Elections

2015 City Council election: Market

Summary: 2015 elections to Cambridge City Council
Polling date: Thursday 7th May 2015
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN  (Conservative Party)
  • Oscar Edward GILLESPIE  (Green Party)
  • Danielle GREEN  (Labour Party)
  • Dom WELDON  (Liberal Democrat)

Questions for Market ward candidates (6 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

# 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?

Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Oscar Edward GILLESPIE
(Green Party)

I had not seen this before, but have now read it all the way through. Thanks for an interesting read. I do fully support it, and I think there's a lot there that's relevant to Market Ward. The one principle that I'd love to see applied properly in Market Ward is cycle parking.

Not enough new developments have space for cycles, although I am impressed with the Kingsley Walk apartments which have large ground-floor secure parking. There are so many streets where you see bikes locked to lamp posts, obstructing the pavement and making it hard for wheelchairs to use. Much better would be to dedicate more space to proper spacious cycle parking, near to where people need it.

Danielle GREEN
(Labour Party)

I enjoyed reading Making Space For Cycling. I think that the 'principles in practice' are a really great starting point to thinking about the ideals in cycling provision.

Market ward has its own unique challenges with its narrow streets, historic buildings and pedestrianised areas and I think that there must be a balancing act between the needs of cyclists and other users of the space.

I think that "People want to cycle away from parked cars" is particularly important in Market. I know that I regularly encounter cars blocking the cycle lanes in the city centre, and it can be dangerous.

Dom WELDON
(Liberal Democrat)

I think the guide is a really useful contribution to improving the experience for cyclists - and by extension, improving sustainable transport for the sake of the environment. Of course, realising its vision in an historic city centre such as Cambridge does present some unique challenges. I thought eighth principle ("People want to cycle away from parked cars") was particularly important for Market Ward, where in a number of places parked cars routinely block cycle lanes. East Road is a bad example of this, and I would like to see parking enforcement in this area improved.

# Question 2

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

Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Oscar Edward GILLESPIE
(Green Party)

Training for children so that they are aware of the hazards is essential. They should be encouraged to wear helmets, hi-vis jackets and use their bell assertively. After that, improving the quality of driving in the city is an important aim so that people are safe wherever they cycle. I believe drivers are careful in the vicinity of schools, and in fact the speed is often very slow due to backed up traffic. I would be more concerned about accidents on the faster roads en route.

The Dutch only give out driving licenses when the driver has done a course in cycle awareness, I would advocate for this in the UK. There seem to be some very bad drivers around who don't know the basic highway code, for example rule 170.

I fully support the move to a 20MPH speed limit for residential roads in Cambridge, and hope that this achieves better safety for children.

Danielle GREEN
(Labour Party)

I think that increasing the number of children cycling to school would be great both in terms of reducing congestion and for their health, and improving safety would encourage this. I'd like to see more segregated cycle routes, which are much more appropriate for younger and less experienced children. I would also like the Bikeability scheme to be available in all primary schools, and to be extended to lower secondary schools to encourage pupils to be confident, skilled and safe cyclists.

Dom WELDON
(Liberal Democrat)

I'd like to see cycle safety training become a part of the school curriculum - something that Julian Huppert has campaigned for. It's essential that we teach kids about cycling (and other forms of sustainable transport like public transport) to make it more normal for children to grow up not exclusively using cars. On a more direct level, I'd also like to ensure that new cycle routes are built away from main roads, providing a safer way for children (and adults) to travel without coming near cars.

# 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?

Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Oscar Edward GILLESPIE
(Green Party)

I grew up in Mortlake, London and enjoyed cycling from an early age. Having lived in Colchester and Milton Keynes before moving to Cambridge, I have seen a few different approaches to cycleways. I cycle daily and two years ago I went on a cycling holiday from Berwick-on-Tweed to Lindisfarne which was wonderful.

My family have never been keen on cycling. My younger brother has a severe learning disability and is not confident cycling at all. My parents are retired and my mother can hardly walk, they use the car to visit the seafront and the shops. My dad used to have a nice bike 20 years ago, it lived in the shed and it was a real struggle to get around the back alleyways onto the road.

Danielle GREEN
(Labour Party)

I commute to work daily by bicycle (about an eight mile round trip) so I spend a lot of time cycling during rush hour traffic. My family are not frequent cyclists but when they come to visit they cycle, and I do worry that inexperienced cyclists are at particular risk from aggressive drivers.

