Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (City), May 2014: Newnham

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council in May 2014.
Polling date: Thursday 22nd May 2014
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Joanna ANSCOMBE-BELL  (Conservative Party)
  • Rod CANTRILL  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Julia HARRISON  (Green Party)
  • Sam WOLFE  (Labour Party)

Questions for Newnham ward candidates (7 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7 

# 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?

Joanna ANSCOMBE-BELL
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rod CANTRILL
(Liberal Democrat)

I do support these schemes. I see them as a step change in encouraging more residents to take up cycling across the city. I would support exploring protected space on major roads in my ward such as Grange Road, Barton Road and Madingley Road (in addition to the cycle provision already in place). In addition, I would welcome measures on Sidgwick Avenue that is heavily used by students (this could be part of the cycle route from West Cambridge to the city centre).

Julia HARRISON
(Green Party)

I definitely support these schemes. These protected spaces are much better for cyclists and would, I think, encourage people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes. Currently the 'drawn on' cycle lanes which run along busy roads do not feel safe for the cyclist and can create conflict between cyclists and car drivers.
In Newnham there are already a number cycle tracks where cyclists share a pavement with pedestrians. In many ways this 'protected space' scheme would be preferable, safer for both pedestrians and cyclists. I would certainly support the increased use of protected spaces.

Sam WOLFE
(Labour Party)

I wholeheartedly support protected cycle routes and believe that these not only benefit cyclists but also pedestrians. Residents of all ages alongside students are often put off cycling by the thought of navigating busy roads and dedicated cycle-ways would encourage these more hesitant cycle-users to leave the car at home.

More thought needs to be given in Newnham to how protected cycle-ways link at junctions. Although we are lucky to have some (but not enough) protected space on Grange Road and Barton Road, the junctions between the routes are often unsafe for both pedestrians and cyclists. I would also like to see funding prioritised for a physical curb-like barrier between protected space and the road.

# 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?

Joanna ANSCOMBE-BELL
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rod CANTRILL
(Liberal Democrat)

I do support the idea and would like to see it used more widely. Such steps would improve the quality of the street environment for all users.

Julia HARRISON
(Green Party)

I agree wholeheartedly with this idea for residential areas.

Sam WOLFE
(Labour Party)

I would be supportive of some motor traffic restrictions in residential streets, if these restrictions made way for protected cycling routes.

The ring road is clearly an area to be looked at here; an overall reduction in the number of HGVs using this and subsequently entering the city centre would increase cycle safety.

# Question 3

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

Joanna ANSCOMBE-BELL
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rod CANTRILL
(Liberal Democrat)

I would like to see steps to stop parking and waiting at or around school gates and make sure that these measures are enforced. I would welcome audits of cycling routes to schools (such as Newnham Croft) so that actions can be identified for improving the safety of the journey.

In Newnham, a key issue is the safety of the Newnham Road and Barton Road junction for families travelling to Newnham Croft. The County Council will undertake a feasibility study of the junction later this year.

Julia HARRISON
(Green Party)

For children cycling to school it is essential to provide safe cycle routes, separated from car traffic. Off road or protected, well-lit cycle lanes are needed.

Sam WOLFE
(Labour Party)

As many members will be aware, there exist a number of concerns on behalf of parents about cycle safety for school-children in Newnham. The Barton Road/Grantchester Street Junction and the Barton Road/Grange Road junction are especially dangerous for young cyclists, whilst frequent motorist speeding on Grange Road and Madingley Road, among others, leaves children unsafe when cycling to school.

Clearly the Council needs to address this issue, both in Newnham and across Cambridge. Re-enginerring junctions with safe demarcated cycle routes are part of the solution, as is the prioritisation of dedicated cycle-ways which have a physical barrier between them and the road. Although it could prove controversial, I would personally back a pilot study of closing roads immediately in the vicinity of schools to motorists at drop-off and pick-up time. I saw this work very well when living in Berlin and although it may require a change in mentality on the part of some, would improve safety here too.

# 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?

Joanna ANSCOMBE-BELL
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rod CANTRILL
(Liberal Democrat)

I would like to see further steps to increase the number of cycle racks beyond the ones currently being installed in the city centre. I would support an expansion of the grand arcade cycle park - taking capacity from the adjoining car park.

i would be happy to see on street car parking spaces converted to cycle parking - provided this did not impact blue badge parking.

