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Question 4 - we asked:

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?

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)

Yes, alongside a crack down on abandoned or long term parked cycles, and provided it can be done cost effectively. I would also be keen to explore whether, as with parking charges, there would be benefits to businesses of better cycling infrastructure.

(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

(Conservative Party)

Yes, agree with this, I am sure I am not the only one who frequently has trouble finding a spot for their bike in town. This should be done alongside other measures, such as promoting the use of park and ride facilities to ensure that shops in the centre are not negatively affected by reduced footfall.

(Conservative Party)

I would be inclined to support this measure in part because it would hopefully encourage people to leave their cars at home and cycle into the city centre, having a positive impact on levels of congestion as well as the associated environmental considerations. Anybody cycling in the city centre is aware of the shortage of cycle parking and any improvement that could be made to this situation would no doubt be welcome.

Timothy James HAIRE
(Conservative Party)

Cambridge town centre and the city in general suffers from a lack of cycle parking spaces and both councils need to up there game here both through the planning process and providing extra parking spaces on land that they are responsible for.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(Conservative Party)

Yes, certainly. The basement level of Park Street car park is a good example. People coming in to Cambridge to shop should be using the Park & Ride wherever possible. I would like to see "Boris Bikes" at the Park and Ride sites as well.

Daniel Jacob JOHN
(Conservative Party)

I support greater cycle parking in the Cambridge city centre though I would need to see data on car park utilisation before suggesting that car parking should be reduced.

I would be keen to research how often cycle parks are swept for abandoned cycles to keep parking as free as possible.

I would also want to consider double height cycle parking similar to that used at the station where it could be in keeping with the local architecture.

Simon LEE
(Conservative Party)

No this I don't agree with, I personally think we could use some of Parkers Piece around the edges, the train station has so much unused space used for staff parking, utilise this or a larger car and cycle park, the station is a mess and dangerous. Planners on new builds should be thinking about space for cycles enforced by local council.

(Conservative Party)

I dont believe the council has looked into underground cycle parking with automatic retrieval of bycicles

(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.

(Green Party)

Yes,and if motor vehicles are not able to drive through the centre, that would free up some of the car parks

Joel Henry CHALFEN
(Green Party)

PLEASE NOTE: I have only just received this questionnaire.

Yes, there does need to be more cycle parking and yes, I would support converting car parking spaces. Whilst we are still moving towards getting people out of their cars, it is difficult to compromise the advantages of cycling by creating less convenient cycle parks. Having more banks of cycle stands and rails dotted round is still possible. At the same time, the pressure on the City to keep up with its use makes this improvements appear to be cosmetic changes over a deeper issue. At this stage, I do not have an answer to this but would like to engage with those who know more.

Maximillian FRIES
(Green Party)

Yes, I would absolutely support this. With a good park-ride-bus system and at least in the centre a good bus system in general, there should be no need to travel by car directly into the centre, especially for leisure activities. This space can then be freed for cycle parking.

(Green Party)

I am in favour of increasing cycle parking in the city centre as this is my main means of transport and I frequently find I am unable to get to appointments on time due to parking problems. I favour increased cycle parking in areas such as Sidney Street next to Lakelands and Rymans. Also along the pavement by John Lewis. And tarmac areas around the edge of green spaces where there is additional space not used by pedestrians. There are bound to be other areas which I do not frequent on a regular basis where this is also an issue. I also feel there are areas where cycle parking facilities could be SMARTer e.g. some of the older cycle racks may not be positioned as well as they could be or use outdated cycle wheel pinch type racks that can damage wheels. I would favour special cycle parking for older people and those with disabilities favouring a cycle blue badge system for those who are unable to walk far and need to park close to their destination or have limited hand function and find difficulty in carrying items to their bicycles. Safe cycle parking for parents with wide bicycles or those with trailers.

Increased underground and multi-storey cycle parking would help to alleviate parking problems in some areas and with consideration of the use of current car-parking to be used for bicycles.

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.

(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.

