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Question 16 - we asked:

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?

We asked this question in these 7 divisions: Bar Hill, Cottenham, Histon and Impington, Fulbourn, Gamlingay, Hardwick, Melbourn, Waterbeach.

20 of the 35 candidates (57%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

(Conservative Party)

Well, while not ideal, the links between Cottenham and Rampton and Cottenham and Histon are much better than they used to be. The Histon to Girton and Oakington links are OK. Histon and Orchard Park are broadly connected to the Busway cycle track. It would also be good to have a link from Cottenham to the track along the Busway. At the moment this requires taking King Street, Cuckoo Lane and one of the road-planings tyre tracks along Reynolds Drove out of Rampton. (And don't mention the obstacle course to Longstanton the other side of the Busway! That will be improved as Northstowe comes forward.) Oakington to Longstanton ought to be a pleasure along the airfield road - if only the cars using it illegally were not doing so! There is no cycle link from Cottenham to Oakington, though something like this may come forward in association with Northstowe. And the roads to the railway station at Waterbeach are not for the faint-hearted right now. Butt Lane is having its middle third done (currently at hardcore stage). Not sure how many cyclists will take the very long detour to avoid the mouth of the entrance to the commercial premises there, but I guess this counts as "good practice". The Landbeach Road cycle track seems to have had at least one layer of blacktop but comes to a sudden stop. must find out why. I've just got in from Rampton Annual Parish Meeting and there was a call for a better link to Willingham. Most of the feedback I get from Rampton, however, calls for a smoother (and illuminated) link to the Busway as highest priority.

Eleanor Ruth CRANE
(Green Party)

Making roads safer including through appropriate speed limits; investing in cycle ways that connect people with their local shops and services.

I would ask the Council to support training to give adults confidence to ride, such as the You Can Bike Too scheme (http://www.youcanbiketoo.org), run from Milton Country Park. Another option to explore might be subsidised courses in bike maintenance, offered through large employers, adult learning courses, schools and colleges.

I would push for better gritting of cycleways - current County policy is only to grit when 5 days or more of icy weather are forecast. I would ask the Council to promote the winter gritting volunteer programme to parishes where this is not in place (http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport/roads/winter/Volunteerforwintergritting.htm)

(Green Party)

Some villages have excellent cycling provision into Cambridge, e.g. Coton, Shelfords and now the villages that lie along the guided busway route, but some of the larger villages/towns within a few miles of the city have relatively poor provision. Particular examples are Girton and Bar Hill which would be a target for improvements. Targeting 10% of the transport spending on improving cycle lanes would be a priority.

(Green Party)

The County Council and district councils should actively promote cycling, by organising training courses for those who would like to cycle, but are apprehensive.
South Cambs. District Council has an excellent initiative - Sustainable Parish Energy Partnership (SPEP) - which shows people how to reduce their fossil fuel use in many aspect of their lives. Transport is now becoming part of this and sustainable transport/ cycling exhibitions are planned.

Adam John DUTTON
(Labour Party)

Since moving to the area I have been hugely impressed with the cycle routes available. And whilst I have been grateful for the long routes on pavements provided they have two unfortunate effects:

A) I cannot ride at full speed on them as it is unsafe.
B) It gives some drivers the impression that cyclists are obliged to use them whilst they are not suitable for road bikes. This has led to a friend of mine being threatened by motorists.

I would support any efforts to separate cyclists from both motorists and pedestrians where possible. I would also support efforts to allow cyclists to move along these roads unimpeded as a car would be so that they can be used as genuinely useful commuter routes.

In terms of extending routes in my Division I would certainly be interested in campaigning for any feasible route increases - starting with those with the highest likely demand.

(Labour Party)

Safer routes linking the village colleges to their catchments would be my first priority. Links to employment hubs (Cambridge Science Park, Genome Campus, Cambridge Research Park, Babraham, Granta Park) and a safe Cambridge / Bar Hill route would be my second priority.

Angela Mary PATRICK
(Labour Party)

Encourage locally based cycling groups and events.

Peter Robert FANE
(Liberal Democrat)

Cambridge is indeed high on the list of cycling cities, though we are sometimes prone to be a little complacent about this when we consider that we have only limited segregated cycleways, and a number of unsafe routes, such as Brooklands Avenue and the start of Hills Road, in Cambridge City as well as in the rural villages I seek to represent, and should not congratulate ourselves too much when we persist with practices which would not be accepted in Netherlands or Denmark, for instance wide bus lanes, along Milton Road, and Newmarket Road, which end just before difficult junctions The key is more segregated cycling routes, with kerbs to maintain safe widths, and more off-road routes in rural areas. Cycleability and other schemes should be expanded to help ensure children learn to cycle safely and with confidence.

