Elections

2015 General Election: South East Cambridgeshire: South East Cambridgeshire

Summary: 2015 General Election for the South East Cambridgeshire constituency
Polling date: Thursday 7th May 2015
Constituency: South East Cambridgeshire
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Jonathan Peter CHATFIELD  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Lucy FRAZER  (Conservative Party)
  • Huw JONES  (Labour Party)
  • Deborah RENNIE  (UK Independence Party)
  • Clive Kenneth SEMMENS  (Green Party)

Questions for South East Cambridgeshire constituency candidates (8 questions)

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

# 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?

Jonathan Peter CHATFIELD
(Liberal Democrat)

I support the 'Making Space for Cycling' guide. As a keen cyclist myself, I think it is packed with helpful advice and information. We need more spaces for people to safely lock and leave their bikes.

Lucy FRAZER
(Conservative Party)

Cycling benefits our health, reduces congestion and pollution so of course it is beneficial to make space for cycling where this is possible.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

In those parts of SE Cambridgeshire close to Cambridge cycling provision is generally better than in and around Ely, Soham, Newmarket, Linton and their surrounding villages.

The routes from catchment villages into the village colleges need urgent attention. These are generally fast roads, with heavy commuter traffic at peak hours. Some of these routes are narrow country lanes with no footpaths or cycle provision. The princle of giving people space to cycle is step one.

Deborah RENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Clive Kenneth SEMMENS
(Green Party)

Yes; I've not just got a ward, I've got a whole constituency...what I need is some local Green councillors to worry about detailed local cycling issues; and what they need from me is support to get the funding...
(This is a general point about democracy in the UK: decision making is not sufficiently devolved to the appropriate level. Even when it is devolved locally, it's frequently not devolved to the accountable, democratically elected authorities.)

# Question 2

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?

Jonathan Peter CHATFIELD
(Liberal Democrat)

We are all keen cyclists. My 6-year old is on his second Isla bike. I have a Giant and cycle about 1,000 miles a year on it.

Lucy FRAZER
(Conservative Party)

I love cycling. When I was a student in Cambridge, despite having my bicycle stolen twice it was great. My daughter has just learnt to cycle on her own and I am looking forward to some cycling adventures.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

Cycling is part of my way of life. Luckily, I live close to Cambridge, a city where cycling is part of the culture. Of my two grown up children, one uses a bike every day, the other occasionally. Both children were regular cyclists when they lived at home.
I have had the pleasure of cycling some major alpine climbs and have made two long distance cycle treks in the last four years (Cambridge - Limoge).

As a former cycle trainer at our local primary school I know that children develop at different rates, both in their physical ability to ride a bike and in their awareness of the dangers of fast moving cars. Children need low traffic, low speed spaces around their homes where they can develop their skills and awareness in relative safety.

Deborah RENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Clive Kenneth SEMMENS
(Green Party)

I've been a keen cyclist (but not a member of any cycling organization) all my life. My wife and I had a tandem for years. I've cycled all over the UK & Ireland, and extensively in continental Europe and India - see http://clive.semmens.org.uk/Recounts.html?MadCyclist - but I'm 65 years old, so I'm an "older family member" myself now. Our son is 29, and also a keen cyclist. My concerns are really pretty much the same for any cyclist: keeping them separate from motorized traffic as much as possible.

# Question 3

What would you do to improve the number of children cycling to school nationally?

Jonathan Peter CHATFIELD
(Liberal Democrat)

Make it normal. Plenty of cycle racks to lock up on arrival. Dedicated space on road and advance stop space at traffic lights.

Lucy FRAZER
(Conservative Party)

We need safe cyclists so training is important. The Government has already delivered 1.6 million Bikeability places, mainly to young people and we expect a further 280,000 places between April 2015 and March 2016. We also need to promote and encourage cycling.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

The question is how can we best extend the Cambridge cycle culture into the communities of South East Cambridgeshire and into the rest of the UK? In my view the key to success is to start young. If we can establish safe routes to schools for cycling and walking we will establish good habits among the generations that follow. Looking around, I see many primary schools have issues with congestion, parking and antisocial driving at the beginning and end of the school day. How much more convivial would it be if youngsters arrived on foot, chatting with their chums. How much fitter would they be if the caught the cycling bug early in life.

If elected I would press for funding to back the infrastructure for safer routes to schools. Imagine a network of routes around our communities, using quiet backstreets and paths with credible engineering solutions, with traffic calming and good segregation (if possible) where students have to cycle near busy roads. Engineering and planning is not enough. We need to address the ‘soft infrastructure’ if people are to adopt walking and cycling for the school run. This requires training on safe cycling, learning to fix a puncture, schools with secure bike stores and lockers for helmets and raincoats. Along with messages about healthy eating we need to establish the concept of healthy transport: walking and cycling for the school run build exercise into the daily routine addressing physical health and children can start to travel socially, slowly increase their independence and enhancing their self esteem and sense of well being.


Britain has seen a surge in cycling in the last ten years but we have a long way to go before we have calm convivial cities with a reduced dependence of polluting forms of transport. We have to look after all our cyclists, whether they are sporting riders on state of the art racing bikes, MAMILs puffing up hills or commuters trundling steadily along. But most of all we must look after the youngsters who could become the heart of a transport revolution. To achieve this we need to convince parents that cycling isn’t weird, isn’t risky but is a normal activity that can become part of their family’s life.

