Elections

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Question 6 - we asked:

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?

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.

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)

I would be keen to hear - Coleridge has big arterial and quieter non-arterial routes. Parking can interfere in some places, but this would mean working with local residents on a case by case basis.

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

There are no obvious or easy solutions where these obstacles arise, but consultation with expert traffic engineers, as well as cycling organisations, should be undertaken to identify any measures that could be explored

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

Yes, paths between Mowbray Road, Hulatt Road and Wulfstan Way, for example, that use steel barriers. Also other cut-throughs where hedges not always well trimmed. Users with full mobility do of course always have the option of using the road if their chosen vehicle isn't suitable for every cycle route.

Daniel Jacob JOHN
(Conservative Party)

A lot of residents in Trumpington use the guided busway to cycle into town, exiting at the railway station. However coming from the station on Brookgate, the nearby junction with Brooklands Avenue and Hills Road is difficult for all cyclists but particularly those with non-standard cycles. In order to get to Brooklands avenue, you need to turn left onto Hills Road and then cross using the pedestrian crossing, which involves a lot of manoeuvring of a non-standard bicycle.

I would like to see the junction improved, possibly giving cyclists only the ability to go straight and turn right.

Simon Anthony MITTON
(Conservative Party)

Pedestrian crossing at traffic lights at Huntingdon Road / Victoria Road (where the new student accommodation building has just gone up) The barriers to protect pedestrians were wrecked months and months ago but nothing has been done to replace them. I have put this as an Action Point in my Election Address leaflet

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)

No suggestions, and no residents have commented.

Philip Paul BARNETT
(Green Party)

I have actually improved such a situation in the past year or so; the cycle path north/south between Cherry Hinton Park and Gunhild Road was virtually impassible to many cycles, tandems etc including my wife's bike trailer, due to inappropriate chicanes. I contacted the council's cycling and walking officer who agreed that they should be modified, and later asked me for feedback on the two design choices, which was eventually completed a year or so later. (one angle of each chicane removed) so now all cycles can get through.
I'm not aware of any other such examples of bad design in Chery Hinton, although I'm sure they probably exist, but would do my best to arrange for them to be removed/remedied in like manner if brought to my attention.

Martin Julian BONNER
(Green Party)

There are a number of such places in Castle - the cut through between Richmond Road and Windsor Road, and Bermuda Terrace are a couple I can think of. The cut through between Windsor Road and Warwick Road has got better in the last few years.

Improving these junctions is not trivial though - in all the above cases, the obstructions slow normal cyclists down, which reduces the danger to pedestrians. There is a tension there which I am not sure of the best way to resolve (apart from the general principle of "separate cyclists and pedestrians").

Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)

As mentioned in the response above, most of the residential streets off Mill Road are narrow and, whilst usually one-way, this does sometimes mean that impatient car drivers can force a cyclist to have to pull in to let them past. On Coldham's Lane I believe the cycle lane needs to be widened to allow safe usage by tricycles, handcycles and cargo bikes.

Joel CHALFEN
(Green Party)

As mentioned above, I typically use a cargo bike. Wherever cycle routes are on pavements - such as on Cherry Hinton Road - cycling the bike can be difficult. Making these roads 20mph could help by making the road more usable - where widening is not possible. Certainly in terms of street furniture - it now needs to be recognised that wider bikes are now much more common and accommodation should be made for them by removing unnecessary obstacles. It is the same as for wheelchair and disabled access. I would support every effort that can give consideration to non-standard cycles but again everyone needs to accept that we share our public spaces and whilst cycling can offer the advantage of speed and directness, sometimes there are compromises to be made.

Angela Kalinzi DITCHFIELD
(Green Party)

I think there are quite a few places where this is the case in the ward, probably more than we could gain funding for immediately (unless we had a Green government!) I have cycled around with a trailer a few years ago, but I would want to consult current users of non-standard cycles to ask which they would want to prioritise, and also welcome Cambridge Cycling Campaign's input on this.

Ceri Barbara GALLOWAY
(Green Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
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.

Monica HONE
(Green Party)

No. But please all you non standard cyclists, let me know...

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.

