Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (County), May 2013: Willingham

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council in May 2013.
Polling date: Thursday 2nd May 2013
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Martin John HALE  (UK Independence Party)
  • Ray MANNING  (Conservative Party)
  • Ben MONKS  (Labour Party)
  • Barry John PLATT  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Helen STOCKS  (Green Party)

Questions for Willingham division candidates (8 questions)

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

# Question 1

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

Martin John HALE
(UK Independence Party)

I cycle purely for pleasure and exercise, normally around the villages local to Willingham and along the guided busway path

Ray MANNING
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ben MONKS
(Labour Party)

I haven't been a cyclist in recent years, but as a teenager I was Chair of my county district of the Cyclists' Touring Club. I was a regular commuter by bike and also raced regularly as well as being part of social club runs.

Barry John PLATT
(Liberal Democrat)

I have extensive experience cycling in and around Cambridge where I lived for ten years before moving out of the city. Prior to living in Cambridge, I cycled around London while I was at University there. While in more recent times I have become more dependent on driving for many journeys, I continue to travel by a mix of foot, cycle or car.

Helen STOCKS
(Green Party)

I cycle to work between Willingham and Bar Hill regularly. I also cycle longer routes at weekends and evening, as I am in training for the London to Brighton bike ride in June

# 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?

Martin John HALE
(UK Independence Party)

To a certain degree, however I think public opinion should be engaged first before any major expense to ensure that their is a favourable opinion for their use. I would like to see bus lanes open to motorcycles/scooters, perhaps with a speed restriction, they are also an alternative to traffic congestion

Ray MANNING
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ben MONKS
(Labour Party)

Commuting and leisure cycling in from Willingham, Over and Longstanton is growing. I'd agree that more accessible, safe routes are needed to sustain that growth. In keeping with Labour's manifesto for these elections, investment in decent cycling routes has to be a priority. In our area, the development of Northstowe will put pressure on the well used Busway route for cycling traffic towards Cambridge. It may be that an increase in the volume of bike traffic on the already busy roads in the north east of city at peak times may push that route to capacity. Northstowe will inevitably also mean more car traffic on already busy, often narrow roads. I'd advocate a exploring better accessibility of the current NCN route 51 as an additional route into the city from our area as well as an informed study of the possible impact of Northstowe on non-car routes in Cambridge.

Barry John PLATT
(Liberal Democrat)

In my view, investment in good quality cycling routes is as important as investment in other modes of transport, and is essential if we are to encourage more road users to switch to cycling to the benefit of themselves and the environment.

Helen STOCKS
(Green Party)

As a whole the Green party reject the need for massive housing growth and we should plan for the creation of local jobs for local people within our current capacity. Cycling has got the best cost - benefit ratio which is why the Green Party would put 10% of the transport budget on cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, as well as, diverting money planned for large infrastructure towards it. However public transport will still play an important part of the transport system for people who can not cycle.

# 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?

Martin John HALE
(UK Independence Party)

Yes, all road users should be treated equally and abide by the same highway rules, it would be good to see 'traffic police' back on our roads, using discretion when thought fit

Ray MANNING
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ben MONKS
(Labour Party)

Responsible road use is vital regardless of mode of travel. The more open spaces in this area can mean greater speed for car traffic making roads more dangerous for cyclists. Active policing here in practice is often scarce, but along with better investment in policing in our area, I'd advocate proportionate policing of traffic.
Where cyclists and pedestrians share routes, this can throw up different challenges. I'd like to see an extension of signage regarding rights of way and priority on the cycle routes in our area to enable safer use for all users especially where routes run along side busy roads. Improved policing needs to be linked to ensuring that everyone takes an appropriate level of responsibility.

Barry John PLATT
(Liberal Democrat)

As a pedestrian, cyclist and driver, I see problems in all areas, with a perception in recent years that too much emphasis is placed on automated enforcement (such as speed cameras). While overall responsibility for police priorities is not a matter for the County Council, I do support a proportionate increase in prioritisation of road enforcement for all road users, to encourage safer coexistence.

