Elections

2015 South Cambridgeshire District Council election: The Shelfords & Stapleford

Summary: 2015 elections to South Cambridgeshire District Council
Polling date: Thursday 7th May 2015
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Peter FANE  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Mike NETTLETON  (Labour Party)
  • Linda WHITEBREAD  (Green Party)
  • David WHITEMAN-DOWNES  (Conservative Party)

Questions for The Shelfords & Stapleford ward candidates (4 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4 

# 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?

Peter FANE
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, I fully support this approach. Motorists should recognise that ensuring safe routes for cyclists, preferably segregated from car traffic, will take up some roads space but this will be more than offset by the reduction in congestion resulting from increased uptake of cycling.

Mike NETTLETON
(Labour Party)

I have read the PDF version of the guide. It makes a number of sensible points. However, the majority of design principles seem to me to be most appropriate for large scale new developments. It is very difficult to see how these could be retrofitted into our existing village environment and I think that in these situations a more pragmatic, piecemeal approach is needed.
I'm a Parish Councillor in Great Shelford. Over the last year we have successfully fought to have the speed limits on our two major through routes (Cambridge Road and Hinton Way) reduced from 40mph to 30mph. I believe this will significantly enhance safety for cyclists on those roads. However, it is very difficult to see how the recommended segregated space of at least 2.1m on each side of the roads could be implemented on those two roads (especially Hinton Way). I would encourage Cambridge Cycling Campaign to engage with their Parish Councils in South Cambs to identify concrete improvements which can be made (I see little evidence of this happening at the moment).

Linda WHITEBREAD
(Green Party)

I congratulate you on a very comprehensive, easy to understand and well illustrated document. I do fully support it.
The problem with applying the principles to existing narrow roads (particularly in the middle of villages such as Great Shelford) can be lack of space. Improvements for cyclists also cost money in the short term; and often the (real) financial gains are indirect and do not accrue to the body making the investment (eg benefits to health service of reduced accidents, fitter populace, less pollution). We need the government to restore funding to local authorities so that they can be more pro-active regarding cycling. But when money allows the principles should be followed. We are fortunate to have several dedicated cycle paths in the ward, but they could be better maintained in some cases. We also need a solution to the problem of cyclists using the footpath in front of the Spar shop in Stapleford. They should not really use it but it is much safer than using the road, where there is a busy junction.

David WHITEMAN-DOWNES
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 2

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

Peter FANE
(Liberal Democrat)

This is a major issue at Shelfords school in Church Lane. Congestion for all road users also makes cycling and use of the pavements unsafe. Even considerate drivers find themselves forced to mount the pavements at times when they find they cannot get past the line of parked cars, their way is blocked and they cannot backup because other cars have followed them through. This is frustrating for drivers, dangerous for cyclists.
Radical options need to be considered as moving a few yellow lines will not suffice to deal with the issue or improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians. One option which should be explored (as part of wider plans for congestion and cycling in the Shelfords) is part-time traffic lights, combined with a lower 20mph speed limit for this section. The temporary traffic lights erected during recent construction works were shown to improve safe traffic flow in both directions, and therefore to improve the experience of both cyclists and pedestrians.

Mike NETTLETON
(Labour Party)

Pedestrians:
- more zebra/pelican crossings
- further restrictions on parking around schools
- further reductions in speed limits
Cyclists:
- as above
- whatever further segregation of cyclists and traffic can be achieved

Linda WHITEBREAD
(Green Party)

The Green Party would impose a 20 mph speed limit throughout built-up areas, and introduce more traffic calming measures. We support the 'walking bus' idea, and would prefer that cycles can ride safely on roads with other vehicles, rather than share paths with pedestrians; we would introduce measures to facilitate this. We would integrate training on all aspects of cycling, eg both riding and bike maintenance, into the mainstream education curriculum to support those children who cycle to school.

David WHITEMAN-DOWNES
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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?

Peter FANE
(Liberal Democrat)

I moved to Great Shelford largely so as to have access to sustainable transport options - after years of campaigning for safe cycle routes in the village I lived in previously. It is of enormous benefit to us as a family - and to residents of the Shelfords and Stapleford more generally - that we have our own railway station and the Helical path to Cambridge, as well as good (if variable) bus services.
This means I can take the train to London for business without the temptation to drive to the station; my children can cycle to school; and I can cycle to Cambridge on off-road routes. We will have to wait and see how the improvements to cycle provision on Hills Road works out, but this should also greatly improve the experience of residents cycling into Cambridge.
But there is a shortage of other safe cycling routes in the ward, particularly in Littel Shelford and Newton, and safe cycle routes need to be extended to Stapleford. There is only limited scope to do this by upgrading bridle ways and we need to secure funds from City Deal and other sources to improve cycle segregation on some

Mike NETTLETON
(Labour Party)

I used to cycle regularly in both Cambridge and London (Peckham High Street-Old Kent Road- Bricklayers Arms-Great Dover Street-Southwark Bridge-Moorgate-Old Street. Highly recommended); I do less nowadays. My wife is a regular cyclist, as are both of my (grown up) children.
Plainly, there are additional issues for younger and older cyclists - lack of confidence, lower speed, les stability.

Linda WHITEBREAD
(Green Party)

I have cycled but am fairly inexperienced and somewhat nervous so I prefer to walk or use the bus when possible. I do have a car which I probably use too much. My husband hasn't cycled for many years. Both my (adult) daughters use a bike as their main means of transport (in Cambridge and in London) and keep trying to get me on my bike more! I plan to do so and I am going to be getting some help from experienced cyclists to improve my confidence and road skills.

David WHITEMAN-DOWNES
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 4

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?

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.

Mike NETTLETON
(Labour Party)

Mixed:
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.

Linda WHITEBREAD
(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.

David WHITEMAN-DOWNES
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

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.