Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (County), May 2013: Sawston

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in May 2013.
Polling date: Thursday 2nd May 2013
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Andrew Robert BILLINGE  (UK Independence Party)
  • Adrian John FRENCH  (Labour Party)
  • Gail KENNEY  (Conservative Party)
  • Michael Thomas KILPATRICK  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Mike NETTLETON  (Labour Party)
  • Tony ORGEE  (Conservative Party)
  • Linda WHITEBREAD  (Green Party)

Questions for Sawston division candidates (9 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 

# Question 1

What experience do you have of cycling in the Cambridgeshire area?

Andrew Robert BILLINGE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Adrian John FRENCH
(Labour Party)

I cycle into Cambridge every week along cycle route 11 and then across the city. During the summer I enjoy touring village pubs mostly to the southeast of the city.

Gail KENNEY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Michael Thomas KILPATRICK
(Liberal Democrat)

I regularly cycle a short distance through Whittlesford most days to take my children to school.

Additionally I occasionally cycle around the local area. I also cycle between Whittlesford and Saffron Walden when I take my cars for their MOTs. I do not cycle into Cambridge itself.

When I was a teenager I cycled regular in the Sheffield area, including long rides out into the Peak District.

Mike NETTLETON
(Labour Party)

When I was youger I cycled extensively as a student in Cambridge and then whilst working for Philips (I lived in Waterbeach and then the Mill Road area at that stage). I cycle less nowadays, mostly just around Shelford.

Tony ORGEE
(Conservative Party)

I cycle infreqently though have on occasions cycled to parish council meetings and to raise money for a charity.

I have regularly commuted to Cambridge by bus since 1992.

I know from personal experience how unnerving it can be when a car overtakes a cyclist and passes extremely close to that cyclist.

I have also been concerned when buses travelling towards a bus stop get extremely close (a few feet) to a cyclist in front and appear to intimidate that cyclist.

Linda WHITEBREAD
(Green Party)

Very little personal experience. I did not cycle as a child and am rather nervous. Have done some local journeys by bike but generally prefer to walk or use the bus. However both my daughters are regular cyclists and one cycles extensively within Cambridge and its environs, so I have some understanding of the issues.

# 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?

Andrew Robert BILLINGE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Adrian John FRENCH
(Labour Party)

The current provision for cycling as a form of transport is unsatisfactory.Integrated provision for cycling,pedestrian and motorised transport has been achieved in many European countries.improved provision in this country together with policies to encourage employers to support cycling to work will make significant contributions to quality of life, health and carbon reduction.

Gail KENNEY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Michael Thomas KILPATRICK
(Liberal Democrat)

I believe that cycle routes should attract more investment than they currently do. However, I believe that pedestrian routes should equally be better. I do not claim to have studied any cost-benefit analysis but believe that all new developments should have better cycle and pedestrian facilities. The marginal cost to new developments is clearly lower than that of attempting to retrofit better facilities piece-meal to previous poorly-designed developments and roadways.

Mike NETTLETON
(Labour Party)

Yes, it's obvious and essential. However, improving public transport is also essential.

Tony ORGEE
(Conservative Party)

I do not see building tunnels or knocking down houses as the way forward. The key should be ensuring that homes and jobs are located close to one another to help minimise travel. Pedestrian and cycle routes have an importat role to play. High quality for me would mean cycleways that are segregated and continuous, by that I mean of a significant distance, not just a short piece of good cycleway then a sigificant gap before another good section.

High quality cycling routes are needed not only between Cambridge and surrounding villages, but also between significant centres of employment, for example between the Babraham Institute, Granta Park and the Genome Campus, all within a few miles radius of one another.

Linda WHITEBREAD
(Green Party)

Short answer: yes. Particularly if the cost-benefit analysis includes the health benefits of cycling and other benefits which may only have an indirect financial impact, eg less pollution

From our national manifesto:
• We would divert money currently being wasted on huge road projects and put more of the UK’s transport budget into public transport, and especially into local schemes for walking, cycling and bus travel.
• The Green Party believes that the emphasis in transport policy should be upon improving access to local facilities and everyday transport. Walking and cycling should be the first priority, followed by public transport (trains, trams and buses).
• Nationally the Green Party would ensure that at least 10% of transport spending is on securing a shift to more active travel like walking and cycling.
• We would assist businesses with green workplace travel plans.