Har Hari KAUR
(Green Party)

I think the journey from Chesterton road up Victoria road, once you pass staples corner is perilous!!! I would avoid it if possible; it's so narrow. I've seen non standard cycles but they are braver than me. I would probably go up Carlyle road to avoid it, taking searle street, to the top of Victoria road.
The 20mph limit is so good, and where that is in place it does help to prepare cars to navigate overtaking the bikes with more care and patience.
Some signs on Victoria road might be useful- to highlight that care is required around cyclists at this place...could there be a world in which cyclists had right of way, in much the same way as pedestrians have right of way on midsummer common over the bikes, ie the most vulnerable group can rely on the faster group taking the care? And that being a right.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Various locations on French's Road: 1) at Bermuda Terrace, 2) opposite school (junction with footpath) and 3) road hump at back of French's Mill Ind EState.

Atus Eamon MARIQUEO-RUSSELL
(Green Party)

The current development by the station has thrown together a temporary lazy cycle path that could be easily improved at little/no cost.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

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

Ian TYES
(Independent)

EVERYWHERE!!!! Shared use footpaths are a joke! None of them are suitable for anyone and the ambiguity of most of them as to which side of the pavement to use is ridiculous! Maybe the people in the council who decided this were hoping that the ambiguity would force people to stop and think! That shows how out of touch with reality they are and why a fresh and independent approach is needed.

The Downhams Lane cycle path through to Hawkins Road is a classic example of a sharp and blind bend. The nursing home as a high fence on the corner. Whilst white-lining with arrows for cyclists (a first for Cambridge!) and a fence to separate pedestrians is about the best you can do, the nursing home should be required to remove the hedge so that visibility around the corner is restored. Of course cyclists who listen to music whilst cycling and do not ring their bell (if they have one!) are their own worst enemies! Also where this route reaches Milton Road is another blind corner where the home-owner as a high hedge blocking visibility. This homeowner should be paid to lower the hedge - similarly where the cyclist was killed at the junction with Birch Close. Plus the shared use cycle path on Milton Road is not wide enough for cyclists to pass in opposite directions and has no markings.

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.

Kevin BLENCOWE
(Labour Party)

I'm sure there are many examples.As I've already pointed out we are essentially an old part of Cambridge designed when cars were scarce.We can't realign the roads without pulling down the houses.

Nick GAY
(Labour Party)

The path that runs from Shelford Rd to the busway is narrow, twisty and has sharp gradients - should be improved.

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.

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.

Carina O'REILLY
(Labour Party)

Most of the main routes are fairly straightforward, but there are a couple of areas where access has been deliberately made more difficult (by introducing railings) as they're narrow alleys that end at fairly blind junctions - but I'd like to see more creative approaches that don't hinder accessibility to such a level. As ever, where access is made easier for bicycles it's easier for everyone.

Kevin PRICE
(Labour Party)

Kings Hedges has lots of open space but also many cut throughs and blind
alleys and turns. When problems with any routes are raised to me, I work
with our county councillor to see what can be done.

Mike SARGEANT
(Labour Party)

The new provision to cycle contra flow in Trafalgar Street and Trafalgar Road does not offer an obvious route to turn right into Chesterton Road. This must be particularly difficult in these cases.
All routes need to be fully thought through including transition to the next provision of cycleway rather than short stretches which do not flow into th next.

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

There are frequent dips on pathways on Madingley Road. There is also the mini-roundabout and the floodgate-and-bollard system on Bridge Street and the turn-off down Round Church Street. The design of the latter is not ideal and directs cyclists to the left of the road putting in the path of buses turning left. I would consult on possible remediation with engineers and planners. Generally, I would want to see cycle paths being made wider for the sake of tricycles, cargo bikes and similar.

Anna SMITH
(Labour Party)

Where possible, I would lobby the county council to replace gates with bollards. One of the most urgent, in my opinion, is the gate where Rustat Road, Greville Road, Charles Street and William Smith Close meet. This has very high use, as a main route through to the cycle bridge, but does not accommodate two-way cycling, is a sharp turn (especially when it’s icy) and has poor visibility for lower-lying bikes. The same is true of the brick chicane in the middle of Argyle Street. A ‘quick fix’ here would be to cut back (though not down) the foliage which surrounds it, and is currently so high as to make visibility difficult.

Residents also complain, rightly, about the difficulties poor road surfaces cause for all road users, and I will be lobbying the County Council to address this.

Matt WORTH
(Labour Party)

As Andy has mentioned there are issues with the lanes around the estates that could fairly easily be fixed.

