Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (City), May 2014: Petersfield

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council in May 2014.
Polling date: Thursday 22nd May 2014
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Sarah Elizabeth BROWN  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN  (Conservative Party)
  • David Aubertin GRACE  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Matthew John HODGKINSON  (Green Party)
  • Richard ROBERTSON  (Labour Party)
  • Ann SINNOTT  (Labour Party)
  • Linda YEATMAN  (Conservative Party)

Questions for Petersfield 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?

Sarah Elizabeth BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

I support these schemes, There are no major roads in my ward wide enough to support protected space, apart the roads at the periphery (Hills Road, Newmarket Road, East Road), where I would support protected space. I think roads such as Fen Causeway and Trumpington Road, as well as other key ring road routes have sufficient space to implement schemes like this, and would support them going forward.

Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David Aubertin GRACE
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Matthew John HODGKINSON
(Green Party)

Yes, dedicated space on major roads for cyclists is definitely needed in Cambridge. Uninterrupted journeys and a reduction of conflict with cars and pedestrians would be welcome on these faster roads, and would encourage uptake of cycling for travel to work. Hills Road, at the south of my ward, is ideal for this as it is wide, as is Huntingdon Road. East Road, parts of Newmarket Road (both by my ward), Chesterton Road, Cherry Hinton Road, and Queen's Road are other possibilities. Parts of Milton Road are getting there, but could be improved.

Richard ROBERTSON
(Labour Party)

The basic concept is admirable and very welcome as it gives clear guidance to vehicles as to where they should be as well as enabling cyclists to have confidence in their road positioning. Hopefully it will clarify for drivers on side roads that they should give way to cyclists on the main road. It will certainly improve sight-lines for vehicles exiting side roads.

Although I support the idea of helping cyclists pass stationary buses safely there seem to be some problems with the island concept. If ways can be found to protect pedestrians exiting and accessing buses this idea too I would support.

Petersfield has no roads of sufficient width to allow for protected space within the ward though a survey should be made of Gonville Place and East Road on the border of the ward to see what might be possible.

Ann SINNOTT
(Labour Party)

I am fully in support of protected space on main roads that are wide enough. I only feel secure cycling on a main road where there is protected space and often dismount and walk my bike when a cycling lane is absent. Safety measures for cyclists are also needed at busy junctions.

Labour councillors will press the county council for a new ‘City Centre Transport Strategy’ and the use of City Deal funds to resolve the currently competing needs of road users and pedestrians – in the city, through the city and on routes into the city. Public transport improvements are essential to reduce car usage and ease congestion in the city.

The proposed plan for Hills Rd is novel and interesting; that passengers would have to walk across the cycling lane to mount a bus could well be problematic.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)

May I make my position absolutely clear at the start. I am in my 70s, and have a husband who has to use a wheelchair all the time, so I look at many of the transport facilities in Cambridge from a different perspective from you, but none the less a valid one. I have lived in Cambridge for 30 years, and for about the first 20 of those years I cycled whenever and wherever I could. But I am aware that while you wish to highlight the needs for cyclists, there are other groups of people who need their transport needs to be considered carefully by those planning how best we use our roads. I am very keen to join any lobby for increased bus services across the city, as this is so important for all those who cannot ride cycles for any number of reasons. And the bus pass for the elderly is very important.

To take the questions from your Survey:

This is important for cyclists. Petersfield Ward does not include any arterial roads in and out of the city. Mill Road is used by many cyclists, and there are recommended cycle routes to take cyclists away from this congested road, but not more can be done here than is already done, that I can see.

# 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?

Sarah Elizabeth BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

I would. Many of the residential streets in Petersfield ward are already closed to through motor traffic, although concerns exist around rat running near Tenison Road and New Street. These should be addressed.

Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David Aubertin GRACE
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Matthew John HODGKINSON
(Green Party)

The traffic gates in my ward that allow cycle traffic and emergency vehicles through, such as on Gwydir Street and between Kingston Street and Hooper Street, are very effective in reducing traffic in these residential streets. Some more use of this idea in other residential areas near major roads would be welcome, subject to local consultation.

Mill Road is used as a through route, but the street is heavily used by residents and shoppers on foot and bike. Crossing from Kingston Street to Devonshire Road to reach the rail station is unsafe and a crossing is needed there. Mill Road would benefit from traffic reduction, perhaps with a similar system to that in the city centre, especially on the Petersfield side and the Romsey side up to Coleridge Road - the Winter Fair transforms Mill Road, and gives an idea of what it might be like with reduced traffic.

Richard ROBERTSON
(Labour Party)

The Labour party was an early exponent of road closures when we campaigned and got them installed on Hooper St and Gwydir St around 1982. These improved the environment enormously and of course provided relatively quiet roads for cyclists living in and passing through the area. The concept should certainly be applied elsewhere in suitable locations.

Active investigation into providing more off-street cycle paths should also be prioritised and we are working on the development of the part of the Chisholm trail running north from the railway station under Mill Road bridge to Hooper St.