# 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?

Andrew Robert BILLINGE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Adrian John FRENCH
(Labour Party)

Cost effective policing requires complex decisions. I do believe that laws and regulations to ensure safety for all forms of transport should be given sufficient priority.

Gail KENNEY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Michael Thomas KILPATRICK
(Liberal Democrat)

Where practicable, I believe all traffic should be better policed: drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike. However, to suggest that all policing MUST be solely evidence-based seems dogmatic to the extreme. I do not know if there is evidence that pavement parking actually causes accidents to pedestrians or cyclists, but even if it does not, tackling it should be given a higher priority simply because it is clearly an inconsiderate and downright stupid thing to do. Tackling inconsiderate behaviour ought to have a knock-on benefit all round, and is therefore good, whether there is direct evidence (accident records) to prove that or not!

Mike NETTLETON
(Labour Party)

We all have to be reasonable - far too many aggressive motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. I think the issue should be one of 'education' in the broadest sense and less of policing. Plainly, there is a place of policing for the idiots, as part of that I would include motorists driving inconsiderateky and cyclists riding withoout lights.

Tony ORGEE
(Conservative Party)

Policing should be evidence-based, but policing covers many areas of concern: road user behaviour is one such area, but domestic abuse is another, as is burglary and many other issues of concern to the general public. Some of these other issues may have a greater priority than traffic policing.

The number of deaths and cases of serious injury is falling and has been for a number of years in Cambridgeshire. This is good news, but even so evey death or serious injury is one too many. Road traffic accidents have impacts not only on those involved but also on friends and relatives. Prevention is important so educating road users is important in this context.

Evidence-based is not only about the 'relative levels of danger presented by each group' but aklso the 'relative levels of danger presented to each group'.

Linda WHITEBREAD
(Green Party)

Evidence-based is good. So traffic policing should become a greater police priority if there is evidence that this will result in more positive outcomes (in terms of reduced accidents, ease of traffic flow etc) than use of the resources elsewhere (eg in investigating criminal behaviour). I agree that it should be based on relative levels of danger, if that includes quantity as well as quality. For example, HGVs may cause more damage if involved in an accident than bicycles, but there are far fewer of them. So you need a kind of risk assessment.

# 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?

Andrew Robert BILLINGE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Adrian John FRENCH
(Labour Party)

There are many excellent models of provision for safe cycling.I believe that Cambridge requires a solution consistent with the long tem development of local housing and the economy.

Gail KENNEY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Michael Thomas KILPATRICK
(Liberal Democrat)

I believe in greater pedestrianisation of city centres where possible, and this should be accompanied by appropriate cycle routes too. For most of Cambridgeshire, however, this is of little relevance. Inter-village and intra-village cycle routes should be enhanced, linking transport hubs, local retail areas and places of employment.

Mike NETTLETON
(Labour Party)

Yes, as per question 2, but as part of in integrated 'transport' policy

Tony ORGEE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Linda WHITEBREAD
(Green Party)

Sounds good, yes.

We would support a coherent strategy to encourage cycling in the county. Its specific details should fit the needs of Cambridgeshire and be agreed in consultation with local people and groups representing different types of road users. Any such plan should consider not only built infrastructure (cycle lanes etc) but other things that people might need to help them cycle - ranging from salary sacrifice schemes for bicycle purchase and more bike shops to adult cycle training, cycle buddy schemes etc. Also maintenance of cycle lanes including gritting during icy weather.

Does the Cycling Campaign support the introduction of 'Boris Bikes' as well - the free scheme introduced some years ago did not work, but it could be looked at again in the light of the London (and other) experience.

# 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?

Andrew Robert BILLINGE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Adrian John FRENCH
(Labour Party)

Cycling provision plays an important part in many health related provisions.

Gail KENNEY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Michael Thomas KILPATRICK
(Liberal Democrat)

If it were in my power I would mandate larger gardens for new developments in order to create more space for children to play. Any garden which is not large enough for a young child to ride a bicycle round in a circle is not fit for purpose. How can children safely learn to cycle?