Helen STOCKS
(Green Party)

I support evidence based policing, as policing should be determined at the local level. If the local need was police transport users then I would support this.
As cycling is not the commonest method of transport they stand out and therefore are percieved to be irresponsible road users (which the vast majority aren't) Therefore the policing has to be based on evidence of danger presented and the actual frequency of traffic infringements.

# 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?

Martin John HALE
(UK Independence Party)

UKIP candidates are 'Independent', there is no party 'whip', we are a group of free independent thinkers, therefore all opinions in this survey are solely mine:
It would be nice to see this system, I regularly use a similar one in France. What concerns me is that I already see many cyclist not using cycle lanes and cycling alongside in the road. I would advocate that all cycles be registered for a small fee and then covered by a low cost insurance, from this funding it could part help towards the implementation of such schemes.

Ray MANNING
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ben MONKS
(Labour Party)

Strategic development like this has to be planned in order to be sustainable, and can't simply solve one problem (such as better access for cycling) by shifting another (such as high levels of car traffic). As per our manifesto, Labour is committed to improving the extent of current high-quality cycling routes as well as looking to improve access and safety at pinchpoints such as busy road junctions. Any county-wide plan would need to be based on considering innovative ideas for cycling, but it would need to go hand in hand with better investment in the arterial roads routes (such as the A14) and in busy rural routes including village by-passes such as in the Willingham area.

Barry John PLATT
(Liberal Democrat)

While the needs of Cambridgeshire are very different to those in London, I would support provision of substantially improved facilities along the lines of those suggested there, in consultation with the local users. Substantial segregation is a good idea in principle, but may be practically difficult in places, and I feel it is important to emphasise that such facilities are an addition to – rather than a substitute for – the main roadways.

Helen STOCKS
(Green Party)

I would support a comprehensive and intergrated transport strategy where all road users are taken into account. However The space limitations within Cambridge may be an issue for a full 'mini-Holland'. We have pledged to make all roads in Cambridge 20mph in the next three years and would fully support a imaginative scheme which works for Cambridge.

# 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?

Martin John HALE
(UK Independence Party)

Thankfully there is no law that states what lifestyle someone should follow, we all know about obesity and sedentary lifestyles, however some people just don't care - it's their democratic choice. as frustrating as it is to the rest of us.
Having spent a lot of time in Ukraine and having a wife born and bred in Moscow, I know of air pollution, we should count our blessings for the air quality that we enjoy, I would never consider air quality an 'urgent' issue anywhere in this country

Ray MANNING
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ben MONKS
(Labour Party)

I'd advocate investment in social sporting activity aimed at young people in addition to organised "club" based sports. Cycling has a role to play in that. I'm also often amazed at how little is made of the open spaces in our area for leisure activities - people often don't realise what is on their doorstep. I want the County Council's public health strategy to have some focus on encouraging use of the network of byways, bridleways and footpaths across the county bringing in schools and existing clubs and groups in our communities.

Barry John PLATT
(Liberal Democrat)

There are many factors that lead to a healthier lifestyle including better quality food, more sustainable energy production, building safe spaces for children and facilitating healthier activities including – of course – cycling. I believe that it is important to do what we can in all these areas while recognising that no one factor is the solution to all our public health problems.

Helen STOCKS
(Green Party)

We cannot have a long term solution to public health without looking at healthy eating, more active lifestyles, lower stress levels and less pollution. In order to do this I will try and implement the following
- encourage more cycling, walking and sport by providing space which is safe
- bike to work scheme
- cycle proficiency training for adults and children
- better public transport and cycle routes to reduce traffic
- improve food skills through education
- improve the living environment - less noise, less litter and more green spaces
- free school meals using local, healthy food

# Question 6

Do you agree that the provision for cyclists in Over wanting to join the Guided Busway Cycleway towards Cambridge are wholly inadequate, and what would you propose to do about access here?

