Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

2015 City Council election: East Chesterton

Summary: 2015 elections to Cambridge City Council
Polling date: Thursday 7th May 2015
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Gerri BIRD  (Labour Party)
  • Alex BOYD  (Conservative Party)
  • Peter BURKINSHAW  (UK Independence Party)
  • Peter Harry POPE  (Green Party)
  • Shahida RAHMAN  (Liberal Democrat)

Questions for East Chesterton ward candidates (8 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8 

# 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?

Gerri BIRD
(Labour Party)

Yes I support the guide. As a wheelchair user improving cycling facilities also helps improve conditions for pedestrians and the disabled ​who​ often share pavement space with cyclists. I think better maintenance of our road, cycleway and pavement surfaces by the County Council is vital as not enough has been done for years and I want far more investment in quick wins like dropped kerbs. I got £42,000 from the City Council for dropped kerbs last year but it's a drop in the ocean compared to what the County Council should be doing.

Alex BOYD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

The principles are great. However, the lack of space in much of Cambridge contrasts strongly with wide open spaces illustrated in the Netherlands. Compromise is inevitable.
The CCC proposal for Milton Road appears workable and I would like to see that carried through.

Shahida RAHMAN
(Liberal Democrat)

I fully support the guide. Space for cycles, cars and pedestrians can be applied to the top of Green End Road to allow everyone to have space. We are working towards the ‘Green Up Green End Road Scheme’ to benefit all – with an aim of properly segregated pedestrian paths, cycle paths and parking/road space. As shown on the Primary and Secondary streets diagram.

# Question 2

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

Gerri BIRD
(Labour Party)

Parking around schools is a real problem and can make it feel very unsafe for those who bike or walk to school. In East Chesterton many parents were worried about the situation outside the Shirley Primary so I got together with the school, parents, residents and the County to sort out parking restrictions which have helped. We also need safe crossing points along the main routes. It's really hard for parents in Fen Road, for example, to let their children bike to school as the railway crossing needs a lot of work to make it safe.

Alex BOYD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

Mindfulness education to improve awareness for all road users.

Shahida RAHMAN
(Liberal Democrat)

There should be more safer routes for cycling to school. This would encourage more parents to cycle to school with their children.It can be a dangerous place outside schools for traffic particularly cyclists. Cars should not be allowed to park very near the school and mounting on kerbs. At the moment, this has proven hard to enforce as well as the 20mph rule; for the former I will push the Cambridge Joint Area committee for more enforcement of yellow lines and a more transparent way of setting where enforcement resource is sent.
I’m very keen to get parking controls in place, around the new Chesterton Primary School in East Chesterton as well as make the route to that school safer via the Lib Dem project to redesign Green End Road.

# 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?

Gerri BIRD
(Labour Party)

some of my family cycle, but as a wheelchair user I don't. I'm always telling them to wear helmets. I tell my grandchildren not to come straight out at a junction without stopping and looking, also don't go through red lights.

Alex BOYD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

My regular transport is a folding bike with small wheels. Road surfaces can be very rough (eg Riverside), cattle grids sometimes have bars missing and dropped kerbs often have a significant step - all very uncomfortable.
My partner was once hit by a bus and is now quite nervous about cycling in traffic.

Shahida RAHMAN
(Liberal Democrat)

Cars parking on the cycle lane. This means we have to manoeuvre to the main road which isn’t safe at all. I believe that more action should be taken to stop people parking their cars like this.

# Question 4

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

Gerri BIRD
(Labour Party)

I welcome the new bike racks. I have been campaigning about accessibility for all in the city centre for years and better bike parking. I have been campaigning about accessibility for all in the city centre for years and better bike parking facilities are important to help keep pavements clear for wheelchair users or those who are less mobile or with sight problems. Last year I finally managed to get the City Centre Access Review study done as well which I hope has raised awareness for everyone.one thing I don't want happening is disabled parking bay taken away and replace with cycle racks as there are only a few around the city.

Alex BOYD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

More of it, with CCTV. My bike was stolen from Trumpington Street in broad daylight.

Shahida RAHMAN
(Liberal Democrat)

Build on the recent additions to cycle parking in the city centre by trying to make sure that all cycle parking is removed temporarily by e.g. developments, is replace at least like for like. Work to make sure that extra cycle racks are seen as a benefit to residents, and not regarded as street clutter. I want to closely monitor the racks that went into Romsey to see if they are welcomed, and possibly look at locations in East Chesterton.

# 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?

Gerri BIRD
(Labour Party)

We need better co-ordination between the City and County councils, developers and safe routes planned in from the start for cyclists, wheelchair users and pedestrians.

Alex BOYD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

Take the opportunity to reallocate road space to cycling during construction and retain it after the project is complete.

Shahida RAHMAN
(Liberal Democrat)

See my answer to question 4; the Milton Road extension to the guided busway was a disgrace in terms of the way cycle lanes were removed and cyclists were forced into conflict with pedestrians. t was bad for pedestrians AND cyclists. Cllr Ian Manning fought this, but it is only by policy changes at the County Council we can stop this – I want to get elected to help fight for this.

