Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (County), May 2013: Trumpington

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in May 2013.
Polling date: Thursday 2nd May 2013
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Barbara Anne ASHWOOD  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Ceri GALLOWAY  (Green Party)
  • John Michael IONIDES  (Conservative Party)
  • Peter SNOW  (Labour Party)

Questions for Trumpington division candidates (11 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11 

# Question 1

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

Barbara Anne ASHWOOD
(Liberal Democrat)

I don't cycle, nor do I own a car (not because I'm anti them, just don't feel happy doing either!), but as a pedestrian and public transport user I am all to well aware of the vulnerability of cyclists on many of our roads and junctions. The upper deck of a bus gives you a grandstand view which has regularly left my heart in my mouth.

Ceri GALLOWAY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John Michael IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

Extensive. Most of my travel within the city is by bike (100-200km per week) and I also explore the rural parts of the county on training rides.

Peter SNOW
(Labour Party)

I used to cycle, but due to health reasons no longer cycle

# 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?

Barbara Anne ASHWOOD
(Liberal Democrat)

I live on Hauxton Road directly opposite the access to Trumpington Meadows, with the Glebe/Clay Farm development just down the road. Planning currently is aimed at dissuading people from running cars by providing minimal parking space in the hope of encouraging people onto buses and cycles. If this is the case, we have to provide safe routes for cyclists, which will be considerably cheaper than providing fleets of new buses or trying to widen roads - not an option in most parts of the City.

Ceri GALLOWAY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John Michael IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

This is a highly leading question that fails to consider the complexity of the issues.

Peter SNOW
(Labour Party)

Cycle routes are important so are pedestrian routes and a public transport network

# 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?

Barbara Anne ASHWOOD
(Liberal Democrat)

I would be pleased to see more traffic policing. The occasional crackdown on cyclists without lights is fine, but I would like to see more emphasis on policing the roads generally, especially major junctions such as at the Catholic Church. ALL road users are guilty of not always adhering to the rules of the road - better policing might serve to highlight the problems faced by cyclists in particular.

Ceri GALLOWAY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John Michael IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

This is another highly leading question. I have done considerable survey work within Trumpington in the past that suggests that the options are by no means as clear cut as the question implies, particularly where pavement cycling (a significant issue in areas such as the High St near Alpha Terrace) is concerned.

Peter SNOW
(Labour Party)

Enforcement of all traffic rules for all road users is needed.

# 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?

Barbara Anne ASHWOOD
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes we do and have already got costed plans.

Ceri GALLOWAY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John Michael IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

Cambridgeshire is such a varied area that attempting to lift a single model from London and apply it uniformly across the county does not seem wise to me. For instance, Cambridge is a massive outlier nationally in terms of cycling statistics. A solution that would be suitable in Cambridge would not necessarily work in Chatteris, and vice versa. I would prefer to look at the underlying issues and try to tailor solutions to individual locations.

Peter SNOW
(Labour Party)

We support a new Cambridgeshire bike plan, including learning from Dutch towns and country cycling and radical thinking, given similar needs and flat topography in Cambridgeshire.

# 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?

Barbara Anne ASHWOOD
(Liberal Democrat)

As a rhinitis sufferer who has also had asthma, I feel air quality needs to be monitored more stringently. The country has been trying to tackle obesity for some years with little result. Perhaps we should lead by example - my BMI is 19, not something that could be said by a number of our current County Councillors. The County Council could field a team in a Fun Run/cycle ride or similar, raising funds for local charities - people might think better of us if they saw us actively participating in the community! I would love to see children riding cycles with just their friends as company, but this can't be achieved while parents are so scared by lack of safe cycleways etc. When I was a kid, we'd spend whole days during the holidays off in a gang doing our own thing and come home filthy and exhausted - but our parents were never worried. We now seem to have gone to the opposite extreme where children are wrapped in cotton wool at birth and only released on leaving school. Kids CAN catch buses/walk to school, they don't have to be dropped off at the gates. The private schools in the south of Cambridge all run mini buses from the P&R, yet hundreds of Mums feel the need to sit in the traffic queues to deliver them personally - have they ever thought that a short walk might actually do them good? Changing sedentary lifestyles is also almost impossible with the ever increasing access to technology which actively encourages 'just sitting' - if games/home gym manufacturers could be persuaded to reduce prices, people might be more prepared to take exercise at home. Ultimately I feel the only way to tackle this may be through GPs surgeries, but this is usually after the damage has been done. We live in a society where we have freedom of choice as to how we live, and compulsion isn't an option - rationing treatment wouldn't make a difference because we all feel we have 'the right' to live as we please. Perhaps we need 'ordinary' people to try to get the message across because the cult of celebrity clearly isn't working.