(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.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)


Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

I generally manage to find somewhere in town but more cycle parking is desirable. Extra provision at Drummer Street is now viable with easy walking through Christ's Lane.
A cycle park under the market square would be most desirable - perhaps it could be done using a cut and cover technique without too much disruption?

Michael Philip POTTER
(Green Party)

It does seem that cycle parking might best be prioritised in the city centre. Park and ride schemes might need improving to facilitate the problem people have with shopping loads, since I imagine nowadays many car users have become dependent on car assited shopping to deal with the weekly shopping load. Maybe there is room for some sort of local council run delivery system to replace the need for car boots. Could the park and ride scheme be upgraded somehow to help shoppers deal with getting loads back to their cars? Similarly, I feel that rubbish collection of large items which is another situation where car ownership seems to some desirable, should be something that is local council funded with no charges for the residents who are obliged to get rid of old furniture etc.

Marie-Louise HOLLAND

There used to be a basement bike park in the Guildhall which was not available to the public.
What about an underground car park beneath the market square and incorporating the basement of the Guildhall. I assume cycle parking would remain free?

the dragon fairy PUFFLES

1) Yes - but in combination with safer routes into and out of the city as well as cheaper bus access. Remember it's the modal change from car to other forms of transport we want.

2) Again, I feel that we could run this as part of a large community transport planning day, asking residents and students where they think we could have new cycling spaces. Where are the places they go to regularly that could really do with increased cycling provision? While I have my ideas (such as increasing the space at Parkers Piece), I want both the process and the numbers of people taking part to give much greater legitimacy in the minds of citizens. This would avoid accusations that local authorities were responding to a well-organised campaign group. I think this would also allow the Cycling Campaign to reach out to new, younger audiences too.


Yes. I would like to see better designed bicycle racks so that more than 2 bikes can use each hoop. I would also like parking time limits on bike racks so that dumped bicycles can be removed more quickly freeing up space for genuine cyclists.

(Labour Party)

Making cycling safer is key here. I have been involved in one of these schemes and they are antagonistic. People need to be convinced and this can be done by proper consultation.
If we make cycling safer and get more people onto bikes then car use decreases and should lead to a reduction of cars as people realise they dont need a second car or stop having a car at all. Space then will materialise to create bike parks but it is very much a chicken and egg and people need to be convinced that it is safe to ride to work/shop/play/school.
More Bike parks are needed everywhere full stop.
Strategically placed bike racks could stop people driving onto the pavement and we should perhaps have a trial of this.

(Labour Party)

Difficult balance. We don't want to discourage visitors or residents of South Cambridgeshire district from shopping in Cambridge. I'd certainly support more cycle parking places - I have difficulty finding one sometimes. Secure dry parking under the Arcade is very good practice.

(Labour Party)

It is great that there will be a new 3,000 capacity cycle parking facility at the Rail Station, after a debate involving the Cycling Campaign and Councillors for well over 5 years, and now a start date of September 2014, with opening we hope in December 2015.

After full consultation with residents and businesses, some car parking spaces may be sacrificed for cycle parking but access and parking for disabled people must be protected. Reduced cars in the city centre would free up more space for cycle parking.

We are also committed to expanding the secure cycle parking facility under the Grand Arcade, subject to detail beeing resolved and agreement reached with Grand Arcade and others affected, and to seeking an extra location for a further City Centre cycle park given that City Deal funding is potentially available.
Measures to stop secure cycle parks ‘silting up’ will be needed. They should be used for a day or two, not to leave bikes for a month or more.

(Labour Party)

If there were sufficent 'safe-routes' to get to the town cenre and back again from all over the city where people felt they could safely cycle in then I would have no problem with that; a problem I see is that many people simply don't feel confident enough to cycle in so they use their car - the two have to go together - one without the other can be problamatic, we need safer routs and then good secure parking when they get there.

