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Question 7 - we asked:

What issues do you think are important in the building of the Chesterton-Abbey bridge?

We asked this question in these 2 wards: Abbey, East Chesterton.

5 of the 9 candidates (56%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

Monica HONE
(Green Party)

I think this bridge is going to be a fantastic new link bringing the communities and facilities of Abbey and Chesterton together, and I personally look forward to using it to cross onto the river path to Waterbeach and the Cam Sailing Club!

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

The Chisholm Trail has been described as a cycling superhighway. As a veteran of the campaign 25 years ago to "Save Our Commons and Meadows" from road building, I find the new bridge is a scary prospect. The proposal to then route the Trail along a busy section of tow-path makes no sense to me.
I would like to see better use made of the Green Dragon bridge pending a strategic assessment of the Fen Road level crossing and related land use changes in the period after Cambridge North station is operational.

Gerri BIRD
(Labour Party)

I would like the bridge to have enough space for cyclists, pedestrians and those with disabilities. The design must be a high priority and we have to make sure that the County doesn't try to do it on the cheap and it consults with residents in East Chesterton and Abbey. Both Stourbridge Common and Ditton Meadows are environmentally important so getting the right location, a sympathetic design and respecting the environmental concerns are key to getting local support for the bridge and the Chisholm Trail. The County sometimes rides roughshod over local concerns - like trying to put a new cycle path through Bramblefields Nature Reserve when increasing use on narrow shared paths in a small nature reserve would clearly lead to potential conflict and problems for both cyclists and pedestrians - so as City councillor it is important to represent local views and concerns at Shire Hall as well as at Guildhall.

Nichola Jayne MARTIN
(Liberal Democrat)

This bridge is absolutely vital for Abbey, and must be in place as soon as practicable to ensure easy access to the new rail station over the river. I am keen to ensure that the planning of the bridge is thought through thoroughly, and takes into account all practicalities for the traffic it will take.

To be a success the approaches to the bridge must be wide enough to cope with the volume of cyclists using the route and avoid conflict between cyclists and pedestrians. This means 4-5m wide paths at minimum. Also, the approaches from all directions of traffic must be addressed, including the already heavily congested boardwalk underneath the railway tracks between Ditton Meadows and Stourbridge Common.

Shahida RAHMAN
(Liberal Democrat)

Getting it built with the buy in of the majority of residents! Promoting it as a foot AND cycle bridge so that people don’t see it as just something for cyclists.
It is particularly important that we get the bridge in place before the station opens as this will give the best chance to embed travel behaviours. It is much harder to change behaviours once they are established – especially important given the new housing going up at Wing.
My ward colleague Cllr Ian Manning made sure officers consulted more, and subsequently Fen Ditton Parish Council have engaged constructively. Whilst this bridge MUST happen, we must avoid any chance of it being scuppered at the planning stage.
It was vital that the architects could work up some designs to get proper input from residents, which will now happen after May. I’ve got full confidence in Knight’s (the appointed architect) so we now must press ahead. IT will also allow for concerns around pedestrian/cycle mix and disability access to be transparently met.
I’m concerned some local politicians are overplaying environmental concerns – this will all be dealt with by the process leading to planning and with the oversight of myself if elected and other Cllrs. I’m also concerned that we’re getting a lack of support from the Abbey side – I know the Lib Dem candidate there fully supports the bridge.

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.