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Question 2 - we asked:

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?

We asked this question in all 14 wards, namely: Abbey, Arbury, Castle, Cherry Hinton, Coleridge, East Chesterton, King's Hedges, Market, Newnham, Petersfield, Queen Edith's, Romsey, Trumpington, West Chesterton.

52 of the 62 candidates (84%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

(Conservative Party)

I think we should wage a war for good, safe cycling, not against cars. I fear that poor planning can concentrate ever more traffic onto fewer and fewer roads. We must accept that people in Cambridge are often car dependent for work and family reasons. At the same time, the ideal for local safety, and local and global pollution is more cycling and less driving.

(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

(Conservative Party)

These measures need to be approached on a case by case basis, with attention given to specific instances where this might or might not be appropriate and/or needed. In addition, the proposed measures should be examined in light of the effect they would have on the wider area, as well as taking into account the views of local residents.

(Conservative Party)

I support this idea in its current form.

Timothy James HAIRE
(Conservative Party)

I think when residents want these schemes I am b5roadly supportive of them. Although we have to be careful not to just shift the traffic problem elsewhere.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(Conservative Party)

No, I think there has already been too much blocking of roads. It's time to take a longer term look at Cambridge's roads as an entire network, expanding on one-way-systems with filter lanes and removing (or demoting to part-time) redundant traffic lights. These one-way systems could free-up part of the road for a Protected Space for cyclists. We also need to look at more innovative crossings such as underpasses or bridges whilst maintaining and improving the cycle network.

Daniel Jacob JOHN
(Conservative Party)

I think the removal of through traffic can be positive in certain situations but it is highly dependent on the area.

Simon LEE
(Conservative Party)

Its a fine balance, I think more phasing of traffic lights at peak times more CCTV to catch offenders, re organisation of road junctions to suit all, a re assessment of roads that are currently closed to traffic might make sense to open these during peak times.
Bus lanes open to all after lunch on Sat Sun all day and some reserved for Bus and cycles only, but defiantly more dedicated cycle paths away from traffic. A train station at the Science Park.

(Conservative Party)

I would suggest it was a good idea to close the city centre from regent st between 10am and 3.00pm thiswould allow parents to pick up children before and after

(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.

(Green Party)

Yes, so many streets are narrow and houses close together, that "access only" for motor vehicles is the only way to make them safe and to improve the quality of life for residents.

Joel Henry CHALFEN
(Green Party)

PLEASE NOTE: I have only just received this questionnaire.

These are very worthwhile measures in my opinion. The sooner the City can change people's expectation that we can take our car door-to-door and that the City is a car park the better. More importantly still, these measures dissuade the use of cars for quick, local journeys. Businesses (as well as public bodies) have a large role to play in supporting this and this kind of physical barrier cannot happen in isolation. But certainly residential streets are better for them. The next stage is ongoing investment along main routes helping those who have longer journeys to use the city.

Maximillian FRIES
(Green Party)

I fully support exclusion of motor traffic from residential areas for all those motorists that do not live or work there. Coming from a small town with little traffic myself, I know how great it is for parents and kids just to open the door and play on the street. In the future I would like to see a general reduction of motor traffic in all parts of Cambridge which only can achieve by improving public transport in and around Cambridge and to make it more affordable. Encouraging commuters to use public transport rather than their cars e.g. by a measure like the congestion charge in London are options that I am generally in favour of.

(Green Party)

I support the use of gates/bollards to stop motor vehicles using residential streets as rat runs. My concert about bollards is that motor cyclists may be more inclined to drive through than they are with gates. I would suggest looking at each point where this might be suitable and assessing each individually. It might be possible to use careful landscaping to reduce the gap to discourage motor bikes.

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.

(Green Party)

I agree wholeheartedly with this idea for residential areas.

(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.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Yes, I suppose Carlyle Rd is a case in point - but one has to be careful and selective.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

Restrictions on motor traffic are welcome. However it should go hand in hand with reduced car ownership. The greatest blight on our environment is the streets choked with parked cars. Did you know that a typical car spends 95% of its (very expensive ) life standing still? What a shocking waste of resources and road space.

Michael Philip POTTER
(Green Party)

Removing through motor traffic is a very good thing where possible, I support the idea where I can, and even support cycle free streets in some circumstances. Due to apparent lacks in past planning, and our transport needs not being catered for basically in a more community friendly way, it is difficult to fully consider how to work with residents who do not know how to manage without cars. If elected I would be pleased to work with other councillors and public consultations and experts on ways to reduce traffic and pollution, noise and danger.

Marie-Louise HOLLAND

A tipping point has been reached in areas of Castle ward. Previously it seemed reasonable that commuters coming into the city could park easily in residential streets, however, this has now reached unsustainable levels. Storey's Way has parking commuter parking on BOTH sides of the street now which is forcing cyclists on to the pavements and making egress for residents difficult and dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians.

