Elections

2016 Cambridge City Council Election: Queen Edith's

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council May 2016
Polling date: Thursday 5th May 2016
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • John BERESFORD  (Labour Party)
  • Joel CHALFEN  (Green Party)
  • Manas DEB  (Conservative Party)
  • Jennifer PAGE-CROFT  (Liberal Democrat)

Questions for Queen Edith's ward 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?

John BERESFORD
(Labour Party)

Yes.
People need space.

Joel CHALFEN
(Green Party)

Making Space For Cycling is an excellent guide which I fully endorse. It is vital that the profile and needs of cycling (and pedestrian) traffic are given equivalent status and consideration as motor vehicles. Moreover, it is great to see practical and common sense being directed at policy-making and public works. The more that can be done to make, as the document suggests, cycling the 'instinctive choice' the better.

Queen Edith's, being crossed by the ring road and Hills/Babraham Road, is host to some key cycle routes, now being cemented in the upgrade to Hills Road. As a fairly 'suburban' ward, it has many quieter streets as well. However, between these two broadly positive characteristics of cycling provision lie problems.

One of the more hazardous challenges for cycling is the huge presence of parked cars in residential roads. A move towards regulated parking, however, (and perhaps a congestion charge) should help with this as a more practical measure than introducing one-way streets or point-closures. On some routes - particularly Wulfstan way - the added traffic of buses, despite being a small road, suggests that as well as 20mph zoning (which already exists) clearer cycle pathways need to be established. Indeed, establishing a priority system in residential roads for cyclists (and pedestrians), as suggested in the document, would be worth investigating for the ward.

The other problem - raised by the alterations to Hills Road - is that there can be very different cycling experiences on the same route. What really doesn't work is flagship routes where, as soon as you turn off them, you find yourself back on the pavement with pedestrians, streetlamps and uneven surfaces - which is precisely the case as you turn onto Cherry Hinton Road. The principle of maintaining infrastructure so that as smooth a ride is possible is of value here.

Manas DEB
(Conservative Party)

I support make the space for cycling in my Queen Edith ward because currently we do not have enough dedicated cycle ways. Queen Edith’s way is an important route to Addenbrooke’s and the bio medical campus. The growth of the hospital and campus will mean an increase in road traffic using this route. This route is also an important one for children travelling to and from school. Currently there is a shared-use foot and cycle way but no on road dedicated cycle lanes.

Jennifer PAGE-CROFT
(Liberal Democrat)
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?

John BERESFORD
(Labour Party)

Less reliance on being dropped by car.

Joel CHALFEN
(Green Party)

I take my daughter to Morley by bike everyday. The journey is very short but not trouble free. We all need to learn that we share our space with others and I am pleased that she has to learn about road safety. However, I would also like to see much more done to limit the flow of motor traffic around the school at the beginning and end of the school day. Too many times waste collection vehicles are emptying bins at school drop off time. Whilst it is not easy to control their schedules, basic rules around schools at key times of day could be established. Children coming to school by car is of course also part of the issue here: investigation needs to be made as to why so many cars are used and whether alternatives could not be found - perhaps even with a school bus. These are observations from my own journey to school but I am sure they are similar elsewhere. Each school should advertise its safest cycle routes and have them upgraded so that they are 'the instinctive choice'; schools should investigate the possibility of buses and promote car pooling where cars have to be used. Drop off points need to be carefully managed and schools need to be designated 'safe zones' at critical times.

But also a word on education: Bikeability schemes promote cycling and safe cycling and these programmes must continue to be supported. However, parents also can be educated in the benefits of cycling and 'making space for cycling' is as much about consciousness and behaviour as it is about design and infrastructure.

Manas DEB
(Conservative Party)

I propose dedicated cycler path in certain areas of Queen Edith ward so that parents feel safer to send their children to school using the bike and this will also reduce the current traffic congestion

Jennifer PAGE-CROFT
(Liberal Democrat)
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?

John BERESFORD
(Labour Party)

I'm 69, and cycle occasionally.
I worry about the lack of lights on some bicycles in the dark, and the occasional disregard for traffic signals.

Joel CHALFEN
(Green Party)

Virtually every journey in Cambridge I make myself or with my family is by bike. It is probably the thing I love best about living here. But it is not all picture perfect: Whilst my eldest daughter rides her own bike, she is still young enough to take a lift in our 'box' bike with her sister on longer journeys. Often this is helpful for speed (!) but it is also because no route that we take is hazard free. As I said above, learning road safety is vital to learning to cycle. But I note that in every image of your Making Space for Cycling guide not a single rider is wearing a helmet and certainly nothing hi-viz. This is surely an ideal view of cycling in Cambridge and it is impossible to contemplate as a parent. I cannot imagine a cycling experience in the city with my children riding independently ever to be as free of worry as the ideal scenarios propose. The one exception: on the day of the Tour de France when we cycled up the middle of Trumpington Road! Now that was a true family experience of cycling!