Ann SINNOTT
(Labour Party)

A former Petersfield Labour councillor successfully campaigned to stop a rat-run and have barriers installed in Gwydir St and Hooper/Kingston St – for residents they are a blessing! Where needed, I would support the same or similar measures in other parts of the city.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)

There are a number of roads in Petersfield where motor traffic cannot get through, and the barriers in these roads should be protected - not so much for the cyclists as to stop residents having their roads used as rat runs.

# Question 3

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

Sarah Elizabeth BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

Increased prohibition on parking and waiting near schools at opening and closing times, with a focus on enforcement. Encourage schools to offer cycle proficiency training to their pupils. While I do not generally favour dual use paths, I think there may be a case for them near to schools, especially primary schools, where appropriate.

We should do more to publicise safe cycling routes. Maps already exist of cycle routes in Cambridge, but maps with particular focuses on school routes would be useful.

Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David Aubertin GRACE
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Matthew John HODGKINSON
(Green Party)

I agree that Norfolk Street could be improved for cycling, which would make travel to St. Matthew's safer. Limiting parking to one side and introducing a cycle lane would improve the road. Some neighbouring streets such as St. Matthew's Street and Broad Street should have a clearer crossing point, and some roads need resurfacing – Vicarage Terrace is quite dangerous for younger children.

Parkside Federation has done amazingly well in encouraging students to cycle - the best rate in the country - but needs to provide more on-site parking so the cycles are secure and don't spill into neighbouring streets. St. Matthew's has made excellent efforts on parking provision.

Richard ROBERTSON
(Labour Party)

It is very important to encourage children to cycle and reduce the number of cars taking children to school. Cycling to school should be encouraged and related safe routes should be developed wherever possible. In some places this may involve some widening of paths and pavements and this would need to be done sensitively. See Q 5

Ann SINNOTT
(Labour Party)

Cycle lanes on school routes, with no-parking restrictions around school entrances, at least, and possible road closures.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)

I do not know enough about the routes that people might want to use to get to schools, and I think it is up to the schools and the school governors to lobby for those if local improvements can be made.

# 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?

Sarah Elizabeth BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

I would, and have argued for more of the Grand Arcade to be given over to cycle parking. Park street carpark is on the horizon for redevelopment and it should be designed with plentiful cycle parking in mind. We have added hundreds of new spaces in the city centre already, and we should continue this programme.

Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David Aubertin GRACE
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Matthew John HODGKINSON
(Green Party)

Cycle parking in the city centre is always insufficient. Parking bays do need to be kept for people who are disabled or have small children, and for loading and unloading, but it would be a good idea to replace some on-street car parking spaces with cycle bays. Market Square and Lion Yard need some cycle parking, and in general cycle parking should be as close as possible to shops and other destinations and not over-centralised. Some two-tier parking, as at the rail station, might be feasible in heavily used places.

Richard ROBERTSON
(Labour Party)

Where there is spare space in the car parks that too should be converted to cycle parking. However most cyclists prefer to be able to park their bike close to their destination so the emphasis must continue to be on finding appropriate space on pavements and roads in the city centre.

There are far too many bikes apparently abandoned, locked to cycle racks around the city and there should be a system to identify and remove them regularly all year round. This would probably be a much better solution than endlessly trying to identify more locaions for cycle racks.

Ann SINNOTT
(Labour Party)

On a case-by-case basis, I would support the conversion of some car spaces but not disability parking spaces. Subject to agreement, Labour councillors are committed to an expansion of secured cycle parking under the Grand Arcade. They will also press for City Deal funds to be used for the creation of a further city centre cycle park.

Broken abandoned bikes should also be routinely removed at regular intervals from city centre cycle racks.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)

I agree that there should be adequate cycle parking in the town centre, but I do not think that any car parking spaces should be removed for this purpose. Some wide pavements could be allocated for more cycle racks if necessary.

# 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?

Sarah Elizabeth BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, subject to adequate consultation of all users of the open spaces. I think the situation on Parker's Piece, between the "disco loos" and the crossing, where there is a separately marked cycleway is a blueprint for how this could be done elsewhere.

Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David Aubertin GRACE
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Matthew John HODGKINSON
(Green Party)

Yes, some of the paths do need resurfacing or replacing and widening such as across Jesus Green and some of the route down to Grantchester. Parker's Piece needs resurfacing again. Mill Road Cemetery is a popular cycle route for families and improvements to the often-potholed paths should be considered.

Richard ROBERTSON
(Labour Party)

Some of the paths across commons and greens are very heavily used by cyclists and pedestrians and you are right that we need to find ways to reduce the resultant conflict. However you are also right that this would need to be done very sensitively. We have to ensure that we don’t end up tarmacking over too much of the grass and destroying the very environment we seek to maintain.

Ann SINNOTT
(Labour Party)

Conflict between pedestrians and cyclists is a pressing issue on roads, pavements and green spaces.

I would support sensitive widening of paths. Cycle-lanes on paths in green spaces would also help.

