Elections

2015 City Council election: Romsey

Summary: 2015 elections to Cambridge City Council
Polling date: Thursday 7th May 2015
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Donald Marshall ADEY  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Jane CARPENTER  (Green Party)
  • Rahatul RAJA  (Conservative Party)
  • Anna SMITH  (Labour Party)

Questions for Romsey ward candidates (10 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10 

# 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?

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

I am a member of your campaign. The new route from Addenbrookes to the Science park will have the most impact.

Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)

Yes, I fully support the Making Space for Cycling guide and I believe in the Romsey Ward the first principle of making space for cycling is the most relevant to our ward. Many of the streets and roads within the ward are narrow and have no designated cycle paths. Many of the streets off Mill Road are at least one way but it is not a comfortable experience for cyclists using these streets to navigate the uneven surfaces of the speed bumps whilst a car is struggling to pass you. On Coldham's Lane where we have a bike path car and lorries often feel too close for comfort and the cycle lane could be widened.

Rahatul RAJA
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anna SMITH
(Labour Party)

I am a cyclist (Cambridge Cycling Campaign member), pedestrian and car owner and have always felt that the way to encourage cycling is to make it attractive and safe. As such, I am very happy to endorse this document. It is a practical and measured piece of work, the application of which would support pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, and I like the positivity of it, which is about encouraging cycling, not attacking cars, and about realizing the importance of different solutions in the context of different types of area (such as new builds or historic streets).

It is difficult to narrow things down to one principle I would most like to apply in Romsey as there are so many places in the ward which would benefit from the application of the report. If I had to narrow it down to one thing, it would be to focus on the principle running through the document of using best practice in new builds.

We have a lot of new housing developments scheduled for Romsey, and this is a good opportunity to apply good practice, for the benefit of all residents. For instance, when I attended a recent community meeting about the Rigeons development, we discussed issues such as trying to ensure the permeability of the site, the provision of excellent cycle parking, a tie-in with the Chisolm Trail, and ways in which car storage was designed in a way which did not dominate the site, whilst not creating a car storage problem for surrounding streets.

If I was allowed one more suggestion, I would suggest that a segregated cycle lane should be explored for Brooks Road. Current usage and signage is unclear, and residents complain about the shared use pavement sections. It seems to me that with such a wide road, a properly-segregated system could be introduced, to the benefit of all residents.

# Question 2

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

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

Further encouragement of walking and cycling to schools ... Walking buses, secure bike parking. Enforcement of parking restrictions near schools at opening and closing times.

Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)

I would welcome 20 mile per hour speed limits in all streets and roads immediately surrounding schools as well as the introduction, where possible, of extra-wide cycle lanes that might accommodate "cycling buses" i.e. small groups of children cycling to school with a supervisory adult. And no turning round at the end of Norfolk Street next to St. Matthew's Primary (not in the Romsey Ward)

Rahatul RAJA
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anna SMITH
(Labour Party)

More segregated cycle routes, making cycling to school safer and more enjoyable. Having experienced this in Belgium and the Netherlands (both as a cyclist and a driver), I support routes having priority over side roads and the cycle-friendly redesign of key roundabouts, starting with those on major school routes.

Excellent cycle safety work is already happening in many schools and I would like to see the Bikeability scheme offered to all primary schools and lower secondary schools.

We need to ensure that gritting and de-icing does not ignore important cycle routes. (A lot of parents don't like their children cycling in the winter because of concerns about ice, and icy roads also increase the risk of accidents).

Lobby the Police Commissioner's office to ensure that speed limits are properly enforced, especially in 20mph zones.

Encourage parents not to drive their children to school where possible. Where it is not possible, encourage them to drop them off safely away from the gates.

Continue to address the safety issues, raised by concerned parents, around St Philip’s school, especially with the issue of trucks and lorries having to make potentially unsafe turns outside of the school, as this deters parents from allowing their children to walk or cycle to the site.

# 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?

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

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

Jane CARPENTER
(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.

Rahatul RAJA
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anna SMITH
(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.

# Question 4

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

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

Continue the extra provision on good quality cycle parking.

Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)

A third city centre cycle park would make a real difference as well as even more high-capacity cycle parking at the City Railway Station. Despite increased capacity there is still not enough space to park at the station and now measures are being introduced to confiscate any bikes left along the side road of the station by the bus stops. When the high-capacity racks are often full my mid-morning sometimes there is no alternative. Further bike parking space in King's Parade would also be useful.

Rahatul RAJA
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anna SMITH
(Labour Party)

It is brilliant to see the significant progress that has been made in recent years in cycle provision. I have certainly noticed the difference when I cycle into town. However, I would like to see this developed even further. I often struggle to find a space and agree with CCC that places such as Parker’s Piece and King's parade could be better-served.

