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Question 3 - we asked:

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?

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.

45 of the 65 candidates (69%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

(Conservative Party)

We all cycle, both normal bicycles and we have a dutch style bike - the baby goes in the car seat in the bucket (but will go on a crossbar seat shortly) and the toddler goes behind on a seat - the toddler is at push-bike stage and first pedal bike comeing soon no doubt. We have seen children benefit from early intorduction to cycling, cycling safety and danger from roads. I'm pleased that Cambridge has quieter routes if you want to keep of the arterial roads.

(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

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

I have enjoyed cycling my whole life, for leisure and commuting. I am a firm believer that cycling is something that anyone should be able to enjoy without specialist equipment.

I do not have any worries for older members of my family cycling; I was fortunate that my father taught me how to ride properly, behaving as if controlling a motor vehicle. I worry a little that good cycling (and driving) knowledge might not be getting passed down effectively to new generations. Certainly the national obsession with helmets, hi-vis, 20mph limits and pavement cycling are all distractions that do nothing to help instil a proper awareness of risk.

Daniel Jacob JOHN
(Conservative Party)

I commute to work in Trumpington by bicycle each day, as did my wife until she started her maternity leave a year ago. The majority of our travel around Cambridge has been by bicycle since we were University students. Our experience has generally been positive, although occasionally frustrating due to the lack of bicycle parking and the shared use infrastructure.

Our daughter is nine months old and therefore not quite cycling yet! However thinking ahead, although there are some routes where I would be happy for her to cycle, a number of the routes that we currently use involve cycling in close proximity to cars, which would not be safe for her until she was a confident cyclist.

Simon Anthony MITTON
(Conservative Party)

I have been cycling on a regular basis (more that 250 distinct trips per year) around Castle and central Cambridge since arriving here as a student at Churchill College in 1968. I have been involved in one accident when a motorist hit me broadside at night at the Fen Causeway / Lensfield Road junction.

(Conservative Party)

Until I was approx. 65 I cycled all over Cambridge. My husband is in a wheelchair so he obviously cannot cycle. When visiting home our grown-up children sometimes cycle, and for 5 years our youngest daughter cycled to school. Safety of cyclists has to be related to safety of pedestrians which are often in danger from cyclists.

Philip Paul BARNETT
(Green Party)

I'm a longstanding member of the Cycling Campaign! I am a commuting cyclist, so cycle most days to the station, and also on shorter journeys across town. My children cycle to school most days, and we sometimes cycle recreationally, on quiet routes, eg to Shelford on the Genome path. My wife is a nervous cyclist – she doesn't feel safe on roads, mixing with traffic, so cycles much less often than I do. I'd class myself as a confident town cyclist, but I wouldn't go on the A14! (I also drive occasionally, as I'd guess a large proportion of 'cyclists' do – so I do also understand the concerns of motorists)
As I've already said, I definitely have concerns about young children on roads, and older people can also be vulnerable to dangerous motor vehicle behaviour. All people on cycles, however, are vulnerable to collisions with motor vehicles, and so all deserve protection.

Martin Julian BONNER
(Green Party)

I cycle from Richmond Road to near the railway station every day. My partner cycles from time to time. I don't have any younger or older members of my immediate family.

(Green Party)

I am a single-parent family and have cycled with my daughter since she was little. She is now 18 and a competent cyclist but who nevertheless, like so many teenagers, cycles with her earphones in listening to music. I believe this should be banned in the same way as driving while using a mobile phone is. Anything that prevents the cyclist from fully using all their visual and audio facilities while navigating road traffic is dangerous as far as I'm concerned. In the Coleridge Ward and I have grave concerns about turning off into our street Missleton Court from Cherry Hinton Road as the turning is hidden and car drivers often speed up after coming off the Perne Road roundabout to accelerate into what they see as a nice straight road. It is extremely dangerous and I have had many near misses myself while my daughter always prefers to cross at the traffic lights and then cycle into our turning on the pavement.

(Green Party)

Virtually every journey in Cambridge I make myself or with my family is by bike. It is probably the thing I love best about living here. But it is not all picture perfect: Whilst my eldest daughter rides her own bike, she is still young enough to take a lift in our 'box' bike with her sister on longer journeys. Often this is helpful for speed (!) but it is also because no route that we take is hazard free. As I said above, learning road safety is vital to learning to cycle. But I note that in every image of your Making Space for Cycling guide not a single rider is wearing a helmet and certainly nothing hi-viz. This is surely an ideal view of cycling in Cambridge and it is impossible to contemplate as a parent. I cannot imagine a cycling experience in the city with my children riding independently ever to be as free of worry as the ideal scenarios propose. The one exception: on the day of the Tour de France when we cycled up the middle of Trumpington Road! Now that was a true family experience of cycling!

Angela Kalinzi DITCHFIELD
(Green Party)

I never learned to drive out of a desire to be environmentally friendly. I and my two sons (10 and 8) cycle quite a lot, and also use buses. When they were younger, I had a trailer for them behind my bike. My youngest usually cycles to Grove school on Campkin road.
I am concerned for their safety when they cycle, whilst for myself I largely feel safe cycling around Cambridge.
I have to say I feel a lot more passionate about 20mph limits since my son was nearly hit by a car on Arbury road after making an ill-judged crossing there.
I also do not feel there is a particularly safe route from our house in Walker Court to Grove school (as for other areas).