Carisbrooke, Warwick and other roads on the Macmanus Estate are also experiencing this informal park and ride arrangement. The hazards in this area are commuters parking inconsiderately on corners and in such a way that the safety of pedestrians, cyclists (particularly school children) is compromised.

A park and ride site is needed to serve motorists who access the city via the Huntingdon Road, also Histon Road. Lorries should be routed away from residential streets when they come off A14. Better public transport provision is needed on this side of the city to the railway station in order to reduce the dependency on cars to access the station/hospital.
There are many advantages to restricting motor traffic through residential streets, provided sufficient public transport options and park and ride sites are provided.

the dragon fairy PUFFLES

For me, this is a 'yes-but'.

I like the idea of removing through-motor traffic where for example it's part of creating longer cycle and pedestrian routes, or where there is a danger to young children outside primary schools.

At the same time, some caution has to be used if police can demonstrate that such schemes might make law enforcement more of an issue. But that is just as much of a public planning issue in 'designing out crime' in housing developments as a transport issue.

Again, I'd like to see us move away from 'piecemeal' schemes to city-wide ones that can have a greater positive cumulative impact that make both cycling and walking safer and more pleasurable, rather than just making things awkward for the motorist in the hope it will put the latter off driving.


As long as through routes for bicycles are maintained then this is one possibility for improving the quality of life in side roads and rat runs. There are few examples in Kings Hedges, but Lovell Road and Ramsden Square spring to mind as places where closing the road half-way or making it one way will reduce/remove the use as rat runs. However, it is necessary to look at the overall picture and produce a fully inter-connected transport policy rather than piece-meal bits of improvements.

(Labour Party)

Increasing the number of one way streets may be a way forward.
There needs to be a debate about this street by street with a Czar responsible for coordination.
We need to involve people and win the argument.
Protecting cyclists will inevitably lead to more people giving up cars and cycling thus reducing traffic and increasing safety at the same time.
We need to bring on board the next generation so that they automatically default to using a bike but for parents to encourage this we need safe routes!
Win Win. :)

(Labour Party)

In the City Centre, I can see the use.
In Queen Edith's it would be more problematical.
I know residents in Sedley-Taylor and Luard Roads are fed up with being used as a rat-run. I guess we could explore the feasibility of some sort of barrier between the two.

(Labour Party)

I want to see integrated reviews of main routes, a review of car restrictions on selected residential streets, and a review of roads near the Inner Ring Road. I want more space for protected cycle routes, pedestrians and additional bus routes in the city centre, not easy with the limited road space. Labour Councillors will specifically ask that the county council develop a new ‘City Centre Transport Strategy’ including
- reviewing the Inner Ring Road
- pressing for City Deal money to be spent on better junctions and investment that increases travel into and around Cambridge by bus, cycle and foot instead of cars, and
- reducing the number of HGVs needing to use the Inner Ring Road.

(Labour Party)

'Rat-running is a big problem; so I guess it would depend on the area - on some roads it could work very well on this others not so well - there is not a 'one size fits all' solution here: I would agree that speed in residential areas is a huge problem and I would say that schemes to reduce the speed of vehicles (and perhaps access) making safer environment for all road users including cycles, the elderly and young children and restrict speeding and rat running has got to be a good thing.

Charlotte PERRY
(Labour Party)

I would certainly like to encourage a review of the traffic in residential streets that takes into account the views of residents and cyclists. I believe that a clear strategy on traffic and rationalising junctions between main roads and residential streets would also be of great benefit to cyclists.

(Labour Party)

The historic city centre streets are not suited to high levels of through traffic and congestion is already too severe. I want to see the development of a City Centre Transport Strategy that would encourage more journeys being made by bike, bus or on foot and will add my voice to Labour colleagues if elected. The City Deal monies present an opportunity to improve junctions and safer routes for both cyclists and pedestrians. I support the closing of streets at certain points to stop rat-running as long as we do not inadvertently create access issues for less mobile residents.

(Labour Party)

I would like to see motor traffic restrictions expanded in residential streets. Increasing the number of one way streets and reducing the road space for cars to make room for protected cycle routes should become a city wide consideration, subject to GETTING THE DETAIL RIGHT. Such schemes should be investigated for rat-runs such as those in the Canterbury/Benson/Priory and Windsor/Oxford areas.

As a Labour councillor I will support:
- reviewing the Inner Ring Road
- pressing for City Deal money to be spent on better junctions and investment that increases travel into and around Cambridge by bus, cycle and foot instead of cars, and
- reducing the no of HGVs needing to use the Inner Ring Road

(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.

(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.

(Labour Party)

I would like to see motor traffic restrictions expanded in residential streets. Increasing the number of one way streets and reducing the road space for cars to make room for protected cycle routes should become a city wide consideration, subject to getting the detail right.