Deborah RENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Clive Kenneth SEMMENS
(Green Party)

Provide secure, covered cycle parking at schools; provide safe cycle routes between housing and schools, particularly with respect to avoiding obstructing cycle routes with parked vehicles; lower the speed limit to 20 mph in residential areas & improve enforcement of speed limits and parking restrictions.

# Question 4

Do you support the Prime Minister's statement that cycle provision should be designed in to all new road schemes from the beginning? How would you support this?

Jonathan Peter CHATFIELD
(Liberal Democrat)

Absolutely. Needs to be designed in at the start of all planning applications.

Lucy FRAZER
(Conservative Party)

This sounds like a great idea.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

The Prime Minister's starts with the assumption that new road schemes are the answer. Very often there are better solutions that involve investment in public transport and small changes to infrastructure for walkers and cyclists. Having said that, any new road scheme should start from a consideration of all road users.

Deborah RENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Clive Kenneth SEMMENS
(Green Party)

Yes.

Ensure that funding is provided, and that the measure is given legal force rather than just being an aspirational soundbite.

# Question 5

The Netherlands spends over £20 head on cycling annually. Should we try to match this, or should we be spending much more to catch up?

Jonathan Peter CHATFIELD
(Liberal Democrat)

We have committed to £10 per head and would like to do more if we could.

Lucy FRAZER
(Conservative Party)

When the Coalition Government came into office spending on cycling was £2 per person, it is now £6 per person and we have already stated in the cycling delivery plan that we want spending to be £10 per person each year.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

£20 per head is a worthy aspiration. My party has not commited to this level of spending but I would argue that they should.

Deborah RENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Clive Kenneth SEMMENS
(Green Party)

Spending much more to catch up. We're a rich country, this is a high priority and we can afford it. In fact, in the long run, it will save more than it costs anyway.

# Question 6

HGVs pose a disproportionate risk to people on bikes due to size and restricted visibility. What would you do to reduce the danger posed by these vehicles?

Jonathan Peter CHATFIELD
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, the risks here must be reduced. This should be a priority for all levels of government.

Lucy FRAZER
(Conservative Party)

It is right that this is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

The majority of HGV cyclist accidents occur in our towns and cities. Many urban road networks are not suitable for large HGVs. We should develop a system where HGVs are banned from insuitable areas and deliveries are transferred to smaller vehicles suitable for local roads

Deborah RENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Clive Kenneth SEMMENS
(Green Party)

Separate motorized traffic and bicycles wherever possible, especially at junctions; design road schemes to ensure that HGVs cannot use inappropriate routes as "rat runs", while providing access for HGVs for local work such as house removals.

# Question 7

National Cycle City Ambition funding has been focused on only a few areas nationwide. Do you think that it is better to focus funding on a few places as examples of what can be achieved, or do you think funding should be spread more evenly across the country?

Jonathan Peter CHATFIELD
(Liberal Democrat)

It depends. There should be some funds available for all geographical areas, but as well I think it is good to prioritise funding into specific places so you can really see the difference that can be made. These towns and cities can then act as a beacon and example to others.

Lucy FRAZER
(Conservative Party)

There should be an amount at least for each area. But if there are joint enterprises which could disproportionately benefit some areas there may be a case for differential funding.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

I am torn by this question. From a utilitarian point of view it makes sense to concentrate spending on areas where cycling is part of the culture.
In areas where there is no tradition of cycling providing physical infrastructure will not stimulate cycling unless there is parallel investment in 'soft infrastructure' of training, developing 'healthy transport' messages in schools and other measures to win hearts and minds. I would like to see this parallel approach tried in some non-cycling areas in order to see whether it would change the culture.

Deborah RENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Clive Kenneth SEMMENS
(Green Party)

It shouldn't be so much providing examples of what can be achieved, as running trials to see what works well. Once it's clear what works well, it should be rolled out widely as quickly as possible. Funding really shouldn't be an issue!
There is a wealth of relevant experience already - in countries like the Netherlands. They don't necessarily have experience relevant to every situation, of course

# Question 8

One of the major benefits of people cycling is decreased costs to healthcare budgets. Do you think money for building cycle routes should also come from health budgets ?

Jonathan Peter CHATFIELD
(Liberal Democrat)

There should be more integration between funding pots as the benefits are so clearly linked and cover a multitude of departmental responsibility.

Lucy FRAZER
(Conservative Party)

Of course there are health benefits but there are health benefits of many activities. I don’t think that it is appropriate to take money from health to give to cycling.

Huw JONES
(Labour Party)

No. A national increase in cycling would have a long term effect on health. Investment in cycling should not depend on health budgets but be part of the transport budget.

An additional comment that doesn't fit elsewhere: I would like 'Speed Awareness Courses' to include a session where speedster motorists cycle around an urban route. It would make non-cycling anti-social motorists think again about how they interact with cyclists

Deborah RENNIE
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Clive Kenneth SEMMENS
(Green Party)

Although the two are related, I don't think it's helpful to complicate the budgetary arrangements, beyond drawing attention to the savings in other budgets that would arise from wise investment in this area.

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.