Elections

2015 City Council election: Newnham

Summary: 2015 elections to Cambridge City Council
Polling date: Thursday 7th May 2015
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Markus GEHRING  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Kate HONEY  (Green Party)
  • Ewan MCGAUGHEY  (Labour Party)
  • Samuel David SAM  (Conservative Party)

Questions for Newnham 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?

Markus GEHRING
(Liberal Democrat)

I fully support the Making Space for Cycling best-practice and think Newnham is a great place to implement all principles. Particularly the "like simple, direct routes" principle is important for our ward. The LibDem team is working hard to ensure that important crossings, such as Barton Road and Grantchester St are being re-designed with cycle safety and simplicity in mind. This is particularly important as many school-aged cyclists are using these routes.

Kate HONEY
(Green Party)

I fully support this guide as someone for whom the bicycle is my dominant form of transport. I would like to see cutthroughs designed with visibility as a priority, as I know a Newnham resident who collided with another cyclist going the other way on a cutthrough and broke her wrist.

Ewan MCGAUGHEY
(Labour Party)

Yes, absolutely. In Newnham, possibly two principles are important: building infrastructure to maintain momentum, and visibility. The existing cycle paths lack integration (for instance, where Barton Rd intersects Grantchester Rd or Grange Rd). This means, first, confusing stopping and starting, and bumping into traffic, and second, that it is not always clear where cycle paths continue.

Samuel David SAM
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 2

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

Markus GEHRING
(Liberal Democrat)

I think we need to re-design several of the Barton Road junctions and ensure better cycle-ability of Grange Road and Madingley Road. The LibDem Team secured funding for better designs for the Barton Road - Grantchester Street junction to improve safety of school-aged cyclists as well as cycle commuters. Especially for the winter months we also need better lighting, we therefore support more solar stud lights to be used for all important cycle routes.

Kate HONEY
(Green Party)

All cycle routes should be suitable for cycles with trailers and 'tag-along's so that parents can safely take their children to school this way.

Ewan MCGAUGHEY
(Labour Party)

An integrated network of autonomous cycle paths is the best long term solution, and particularly around schools.

Samuel David SAM
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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?

Markus GEHRING
(Liberal Democrat)

We live close to our children's school and thus cycle to school in the mornings. My sons are 9 and 6 and love cycling and showing off their skills. This can be challenging on busy morning roads, such as Barton or Grange Road. Slightly more space for cyclists would probably do the trick. We also miss a safe way to visit friends in Barton, given that the Barton Road cycle path is not really usable with young cyclists. I often cycle to work and find cycling in Cambridge actually the most effective way of transport. There is much more we could do. I compare my cycling experience in university cities in Germany, such as Freiburg or Heidelberg and think Cambridge could do even better. Cycling along the Fen Cause Way is a dangerous adventure and crossing some streets in the city centre outright dangerous, especially with younger cyclists.

Kate HONEY
(Green Party)

There should be council-run cycle proficiency courses (ideally mandatory) so that young people and non-drivers fully understand the rules of the road. I have concern about my younger family members who cycle but have not yet learnt to drive and disobey the rules of the road out of ignorance.

Ewan MCGAUGHEY
(Labour Party)

I've cycled my whole life, and so has my partner, and so have our families. As a child I lived in Milton Keynes, which is famous (apart from its roundabouts) for its 'redways': a planned model of cycle systems that is an ideal aspiration, which benefits people of all ages. Big cities like Berlin or Amsterdam have excellent cycling networks and it is so important that we catch up in the UK, and learn what we can from other countries' experience. I'd like to see Cambridge becoming a model for the UK. I currently take the train to London for work, and I cycle through the City. Ultimately, promotion of cycling helps make a happier, more environmentally sustainable society: it makes us healthier, it relieves congestion for public road transport and people who need to drive cars, and it plays a crucial part of our goal to develop a carbon-neutral economy.

Samuel David SAM
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 4

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

Markus GEHRING
(Liberal Democrat)

I find that secure cycle parking is an issue in Cambridge. The Grand Arcade underground cycle parking is great but often so busy, it is impossible to secure a place (especially on weekends). In my view any new large scale project, should be required to provide secure cycle parking. The city should consider converting some of the car parking space into better cycle parking.

Kate HONEY
(Green Party)

I would encourage more provision of cycle parking near Parkers Piece and King's Parade.

Ewan MCGAUGHEY
(Labour Party)

Probably have more of it, but also make it smarter. The design of cycle parking matters. To give just one example, you often see a two bicycle rack clustered with three or four, when a slightly longer rack could have fitted in the space which is allocated for those cycles. It means that one type of cycle parking design might not be the best for every space.

Samuel David SAM
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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?

Markus GEHRING
(Liberal Democrat)

I find that developers often treat cycling as an add on. This must change. Cycle provision needs to become an integral part of any new project, especially expansions. I can understand that some routes have to be changed while the building project is under way but the final design should have cyclists at the centre of planning and building considerations.

Kate HONEY
(Green Party)

I would ensure that developments and expansion by businesses can only go ahead with zero or minimal disruption to cycle routes, and that cycle traffic is given the same priority as motorised traffic in terms of minimal disruption.

Ewan MCGAUGHEY
(Labour Party)

Sometimes road closures generally will be unavoidable - for cars or cycles. However, it seems fair that closures should not happen unless absolutely necessary, and for the minimum amount of time. Also, it seems right in principle that there should be no automatic preference for closing cycle paths over access for automobile traffic. Obviously every case will differ.

Samuel David SAM
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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?

Markus GEHRING
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, Grange Road is difficult to use and several other roads and junctions have their challenges and should be reviewed.

Kate HONEY
(Green Party)

There are various cutthroughs which are dangerous in Newnham Ward, e.g. the one leading from Cranmer Road to Gough Way. I would expand the path so that bikes going in opposite directions can see each other in time.

Ewan MCGAUGHEY
(Labour Party)

There is a consultation about the intersection of Barton Rd and Grantchester St being redesigned. A lot of cycles come down the Driftway, and it's an important route also for children who are making their way to school. The turn between the Driftway and Grantchester St really does not make sense at the moment, even for cars, so the most obvious solution is to have a visible set of cycle paths all around the intersection.

Samuel David SAM
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 7

The North-West Cambridge development will increase the number of people cycling along the Coton path, Madingley Road and Huntingdon Road into the city centre. What do you think needs to be done to cope with additional demand on busy routes?

Markus GEHRING
(Liberal Democrat)

These routes need to be changed providing for special cycle lanes, so as to provide secure and easy to use cycle transit.

Kate HONEY
(Green Party)

It's quite unclear how one is meant to safely cycle on Madingley Road - particularly with the developments going on. The cycle route here needs to be much more clearly signposted. It's also a bit confusing which roads cyclists are permitted on and which they are not, e.g. when an A-road becomes a dual carriageway there needs to be warning that the road will shortly become unsafe. There need to be clearer cycle routes between Cambridge and the outlying villages so that the car/bus is not the only possible means of transport.

Ewan MCGAUGHEY
(Labour Party)

I'm very happy to hear suggestions from the experts, and people who regularly use the routes, on this one. Increased development always needs to take account - not just of the things being built - but how a new built environment will be served by local amenities and public services, including all forms of transport, especially cycling.

Samuel David SAM
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

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.