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Question 7 - we asked:

The 2011 census shows that South Cambridgeshire has the highest levels of cycle commuting of any non-urban area, including substantial cycling into Cambridge city: how would you rate the current conditions for cycling from your ward into Cambridge, and how could it be improved?

We asked this question in all 19 wards, namely: The Abingtons, Balsham, Bar Hill, Barton, Bourn, Comberton, Cottenham, Duxford, Fowlmere & Foxton, Fulbourn, Hardwick, Histon & Impington, Milton, Orwell & Barrington, Papworth & Elsworth, Sawston, The Shelfords & Stapleford, Teversham, Willingham & Over.

36 of the 77 candidates (47%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

(Conservative Party)

See Q1 above. Madingley needs a link. Coton, Barton and Grantchester are broadly OK though could be improved. Haslingfield is not in my Ward, but would dearly love a cycling link through Grantchester to get into Cambridge, which I support.

(Conservative Party)

Many more cyclists are presently using the route from Hardwick into Cambridge than was formerly the case but several improvements could be made to encourage further growth. A well surfaced, segregated cycle route free from overhanging branches and better crossings of junctions at Long Road and Coton together with improvements to the cycle route along Madingley Road would encourage more people to travel by bike. Additionally, a safe cycle roué to Comberton would enable many youngsters to cycle to school as I did throughout my school life.
The extension of a cycle route to the west would facilitate a safer and faster route from the new developments at Cambourne.

Graham CONE
(Conservative Party)

Cycling conditions from Fulbourn to the City Centre are mixed. I find that the closer I get to the city the better provision there is for cyclists. Although I feel comfortable cycling from Fulbourn to Cambridge City Centre (and do so on a regular basis) I do think the major roads linking Fulbourn and Cambridge City could be massively improved by the introduction of separate space for cyclists that is well lit for commuters to use at any time of the day. The cycle paths that link Fulbourn with Cambridge City are largely shared with pedestrians and force the cyclist to constantly stop and start due to junctions interrupting flow and cycle paths that suddenly change from one side of the road to another due to roundabouts. I am fully aware that there are difficulties in implementing changes to existing roads such as the ones that I travel on in and out of Fulbourn. Changes would clearly be of substantial cost and involve large disturbances to the flow of traffic when alterations are being made. This is not to say that alterations shouldn’t be made when the benefits are clear and funding is accessible. It is for this reason that we need to be so careful when planning and implementing new roads and developments that the necessary thought and provision for cyclists goes into projects from the start.

Roger HALL
(Conservative Party)

This has been answered in questions 3 and 4. For those cyclists who wsh to
enter Cambridge along the Huntingdon Road, the cycling path alongside the
local road is important.

(Conservative Party)

The condition of the cycle route from Bourn Ward to Cambridge is poor. We need a dedicated cycle route. I'm not naive enough to believe that it will greatly increase commuter cycling - 10 miles is too long for many - but it will make some difference and will certainly encourage people to make trips for pleasure (for example at the weekend) and take people out of their cars for some journeys.

(Conservative Party)

I d like to see the each village connected to Foxton and Shepreth train stations

(Green Party)

As mentioned in Q3 and 4, crossing the A505 is a challenge, and this needs to be done to get to the train station. Once there, if you wish to lock the bike and carry on by train, there needs to be more bike parking areas. If taking the bike into Cambridge, once there, cycle ways are fairly good going in and out of Cambridge centre. However, on returning home, it is necessary to lift the bike up and over the bridge. The best option would be a lift as an alternative to the steps (as has already been provided in stations such as Audley End and Cambridge).

Currently there is a good cycle way into Cambridge from Great Shelford. It would be good to see that extended to Duxford (and beyond) allowing us the option of cycling all the way in and out on a safe route.

Colin COE
(Green Party)

Not good enough, see previous question. A dedicated space should offer a greater degree of safety.

(Green Party)

The path adjacent to the guided busway has made the journey into Cambridge from Impington a lot safer. You can now travel down it to into Chesterton, across the river by the Green Dragon and along the river into Cambridge. It's not the most direct route but it is the safest and most picturesque, far better than fighting with all the other traffic down Histon Road. It could be improved by segregating the path along the busway for pedestrians and cyclists. There is also no lighting along it making it very dark at night. Solar studs could be introduced or other low level lighting. As a general improvement for all road users, in my opinion, it should be mandatory for all cyclists to take a proficiency test and a written test on the highway code. There should also be stricter enforcement of cyclists having adequate lighting, helmets and high-vis clothes. Also enforce traffic laws that motor vehicle drivers take for granted like stopping at red traffic lights which cyclist in Cambridge rarely do, in my experience.

(Green Party)

Balsham is approximately 10 miles out of Cambridge, which is beyond the reach of many 'casual' cyclists. As previously mentioned, the main issue is unsafe country roads. While there are bridleway routes etc, these need to be better connected and signposted to make them convenient for cyclists to use.

(Green Party)

Disappointing that A10 cycle up grade wasn't agreed and this really is the key to encouraging more cycling along with better cycle parking at the railway station.