Charlotte PERRY
(Labour Party)

The amount of cycle parking in the city will soon increase when a 3000 capacity bike park is opened at the railway station. In the city centre both car parking and cycle parking are at a premium and it is important that disabled people and businesses are not disadvantaged by changes made to parking, so a new cycle park at the grand arcade would have the benefit of allowing car space to remain whilst allowing more space for bikes. Increased measures, if sensitively managed, to prevent public cycle parks becoming dumping grounds for unwanted bikes or used for very long periods of time so that others cannot park there would be a good thing for those who wish to travel into the city centre by bike.

(Labour Party)

Although the cycle park at the station is not predicted to be opened until the end of 2015 at the earliest the extra 3,000 capacity this will provide is great news. I support the plan to convert some car bays to cycle parking at the Grand Arcade and we will investigate sites for a potential second central cycle park.

(Labour Party)

I fully support cycle, pedestrian and disabled friendly town centres - with provision of innovative public transport so that all people can MORE CONVENIENTLY do their shopping and business.

(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.

(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.

(Labour Party)

Great that there will be a new 3,000 capacity cycle parking facility at the Rail Station: pity it cannot be built sooner! Labour Councillors have uncovered that the start date is September 2014, with opening we hope in December 2015.

After full consultation with residents and businesses, some car parking spaces may be sacrificed for cycle parking. But parking for disabled must be protected. If there is a trend to restrict motor traffic access to the City, creating car-free, pedestrian and cycle only zones in the city centre, the consequence of this should be more space available for cycle parking.

We are also committed to expanding the secured cycle parking facility under the Grand Arcade, subject to detailed agreement with Grand Arcade and others affected, and to seeking an extra location for a further City Centre cycle park if City Deal funding is available…. Current city centre cycle parking is often full to capacity , a clear sign of unmet demand.
Measures to stop secure cycle parks ‘silting up’ will be needed. They should be used for a day or two, not to leave bikes for a month or more.

(Labour Party)

After full consultation with residents and businesses, it may be necessary to replace some car parking spaces with cycle parking spaces, but disabled parking spots must be protected. I support the secured parking scheme in the Grand Arcade, and would be keen on more such facilities if City Deal funding is available. Given how packed existing cycle parking spaces are, there is clearly a need for more. Cycle parking spaces will need to be carefully monitored to make sure they don't get clogged up with abandonned bikes.

(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.

Martin SMART
(Labour Party)

After full consultation with residents and businesses, some car parking spaces may be sacrificed for cycle parking. But parking for disabled must be protected. If there is a trend to restrict motor traffic access to the City, creating car-free, pedestrian and cycle only zones in the city centre, the consequence of this should be more space available for cycle parking.

(Labour Party)

As a cycling city we are already committed to cyclists in the city centre. I am particularly delighted to see a new 3000 cycle parking facility outside the train station. It is hoped that this will be open by December of next year. Reducing the amount of traffic in the city centre will also help with the number of cycling spaces in the town. After consultation with residents and businesses some parking spaces could be used however parking for disabled people must be protected.

(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!

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

Support. For each car space some 8/10 cycles can be parked. Remove 20 car park spaces, promote and monitor.
Some car parking spaces in residential streets can be turned into cycle parking. The public have supported this trial in Romsey.

Ysanne Margaret AUSTIN
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, possibly, though it depends on what spaces were proposed to be converted for cycle parking. I would want to look at this on a case by case basis. More cycle parking is needed at particularly busy spots like the station, bus depot, cinema, theatre, and some central areas. Undercover and secure parking would be ideal at the station where bikes are left all day. It seems cyclists often prefer to cycle to the location rather than park and walk. More cycle parking is needed at particularly busy spots like the station, bus depot, market, cinema and theatre. Undercover and secure parking would be ideal at the station where bikes are left all day. It seems cyclists often prefer to cycle to the location rather than park and walk. The Park Street cycle park is undercover, safe and free and often has spaces. Maybe we need a change in cyclists culture and better promotion bike parking locations. Some of the cycle racks are poor design or badly positioned so not used. In some cities attractive and varied bike racks are a feature not just a functional piece of metal. Underground storage could also be considered.

