Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (City), May 2014: Abbey

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council in May 2014.
Polling date: Thursday 22nd May 2014
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON  (Conservative Party)
  • Oscar Edward GILLESPIE  (Green Party)
  • Peter ROBERTS  (Labour Party)
  • Marcus STREETS  (Liberal Democrat)

Questions for Abbey ward candidates (6 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

# Question 1

Protected Space on main roads: The County Council have recently consulted on creating protected space on Hills Road and Huntingdon Road. Do you support these schemes? Are there roads in your ward or elsewhere that you would like to see protected space on?

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

I support protected spaces on these roads, and on any roads where space permits, in order to provide some added safety for cyclists, and to encourage drivers not to crowd out cyclists

Oscar Edward GILLESPIE
(Green Party)

I totally support these schemes and am very pleased by them. I have cycled on routes that have been well-planned, in Brighton and Milton Keynes, and it is a pleasant experience but also avoids congestion and tension between road users. The benefits of such work when weighed against the cost are vast. I would also like to see Milton Road and Newmarket Road given a rethink as there are some bizarre elements on both.

Peter ROBERTS
(Labour Party)

Yes. I fully support the ‘protected space’ scheme on Hills Road and Huntingdon Road. A few years ago, when I lived on nearby Hartington Grove, it was clear that improvements needed to be considered for cyclists. In reference to roads in or nearby to my ward, I believe that a great deal more needs to be done to improve the Newmarket/East Road corridors into and out of the city centre. It’s quite clear that the current state of affairs along Newmarket Road needs a rethink. I also worry about the state of the Riverside channel, a clear gateway into town for those on foot, bike or boat, but one in need of drastic improvement for all concerned.

Marcus STREETS
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 2

Remove through motor traffic: Most motor traffic cannot go through the city centre. In residential areas, some streets are closed to motor vehicles at certain points. Do you support this idea, and would you like to see it more widely used?

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

Traffic needs to flow, in order to avoid increased congestion, so I am not enthusiastic about further extensions to the removal of through traffic (except where it could be expected not to exacerbate congestion) without better provision of sensible alternative routes

Oscar Edward GILLESPIE
(Green Party)

I do support this in principle, but would not want to see it go so far that it makes the city centre become unreachable to those who are disabled and require a car journey to get there.

Peter ROBERTS
(Labour Party)

As an overarching approach I have no major issue with it, but it really depends on where and any new scheme would need to involve proper consultation of all interested parties. I would add a cautionary note that we should also consider the needs of those who cannot necessarily cycle but require a car within short walking distance of their property, so the views of the elderly or disability rights groups, for example, should also be fully considered. An additional concern, based on my mailbag as a councillor, would be improving the inadequate signage for cyclists across Cambridge, which I feel often causes unnecessary conflict and undermines the salience of any argument that cyclists are not second class road users.

Marcus STREETS
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 3

Safe routes to schools: What measures would you like to see to improve the safety of children getting to school?

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

Better policing of inconsiderate parking and measures to slow down motorists near schools

Oscar Edward GILLESPIE
(Green Party)

Improving cycle paths so that there is more space, clearer delineation, and fewer blind corners would make a great impact. I am concerned that some children are cycling to school without understanding the dangers involved, and would like to see more cycling proficiency training for young children, which covers some of the local hazards such as the heavy gates on Midsummer Common.

Peter ROBERTS
(Labour Party)

I am in complete support of safer cycle routes around schools. I feel sorry for parents forced to cycle with their young children on pavements because of unsafe roads. I hope that any such schemes to improve the areas surrounding schools would also reduce the number of ‘school run’ cars on the road, encouraging more kids to consider cycling and walking into school. Furthermore, I am sure that more could be done by all to work with primary schools to bolster cycle induction and road safety lessons.

Marcus STREETS
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 4

Cycle-friendly town centres: Cycle parking is at a premium in Cambridge city centre. Although the City Council are putting in more, it is unlikely to be enough. Would you support converting some car parking to cycle parking, and do you have any further suggestions?