(Green Party)

Personally I would not currently cycle into Cambridge from my home in Cambourne. Even the roads best suited to it (that I'm aware of) are often very busy and have little space for cycling. Greater provision of cycle lanes, and of information regarding the best existing routes, is needed.

(Green Party)

In Fulbourn ward there need to be big improvements to standards approaching those of the Huntingdon Rd link to Cambridge from my home village of Girton. The big need for Fulbourn as well as for Girton is to improve cycling provision within and between the "necklace" villages around Cambridge.
I am standing as a Green candidate for Fulbourn in the forthcoming SCDC election. In Fulbourn there are 2 immediate issues I would want to focus on : a) providing a roundabout at the extremely dangerous Cambridge Rd / Hinton Rd T-junction and b) slowing/reducing traffic in the village centre eg through a 20mph speed limit.

(Green Party)

The A10 Campaign will, hopefully, provide a good route from Royston to Cambridge along the A10. Orwell and Barrington residents might find it convenient to use the A603, which is relatively quiet and safe until the junctions to the east of Barton, which could certainly be improved in the interests of cyclists !

(Green Party)

We are fortunate now to have the cycle route from Shelford to Addenbrookes and through to the station and the rest of the city. It could be improved with better lighting and signposting.

(Labour Party)

In my opinion cycling from our village into Cambridge along bus way is safe but it probably needs better links from the science park into Cambridge (perhaps along the river). The route along Histon Road or Arbury Road is very unsafe and in need of improvement.

(Labour Party)

The route is quite good, but could be improved. There is a cycle path most of the way. However, there is one problem with it. When you cycle out of Fulbourn and reach Tescos you cross the level crossing and then you have a choice. You can use the road, Fulbourn Old Drift and then Coldhams Lane, before picking up the cycle path known as the "Tins" that runs past the Holiday Inn Express. Fulbourn Old drift is usually busy with cars from the school run and Coldhams lane is one of the main roads into Cambridge, so is always heavy with traffic. The alternative is the path that runs along the railway line to the level crossing in Cherry Hinton. This is narrow, has steps at the beginning (which should be replaced with a ramp) and two barriers that are difficult to negotiate. The path is also broken up at the Tescos end and needs repairing.

(Labour Party)

See answer 3 above.
Improvement will come by joint working between wards and parishes coordinated by District Council and County representatives.
In Cambourne the developers need to invest further in the cycle routes to address local fears concerning additional car journeys that extra housing will bring.
The cycle routes outside Cambourne are in dangerously poor condition as they are also on fringes of Cambourne. Within Cambourne they need to be more joined up and more clearly signed and the population better informed through publicity.

Elizabeth HERBERT
(Labour Party)

Safe cycling Routes into Cambridge City need to be less disjointed so more cyclists can be encouraged to use them. The joint cyclist and pedestian path on Cherry Hinton Road is often not used by cyclists, who instead choose the hazards of riding on the road. Also, Coldhams Lane Bridge frequently has cyclists who put themselves at risk by not using the separate cycle bridge. We need to find out why, and try to make a safer route more attractive to cycling.

(Labour Party)

The "arterial" cycle path alongside the busway is excellent although links to and from Willingham and Over could be marginally better. The road route using NCN51 isn't bad but would benefit from some general improvement where cycle paths exist.

(Labour Party)

The Addenbrookes cycle path has obviously been a major improvement.
Cyclists have a reasonable amount of protection from Trumpington into Cambridge itself, less so on Cambridge and Shelford Road and beyond that cycle lanes are pretty much non-existent.
I would favour looking at the following:
- Removing some parking bays close to Shelford School where there is a bend with restricted visibility (already under discussion)
- Reduction of the speed limit between Church Street Great Shelford and Church Street Little Shelford.
- Trying to extend the Addenbookes cycle path back to Sawston.
- Various other piecemeal measures.
I would stress again that all this needs more engagement from local cyclists.

(Labour Party)

We could do with more cycle ways, there are some in Cambridge that are well used but there are places where the cyclists have no choice except to use the roads

(Labour Party)

The currently the lack of a connecting cycle route from Sawston to Cambridge between Stapleford and Great Shelford is a problem. A new short cut to the DNA cycle way between Great Shelford and Cambridge from Stapleford needs to be introduced to improve the cycle way to Sawston. The current route in these villages presents numerous road obstacles for cyclists, a short cut would be instrumental in addressing these issues. I would also improve the amount of cycle parking at Whittlesford parkway and Shelford train stations as part of improved commuter facilities and also look to improve cycle facilities available on trains for commuter's if possible.

Alison WOOD
(Labour Party)

I have cycled to and from Milton Country Park using the Coston bridge, Milton Road cycle paths and the Guided Busway. I think this is a good route, but there have been lots of road works which makes navigation by bike more tricky. Better signposting of off-main-road routes through housing estates and residential side streets would benefit safer cycling.

(Liberal Democrat)

Some of the pathways aren't completely flat, but the number of people I see using them suggests that they must be useable.

(Liberal Democrat)

At present, the routes from Bar Hill to Cambridge are effectively non-existent, which is reflected in the much lower levels of cycle commuting. However, I hope that the A14 upgrade will bring a significant change. There is a lot of detail about the routes and the link to Bar Hill that isn’t show in the Highways Agency plans, and I hope that we see this during the examination phase shortly.