# 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?

Gerri BIRD
(Labour Party)

As a wheelchair user, I face the same problems. I am constantly campaigning for better accessibility to make sure those with disabilities are not restricted, be that good surfacing, dropped kerbs or any other barriers. The main one would be on the corner of Milton Rd & Green End Road, I've almost be hit by a cyclelists.

Alex BOYD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

I have used a tricycle in the past and did not encounter any problems.

Shahida RAHMAN
(Liberal Democrat)

The Green dragon Bridge proposals from the City Council must not make it more dangerous for cyclists exiting on the East Chesterton side, but must also protect pedestrians. Cycling over the bridge should be allowed.
Prior to very recently the corner at the Penny Ferry was very difficult for larger cycles with a right handed bend. Our recent County and City funded scheme has smoothed this out and reduced the risk of conflict at this blind bend. We’re pushing to get bollards installed to prevent pavement parking at the same site.
The next step is to take a segregated path the other side of the railings, by moving the car parking spaces back slightly. This would fully segregate cyclists, cars and pedestrians in the entrance to the tow path.
With the new bridge, the tow path should be widened to allow for reduced conflict and larger cycles.
We’ve recently improved the access on either side of the Elizabeth Way bridge – at the entrance to Mariner’s Way and to Cutty Ferry path.
I need to keep an eye on the Moss Bank access to the new station as it is a right angle bend, so there is danger of access being difficult there too.
The recent block off in Fallowfields we achieved, whilst improving safety, has installed too many bollards, so I’ll seek to remove some so that access is possible for wider cycles.

# Question 7

What issues do you think are important in the building of the Chesterton-Abbey bridge?

Gerri BIRD
(Labour Party)

I would like the bridge to have enough space for cyclists, pedestrians and those with disabilities. The design must be a high priority and we have to make sure that the County doesn't try to do it on the cheap and it consults with residents in East Chesterton and Abbey. Both Stourbridge Common and Ditton Meadows are environmentally important so getting the right location, a sympathetic design and respecting the environmental concerns are key to getting local support for the bridge and the Chisholm Trail. The County sometimes rides roughshod over local concerns - like trying to put a new cycle path through Bramblefields Nature Reserve when increasing use on narrow shared paths in a small nature reserve would clearly lead to potential conflict and problems for both cyclists and pedestrians - so as City councillor it is important to represent local views and concerns at Shire Hall as well as at Guildhall.

Alex BOYD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

The Chisholm Trail has been described as a cycling superhighway. As a veteran of the campaign 25 years ago to "Save Our Commons and Meadows" from road building, I find the new bridge is a scary prospect. The proposal to then route the Trail along a busy section of tow-path makes no sense to me.
I would like to see better use made of the Green Dragon bridge pending a strategic assessment of the Fen Road level crossing and related land use changes in the period after Cambridge North station is operational.

Shahida RAHMAN
(Liberal Democrat)

Getting it built with the buy in of the majority of residents! Promoting it as a foot AND cycle bridge so that people don’t see it as just something for cyclists.
It is particularly important that we get the bridge in place before the station opens as this will give the best chance to embed travel behaviours. It is much harder to change behaviours once they are established – especially important given the new housing going up at Wing.
My ward colleague Cllr Ian Manning made sure officers consulted more, and subsequently Fen Ditton Parish Council have engaged constructively. Whilst this bridge MUST happen, we must avoid any chance of it being scuppered at the planning stage.
It was vital that the architects could work up some designs to get proper input from residents, which will now happen after May. I’ve got full confidence in Knight’s (the appointed architect) so we now must press ahead. IT will also allow for concerns around pedestrian/cycle mix and disability access to be transparently met.
I’m concerned some local politicians are overplaying environmental concerns – this will all be dealt with by the process leading to planning and with the oversight of myself if elected and other Cllrs. I’m also concerned that we’re getting a lack of support from the Abbey side – I know the Lib Dem candidate there fully supports the bridge.

# Question 8

How would you encourage people to cycle to the science and business parks and new train station along Milton Road?

Gerri BIRD
(Labour Party)

The access to the new station from Moss Bank needs to be right for cyclists and pedestrians. We also need to get safety improvements to the level crossing on Fen Road. This has been ignored by Network Rail and the County for years and little account has been taken of the needs of either cyclists or pedestrians beyond the crossing in the plans for the new station. There doesn't seem to be much joined up thinking going on about transport links even in major developments and a lot of piecemeal work so getting a far better strategic overview of the bridge, the station, the Chisholm Trail, and what we need for public transport, cycling and pedestrians would be the ideal. Also making the ramp easy for wheelchairs to use the bridge, with a self propelling wheelchairs as we can't use any of the bridges.

Alex BOYD
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

Implement your proposals for Milton Road.

Shahida RAHMAN
(Liberal Democrat)

The number one reason people give for not cycling is fear of traffic. I fully support the bridge which is also relevant to this. It is important to reduce traffic in the area and also commuter parking. Employers should also encourage their employees to cycle to work. This should be done via incentives to cycle and good secure cycle parking and changing facilities, rather than just punative measures to prevent people driving. Promoting car sharing is also in cyclists interests as it reduces the number of cars on the road.
We also need to make sure the network rail access track parallel to Cowley Road is used as a cycle access to avoid cyclists having to use Cowley Road itself.

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.