To imprive air quality I would wish to ecnourage safer walking and cycling. Better footpaths and cycle paths. Wider pavements by default to allow parents to feel that their children are safer. Grass verges should separate pavements from the roadway to give an added safety zone so that children do not have to be so much prevented from prancing about, as they often do when walking along the pavement. I prefer to see better on-road cycle facilities where practicable rather than an excess of separate cycle paths.

Mike NETTLETON
(Labour Party)

You need a 20 page essay on this, but some ideas:
Air quality - reduce traffic, make vehicles on the road more fuel efficient (including buses)
Obesity - input and output, Cut crap food and increase exercise and cycling obviously has a part to play
Children's independence - my view is that parents now wrap their children up in cotton wool far too much.
Sedentary lifestyle - we're all guilty and need to take more activity

Tony ORGEE
(Conservative Party)

National governments have been concerned about the nation's health for some years, childhood obesity being one example of a specific concern. Obviously many issues are linked: diet, lifestyle (sedentary or more active), air quality and so on. Councils are active in promoting healthy eating, encouraging people to take up / engage in more sporting activities, encouraging people to be more active, promoting safer routes to school to encourage non-car means of travelling to school, and so on.

Linda WHITEBREAD
(Green Party)

I'm tempted to paraphrase Norman Tebbit, and suggest that people get on their bike.

From the national manifesto:
• The Green Party believes in a much stronger emphasis on prevention of ill health, via living healthier lives and greater equality. This shows how, unlike other parties, our policies are woven together into a coherent whole.
• We cannot have an effective preventive approach, and thus a long-term-thinking ‘health’ service, unless we encourage healthier eating, more exercise, a lower-stress, slower-living society, a serious reduction in environmental pollutants, and greater access to tranquil countryside.
• And we recognise the connection between mental and physical well-being.
• Better health is not a matter of ever-increasing spending on the NHS. A surer route, which can’t be disrupted by the need to bail out bankers, is to support simple things like good food, less competition and less stress.
• Improve food skills by encouraging schools to involve children in growing, preparing and cooking food.
• Increase the tranquillity of our urban environments, with less litter, less noise, reduced light pollution and more green spaces. Everyone should live within walking distance of natural green space.
• Provide a full half day a week of inviting physical activity for every child, and at least one day a year learning in the natural environment.
• Provide free school meals for all – with locally sourced or fair-trade and (where possible) organic food, and with a vegetarian option. This will encourage healthy eating, combat obesity, improve concentration and end the stigma associated with free school meals. There can be few better ways of spending up to £2bn a year, only a fraction of the amount spent on bonuses in the city.

# Question 6

The rising price of petrol, traffic congestion, the high cost of parking are a great concern for the public. How will you help the public to explore alternatives to the car? How will you give more choice to residents who think they have no choice but to use their car? What is your vision beyond the cycle of car-dependency?

Andrew Robert BILLINGE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Adrian John FRENCH
(Labour Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Gail KENNEY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Michael Thomas KILPATRICK
(Liberal Democrat)

As a car driver myself, I am inherently lazy, as are many people. Anyone who denies that is a liar. Perhaps it might seem draconian, but could it not become an offence to drive a vehicle on a journey of less than one mile without due need? People default to the easiest option: they hop in the car for a quick trip to the village shop because it's 10 minutes quicker than walking/cycling.

We cannot provide choice without subsidising other means of transport or investing in better footpaths and cycleways. If the money were available, I would ensure that it be spent on such things.

Mike NETTLETON
(Labour Party)

The two main things are to improve the quality and frquency of public transport and to improve the safety and convenience of cycling

Tony ORGEE
(Conservative Party)

Public transport has a role to play here, but sometimes the services that operate do not really meet the transport needs of local residents. This is where Cambridgeshire Future Transport has a role to play in consulting with local residents about their transport needs and finding better ways to meet those needs.

Planning also has a significant role in ensuring that homes and jobs are located close together so that transport needs are minimised and pedestrian and cycling solutions can play a more important role.