Structural changes will certainly help ease tensions but more is needed. I applaud Cam-Cycle’s efforts to tackle inconsiderate cyclists (a troublesome minority) and pavement riding. With a large new influx of students every year (some proportion from non-cycling locations), it seems to me that the city’s universities should undertake similar measures to help their students adapt and become safe, considerate cyclists.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)

There are not enough green spaces in Petersfield where cycle facilities could be improved. This question is for other wards. I am in principle against cycles dominating green spaces where people want to walk without fear of being knocked over by cyclists coming from behind. Dog Walkers and people who enjoy being out on their feet should have priority In green spaces

# 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?

Sarah Elizabeth BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

It was my motion to full Council which set the city-wide 20mph project in progress, and I am proud to see implementation proceeding. I'd like to see it finished. I understand the police are reluctant to do much enforcement of 20 limits, partially because they don't feel the have adequate penalties available to them. I would push the police to engage in selective enforcement, and lobby our local MPs for a change in the enforcement powers available to make them more appropriate for 20mph areas (perhaps including speed cameras set to trigger at 24mph, which I understand is not currently something they can do).

Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David Aubertin GRACE
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Matthew John HODGKINSON
(Green Party)

The Green Party supports introducing 20mph zones in residential areas where there is support from residents. I was generally in support of the 20mph zone in the East area consultation, though not for all of the additional main roads that were suggested. The limit will never be 100% enforceable and the police will inevitably give some leeway, but any reduction in speed that is achieved by the introduction of 20mph limits will help reduce the risk of accidents and the seriousness of the injuries. A soft compliance measure that may work are the electronic signs that show motorists their speed, or flash 'slow down' when they are exceeding the limit, and clear marking, including on road surfaces, will also help. Beyond 20mph zones, 'Home zones' or shared space schemes that redesign residential streets to favour pedestrians, cyclists, and children playing would also help improve safety.

Richard ROBERTSON
(Labour Party)

There have been 20 mph limits in parts of Petersfield for some time and it has helped reduce the general speed of traffic and make life safer for cyclists and pedestrians though it is also clear that many motorists do not respect the limit. Extending the scheme across the whole city should help shift drivers into automatically driving more slowly at all times and help in those areas already subject to the lower limit.

The way the police are reported to have allowed a grace period and then started issuing tickets to enforce the 20mph limit seems to be the way to enforce it though this will need to be maintained and not just applied in the first few months of the scheme.

Ann SINNOTT
(Labour Party)

I approve of the scheme and would support extension throughout the city. I would also like it extended to narrow main roads, eg Victoria Road in West Chesterton. To ensure compliance: (i) clear and prominent signage, including on routes into the city, is essential (ii) traffic-activated speed signs on selected roads (iii) police vigilance with penalty tickets issued to offenders

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)

I am in favour of the 20mph speed limit being extended to residential streets across the Clty, but more for protection of pedestrians than to facilitate cyclists’ use.

# 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?

Sarah Elizabeth BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

I do, but there are provisos. The residential streets in Petersfield are cramped, and car ownership is high. There is often competition for spaces. Removing spaces for cars, especially around areas such as pubs and shops, is one half of a strategy to encourage more people to switch modes, as bikes can make much more efficient use of the spaces than cars can. The other half includes working with the car club (i.e. Zipcar) to get more vehicles in Cambridge and make car ownership feel like less a need for people living in these narrow streets. This has to be managed alongside consulting residents.

Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
David Aubertin GRACE
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Matthew John HODGKINSON
(Green Party)

I liked the introduction of the cycle bay outside the Kingston Arms. Mill Road and its side streets especially need more cycle parking wherever it can fit. Generally, the council and developers need to consider cycle parking for residents and visitors for any new developments, but on-street parking in residential areas is an obvious solution for some existing housing, especially with the narrow pavements of many of Petersfield's streets often being partly blocked by bins and bikes. Some raised wall-mounted cycle racks or simple wall loops could also be tried, as they can save space.

Richard ROBERTSON
(Labour Party)

I would certainly support the provision of on-street cycle parking and this has recently been achieved in Mawson Road and Kingston St in Petersfield ward. We are looking for more possible sites in the ward and I support this being done in other residential streets elsewhere.

Ann SINNOTT
(Labour Party)

Cycle racks outside pubs in Petersfield were secured by Petersfield’s Labour county councillor – other potential locations are being sought. On a case-by-case basis, I would support cycle racks in residential streets provided the views of residents was sought and a majority were in favour – as was the case in Romsey.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)

l think that pedestrians, mothers with push chairs, elderly with electric buggies need free access along pavements, and to have the way blocked by cycle racks would not be in the general interest.

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[The candidate added the following additional comments:]

I would urge that anything you do for cyclists should be underlined by urging cyclists to:
- obey the Highway Code,
- not jump lights, even if they think there is no traffic in sight,
- that they all have a loud bell which they can ring if coming up behind pedestrians on pavements or paths
- use adequate front and rear lights.

I would like to see cycles in cities like Cambridge have compulsory licenses, so that dangerous cyclists can be traced and prosecuted if they are seen to flagrantly behave in a way that in inconsiderate or dangerous to pedestrians or car drivers.

I am sorry if you cannot use my replies in the way you might hope in your campaign for better facilities for cycles.

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.