Labour Councillors will also propose that the county council develop a new ‘City Centre Transport Strategy’ including:
- reviewing the Inner Ring Road
- pressing for City Deal money to be spent on better junctions and investment that increases travel into and around Cambridge by bus, cycle and foot instead of cars, and
- reducing the no of HGVs needing to use the Inner Ring Road.
This is particularly an issue in Victoria Road and Mitcham's Corner.

(Labour Party)

Yes I am in favour of more motor traffic restrictions in residential streets

(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.

Martin SMART
(Labour Party)

Would like to see motor traffic restrictions expanded in residential streets. Increasing the number of one way streets and reducing the road space for cars to make room for protected cycle routes should become a city wide consideration, subject to getting the detail right.

(Labour Party)

I think this needs to be thoroughly reviewed. I want to see integrated reviews of the main routes in Cambridge. Time restrictions could be set up to allow traffic to pass through in off peak hours is also an option worth considering. I would also like to see a review of the city ring road which is dated and is not up to scratch for modern times. We need investment from central government and we hope to receive money as part of the city deal which is up for discussion in the coming months .

(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.

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

Support. A further closure of drummer st is required to cut out rat running by cars. Bollards are needed. This will both improve bus flow and make it easier and safer for cyclists.

Ysanne Margaret AUSTIN
(Liberal Democrat)

I would want to consider streets on a case by case basis. I appreciate the safety and environmental advantages of no cars but am concerned about practical issues which might arise particularly for older people needing to access services, friends and family. It will be interesting to evaluate the effectiveness of the new 20mph speed limits and assessing whether it resolves many of the road problems.

Nicholas Brian AVERY
(Liberal Democrat)

If we were designing a modern city centre from scratch then we would place good car parking facilities outside a central ring which can be accessed only by bus, bike or on foot with exceptions for residents and traders needing access. Obviously, our city doesn’t look like that but, in principle, we should try and adopt solutions that move in that general direction where possible. A few rat-runs exist in North Newtown (around Panton Street, for example) that might well benefit from restrictions on motor vehicles at certain times of day, although it seems unlikely that closing roads completely is practical there given, for example, the high density of schools. Given that these streets serve different purposes at different times and on different days, perhaps different rules might apply - at weekends, for example.

Fergus BLAIR
(Liberal Democrat)

There are several streets in Castle where residents have reported issues with through traffic; in particular, Canterbury Street and Carisbrooke Road. I think having the option to close such streets to through traffic is important, but it is just one of many options for dealing with these problems.

There are other traffic calming measures – such as pinch points – that also need to be considered. In some cases these less extreme measures may be able to solve the problem without having as drastic an effect on the residents in the surrounding area as closing the road would. As such, they should be explored first. However, in cases where such measures genuinely cannot stop these roads from being used as a rat run, closing them to motor vehicles may be needed.

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.

(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.

(Liberal Democrat)

I don't think this can be answered one way or the other in general. There is a danger that blocking some roads would just generate more traffic on other, already busy, roads, such as Coldham's Lane and the High Street.

(Liberal Democrat)

As a public health doctor it is clear to me that reducing through motor traffic has many benefits including reduced local air pollution, slowing traffic within residential areas, reducing potential harm to all, but especially vulnerable old and the young.

(Liberal Democrat)

In general, solutions that completely separate motor and cycle/pedestrian traffic (i.e. removing through motor traffic) are my first choice, creating one route for cars and another for more vulnerable traffic although this can be much harder to achieve than simply creating protected space. The route along the river provides the best example of traffic separation, including Riverside Bridge and Cutter Ferry but there are numerous existing small "cut-throughs" that could be better advertised for both pedestrians and cyclists.

The Liberal Democrat policy enacted by the County Council to allow experimental, time-limited highway schemes, as has been implemented in New York, will help deal with some of the "what if..." worries people may have over proposals to close a road permanently.

Colin Richard ROSENSTIEL
(Liberal Democrat)

All such requests have already been implemented in the city centre but new possibilities do occur and two such schemes in Market Ward are in the pipeline for the coming year at my initiative, at Prospect Row/Elm St and a weight limit in King St.

Paul Stuart SAUNDERS
(Liberal Democrat)

This approach has been very successful in the City Centre. Romsey has measures to prevent larger through-traffic of trucks in some areas but still suffers from a significant volume of other traffic using rat-runs. But local residents opinions must be respected. Are there not other approaches for side streets? I'd like to see more home zone and shared spaces. Not necessarily banning cars but putting them further down the hierarchy in residential streets.

(Liberal Democrat)

Regarding the city centre, I think the restrictions work. I do think we need to deal with north/south motor transport capacity issues. A guided-busway link from the new Science Park station across to Newmarket Road could help. We need some circular routes for buses without everything going via the center.

Residential schemes certainly help reclaim communities for cycling walking and even community events. I support those that exist and would consider others on their merits.

(Liberal Democrat)

I support removing through motor traffic where this has the support of local residents and is not simply going to shift problems onto other people nearby, particular if in shifting problems they’re made worse.

(UK Independence Party)

No, no.
Motorists pay for the roads cyclists don't.

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.