We need to address any possible issues which may arise from the redesign of Park Street car park, and I will be monitoring this closely. I also agree that we could develop the use of large bike parks in the same complexes as the car parks. I also want to see City Centre parking used appropriately. As a result, I will oppose attempts by developers to use nearby public cycle parking as a reason for not providing adequate parking on their own sites.

As someone who has basically given up trying to park my bike at the station, it is good to see a planned much-expanded provision of bikes for Cambridge Station. I will want to lobby for even more if that becomes needed. I also think it is a great pity that a link from the cycle park to the bridge does not seem to be given a priority, as it would be convenient and ease flow through the station, especially at busy times.

# 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?

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.

Jane CARPENTER
(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.

Rahatul RAJA
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anna SMITH
(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.

# 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?

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

The route behind St Beades School is far to narrow.

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.

Rahatul RAJA
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
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.

# Question 7

How would you improve conditions for people on bikes along Mill Road?

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

Lib Dems have already tried to do this by removing the middle lines... Slows the cars! Improving the lighting. It is hard to make more road space in Mill rd for sure. Enforcement of parking restrictions on the inner section would help. Encourage higher use of lights at night... Enforce on this.

Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)

One of the most perilous risks to cyclists on Mill Road is the stopping of vans to deliver goods or sometimes of shoppers. This forces the cyclist to weave in and out of traffic. I would want to explore the possibility of night-time delivery or stopping on Mill Road only outside of rush hour times.

Rahatul RAJA
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anna SMITH
(Labour Party)

Mill Road is a particularly problematic street, being a through route for cars, cyclists and pedestrians, plus a shopping street with lots of local users. It is also narrow, which makes wide cycle lanes difficult. It is unpleasant (and dangerous) for cyclists and pedestrians, and congested for cars. The removal of the central white lines have certainly helped improve the situation. It is also vital that the 20mph speed limit is enforced, and I will lobbying the Police Commissioner’s office to push for more frequent enforcement patrols. A properly-enforced speed limit would help not just cyclists but local shoppers (and shops), making it easier to cross the road and making it a more pleasant environment, and it is something many residents have raised as an issue. I will also be lobbying the County Council for an electronic speed awareness sign, which reminds road users to stick to the 20pmh limit.

However ultimately, I believe it is time for a full and proper review of Mill Road provision, with plenty of opportunities for all residents, traders, and other key groups to be consulted.

# Question 8

Would you support closures for motor vehicles in North Romsey, as used in Petersfield?

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

Cannot see where this might help.

Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)

Yes, I believe these closures, such as the one on Argyle Street, are a good idea and agree that central bollard would be preferable.

Rahatul RAJA
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anna SMITH
(Labour Party)

Examples such as the one in the picture provided are sensible. We already have several of these in the ward, which are powerful in stopping rat running whilst not denying car access to streets.

# Question 9

Would you support two way cycling on one way streets north of Mill Road?

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

On a street by street basis. Generally, yes, of course.

Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)

Whilst I do agree that in Panton Street a two-way cycle route would be effective I also feel that in North Romsey most streets are simply not wide enough to allow for two-way cycling. An exception to this might be Fairfax Road and that end of Ross Street up to the Romsey Recreation Ground.

Rahatul RAJA
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anna SMITH
(Labour Party)

Yes – as much as is practicable. Roads not wide enough for two-way cars and bikes may well be wide enough for two-way bikes and one-way cars, and, as the campaign document reminds us, there are sufficient passing places. It increases the ease of cycling and reduces overall congestion.

# Question 10

Do you regard the domination of footways in Romsey by cars as a problem?

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes.

Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)

In some Romsey streets the parking of cars on footways can make the pavements extremely difficult to navigate especially if this is combined with rubbish bins on collection days. I have frequently seen mothers with buggies or wheelchair users have to leave the footways and go on the road.

Rahatul RAJA
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anna SMITH
(Labour Party)

Narrow footways represent one of the biggest issues that residents raise to myself and my Labour colleagues throughout the year on our regular canvassing sessions around the ward. I have walked around the ward on crutches on several occasions, at which point I had to walk in road because of lack of space on the pavement. Wheelchair users and residents with buggies have a particular problem.

There is a need for residents to store their cars, but the same residents also want to park their bikes and walk easily around the streets. Cycle parking projects, like the one in Thoday Street, have been successful in combining the two (and reducing concerns about bike parking blocking the pavements), and it would be good to see more of this. We also need to work hard to ensure that bins are not left out in the street, something I know my council colleagues are already looking into.

I would be keen to meet with residents and other key groups to talk about this further, if elected, to explore possible solutions which reflect the needs and wishes of local people.

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.