Ceri GALLOWAY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John Michael IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

The County has a major role in strategic planning. In recent years there has been a lot of support for adding additional housing to the fringes on Cambridge, the argument being that this is more "sustainable" because people can then cycle to work.

My experience both in South Cambs and in Cambridge leads me to believe this model is misguided. For instance, the effect of land values and target housing densities means that many developments in Trumpington do not have easy access to open space where children can play freely (take a look at Accorda and Kaleidoscope). On the other hand. I think that places like Cambourne promote active lifestyles and independence in children far better.

Therefore, I would promote a strategic shift away from expanding Cambridge itself towards providing housing along transport corridors (e.g. Northstowe, Waterbeach). This would have the added benefit of protecting the Green Belt around the city.

This is a view endorsed by CPPF's draft '2030 Vision' document which has drawn input from a wide range of bodies within Cambridge, and I hope it is a position that the Cycling Campaign can support.

Peter SNOW
(Labour Party)

Cycling and walking have an important role in any public health agenda both in their own right and also in accessing other sporting and leisure opportunities.

Cycling or walking to school is very beneficial for children and the County Council can play a key role in safer Routes to School, providing sufficient bike shelters on sites and supporting programmes to help primary aged children learn to ride safely on the roads as well as learn simple bike maintenance.

# Question 6

Do you believe that Dutch-quality cycle provision, with cycle tracks that are separate both from pedestrians and motor traffic and that have priority over side roads, should a) be included within all new traffic schemes and b) be considered and consulted on for all modifications to existing schemes?

Barbara Anne ASHWOOD
(Liberal Democrat)

The Dutch model is an admirable example of what could be achieved and I would be pleased to see it in use here for new schemes. It should certainly be considered when any modifications/improvements to existing schemes are undertaken.

Ceri GALLOWAY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John Michael IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

Cambridgeshire is such a varied area that attempting to lift a single model from the Netherlands and apply it uniformly across the county does not seem wise to me. In addition, the question is highly leading and fails to take into consideration sophisticated approach the Dutch take to looking at all modes of transport together.

Peter SNOW
(Labour Party)

Yes. Wherever possible given road layouts and the constraints of some very narrow Cambridge roads. If 20 mph is applied across the City there will also need to be some re-engineering of roads to make it work.

# 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?

Barbara Anne ASHWOOD
(Liberal Democrat)

The Chisholm Trail and Bridge are vital to the success of the new Chesterton station and would encourage more people to ride rather than drive. Without this feature, the impact of the extra traffic would be horrendous in an area already struggling to cope. A lot of work will hopefully be done on the new housing developments to ensure safe, easy cycling (see Q 11) but we need to ensure that once cyclists leave the developments they can continue in safety - it's not just the developers who need to hold to standards, the County Council must do its bit. Pedestrians and cyclists do not make an ideal marriage, so separate provision would be the ideal.

Ceri GALLOWAY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John Michael IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

Cambridgeshire is such a varied area that attempting to lift a single model from The Netherlands and apply it uniformly across the county does not seem wise to me. In addition, the question is highly leading and fails to take into consideration sophisticated approach the Dutch take to looking at all modes of transport together.

Peter SNOW
(Labour Party)

Yes, the separation of different types of road users is the ideal. if there is room.

# Question 8

Which should have greater priority: safety of people cycling, or flow of motor vehicles, e.g. at junctions like the Catholic Church junction?

Barbara Anne ASHWOOD
(Liberal Democrat)

I have already commented in print (Trumpington Focus Spring 2013) that I feel the plans for The Catholic Church junction are totally inadequate. However, I don't believe it's purely a question of one group having priority over another, we should be working to provide safer junctions for all users - and that includes pedestrians who also suffer from cars/cycles 'not noticing' that lights have gone red or that there is a box junction in place, whilst ensuring that all traffic is kept flowing and queues are reduced.

Ceri GALLOWAY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John Michael IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

The question has only listed a couple of the possible points to be considered. Many other factors need to be considered in junction design.

Peter SNOW
(Labour Party)

The safety of all road users (cyclists, pedestrians and drivers) is the first priority.

# Question 9

Do you support the principle of a considerable improvement for cycling along the inner ring road, in the form of a Newnham to Newmarket (N2N) cycleway? In our view, 2.1m wide cycle tracks could be achieved for much of this while in many places not affecting vehicle capacity.

