Elections

2015 City Council election: Arbury

Summary: 2015 elections to Cambridge City Council
Polling date: Thursday 7th May 2015
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON  (Conservative Party)
  • Celia Margaret CONWAY  (UK Independence Party)
  • Stephen Roger LAWRENCE  (Green Party)
  • Carina O'REILLY  (Labour Party)
  • Tim WARD  (Liberal Democrat)

Questions for Arbury ward candidates (7 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7 

# Question 1

Cambridge Cycling Campaign has created a guide to cycling best-practice called Making Space For Cycling, endorsed by all national cycling organisations. Do you fully support this guide, and if so, what one principle in it do you think could most effectively be applied in your ward?

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

Broadly supportive. Very keen to see more cycle racks for safe and secure parking

Celia Margaret CONWAY
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Yes, I suppose one could start by eliminating all the 90-degree turns. And lack of dropped kerbs.

Carina O'REILLY
(Labour Party)

As far as new developments are concerned I support it absolutely. With the anticipated growth on the fringes of Cambridge and beyond, I think constantly renewing and reinforcing our commitment to cycling is vital, or the city will effectively grind to a halt. Cambridge is also a much nicer place because of its high levels of cycling - and Making Space for Cycling as a guide really speaks to that sense that cycling makes a city more human and accessible to everyone, even non-cyclists.

As far as Arbury's concerned, I'd really like to see more continuity in infrastructure. The principle that has the most application for us is to avoid stop-start routes and shared use pavements. I'd like to see a consistent, properly linked north-south route from Orchard Park to the City Centre and will be keeping up the pressure on the County to look at the junction of Carlyle Road and Chesterton Road as well as the dreadful provision on Arbury Road.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

I fully support the aspirations in this guide, but I recognise that in practice it's sometimes rather easier to apply these principles on a blank sheet of paper in new developments than it is to retrofit cycling facilities to tightly constrained already developed areas.

Relatively little development takes place in my ward, which limits the scope for many of the principles to be applied. Probably the simplest one to implement - giving all residential streets a 20mph speed limit - is something that I have already achieved. There is however some scope for continued improvement, such as the county councils current project to improve cycling from Orchard Park to the city centre through Arbury, which is considering the most appropriate use of various of the principles described in the guide given the constraints of the existing buildings and roads. I have supported and will continue to support this project.

# Question 2

What measures would you like to see to improve the safety of children getting to school?

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

Greater enforcement against dangerous and anti social car parking, especially near schools

Celia Margaret CONWAY
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Devoting a lot of time to looking at the difficulties as they actually faced on the day at the time in question. Ie appoint someone to cycle the route, and give them the authority to say what changes would actually make the most difference. INCLUDING of the different types of bike/trike/bakfiets/trailer etc.

Carina O'REILLY
(Labour Party)

Speaking from a local perspective, I'd like the County to start looking at having safe cycling zones surrounding schools that ensure that there are designated cycle access routes from all the most-used directions - I regularly see children forced to cycle on the pavement because it's simply too dangerous to cycle on Victoria Road. In general, safe, segregated cycle routes would enormously improve children's safety even if they're not cycling themselves as there would be fewer parents driving - and I'd also like to see parents discouraged from dropping off in cars right outside the school, as the accumulation of traffic is tremendously dangerous.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

Some improvements have already been made in Arbury, including the cycle lanes on GIlbert Road and the pedestrian phase at the Gilbert Road / Histon Road traffic lights, both of which I supported.

Further afield I have supported, and would continue to support, use of City Deal and other funding streams to improve cycling routes to village colleges, where possible using off road cycle paths. As it becomes safer for older children to cycle to school school run traffic is expected to decrease, leading to generally reduced congestion in the Greater Cambridge area as well as a more healthy lifestyle for the children.

# Question 3

What experience do you and your family have of cycling? Do you have any different concerns about younger or older family members cycling than you do yourself?

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

Many family members have cycled when younger and fitter, but not since reaching adulthood. The issues and dangers are similar for all age groups

Celia Margaret CONWAY
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Sorry, don't have personal experience of younger riders - apart from seeming them cope with rather ludicrous obstacles thrown at them by decades of committee- and rule-based decision-making.

Carina O'REILLY
(Labour Party)

My dad's a keen cyclist and spends summers cycling round France, but none of my family live in Cambridge so they have a different experience of cycling than I do - it's much more of a leisure activity for them, whereas for me it's an integral part of my daily life. I don't own a car and I rely on my bike for pretty much everything.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

We have all cycled for most journeys around Cambridge; two of my children are in the habit of cycling hundreds of miles on cycle touring holidays. My children are now all students away from home, but I never had any serious concerns for them once they'd learned to read traffic (and until they'd done so to a reasonable extent I didn't let them out on their own).

# Question 4

What would you do to improve cycle parking in the city centre?

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

Provision of more cycle racks wherever practical

Celia Margaret CONWAY
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

A big problem - I'll put the third covered bike park on the table and leave it at that.

Carina O'REILLY
(Labour Party)

More of it! I love the recently installed city centre racks, though I was initially cautious about the design. In fact they've worked really well, but some of them have filled up really quickly. I'd like to see the same quality elsewhere and I'm aiming to work closely with city centre businesses to encourage them to provide more cycle parking themselves. High quality cycle racks benefit all city centre users as people are much happier to use them, and that helps general accessibility for those who struggle to manoeuvre around the city centre.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

The recent project to provide 600 new cycle parking spaces in the city centre was my idea, and I led the project. If re-elected to the council I would complete this project, and progress the provision of further cycle parking within the Lion Yard car park, or seen an alternative should that have run into the sand. I would also ensure the provision of no less cycle parking than there is at present when the Park St car park is redeveloped.