Peter FANE
(Liberal Democrat)

The conditions are generally good for those cycling from Great Shelford to Addenbrookes and the City beyond - depending on the current Hills Road improvements; but less good for cyclists from Stapleford, and those cycling to other parts of Cambridge.
Residents in Little Shelford and Newton have very little access to safe cycle routes beyond the villages. We need to invest in improved segregation for cyclists on the road, and in upgrading bridle ways and other routes for cyclists in some places to make a start on creating a safe network.

Richard GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

I always see cyclists on the path between Cottenham and Histon, and between Oakington and Girton - and the Guided busway is astonishingly popular for leisure and commuting rides. I am really pleased about that.
It was disappointing that not all of the plans could be effected for the Histon section of my ride into town, but the painted cycle lanes leading to the Histon crossroads are a cheap way of making a difference, reminding drivers that cyclists are around.

(Liberal Democrat)

We always use the Busway to get into the city. Luckily, the section that we use does not flood, unlike if we go to St Ives. It is – mostly – an excellent facility for cyclists with very few sections that don’t seem up to standard (although it does suffer from overgrowth in places). Accessing the Busway from Willingham is relatively straightforward as there is a reasonable, albeit shared-use, cycle path next to the B1050. That said, this is a busy road and the fact that the path is shared may cause cyclists and pedestrians to fell less comfortable.

The problem is getting to the Busway from Over. The only way on tarmacked paths is to go towards Swavesey and pick it up there, but this means going out of the way for most Over residents. There is a bridleway to it from Longstanton Road by the Industrial Estate, but this is often muddy and icy in the winter and it does not suit road bikes at all. Ideally, I would like to see this improved such that road bikes with slick tyres can easily use this, otherwise it is next to useless for them.

Many people now seem use an unofficial and mildly dangerous short-cut from Longstanton Road and down the embankment where the Busway crosses under the road. This is now well worn, but it is steep, slippery and involves an unofficial crossing. Could this be adopted and improved, perhaps? Or could another access be provided – avoiding the embankment – just past the bridge and to the right? One access did exist here for contractors while they were building the Busway.

I cannot finish this section, however, without referring to the introduction of car park charges on the Busway park-and-rides. This must not only be putting off those parking and riding on buses, but also those parking and riding their bikes to Cambridge. It may even be pushing them to park on local residential streets. Surely, we should look again at this short-sighted measure. It appears designed to reverse the progress made on public transport and cycling uptake in South Cambs.

(Liberal Democrat)

Since the last census and now there have been more cycle routes created from my ward to Cambridge city. In improving the cycle routes, creation of more cycle signs on cycle routes/lanes will prevent cars or vehicles driving on cycle routes. Reduce more roads to 20 mph to reduce speed and protect cyclists from being knocked down.

(Liberal Democrat)

Conditions are quite good. A cycle track along Long Road could separate cyclists from fast traffic

(Liberal Democrat)

I have often made this very point about the high levels of cycle commuting here, only to be told by our current leadership that commuter cycling cannot make a significant contribution to reducing congestion.

From Barrington, there are several routes, all with pros and cons. I go to Barton on the road and then use the cycle path into town. Some people use Cantaloupe Farm, but you need to get permission from the landowner, which is a pity as otherwise the route is good. The route along the A10 avoids the hill and the new Trumpington Meadows path is quite good, but there is no way of avoiding Harston, where you are either have to brave the 50-odd blind driveways on the shared-use path or get hassled by drivers on the main carriageway. The Cycling City Ambition grant should help solve this. We can then get better links from the A10 spine to the villages.

From Orwell, it is much worse. One option is to use the A603, which has no path for most of its length and is very hostile. I do know at least one resident who commutes to Cambridge everyday along the A603. Others come to Barrington and then use one of the routes mentioned above, but this adds to the length of the ride. The A603 should really have a good, wide shared use path along it. There is plenty of room in the verge. I hope one day to see this happen.

(Liberal Democrat)

More needs to be done. Currently there is not enough communication between South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City regarding routes into town. This is why we have gaps.

Furthermore, we need to be careful to keep these routes maintained well - otherwise people will just be encouraged to get back in their cars.

Cambridge is not the only place people from Fulbourn go, many of us find ourselves needing to go to the other villages, for school and healthcare, so the focus should not only be on safer cycling to the city, but between the villages as well.

(Liberal Democrat)

At present there are too many barriers for many people to see cycling as a realistic option. But if it was possible to get to the train stations or to get across and along the A505 safely, this could easily change. In particular, access to the Whittlesford and the station from Duxford village requires a difficult crossing point of the A505. See the response to question 2 for details of a proposed safe route to the station platform via Welch Transport above.

(UK Independence Party)

I have no recent experience of this. I last cycled from Hardwick to Cambridge about forty years ago and it is over thirty years since I last cycled in Cambridge City.

(UK Independence Party)

The facilities for cycling in/from Milton have improved with the bridge over the A14 but further cycle paths could be added within the area and within the city quite easily to improve facilities for cyclists

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.