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Question 5 - we asked:

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?

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)

Use section 106 to create replacement (and better) routes.

(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

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

When councillors grant permission for developments they should impose conditions that require contractors to keep cycle routes open and safe. Highways officers should also make the requirement clear to contractors whether or not this planning condition is in place.

A change of mindset in council officers is needed to get a grip on this problem.

Daniel Jacob JOHN
(Conservative Party)

I would strongly advocate as a Councillor that cycle infrastructure and routes are required if the city wants to grow. I agree with the Cycling Campaign that cycle lanes and cycle parking are an efficient use of space and needed by our city. During any development of the City’s policies I would emphasise this point and during planning applications I would consider the cycle facilities included.

Simon Anthony MITTON
(Conservative Party)

Use Section 106 to create replacement cycle parking superior to that removed.

(Conservative Party)

Cycle routes should be kept open when building is being done and construction firms should be made to make provision for this.

Philip Paul BARNETT
(Green Party)

Council officials should have an obligation to protect cycle space, even if a road is closed to motor traffic. The bridge replacement at Grantchester is an example of good practise – where there has been provision made for cyclists and pedestrians while the bridge is closed to motor vehicles.

Martin Julian BONNER
(Green Party)

Maintaining viable cycle routes is important, and should almost always be a condition of any planning consent provided that is possible.

Having said that, there is no benefit in refusing consent and having it granted at appeal. It is better to negotiate with the developers and agree to the best we can get.

(Green Party)

I think it is only to be expected that, whilst long-term solutions to reducing traffic congestion such as the construction of the second railway station are in progress, that some cycle lanes and routes will be temporarily disrupted. However, I would hope that developers would be obliged to include in their plans safe alternatives to any cycle space changed by their construction.

(Green Party)

This is an historic city and our roads cannot cope with the growth in so many ways. Periods of cycle route closure or obstruction during building projects is going to be difficult to avoid. But again it is incumbent upon the Council to ensure that cycle services are maintained as best as possible, to ensure that there are clear replacement routes for bikes around building sites and if this means encroaching on motor traffic space then this may just have to be. Reducing speed limits where there is construction to better manage the presence of cycles on main routes may be necessary. Developers must contribute to alleviating the difficulties imposed by their work ensuring where possible that cycle routes are not unnecessarily closed. An I would be happy to hear of any other reasonable proposals for dealing with this kind of long-term but transitional problem.

Angela Kalinzi DITCHFIELD
(Green Party)

I would want clear diversion plans and signposting agreed before construction started, with the same priority as diversions for cars have currently.

Ceri Barbara GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

Cycle paths must be protected from closure during works by barriers. Especially when provide links between areas. Otherwise clear signage in rerouting a suitable place close by. Rerouting at University Arms onto path to left of Parkers Piece may have resolved this.

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.

Monica HONE
(Green Party)

Provision for cycling is as important as provision of pavements for pedestrians and road access for vehicles. I find it hard to believe that planning consent has overlooked and even closed cycle routes.

(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.

Har Hari KAUR
(Green Party)

Flag up early on in discussions with developers and architects that design needs to be thought about for cycle routes to be preserved - cyclists don't just go away because works are being carried out. It's a potentially a very dangerous scenario. Flag it up basically. Design a route, or a traffic flow system, albeit temporary, that brings cyclists into the equation.

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?

(Green Party)

We have to consider the city's transport routes in all proposed development at the planning stage. We wouldn't build in the middle of roads without providing an alternative route, so why should we build through cycle paths?

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

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


Make it a requirement in all planning decisions that preferred cycle routes are protected, much like footpaths. The Chisholm Trail also needs to be protected - for exampel in the development of the City council Mill Road depot. It IS possible - the misguided busway space in Orchard Park for example.

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.

(Labour Party)

Find some highways staff at the County Council who have the nous to manage these sites in a cycle and pedestrian friendly manner and take no nonsense from contractors.

Nick GAY
(Labour Party)

Unfortunately it is inevitable that routes will be disrupted during construction. As someone who cycles down Abbey St everyday there is no sense that contractors are providing info on diversions etc that cyclists can use.