It seems to me that the focus on cycle parking could now move outside the city centre, as there are some residential areas, such as Romsey Town, which appear to suffer from a lack of cycle parking. I would expect my next big cycling project, when funding is available (which it always is, sooner or later, for modest one-off capital projects), to be rolling out hundreds of additional parking spaces in residential areas where these are needed.

# Question 5

Recent construction in the city, such as on Abbey Street, Milton Road and at the University Arms have closed routes or removed cycle space. What would you do to ensure that cycle routes remain open and safe as construction grows the city?

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

Adequate provision to maintain routes, with diversions where appropriate, should be secured in advance, with a rapid return to best access as soon as possible after completion of construction

Celia Margaret CONWAY
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Well, if alternatives involved spending on providing temporary alternatives, then the developers should be responsible for funding this. Then they might design something that was affordable, rather than just 'convenient' for them?

Carina O'REILLY
(Labour Party)

Sadly, I suspect it's a matter of maintaining constant vigilance - contractors from outside the city simply don't have the level of awareness that we have grown to expect. With both Abbey Street and the University Arms, the contractors went well beyond what had been authorised by the County Highways department. Local councillors are often the best people to make sure that officers are alerted to these breaches, and I'm in regular contact with Highways on these sorts of issues.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

There needs to be letter liaison between the city council as planning authority and the county council as highway authority to ensure that access continues as far as possible during construction, and that any needed facilities that are permanently lost should be replaced. Modifications to the Considerate Contractor scheme might also be appropriate.

# Question 6

Cycle routes which are narrow and involves sharp turns and chicanes make routes difficult or impossible for users of tricycles, handcycles and cargo bikes, impairing accessibility for the most vulnerable. Can you think of anywhere in your ward that is difficult to use on a non-standard cycle and what will you do to improve it?

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

There are no obvious or easy solutions where these obstacles arise, but consultation with expert traffic engineers, as well as cycling organisations, should be undertaken to identify any measures that could be explored

Celia Margaret CONWAY
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Various locations on French's Road: 1) at Bermuda Terrace, 2) opposite school (junction with footpath) and 3) road hump at back of French's Mill Ind EState.

Carina O'REILLY
(Labour Party)

Most of the main routes are fairly straightforward, but there are a couple of areas where access has been deliberately made more difficult (by introducing railings) as they're narrow alleys that end at fairly blind junctions - but I'd like to see more creative approaches that don't hinder accessibility to such a level. As ever, where access is made easier for bicycles it's easier for everyone.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

I have been instrumental, some years ago now, in removing a number of such obstacles from Arbury, for example the pram arms in the alley between Harris Road and Ferrars Way.

As I only ride a standard cycle there may well be a few remaining places that need attention of which I am not aware. As with dropped kerbs, these could find themselves at the top of the list at the request of individuals with particular mobility issues, and I would (as I expect all candidates would!) support for funding any such works that were necessary.

# Question 7

How would you improve conditions for people on bikes along Histon Road?

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

Look into the feasibility of shared pavement use to separate cyclists from motorists where possible

Celia Margaret CONWAY
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Those with most difficulty are probably the slower cyclists - and also outward-bound, where traffic speeds are often higher. So really you need to ask them. The faster cyclists can take primary position more easily.

Carina O'REILLY
(Labour Party)

Histon Road is hideous for cyclists at the moment; it's a route I use regularly and it's probably my least favourite road to cycle on (with Victoria Road as a close second). Both roads struggle with heavier traffic than they were designed for, while Histon Road has extra problems as there are terraced houses with on-street parking in parts of its length, and traffic comes at great speed off the A14 making it feel even more dangerous.

The City Deal funding is likely to allow improvements to be made, though there are always costs to this, and the loss of on-street parking could be a painful one to elderly residents. Ultimately there is a balance to be struck - getting more people out of cars and on to buses will reduce traffic and increase general cyclist safety, but it will be difficult to do that and slow down traffic on Histon Road at the same time, while it's too narrow along its whole length for a fully segregated and properly wide cycle lane. Being honest, I think improving Histon Road will have to be a matter of small steps rather than the sweeping changes that I (as a cyclist who doesn't drive) would personally prefer to see.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

The problems with Histon Road started, in my view, when the A45 (now A14) was built - prior to that it had been a little road which wandered away into the countryside with traffic from a few villages but that was all.

I have lived just off Histon Road since 1980, and have cycled down it regularly throughout that period. Given the limited space and the competing demands for it, it's not surprising that over the years nobody has been able to come up with a magic solution that pleases all parties - and if, for example, Histon Road residents suddenly changed their minds and decided that they didn't mind losing their front gardens after all, then I wouldn't be astonished if the county council grabbed the extra space for buses rather than bikes.

Personally the worst problem I find when cycling on Histon Road along my particular routes is speeding traffic at the north end, sometimes making my right turn into Borrowdale somewhat hair-raising. I do however appreciate that other cyclists might not like the weaving in and out of stationary traffic that is often necessary at the town end.

I would support any clever solutions that didn't have disproportionate negative effects on other people, but I'm afraid that over several decades nobody has yet found such a magic answer. Abolition of parking is sometimes touted as a solution, but there are a number of problems with that, as it could lead to faster traffic passing closer to pedestrians on narrow pavements, faster traffic being more intimidating to cyclists, as well as making life unreasonably difficult for people with nowhere else to park (which applies to some, but not all, residents of the town end).

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.