Nicholas Brian AVERY
(Liberal Democrat)

The Grand Arcade cycle park is my bike park of choice. Its clear that there is appetite for more cycle parking throughout the city centre and converting space in the existing car parks would appear to be a good option and I would favour that over taking away extensive amounts of on-street car parking. I would be interested in understanding the extent to which the on-pavement cycle racks have become medium to long term storage solutions for cycle owners in the city centre rather than parking available for people traveling in and out on a regular basis.

Fergus BLAIR
(Liberal Democrat)

I think in recent years, the Council has done a good job of increasing the amount of cycle parking in the city centre, but there is certainly more to be done here. A lot of car parking is already being converted to cycle parking, and there may be room for more to be done there.

However, a lot of the parking bays in the city centre are for disabled parking, and obviously we need to make sure that there are adequate provisions for disabled motorists as well as cyclists. This is why I think we should be looking for more long-term solutions for cycle parking issues.

For instance, many large cities – Tokyo, for example – have successfully implemented automated underground cycle parking. Given the concentration of cyclists in Cambridge, this is potentially something that should be looked into. Another idea would be to provide grants to local businesses and employers to build cycle parking on their property, so commuters don’t have to park on the streets.

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.

(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.

(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
(Liberal Democrat)

Disabled parking bays and drop-off and pick-up locations are important for disabled individuals and loading larger items. Otherwise there is no reason, in non-residential areas near the City centre, to provide much on street parking so cycle parking could readily be increased. Clearly there are not enough safe cycle lock-up points in the City centre.

(Liberal Democrat)

Converting car spaces to cycle parking, particularly in existing multi-storey car parks, is certainly something that can be done. However, one of the more convenient aspects of cycling is able to park closer to your destination and there may not always be a car space that can be converted. As well as using public land to provide cycle parking spaces, planning requirements can be used to ensure adequate cycle parking is provided by private business too - both in the centre of Cambridge and elsewhere near shops and businesses city-wide.

Colin Richard ROSENSTIEL
(Liberal Democrat)

A balance had to be maintained where car parking is in very short supply, as in the Kite, but opportunities for extra cycle parking should be explored there, e.g. in spare space in Adam and Eve Street car park.

Paul Stuart SAUNDERS
(Liberal Democrat)

One of the great attractions of cycling is that you can do it point-to-point unlike a car where there is, invariably, still a walk once you have eventually parked. It's what makes city cycling faster than driving.
The current scheme to increase cycle parking across the city centre is therefore very welcome. But the secure central bike parking also has it's place, much better for the long-stayer or commuter. We need both types. I would support converting some parking for cycle use, BUT if we are to reduce car parking we must also improve public transport! These things do not exist in isolation of each other.

(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, where other options don't exist. I'd also support using video surveillance of cycle parking to facilitate the rapid removal of abandoned bikes. City centre cycle parking should be short term to get the best use of the space.

(Liberal Democrat)

My project to put an additional 600 on street bicycle parking spaces into the city centre, which is currently being implemented, already does replace some car parking spaces with bicycle parking spaces, and my project to expand the Grand Arcade bike park will do more of the same.

I think we need to wait until these two projects have been completed to see what remaining un-met demand there is in the city centre, and whether problems arise such as the parking spaces silting up with long term bicycle storage rather than being used for short term visitors to the city centre.

Outside the city centre, I have watched with some bemusement the efforts of councillors to provide a tiny number of bike parking spaces, at the cost of an even tinier number of car parking spaces. Whilst I do not in principle like the idea of area committees being dictated to by the centre, and would not seek to do so, if I retain my current position after the election I plan, when funding allows (which it will sooner or later for a one-off capital project), to put in place cash and a policy framework to enable area committees to put in large numbers of bike parking spaces as a matter of routine, rather than having to agonise over each handful of spaces as a special case.

(UK Independence Party)

No. Most car parking is in multi-story car parks anyway.

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.