Linda WHITEBREAD
(Green Party)

From our national manifesto:
• Services (like schools and doctors) must be accessible. This means they must be easy and affordable to reach by public transport – and within walking distance in urban areas.
• To encourage walking and cycling for shorter journeys and improve road safety we would:
• Reduce speed limits (e.g. to 20mph in built-up areas, including villages).
• Make streets safe; make them public spaces again. Plan for mixed-use developments where shops, housing and businesses are closely located and connected by pavements and cycleways.
• Introduce a maximum speed limit of 55mph on motorways and trunk roads, and 40mph on rural roads, to make them safer for all road users.
• Introduce schemes such as Home Zones, Safe Routes to School and pedestrianisation.
• Ensure that at least 10% of transport spending is on securing a shift to more active travel like walking and cycling. Reallocate the £30 billion the Government has earmarked for road-building over the next 10 years. Spend the money on a programme of investment in public transport over the Parliament.
• Provide affordable, cheaper local transport that is accessible to those with disabilities by investing in buses and subsidising some routes. Make public transport public.
• Reregulate bus services nationally.
• Assist businesses with green workplace travel plans.
• Give higher priority to railways and plan for a growing railway network.
• Open additional stations on existing routes.
• Invest in new Light Rapid Transit systems (using appropriate technologies).
• Simplify fares for all public transport, with discounted fares for off-peak journeys and for those with low incomes.
• Support free local transport for pensioners.
• Return the railways, tube system and other light railway systems, including both track and operations, to public ownership.
• We would make the cost of private cars more effectively mirror their environmental cost to wider society:
• Abolish car tax and replace it with a purchase tax on new cars that reflects their emissions. That way we would affect the types of car chosen at the time that matters, when they are bought new.
• Prioritise public transport, then if necessary work towards the introduction of road pricing schemes like the London congestion charge.

# 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?

Andrew Robert BILLINGE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Adrian John FRENCH
(Labour Party)

I strongly believe that we should not be constrained by a single approach to the provision of safe efficient cycling provision.

Gail KENNEY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Michael Thomas KILPATRICK
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. My beliefs go further: that all developments should be accompanied by green verges separating footpaths from roadways as well as Dutch-quality cycle provisions.

Mike NETTLETON
(Labour Party)

It's unlikely that the current development program can be stopped; beyond that I think it is unacceptable to continue large scale developments in the Cambridge area - the infrastructure simply won't support it and we are blighting green belt land.
I think within any new development high quality cycle ways should be included and those should be retrofitted into the current environment.

Tony ORGEE
(Conservative Party)

In my view there are two serious issues with cycleways in Cambridgeshire.

In some instances there is an excellent section of cycleway, then a gap or really poor provision, and then another good section of cycleway. One example is the cycleway from Hinxton to the 'Sawston' roudabout on the A505, then virtually no cycleway provision, until a short section near the northern end of the Sawston bypass then nothing until we suddenly get to the Great Shelford - Addenbrookes cycleway.

There needs to be better continuous high quality cycleways. The other big improvement that could be made is a separation of cyclists and pedestrians. This would be a significant improvement.

Linda WHITEBREAD
(Green Party)

Yes, the Dutch system looks ideal.

From our national manifesto (repeat of Q6):
• Services (like schools and doctors) must be accessible. This means they must be easy and affordable to reach by public transport – and within walking distance in urban areas.
• To encourage walking and cycling for shorter journeys and improve road safety we would:
• Reduce speed limits (e.g. to 20mph in built-up areas, including villages).
• Make streets safe; make them public spaces again. Plan for mixed-use developments where shops, housing and businesses are closely located and connected by pavements and cycleways.
• Introduce a maximum speed limit of 55mph on motorways and trunk roads, and 40mph on rural roads, to make them safer for all road users.
• Introduce schemes such as Home Zones, Safe Routes to School and pedestrianisation.
• Ensure that at least 10% of transport spending is on securing a shift to more active travel like walking and cycling. Reallocate the £30 billion the Government has earmarked for road-building over the next 10 years. Spend the money on a programme of investment in public transport over the Parliament.
• Provide affordable, cheaper local transport that is accessible to those with disabilities by investing in buses and subsidising some routes. Make public transport public.
• Reregulate bus services nationally.
• Assist businesses with green workplace travel plans.
• Give higher priority to railways and plan for a growing railway network.
• Open additional stations on existing routes.
• Invest in new Light Rapid Transit systems (using appropriate technologies).
• Simplify fares for all public transport, with discounted fares for off-peak journeys and for those with low incomes.
• Support free local transport for pensioners.
• Return the railways, tube system and other light railway systems, including both track and operations, to public ownership.
• We would make the cost of private cars more effectively mirror their environmental cost to wider society:
• Abolish car tax and replace it with a purchase tax on new cars that reflects their emissions. That way we would affect the types of car chosen at the time that matters, when they are bought new.
• Prioritise public transport, then if necessary work towards the introduction of road pricing schemes like the London congestion charge.