Another issue for anyone on a bike or on foot - especially if using one of these different forms of cycle - is the congestion on the roads off Hills Rd caused by parking. People use these narrow streets to park for the sixth form college and/or to leave their cars while going into town. At busy times these streets become congested with people retrieving their cars; the dense traffic movement in confined spaces causes problems for cyclists and children and the whole thing makes it difficult for residents to park near their homes.

For the good of everyone in the area, including cyclists, the County Council badly needs to introduce parking controls that give residents priority and reduce the number of parkers. I can't quite believe County have left this issue for so long. It is typical of the way in which the city is not a priority for them. If I'm elected, I will hold them publicly to account to this. I will make some noise. It's not a City Council decision, but that doesn't mean City Councillors can't stand up for local residents on the issue.

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

The route behind St Beades School is far to narrow.

Simon COOPER
(Liberal Democrat)

Several areas come to mind. The first is the cycle path between Corrie and Rustat Roads. The junction with the Carter Bridge is OK, but the Corrie Road end is very tight and narrow, and is tricky to navigate. Corrie Road itself also needs to be resurfaced. Unfortunately, houses on either side of the path prevent it being widened, but the entrance and approaches on Corrie Road could certainly be smoother.

Other areas are the paths between Lichfield and Perne Roads, and between Coleridge and Marmora Roads. On both paths, there is a set of barriers across the paths, which force cyclists to make a really tight turn. These could be removed to improve access for larger bicycles and tricycles.

Markus GEHRING
(Liberal Democrat)

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

Valerie Margaret HOLT
(Liberal Democrat)

The major area of problem is the traffic-light system and intersection at the top of Victoria Road, Histon and Huntingdon Roads and Castle Hill. I often wonder if two roundabouts would not be easier but it is almost impossible to see how that could be simplified. The other area of more specific trouble is in Storeys Way where the confusion at the pinch point is potentially dangerous. I would remove the pinch point and put a cycle crossing instead. Also, where the bend above Churchill has a blind spot as you cross the road, again I would put in a cycle crossing. Getting across Huntingdon and Histon Roads to go into town and getting out of all the side roads onto these roads are potentially dangerous unless the cycle routes are widened.

Nichola Jayne MARTIN
(Liberal Democrat)

The underpass of the Newmarket Road/Elizabeth Road roundabout has sharp corners coming in and out of it. In addition of the these, the ramps does not make it safer. This whole underpass needs rethinking to make it safe and more accessible for cyclists, otherwise they will just stay on the road above - like they do now.

Another example of infrastructure that is badly designed for cyclists is the estate of Fison Road. It is inaccessable for cyclists as there is no safe cycle parking. My own bicycle was vandalised on this estate just a few weeks ago as I was not able to park it safely.

Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

There are fewer of these chicanes in Trumpington than many other wards, largely because there are fewer through routes, but there are many temporary restrictions that arise around construction work that constantly need addressing.

George Gregory PIPPAS
(Liberal Democrat)

The most obvious one is at the end of Red Cross Lane which is one of the major pedestrian Cycle entrance into the Hospital.
We are fighting hard to have that access improved and the obstacles removed.

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.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

I have been instrumental, some years ago now, in removing a number of such obstacles from Arbury, for example the pram arms in the alley between Harris Road and Ferrars Way.

As I only ride a standard cycle there may well be a few remaining places that need attention of which I am not aware. As with dropped kerbs, these could find themselves at the top of the list at the request of individuals with particular mobility issues, and I would (as I expect all candidates would!) support for funding any such works that were necessary.

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.

Candido Sebastian CHANNELL
(UK Independence Party)

This is a massive reason for me deciding to stand in my ward , the fact most of my paths and passage ways are in shocking condition and have not been touched for over 30 years ! They are in real need of resurfacing, I really would make this one of the things I would push for as well as littering!!! on a cycle I see so many people through rubbish out the car window, that let down some of Cambridgshires cycle paths.

Dave CORN
(UK Independence Party)

No Comment

Alex Jeffery CROWSON
(UK Independence Party)

I would remove those silly traffic islands that are near the road side with road markings on, cyclists have weave in and out of those. A tricycle could not fit through one of those.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(UK Independence Party)

Vanishing cycle lanes are a problem but we live in a rather cramped city. Clearer signage is key here, I think.

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.