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.

(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.

(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.

(Labour Party)

It's partly about making sure there's a good construction management plan
at the planning stage and partly about better co-ordination between the
County and City councils and developers. Pedestrian and cycle routes need
to be protected as far as possible. Given the scale of Cambridge's growth
and the number of major developments in a small city some disruption is
inevitable so we need safe routes and constant vigilance.

(Labour Party)

We make sure that developers, contractors and council officers keep cycle routes open and safe during construction periods or provide well signposted suitable alternatives.

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

I would lobby for provision (both on highways and in parking) for cycles at the planning stage. I would cultivate relationships with planners and traffic engineers emphasizing the importance of cycling and its value in relieving congestion. A disposition should be maintained in favour of cycling contraflows in road networks like New Street and Harvest Way with one-way systems for motor vehicles. I would write to developers at an early stage of the planning process reminding them of their moral and legal obligations towards cyclists. Where necessary I would protest any new development plan that does not take account of the need for cycle paths to be provided.

(Labour Party)

Be a lobbying voice. I am one of those people who tends to look at the ‘but what if . . . ?’ aspect of any plan, and I think that one of the jobs of a councillor is to ask these awkward questions. I will work hard to encourage council officers and contractors to give full consideration to keeping cycle routes accessible, taking advice from experts where solutions are not obvious.

(Labour Party)

In specific instances of necessary construction work there may be not much we can do although we should always press developers to keep routes open if at all possible. The bigger issue is that cycle space is so constricted that the loss of any capacity is a critical problem. We need to expand cycle provision so there is a little more slack in the system.

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

Routes for all forms of transport need to considered properly when temp restrictions are required ... Not left as sub standard, as at by the Uni Arms Hotel.

(Liberal Democrat)

There needs to be the same consideration given to redirecting cycle routes as there is to road diversions. Contractors shouldn’t just build across cycle routes, they need to consider proper diversions and traffic flows, just as with cars.

(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.

Valerie Margaret HOLT
(Liberal Democrat)

Many of these actions are because there has not been adequate general long-term planning and developments have been left with only residual options. The easiest thing then is to stop cycle routes. Better long term planning is necessary and more consideration to the separation of cyclists from motorists and pedestrians as a given - not just as an optional extra.

Nichola Jayne MARTIN
(Liberal Democrat)

When construction workers cut into cycle paths, there needs to be a separate, segregated route for cyclists. I'll seek to push the County Council & Utility companies to enforce this as ultimately it is there responsibility in most cases. Merging cyclists in with congested traffic does not ensure safety for either parties.

Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

Contractors coming in from elsewhere are often unaware of the unique nature of Cambridge when it comes to cycling, so education by council officers (and sometimes, planning restrictions if a construction project is by a key piece of infrastructure) can help to ensure they do not obstruct cycle routes.

George Gregory PIPPAS
(Liberal Democrat)

If a route its closed on a temporary basis then then the developers should provide a diversion giving an alternative route or the Cyclists should seek an alternative route hemselves.If there is no safe way around the works then then the contractors should put up a large Sign informing the cyclists that they should dismount thus negotiating the obstacle safely.

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.

(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.

(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?

Candido Sebastian CHANNELL
(UK Independence Party)

The privet construction market is not short of money , I would push for a rule where any interference with a cycle path could be off set by paying or donating to sweeping & maintaining the existing paths that are always in need of TLC
This could easily be organised at planing , as I run a local building firm I know this wouldn't be that hard to sort out.

(UK Independence Party)

No Comment

Alex Jeffery CROWSON
(UK Independence Party)

Well open door immigration have clearly had an impact in Cambridge, more houses need to be built, and students get priority over locals over housing. Like motorists, cyclists will have to be patient. On a road that has construction, you have to make sure there is fair space for both motorists and cyclists.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(UK Independence Party)

Different construction projects require different parts of the road to be closed at different times. Perhaps any temporary traffic lights could have an advanced green light, similar to the ones at the Catholic Church junction. It gives cyclists a chance to get ahead and be visible.

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.