Dom WELDON
(Liberal Democrat)

I developed an arthritic condition as an adult which has meant that routinely cycling has never worked out well for me joint-wise. My main modes of transport in Cambridge are walking, and a far less practical form of transport: swimming. My parents look after three small children who are all learning to cycle at the moment. I will, I'm sure, have concerns when they start using the roads, which is why it's so important to ensure that the education and infrastructure is there to ensure they are safe on the roads!

# Question 4

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

Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Oscar Edward GILLESPIE
(Green Party)

I have talked about cycle parking a bit in question 1 already. I agree strongly with the newsletter, especially the concern about high-capacity stands. I would prefer to see more Sheffield stands interspersed throughout the city centre, as I worry that many people don't know about the underground cycle parks.

To come back to my point about people leaving bicycles where they obstruct the pavement - it feels as if someone should be going around affixing cardboard tags to these that say "You might not realise it, but your bike is blocking the pavement. If someone wanted to come this way with a wheelchair or push chair, they would have to move out onto the road to avoid your bike. Do you know that there's a large bicycle park on Park Street, a short distance away from here? A map is attached."

Danielle GREEN
(Labour Party)

I thnk it's great that the Cyclepoint (which will have provision for 3000 bikes) is finally being built at the Rail Station. I think it will make a huge difference.

We also need to encourage employers to provide adequate cycle parking for their employees.

There is a clear need for more cycle parking in the centre, so we need to investigate more secure parking areas in the city.

Dom WELDON
(Liberal Democrat)

When the Lib Dems controlled the City Council, they introduced a range of innovative new bike parking schemes in the city centre, with the effect of creating 600 bike spaces. I'm keen to ensure, as a Councillor, that this programme is continued and that a third purpose-built cycle park is built in the city centre - for example, Post Office Terrace (tucked away in the middle of the city by Lion Yard). It's also essential that we ensure the Park Street Car Park redevelopment results in the creation of more spaces in the city centre, not fewer.

# 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?

Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Oscar Edward GILLESPIE
(Green Party)

The works at the University Arms were unacceptable and I think that development should never have been allowed. The Milton Road works are more positive - the train station will be an asset to the city and will help the Chisholm Trail become real. However Milton Road is on my daily commute and I'm glad the period of shared-use pavement is now over. It was my impression that one in three cyclists read the road sign about it.

Construction of new developments and adjustments is of great interest to me, as I want to make sure there is a sufficient allocation of social housing and community space in Market Ward. I want modern buildings with peak energy efficiency and space for growing food. So I would look through as much planning documentation as possible and would certainly make a fuss if there was anything that would hinder cycling.

Danielle GREEN
(Labour Party)

I think that the key is in ensuring that developers, contractors and council officers to ensure keeping cycle routes are kept open and safe during construction periods as a priority.

Dom WELDON
(Liberal Democrat)

Whilst building work is essential to ensure the continual improvement of any city, it's important that it doesn't interfere too much with the everyday life and rhythm of Cambridge life. For this reason it is essential that the impact on cycling is taken into account during the planning process - this already happens for cars, why not bikes?

# 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?

Daniel Patrick John COUGHLAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Oscar Edward GILLESPIE
(Green Party)

I think Market Ward is fairly good in terms of sharp turns, although I have hardly ever used non-standard cycles so I might be wrong. I could imagine the space between rising bollards at the top of Trinity Street being difficult, and the gate at the lower entrance to Sidney Street. These are intended to keep cars out though and to make the area better for cyclists and pedestrians.

The cattle grid crossings on the route along the riverside by Midsummer Common and Jesus Green could also be difficult I imagine.

I would seek help to find out which areas really were difficult, before trying to improve things, especially if they are a barrier to the disabled.

Danielle GREEN
(Labour Party)

I think that Market isn't the worst offender for narrow lanes and sharp turns, but I can think of a few places: the cycle path on King Street opposite the Brew House, and the rising bollards on St Andrews Street are both very narrow.

Dom WELDON
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes. The junction on the corner of Downing Street and St Andrew's Street (just by John Lewis in the centre of town) involves a particularly sharp, narrow left turn around a busy pavement, this is dangerous for cyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicles. For this reason I'd like to see an investigation conducted to see how it can be made safer for everyone (using many of the principles in the Make Space for Cycling guide). This must happen soon to prevent future accidents.

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.