(Liberal Democrat)

Start by encouraging the local journeys to be by cycling or walking not by car. Provide good cycle racking at schools, community areas and shops.
New houses and employment areas should be planned with cycle parking and access for residents and visitors - SCDC needs to learn lessons from the City here, especially allocating 106 money.
We need to connect up the paths we have, I would like to see links to all the villages that are in the our local schools catchment areas. So Landbeach and Cottenham - and that would also give us a connection to the Waterbeach station. A connection of Cottenham to Oakington is supported by the parish councils. This would ideally be extended to Bar Hill, as it is a large employment centre. Pupils from IVC who live in Dry Drayton would benefit from a path to Oakington as well, but not at the cost of the school buses.
A dream would be making the B1049 a cycling leisure route to Ely.
I am personally looking forward to a route through the new development at Darwin Green to make a speedier and safer route to West Cambridge

John David JENKINS
(Liberal Democrat)

join up the missing bits on the B1049 (somehow)
all-weather stud-lit path from Rampton to the guided bus
Cottenham to Oakington also with a connection to the guided bus
finishing off Impington to Milton
Ring Fort Path
Tidying up Orchard Park (it's a part of CH&I). it needs the current signage removed/rationalised, more cycle parking etc.

Sebastian Gerald Molesworth KINDERSLEY
(Liberal Democrat)

I've been involved in a few Cycling-related campaigns over the past 8 years. For example we campaigned for the University-owned bridge at Barton Road Haslingfield to have a cycle path put alongside it when it was rebuilt last year. Priced at £40k approx neither the County nor the University would touch it despite the fact that it would have opened up a safe route from parishes such as Haslingfield and Barrington thru to the A603 cycleway and then to West Cambridge. A perfect example of a smallish investment reaping huge benefit for years to come. We are also working hard with landowners, Councils and the Parish to get a proper cycle route from Haslingfield thru to Grantchester as part of the Trumpington Meadows development. We have been in talks with Potton and Sandy Town Councils about a link between Gamlingay thru Potton to Sandy station which would be well used by (hardy) commuters (not local to Cambridge but important to us locally!). Very locally indeed we obtained a shared use cycle/footway for the new developments at Station Rd Gamlingay - it all helps! If re-elected I would be looking at a A603 corridor plan similar to that currently in action on the A10 to try and make the road more useful to cyclists (altho it is very popular with time trials).

Maurice Leonard LEEKE
(Liberal Democrat)

I think that there are two crucial aspects to this: linking villages and the city, and making cycling safer within villages.

I am delighted that the Milton to Landbeach (shared-use) cycleway is being constructed at the moment. I would like to see the Milton to Impington one completed. I very much support the extension of the A10 cycleway northwards to Denny Abbey - and this should be an essential feature of any changes to the A10 as a result of the proposed new town at Waterbeach. I should like to see a shared-use cycleway on Denny End Road from the business park to the A10. I would also like the Akeman Street - the green lane from Landbeach to Kings Hedges to be made up to a condition suitable for cycles to use it.

(Liberal Democrat)

The absolute key, as far as Bar Hill is concerned, is to make sure that the proposals for "local roads" as part of the A14 project include cycleways into Cambridge - preferably dedicated. While it is possible to cycle down the sides of the A14 it appears to be high-risk.

Other than that a key project i would like to see would be to link Bar Hill, via a dedicated cycle way, to the Park and Ride at Longstanton and beyond that to the cycle way adjacent to the guided busway. Hopefully this will form part of the enhancements for Northstowe.

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

John George WILLIAMS
(Liberal Democrat)

Working with parish councils introduce 20 mph limits in village centres, safe cycle routes to local amenities and ban the largest HCVs from rural roads. Fund activities to promote cycling locally.

(The Official Monster Raving Loony Party)

As written above......
B14 to be introduced..... etc etc

Diane Paula BIRNIE
(UK Independence Party)

I think many of our villages would benefit from cycle pathways in the same way as they benfitted many years ago from the old bridleways. These made journeys between villages quicker and safer for the horse rider. We need to do the same for the cyclists.
Within the villages themselves, many of the streets are necessarily narrow and even pavements are few. Using a system of one way circular routes for traffic and freeing up some of the roads for cyclists and pedestrians would make the journey to school safer for many children. This would also cut down on the terrible parking problems as mothers drop of children who have perhaps been driven less than half a mile to school!

Richard GLOVER
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
(UK Independence Party)

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

(UK Independence Party)

Dealing with the pot-holes! Actually, I think the best thing that could be done around the villages would be some proper re-surfacing not only of the roads but also of the cycle lanes where they do exist.

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.