Elections

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Question 31 - we asked:

Do you agree that the shared-use paths along Milton Road are in general highly unsatisfactory, and that proper cycling provision should be provided, maintaining priority at sideroads? Do you condemn recent police action to ticket cyclists using pavements on Milton Road that join up with shared-use areas, despite no white lines or clear signs being present to delineate clearly the section where the status changes?

We asked this question in these 3 divisions: East Chesterton, King's Hedges, West Chesterton.

10 of the 13 candidates (77%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

James Andrew STRACHAN
(Conservative Party)

These paths are unsatisfactory - I know, I used to go to work along Milton Road - but the largest source of problems are the cyclists.

Some of them choose not to use the cycle lanes at all but to cycle in the very narrow carriageway. Others ignore give way signs and use any pavement space whether designated as shared use or not.

Cyclists must obey laws and act with consideration just as other people using a public space should.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

I agree.

Ian TYES
(Independent)

As stated above, i dislike ambiguity in general and shared use in particular. I unfortunately have to use this stretch of Milton Road almost every day as it is the fastest route from Kings Hedges into town. Southbound I try and cross the road into the bus lane as soon as possible. Northbound, I try and use the road rather than the pavement, particularly at night, annoying car drivers who sometimes sound their horn or even spray their windscreen wash at me. For cycling to be most effective, there needs to be clear segregation from other road users, particularly pedestrians. Unlike many other shared use pavements (eg the busway), at least there is a white line. However, many users do not understand which side they should be on and don't look before changing direction. It is also across a number of house entrances and the Milton Arms Pub where drivers pull out onto the pavement with little or no visibility or observation. Cyclists go both ways on the same narrow section and don't always pull over to the left when in conflict, causing further problems. I have had numerous near misses. The absence of clear signage here as elsewhere means that Police involvement is heavy handed and unfair. Whilst there are dangerous cyclists who should be targeted, it is the Council that caused the problem by allowing use of some (but not all) pavements for cycling and they should resolve the issues of clear markings before prosecuting people for not understanding the absurdities of the random nature of which bit is legal and which is not.

Clare BLAIR
(Labour Party)

Shared use paths are often unsatisfactory and this route is used by many children cycling to school. Policing priorities are set through area committees and once set of course the police must action them so it is important that the process allows for full information and understanding by councillors and police.

Fiona ONASANYA
(Labour Party)

I feel unable to agree or disagree with the statement that "the shared-use paths are in general highly unsatisfactory" as this is a subjective question and without having specific responses from frequent users (both cyclists and pedestrians) of the paths in question it would not be fair or right to comment. I will however seek more information in respect of police action.

Jocelynne SCUTT
(Labour Party)

I agree with the first question here, particularly that shared-use paths along Milton Road are in general highly unsatisfactory, and that proper cycling provision is necessary. This means that signage must be improved: there is little value in painted signs that cannot be seen or that have worn away.

Further on signage - signs for dual use need to exist 'along the way': there seems to be a notion that signs at the beginning and end of dual usage paths is sufficient, yet not all cyclists and pedestrians commence their journey at the beginning or end of a dual use pathway.

On policing Milton Road: It is often extremely difficult to determine where dual usage begins and ends, or where it exists at all. This is unfair for cyclists and pedestrians: both need to be clearly informed. Where signage is demonstrably poor, ticketing cyclists is unfair and police need to take this into account.

As to Milton Road and dual use generally, trees along Milton Road are relevant to the dual usage approach. Many West Chesterton residents have mentioned the need for trees and that environmentally (as well as aesthetically) the retention of trees along Milton Road is important. Traffic fumes have an impact on the atmosphere and on health, and trees are a positive antidote.

I believe it is possible to work together productively and constructively on this issue, and would like to work with local residents and the cycling campaign, for I acknowledge the importance of the problems surrounding dual usage - for cyclists and pedestrians generally along Milton Road.

David Aubertin GRACE
(Liberal Democrat)

As a frequent user of these paths, I agree it is unsatisfactory and the signage is inadequate. As a first step, I would aim to get better signage and , in the medium term, proper cycle lanes.

Ian Geoffrey MANNING
(Liberal Democrat)

Shared use paths aren't ideal, and Milton Road is plagued by it being inconsistent and dangerous for cyclists.

Police action is set by elected representatives, via area committees: they should be held to account. The Police themselves should not be "condemmed".

That said, i refer back to my comments in question 3 about how priorities should be set. Also Police should only police when there is a problem: not just because someone is making a minor transgression.

Neale UPSTONE
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. Safe cycling on large pavements should be promoted. I think Milton Road bus lane should be removed and replaced with dedicated cycle lanes both sides. Bus flow should be dealt with by dealing with congestion and financial incentives at peak times .

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

No. The shared paths work fine, provided that cyclists don't also use the pedestrian half.
I presume that "proper provision" would mean stealing road space from the people who pay for it.

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.