Ceri Barbara GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

As an older person I am concerned about cycle parking at the station. I find it difficult to lift the cycle onto the top tier of the cycle parking provision without injuring myself. This makes me reluctant to cycle to the station in case I can’t park my bike. I think there should be provision for vulnerable users and also for families for parking for cargo family cycles or larger bikes.
For insurance purposes one must have secure cycle parking e.g. something to lock you cycle too and if it is too difficult to park many people will make those journeys by car either asking friends and family to drop them off at the station or park there themselves.

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.

Monica HONE
(Green Party)

My husband cycles to work every day, and my eldest daughter will be moving on to secondary school in 18 months' time. She will have to cycle and I am naturally nervous for her safety!

(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.

Har Hari KAUR
(Green Party)

Not good I'm sorry to tell you.
My 16 year old daughter was killed on Milton road 2 years ago in November.
Hence my ideas re children, and Milton road, above.
The driver did not admit to it but the forensic evidence was that the car was indicating and she cycled across but the car didn't turn right after all.

My experience of cycling in Cambridge is mixed.
I don't have a car so cycle everywhere, and I know the quiet routes so usually take them.
For me, the basic issue is that cars and cyclists need to come to some respectful understanding of each other's rights and responsibilities on the road.
The worst drivers in my existence are taxi drivers and there perhaps needs to be some education for them around cyclists. Training, which the council could insist they take. Based on at- home reading and watching videos and sending in reports to questions, similar to the format you have provided for the candidates but with different questions of course. It would help cyclists a lot. Because whilst I understand the need for separation of cars and bikes, the Dutch system relies on drivers doing the right thing for it to work.

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.

(Green Party)

I grew up in Bristol, which also has an impressive culture of cycling. I remember going on long bike rides as a child to the nearby city of Bath for occasional day outings. My concerns for older and younger people cycling are mainly about how we can make sure that we structure cycling in Cambridge to be as inclusive as possible. Methods of inclusion are specified in great length in this organisation’s manifesto and I would be sure to spend time carefully consulting it before working on any new cycling projects in Cambridge.

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.


I cycle into town and around the city almost every day and have great experience of cycling. I know that this city is badly designed for all road users and the county council have a lot to answer for in their badly designed and dangerous junctions, so-called cycle routes and so-called shared use of pavements. It is extremely scary cycling in Cambridge for me as an experienced cyclist and the amount of blind junctions, ambiguous signage, non-existent route signs and lack of joined-up thinking must be a huge terror for novice cyclist. All of these things are reasonably simple to resolve and do not costs a great deal of money, but the powers that be clearly have no interest in reducing congestion, increasing safety, reducing ambiguity and improving journey times for any road user, let alone cyclists. I do not know where they learn their stuff, but clearly not in the real world! From their absurd decisions, it appears they are determined to INCREASE congestion to justify introducing the congestion charge. I would like to encourage everyone to cycle, but with the current mess, i would recommend not cycling until you are more experienced.

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.

(Labour Party)

I cycle everywhere unless it's a monsoon.My family live in a town in Northants called Brackley where my brother cycles to and from work but the environment there is far quieter than here.

Nick GAY
(Labour Party)

I have cycled 10s of thousands of miles in Cambridge for 35 years, with and without children on the bike or accompanying. The provision for cyclists was and is appalling and I have been reluctant to allow my children to cycle to school until they were at least 10.

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.

(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.

(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.

(Labour Party)

I currently cycle to work every day and to all council meetings within the
city. I am the only member of my family who cycles. Two did but had to move
20 miles outside in order to afford housing and therefore now drive into
the City for work.

(Labour Party)

I cycle daily to and from the University of Cambridge West Cambridge site as well as around the ward and into Cambridge. I have been knocked off my bike 3 times on Milton Road - once sustaining a broken collar bone, so I a well aware of the dangers. My son and daughter also use their bikes daily. My son benefited from a County Council training scheme and is a confident cyclists - 1 of the few at the University of Hull who cycles to lectures. My daughter cycles regularly to and from Fulbourn and I have concerns about lighting and cycling provision of the route from Marshalls.

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

As an undergraduate and postgraduate student at Cambridge University I cycled all the time and have done so ever since (despite now being an occasional car user). Both my parents (who are now retired) would cycle to work throughout their careers and still take regular cycle rides (certainly weekly if not daily) as a way of keeping healthy. However, they are senior citizens and I am concerned for their safety in a world that has yet fully to understand and value the immense societal and health benefits of cycling (more cycling means reductions in obesity, in the threat of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and thus it means reductions to the nation's healthcare bill, quite apart from the quality-of-life improvements for individuals). My Father has frequently written to the local press advocating the rights of cyclists.