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

Car parking is already inadequate, so I would not wish to see any further reductions. However, there could be much greater provision for cycle racks in many places where it should not be necessary to be at the expense of car parking. There should certainly be much greater cycle parking provision than at present

Oscar Edward GILLESPIE
(Green Party)

I am doubtful that converting car parking to cycle parking would help many cyclists, as I imagine that most do not plan their route to take parking into consideration. The Park Street cycle park is rarely full, but there are often bikes locked to lampposts and random objects along Magdalene Street.

I suspect that the solution is to create more short-stay parking for bikes near shopping districts, and long-stay parking near facilities and beauty spots.

The railway station is a special case where there is completely inadequate parking, and some of the cycle parking is only available to those strong enough to lift their bike far off the ground, or willing to actually pay money for a parking space. Although the double-decker parking is welcome, the provision should be far greater by providing more cycle stands in the direction of Kingston Road and Hill's Road.

Peter ROBERTS
(Labour Party)

Yes. The council should reflect the changing lifestyles of residents while still protecting those who often go ignored. Again, it would depend on the location, but in theory I have no issue with converting more parking spaces for cyclists. I sit on the related council committee that dealt with the expansion in cycling space currently happening near the marketplace. I believe that such schemes reduce the amount of bikes blocking pavements, helping pedestrians in the process, and should be welcomed. My only reservation would be losing any more disabled parking bays. My fellow ward councillors and I have replaced some existing cycle parking racks in Abbey but I would welcome more space around Barnwell Shops and near the football ground, especially with the expanded gates if Cambridge United are promoted.

Marcus STREETS
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 5

Cycle routes in green spaces: The commons and greens provide well-used pleasant cycle routes through the city. Would you support some widening of the paths, undertaken sensitively, to reduce conflict between pedestrians and cyclists?

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

Yes, certainly, and especially wherever space allows. I would also strongly support significant increases in markings to clarify where cyclists and pedestrians can occupy separate areas on as many paths as practical, in order to encourage greater tolerance between all users

Oscar Edward GILLESPIE
(Green Party)

Certainly. I would also like to see cycle lanes marked more clearly in parks and along the riverside, so that they alert pedestrians and guide cyclists away from blind corners. Wide cycle lanes are important for safety and harmony, but since they will allow high speeds they should placed with care.

Peter ROBERTS
(Labour Party)

The key word is ‘sensitively’. All of Abbey’s existing councillors support widening paths across Midsummer Common to reduce conflict between pedestrians and bikes. Additional widening outside of Midsummer Common and Jesus Green will need to come with full consultation and input from all groups, especially conservationist groups, but I do not see widening as an insurmountable problem. I welcome encouraging more people to use paths across green space.

Marcus STREETS
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 6

20mph speed limits: Public consultation has brought 20mph zones to the North area of the city. The consultation for the East area also received general public support. Do you support the scheme? Do you support extending it to rest of Cambridge, i.e. South and West/Central? If so, what measures would you like to see to help encourage compliance?

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

A general speed limit of 20 mph everywhere is not my preference. It seems to me to be excessive to make it compulsory everywhere. However, there would be no objection to having these reduced limits near schools, as a matter of policy, and also at other hazardous places, on a case by case basis, but only where the case can be made for it on a scientific basis, rather than on sentiment, or on an over zealous insistence on it as a 'matter of principle'

Oscar Edward GILLESPIE
(Green Party)

They are public consultations, so they are taking residents' wishes into account, which I do support. I feel the proposal has been quite well communicated, but there is an issue with enforcement that means the limits are frequently ignored. There are clearly some drivers who enjoy tearing along these roads, causing a hazard and a lot of noise, and it seems important to make the existing zones effective as well as introducing new ones.

Peter ROBERTS
(Labour Party)

Yes, I supported the scheme when it came to East Area Committee. I would encourage the parts of Cambridge which have yet to vote on 20mph to join with the rest of us in backing it. Again, signage is paramount. I’m in favour of speed activated signs and prominent signage on particular roads where 20mph is ignored. Although not within my remit, as an individual, I would also like to see the speed limit fully enforced.

Marcus STREETS
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

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.