asked:

Cambridge occupies a national leadership position as more than 50% of people use a bicycle once a month. How should the balance be struck between celebrating a national achievement in active transport and addressing strategically the many local shortcomings which still leave half of the population without the ability to choose active and healthy modes?

We asked this question in these 2 divisions: Arbury, Cherry Hinton.

7 of the 9 candidates (78%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

Timothy James HAIRE
(Conservative Party)

It doesn't "leave half the population without the ability to choose active and healthy modes" you really are being silly now. While it is important to encourage people to cycle, and set up the infrastructure in such a way that this is a good option you will never persuaded everyone to get on a bike, nor should you. Many people prefer to take their exercise in other ways or indeed not at all.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Let's get facilities for the younger and beginner cyclist - everywhere!

Megan PARRY
(Green Party)

It is great that Cambridge has won this position, but it may be the case that cyclists chose to travel by bike in spite of infrastructure rather than because of it. Personally, I cycle because I care about reducing emissions, I need to keep my petrol costs down because the cost of living in Cambridge is far too high, and, despite the large numbers of cyclists, high levels of traffic make driving infuriating. I don't believe the facilities provided for cyclists in Cambridge match the high demand. The fact we have so many cyclists should be an incentive to improve conditions for them.

Sandra CRAWFORD
(Labour Party)

Cambridge needs to make a statement with state of the art cycling infrastructure in new developments and a continued programme of improvements to older areas.

Signage leading into the city could be used to warn people to take care as vehicles are entering the number one cycling city!

Paul SALES
(Labour Party)

I think more than 50% can always choose to walk which is also good for them. We also need a clear city wide and county wide cycling strategy which will help us take advantage of funding from central government as well as using CIL/S106 for schemes small and large.

William James BARTER
(Liberal Democrat)

We should be very proud of our position as national leaders. One of the first things many visitors to Cambridge comment on are the large number of bikes in the area!

But we should keep going! Cycling is a great way to get exercise, and bikes are an environmentally friendly form of transport. As we move into the 21st century this will only become more important as we seek to reduce our carbon emissions.

The Lib Dems in Cambridgeshire support investment in cycling: the Chisholm trail will connect Addenbrooke's to the Science Park - allowing more people to cycle. I was disappointed to learn that the Labour Group leader opposes the entirety of the necessary investment for this key cycle route. More gritting of cycle paths in poor weather will also enable more people to cycle through more of the year. And additional cycle parking will enable people to leave their bikes safely when they travel.

Daniel Stephen LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I generally only think about balancing things when one comes at the expense of the other(s). I'm not sure that celebrating a national achievement does come at the expense of addressing shortcomings in local infrastructure and therefore I think that balancing the two may not be necessary.
I also question the claim that half the population don't have the ability to choose active and healthy models. Walking and cycling to locations around Cambridge may not always be easy, but I have found that, for walking anyway, it is generally possible for those who wish to do so. Admittedly, there are things that can be done to reduce concerns over safety that may put people off cycling or walking to certain locations but that doesn't mean that the choice is unavailable to them.
I would support efforts by the Liberal Democrats to improve visibility on dangerous junctions and ensure that road surfaces are effectively maintained. Another thing that would help is attempting to reduce the number of more dangerous vehicles such as cars on the roads by investing in things such as bus services.

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.