Martin John HALE
(UK Independence Party)

When I have ridden this route and on this cycle path I have never found it a problem, it has always been at weekends. I have noticed that during the week schoolchildren are very close to the traffic when using the cycle path, If elected I would be open to any suggestions by yourselves as to your proposals for this particular route and a way of perhaps extending it more into the village

Ray MANNING
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ben MONKS
(Labour Party)

Access here isn't ideal and short of using the Station Road route out of Over, there isn't a more direct off road alternative. I'd want to look at the current paths which run from the south of the Norman Way Industrial Estate on Longstanton Road in Over to the Busway. Constructing a viable ramp between the Busway and Windmill Bridge would need to take into account low visibility from a fast road due to the hump of the bridge.

Barry John PLATT
(Liberal Democrat)

There are a few options here that could make a small improvement, but it seems the ideal solution would involve finding an alternative route or constructing a new path along some or all of the route into Over.

Helen STOCKS
(Green Party)

The cycle path which connects Over to the guided bus does not extend to the village itself, it only covers the road where it is straight with good visibility. As you enter Over the road is bendy, with bad visibility and has a poor road surface - therefore extending the cycle path all the way into the village is necessary. There is not enough space along the pavement to have one. So either have a lane marked out in the road or look to divert it so that it enters Over from a different route.
Also the cycle path into longstanton does not extend into the village - which should also be an issue

# Question 7

The Busway cycleway has recently been underwater, making it impossible for people to cycle and walk through legally. This is despite our warnings of this problem for many years. What pressure will you bring to see this fixed?

Martin John HALE
(UK Independence Party)

With impending legal action and without total knowledge of the exact problem and who's liability, then at this stage I'm unable to comment

Ray MANNING
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ben MONKS
(Labour Party)

In many ways, the Busway was a great idea that hasn't delivered the best results for the public regardless of mode of travel. Flooding of the route shows that the results of a poorly managed and poorly delivered project. Given flawed planning which led to this problem, I would advocate referral back to developers.

Barry John PLATT
(Liberal Democrat)

Mismanagement of the Guided Busway project has resulted in a number of problems like this, which were anticipated during construction, but which were not adequately resolved. I would prefer to see a contractual remedy to this, but at this stage this seems unlikely and I expect we will have to wait until the outcome of the legal case before we can determine the best way forward.

Helen STOCKS
(Green Party)

we woud call on the developer to fix the problems or pay for the repairs.

# Question 8

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?

Martin John HALE
(UK Independence Party)

At the age of ten I passed my cycling proficiency test, skills that I've never forgotten and were useful for passing my motorcycle test at sixteen.
I would dearly love to see this scheme available to all, with the same pride of passing as I experienced when I gained my 'badge', a badge not given automatically to all candidates but only to those that gained a certain % pass rate on the day of their test.
I recently noticed advice given in the Cambridge News, saying that cyclists should give car doors a wide berth, this was taught to us as children - I would support a widespread scheme if elected

Ray MANNING
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Ben MONKS
(Labour Party)

It's vital that participation in cycling continues to be developed in our area as an alternative to car travel and that this extends beyond the boundaries of Cambridge and existing cycling routes. Thanks for the opportunity to respond to your survey.

Barry John PLATT
(Liberal Democrat)

Cycling is an important part of a healthy, sustainable, transport mix. In many ways we are lucky to have the facilities we do in Cambridge and parts of wider Cambridgeshire – my experiences in London in the 1990s were quite different – however there is always room for improvement and I support the work of your organisation in promoting this.

It is important however to recognise that cycling is part of a mix, and that it isn’t suitable for all people or journeys, particularly in the more rural parts of the county. Investment in improved cycling provision is required, but so is investment in better integrated public transport and in road improvements and essential repairs, which would benefit cyclists as well as drivers.

Helen STOCKS
(Green Party)

I would like to see the reinstatment or creation of hedges along road verges and the guided bus, not only would it improve habitat for wildlife but also cut down on the wind for cyclists.
also better maintenance and gritting of cycle paths

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.