Barbara Anne ASHWOOD
(Liberal Democrat)

The inner ring road currently serves cyclists poorly. Dual use footpaths are ok where there is no alternative, but because maintenance is poor, one user group regularly finds progress hindered by overgrown hedges etc. Cycle tracks would greatly enhance the road where this would not impinge on capacity and encourage people to use their bikes more for recreation, not just for work.

Ceri GALLOWAY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John Michael IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

Generally speaking I am in favour of adding cycling infrastructure where possible and sensible.

I foresee technical problems around the Royal Cambridge Hotel junction, which is the area that is probably most offputting for inexperienced cyclists (although I pass through there regularly and don't find it a problem at all).

I am concerned however that I do not see any references to support key assertions in the associated article.

I don't see any reference to support the assertion "The result would be more people cycling, and therefore shorter journey times for drivers, though there would be some increased congestion in the short term while people adapt their travel modes". This statement should be supported by proper modelling and survey results, otherwise it could be mistaken for wishful thinking.

Also, I don't see any reference to support the view that "Modern traffic signalling, combined with the higher rates of cycling that would result from making space for cycling here, would avoid the problems experienced long ago when traffic lights were present". At the very least I would want to see some good modelling. Reducing traffic flows through this junction risks paralyzing traffic in the south part of the city, which I do not think would be desirable.

Peter SNOW
(Labour Party)

We support reviewing this, and having cycling and pedestrian priority on all roads from the inner ring road inwards.

# Question 10

The Department for Transport has now authorised the use of a clear 'No entry except cycles' sign, in recognition of the clear safety benefits of allowing two-way cycling, which means shorter cycle journeys and fewer junctions. There are a small number of streets left in Cambridge which anomalously do not allow two-way cycling. Will you support proposals for two-way cycling in Panton Street, Brookside (southern section), Union Road, Coronation Street and Norwich Street?

Barbara Anne ASHWOOD
(Liberal Democrat)

I feel we should be consistent in allowing two-way cycling - and as we already allow this in the majority of one-way streets, it seems ridiculous not to permit it for the rest. However, as a pedestrian/bus user, can I beg you to urge your members to keep within their designated lanes AND give clear signals rather than just assuming everyone will get out of the way when they suddenly decided to turn across the road!

Ceri GALLOWAY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John Michael IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

I think that there are good reasons why these roads are not currently included and generally I don't think it would be a good idea to allow two-way cycling on these streets.

Panton St, Brookside and Norwich St are all very narrow (or have narrow sections). In addition, there are good alternatives in each case, so journey distances would not be cut appreciably (in the case of Norwich St, it is hard to envisage any route that would be shortened at all).

I imagine that Coronation St and Union Rd would be wide enough to support two way cycling but the current parking patterns (esp the layby parking on Coronation St) would introduce the very dangers that CCC has raised in the past on Trumpington Rd by the Botanic Gardens. When you include the fact that it is hard to identify routes that would be shorted I think that there is relatively little merit in allowing two way cycling on these streets either.

Peter SNOW
(Labour Party)

Yes, where there is safely room for this, and also good signage ,education, and enforcement.

# Question 11

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?

Barbara Anne ASHWOOD
(Liberal Democrat)

Cyclists can sometimes be their own worst enemies, BUT I do deplore the cavalier attitude shown by some motorists towards them. Travelling in rush hour traffic is stressful for everyone, but until we develop a 'tolerance gene', we have to find ways of dealing with the problems.
I have been working with Cllr Caroline Shepherd on cycle related issues in our 'patch', also a South Cambs colleague, Susan van de Ven, trying to get the Melbourn to Cambridge route a designated cycle track, with a view to reducing congestion. Cyclists currently take their lives in their hands on the A10 and through the village, and this would also improve access to Addenbrookes and the 6th Form colleges. We are also trying to persuade the developers to honour the planning conditions for the new housing areas which stipulate the inclusion of safe cycling routes. There are currently major concerns over access to the new Trumpington Meadows school for children coming from Great Kneighton and we are trying to get these addressed. I am also working with Lucy Nethsingha (Newnham) re the Trumpington/Newnham cycleway which includes providing lighting along Vicar's Brook.

Ceri GALLOWAY
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John Michael IONIDES
(Conservative Party)

I feel that this survey is considerably weaker than those in previous years. Many of the questions are leading or include unrealistic simplification of complex problems.

In addition, there is an emphasis on highway-based solutions to increasing cycling uptake - and it is far from clear that highway issues are limiting cycling uptake for many demographic groups. It would be nice to see an appreciation of schemes that tackle the problem form other angles, for instance the County's own Cycle to Work scheme.

Peter SNOW
(Labour Party)

Happy to work with the campaign locally and citywide on further initiatives and opportunities.

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.