# Question 8

What are your views regarding the options for the Harston stretch of the Royston to Cambridge A10 corridor bike path?

Andrew Robert BILLINGE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Adrian John FRENCH
(Labour Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Gail KENNEY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Michael Thomas KILPATRICK
(Liberal Democrat)

I will admit that I am not aware of the options that have been presented. If elected I would likely support the views of councillors local to that area.

Mike NETTLETON
(Labour Party)

I think it depends on the objective. If (as I think it should be) it is commuting/travel into Cambridge, rather than leisure, the priority should be improving cycling failities along the A10.

Tony ORGEE
(Conservative Party)

The first major issue to confront cyclists travelling along the A10 is the M11 roundabout at Trumpington. This is being addressed by an off-line solution that will take cyclists across the bridge to the north of the motorway junction, and a properly surfaced section of cycleway is now in place at the point where this off-line route rejoins the A10 at Hauxton.

The A10 through Harston is very narrow for an A class road and I do not see any realistic on-road solution. The verges through Harston are not wide but on the western side there is a continuous but narrow footpath that is also used by some cyclists. The only realistic option that I can see would be to widen this footpath and regrade it as a combined footway / cycleway. I would be willing to listen to any alternative suggestions but, in my view, options are very limited.

Linda WHITEBREAD
(Green Party)

I think a cycle path from Royston to Cambridge would be very helpful to cyclists along its length, and would encourage more people to use their bikes. I agree that a cycle path within Harston itself, rather than bypassing it, would be more heavily used.

# Question 9

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?

Andrew Robert BILLINGE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Adrian John FRENCH
(Labour Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Gail KENNEY
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Michael Thomas KILPATRICK
(Liberal Democrat)

A year or two ago I asked (Duxford division county councillor) Tim Stone whether it would be possible to have a footpath/cycleway linking the Whittlesford station platform with Duxford, given that the A505 cruelly divides Whittlesford and Duxford and gives precedence to drivers merely passing through Cambs rather than assisting Duxford residents in getting the train or cycling safely northwards. Recently, Welch's Transport applied for planning permission on the field adjoining the A505, and on the plans were shown a footpath/cycleway which does actually as I had suggested (but no doubt will not happen if the local authorities do not put up the money). I take some satisfaction in having independently thought of a good idea that others have also had.

Mike NETTLETON
(Labour Party)

I've always supported environmentally sustainable 'transport', whether that means walking, cycling or using public transport. We have one car and three bilkes in a family of three and always use train or bus rather than driving wherever possible.

Tony ORGEE
(Conservative Party)

As a Cabinet member, I introduced gritting/salting of some cycleways close to Cambridge in the winter of 2012/2013, for example, on the Great Shelford - Addenbrookes cycleway.

I recently steered through Cabinet road safety improvemets at the Catholic Church junction in Cambridge, improvemments that should lead to greater safety for all road users including pedestrians.

I have supported cycleway improvements in the area that I represent, including the alternative route for a cycleway between Cambridge and Hauxton / Harston referred to above, the Sawston - Babraham - and eventually Granta Park cycle link, and the much improved cycleway directly from Whittlesford to Sawston.

On a wider scale I have consistently supported bids made by the County Council to goverment for funds for improvements for cycling, for example, the money that came to the area from the successful bid for Cycling Demonstration Town status for Cambridge.

Linda WHITEBREAD
(Green Party)

Other points: I am a member of Stapleford Environment Group which is looking at ways of increasing cycling in the area, eg by providing more cycle racks; by lobbying for 20 mph speed limits. I am a member of three walking groups. I have attended a meeting to discuss the idea of re-opening the Cambridge - Sudbury rail link, and promoted this within the Green Party.

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.