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Question 18 - we asked:

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?

We asked this question in these 3 divisions: Market, Petersfield, Romsey.

11 of the 14 candidates (79%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

(Cambridge Socialists)

yes (but this is too slow)

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

As someone who has suffered 7 cycle thefts and the theft of various cycle accessories I understand the importance of this point.
I am going to avoid the language of “fair” as this perpetuates the damaging confrontational attitude between some of the more zealous of road user-advocates, but I do support this change. While there would need to be some form of gradual change to allow people to adjust to the loss of vehicle parking I would prefer in principle a proper up-front programme of conversion to a 'stealth' programme of incremental conversion.

This may also be an option for verges that are otherwise abused for vehicle parking, space that does not detract from the carriageway or pavement width.

I would like to see more rigorous enforcement by city council planners of our minimum cycle parking standards for developments.

(Conservative Party)

In Maids Causeway and the surrounding Kite residential area where I live, there are very few car-parking spaces and very few designated cycle parking spots. It's a problem right across Market, where a proportionately high number of people use bicycles. It needs a solution based on proportionate use - rather than proportionate to car spots-as well as more imaginative use of existing space.

However, I don't have a closed mind. I'd have to hear about the specific places proposed and consider against levels of cycle use.

(Green Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Simon David Francis SEDGWICK-JELL
(Green Party)

Not totally: car spaces removed and replaced by cycle provision near pubs/shops/restaurants - but general parking of bikes in street a crime problem + people do still have cars.

(Labour Party)

I would support any resident-led initiative to convert parking spaces to cycle parking. Parking is perhaps the biggest issue raised on the doorstep in Market ward and it is important to remember that most cyclists are also drivers and we need to strike a balance. But there is a clear issue of a lack of adequate cycle parking and this needs to be addressed.

Martin SMART
(Labour Party)

We support the selective conversion if residents agree following consultation particularly in narrow city streets. 

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.

(Liberal Democrat)

A local couple who have children and use a cargo bike as their sole mode of transport recently approached me to ask if they could have a cycle parking bay introduced, because they cannot get their bike around the back of their house to lock up. This for me was a no-brainer and I said yes.

However, the question as posed here does not take account of the issues in the round. Romsey's Victorian terraces have no off-street car parking and consequently there is a very low number of parking spaces available per house (about 0.6 spaces per house is my estimate) – among the lowest levels citywide. In effect, Romsey’s incredibly limited parking availability is already aggressively regulating car ownership in the area, because it makes getting a parking space so difficult.

It is also worth mentioning that I have lived in several houses around Romsey and would never have locked up my bike on the terraces overnight, because the risk of theft is so great, even when it is attached to a rack. Most cyclists I have spoken to (many of whom also own cars) prefer to lock their bikes up off-street, normally in their back garden.

So for me the immediate priority with the very limited funds available should be to provide more cycle parking in places where there is most demand, near shops and pubs, for example.

In the longer term, the key project to reducing car-ownership here in Romsey is the Chisholm Trail cycle route. If good links are provided to it from the Mill Road railway bridge this would enable huge numbers of Romsey residents, who are not confident enough to cycle through Hyde Park Corner or the Newmarket Road roundabout, to cycle to the Science Park and Addenbrooke’s by bicycle.

We hope that the new railway station will reduce commuter parking here, and the local car-sharing club is also driving down car ownership, so over time it may well be possible to introduce more cycle parking on the terraces, but for the time being I would focus on providing it near shops, pubs and on the high street.

(Liberal Democrat)

I have lived in the Kite area for six years and this just is not the case. A number of properties have railings and many other residents have secured loops on the front wall of their property.
There is a significant lack of car parking in the area and whilst alot of residents are cyclists, alot of them are also motorists. I certainly agree that we need more cycle parking provision across the city and the Market team is constantly looking for opportunities to do this- just this year it has installed improved cycle parking on Sidney Street for example.

(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.

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.