Julia HARRISON
(Green Party)

I don't have a car, so I cycle everywhere and I know how difficult it can be to find a park. On the positive side it's great that so many of us cycle, but we do need more places to lock up our bikes. I'd support converting parts of some city centre car parks to cycle parking, while continuing to provide a good level of park and ride schemes for car drivers. It is also a good idea to encourage employers to provide secure cycle parking for their staff.

Sam WOLFE
(Labour Party)

We need to take a strategic approach to public transport and cycling provision in the city centre and moving away from a car-centric approach to one that pro-actively supports cycling and sustainable public transport is vital as our city grows.

I would be supportive of an approach that increased cycle parking in the centre at the expense of car-parking, particularly in light of the potential for new park and ride sites funded by City Deal funding.

Where possible we also need to make sure this cycle parking is secure. As those of us who park cycles at the station have frequently found out, a large body of cycles in Cambridge can attract thieves and it is the City Council's job to make their job as difficult as possible!

# 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?

Joanna ANSCOMBE-BELL
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rod CANTRILL
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes I would welcome this and as part of the exercise, the paths could be resurfaced.

Julia HARRISON
(Green Party)

I would support this initiative as long as, as suggested, this is undertaken sensitively. I would not want to spoil the pleasant atmosphere of the commons by having too much tarmac.

Sam WOLFE
(Labour Party)

I support this proposal and know that there might be scope for a small widening of the path in Lammas Land.

# 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?

Joanna ANSCOMBE-BELL
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rod CANTRILL
(Liberal Democrat)

i do support the scheme and its expansion to West Central. certain roads in West Central are already 20 mph.

I would welcome proactive enforcement for a period of time - either by the police or by vehicle activation signs - highlighting to vehicles when they are exceeding the limit.

if such steps failed to address the issue - then i would support further action such as temporary average speed camera for a fixed period of time

Julia HARRISON
(Green Party)

I would certainly back this idea, which has many benefits, from road safety to decreasing noise and environmental pollution. However I would want proper consultation with local people, as has taken place in the North of the city.

Sam WOLFE
(Labour Party)

I am fully committed to 20mph limits in the city and look forward to further work on implementing this for residential streets in Newnham. I believe that these limits should sit alongside physical traffic calming measures as well. The environmental impact of this two-pronged approach would be positive.

Simply advertising the limit is only half the story however, and I've been disappointed to see only limited enforcement of the restrictions elsewhere in the city. I'm keen to work with colleagues from across parties to get local police to put more of an emphasis on enforcement. This would certainly have an effect on roads such as Grange Road, where high speeds which regularly flout the existing limit create an environment which is dangerous to cyclists and pedestrians alike.

# Question 7

On-street residential cycle parking is being brought in on one street in Romsey following a campaign. This follows some on-street cycle parking installed near pubs. Do you support further on-street cycle parking in residential areas?

Joanna ANSCOMBE-BELL
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rod CANTRILL
(Liberal Democrat)

I do support on street cycle parking - but this needs to be undertaken sensitively with other demands on curb space. This is particularly the case in Newnham Croft where there is a high demand. I would want to avoid any steps that would impact the viability of the local shops in Newnham.

This could be something that is considered as part of the residents consultation of possible resident parking options that are being taken forward in Newnham at the moment.

Julia HARRISON
(Green Party)

I support this idea 100%, it is much fairer to distribute parking space a little by allocating some of the available space to cyclists. If we could provide a bike shed where residents (maybe for a small annual fee) could park their bikes securely, that would be even better.

Sam WOLFE
(Labour Party)

With Cambridge having the unenviable title of bike-theft capital of the UK, the City Council clearly has to prioritise building of secure cycle parking.

I've already asked County Council officers to explore this possibility for Newnham Croft, which would not only make cycling easier for residents but would also help our local shops. There is currently only a small amount of cycle storage by the CoOp and this vital infrastructure should be improved.

In Newnham and more generally in Cambridge, I'm of the view that the City Council needs to think more creatively about where storage is located. Residential storage should be a priority, as should increased storage in the city centre. It strikes me that there is a lot more potential for storage around local hubs such as pubs, sports and leisure facilities and community centres, however.

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.