(Labour Party)

As a child, my parents were nervous about me cycling on roads, so my cycling was limited to places like Hatfield Forest. I cycled as an undergraduate in Oxford, and as a PGCE student in Cambridge, but let it slide when I was commuting into Cambridge from Bishop's Stortford, largely because of the bike restrictions on commuter trains. I then became nervous about restarting. A supportive boyfriend took me cycling in Belgium, where the infrastructure is extremely friendly to more cautious cyclists (as well as to the more experienced). This raised my confidence, and I was soon sufficiently confident to cycle in the UK. The purchase of a decent city bike (and then a touring bike) and a set of panniers raised my confidence yet further. I now cycle both for leisure (am particularly proud of having completed the Oxford to Cambridge ride) and for transportation. I do have a car, but I now use it very rarely, and almost never for city journeys. This has made me much fitter, has saved me money on petrol, and is much more enjoyable than driving. It has also meant that my journey time is mich more predictable and I can largely avoid being held up by congestion at rush hour.

For me, the concerns are largely the same across the generations. The issue is providing safe, accessible routes for all ages. I will quite happily cycle along a busy road, but this wouldn't have been the case ten years ago. A continental style infrastructure would encourage so many more less confident and vulnerable road users to cycle.

However, I am aware of some specific issues. For some, cycling is not an option. My own parents, for instance, no longer have the mobility or health to cycle. The more that people, like me, who are able to cycle make the choice to do so, the more those who need to use other means of transport are able to do so easily without facing problems such as congestion.

(Labour Party)

I admit I personally don't cycle all that much in Cambridge - it's a small city and I prefer to walk. I have cycled in London though so I know what urban cycling is like.

For younger cyclists in particular, who are less experienced and have less mature judgement, the kind of recommendations made in the report are all the more sensible e.g. wider cycle lanes, better segregation of traffic types on main routes etc. I don't think child (or elderly) cyclists) necessitate different provision, just dedication to safe cycling.

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

My partner cycles every work day to Addenbrookes. Concerns would be to continue to improve cycle routes.

(Liberal Democrat)

I cycle across the south-west of Cambridge to get to work every day, and my wife often cycles around Cambridge. We both cycled around Cambridge as students.

We do not have children ourselves, so have no personal concerns in that regard, although there are always improvements that could be done to make cycling around Cambridge easier and safer.

(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.

Valerie Margaret HOLT
(Liberal Democrat)

I cycled to school every day from the age of about 10 but that is not possible here because of the traffic density.I allowed my daughter to cycle but only out of town, not into it. I cycled until I fell coming back from town just as I hit the traffic going over Magdalene Bridge and last year I broke my knee. The doctor told me that the commonest cause of "broken knees of ladies of a certain age" was falling off their bikes not ladders, as I had done! My husband rides a motorbike and I am teaching my grand-daughter to ride on the lane beside our house but I will not let her ride on the roads.

The one thing that must improve is the Posters/ signs / rules that ensure that cyclists do not use the pavements. I have been forced to step sideways more times than I care to remember and the older I get the harder it is to escape from someone cycling into your path. I can't be the only person who has experienced this problem.

Nichola Jayne MARTIN
(Liberal Democrat)

I am the only Cambridge cyclist in my family. But I do fear for less confident cyclists within the city, as even now with over ten years experience in Cambridge traffic, I still have moments of doubt of my safety on the road.

Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

I cycle almost every day, as I commute to work via bicycle and it is my primary form of transport around Cambridge.

George Gregory PIPPAS
(Liberal Democrat)

Myself and my family are regular cyclists. I am a cyclist having an old fashion Duchy bike with a large basket which I enjoy using to move around. You will see me around my ward with my dog Hector in the basket delivering leaflets or arriving in Council for meetings and filling up the basket with shopping from the market. After a long day’s meetings there is nothing nicer than cycling home in the open air clearing one’s mind from all the day’s problems.
In my four years as Councillor I never claimed a penny in expenses for attending Council and therefore I found cycling to be more economical for one’s pocket and better for the environment plus we get some exercise.

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.

(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).

(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!

Candido Sebastian CHANNELL
(UK Independence Party)

We are all very keen cyclists and feel very intimidated on some of our roads, I would love to see the police crack down on bad drivers and maybe even use some advertising boards to promote safe and responsible driving.

(UK Independence Party)

No Comment

Alex Jeffery CROWSON
(UK Independence Party)

I cycle every day. Cycling around Cherry Hinton is very easy, and safe. Hardest areas of the city are roads like Mill Road, and Hills Road bridge, and the top of Coldhams Lane. I have concerns about the amount of cyclists I see jumping red lights. They could cause a serious incident to themselves and other road users. It is a £30 fine for jumping a red light, I want this increased to £100. Plus many cyclists still fail to have lights after dark...I would like to have a fine of £100 for that also..it is not safe for the cyclist or other road users. I also see many motorists breaking the law, some with mobile while driving, and some driving to close to cyclists.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(UK Independence Party)

I have been both a driver and cyclist in Cambridge for decades. I am concerned that some less experienced or younger cyclists put themselves in danger by failing to use the measures that have been put in place for them. Perhaps better signage would solve this.

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.