Manas DEB
(Conservative Party)

We normally bike to local shops and sometimes use bike to take my son to school. Occasionally my son, wife and myself would bike to friend’s house and enjoy the family bike trip

Jennifer PAGE-CROFT
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 4

Secure cycle parking has been fixed in the short term at Cambridge Railway Station but is still a major problem for people travelling to work or to shop in the city centre. Where do you think that additional cycle parking can be provided in the city centre?

John BERESFORD
(Labour Party)

Market Square. The Backs.

Joel CHALFEN
(Green Party)

The indoor cycle parking in the city centre is reasonable, on street parking - along St Andrews Street, Sidney Street, Bridge Street especially - is almost impossible but there will always be a compromise on use of space. For Queen Edith's residents some more parking outside Budgens would be very useful and, if there is space, outside the Cherry Hinton Road shops.

Public use bikes at fringe site car parks should be investigated - with designated parking for them in the centre; shops and businesses should continue to be pressed on supporting these changes. The argument that car parking provides a revenue at a time of cuts gives the lie to austerity. As your campaign makes quite clear, improving cycling infrastructure has benefits to all the city, including economic benefits and it takes investment to ensure everyone is best served. Under duress of ideologically-led cutbacks, opportunities still arise to make the most of the resources available - and this involves making different decisions to old established norms rather than trying to shoe-horn them in.

Manas DEB
(Conservative Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Jennifer PAGE-CROFT
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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?

John BERESFORD
(Labour Party)

Enable space for cyclists to walk with their cycles.

Joel CHALFEN
(Green Party)

And what about the development of cycle lanes on Hills Road! At present, this is now a hugely dangerous route to cycle.

This is an historic city and our roads cannot cope with the growth in so many ways. Periods of cycle route closure or obstruction during building projects is going to be difficult to avoid. But again it is incumbent upon the Council to ensure that cycle services are maintained as best as possible, to ensure that there are clear replacement routes for bikes around building sites - at a cost to developers - and if this means encroaching on motor traffic space then this may just have to be. Reducing speed limits where there is construction to better manage the presence of cycles on main routes may be necessary. Developers must contribute to alleviating the difficulties imposed by their work ensuring where possible that cycle routes are not unnecessarily closed. And I would be happy to hear of any other reasonable proposals for dealing with this kind of long-term but transitional problem.

Manas DEB
(Conservative Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Jennifer PAGE-CROFT
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# 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?

John BERESFORD
(Labour Party)

Turning right for a cyclist off Hills Road is difficult.
Cyclists would have to be prepared to dismount and cross, perhaps until a 20 mph limit is imposed there.

Joel CHALFEN
(Green Party)

As mentioned above, I typically use a cargo bike. Wherever cycle routes are on pavements - such as on Cherry Hinton Road - cycling the bike can be difficult. Making these roads 20mph could help by making the road more usable - where widening is not possible but this means asserting cycles as equal to cars in the flow of traffic, which is not ideal at all. Certainly in terms of street furniture - it now needs to be recognised that wider bikes are now much more common and accommodation should be made for them by removing unnecessary obstacles. It is the same as for wheelchair and disabled access. I would support every effort that can give consideration to non-standard cycles but again everyone needs to accept that we share our public spaces and whilst cycling can offer the advantage of speed and directness, sometimes there are compromises to be made.

Manas DEB
(Conservative Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Jennifer PAGE-CROFT
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 7

Protected junctions where pedestrian and bicycle traffic are fully separated from motorised traffic have been proposed by Cambridge Cycling Campaign for the Milton Road / Elizabeth Way junction. Which junctions do you think would benefit from this safety improvement within the Cambridge area?

John BERESFORD
(Labour Party)

Those two, and maybe Hills Road/Cherry Hinton Road junction.

Joel CHALFEN
(Green Party)

Unfortunately, the Hills Road bridge over the railway is, despite reasonable solutions, still a very dangerous set of junctions for bikes with cars crossing bike lanes. If greater separation could be achieved here that would be a huge improvement. On all roundabouts in Queen Edith's cycle crossing is not easy and there are probably improvements to be made here.

Manas DEB
(Conservative Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Jennifer PAGE-CROFT
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 8

Residential streets used by commuters to park all day for free increases traffic on already congested roads. This has an impact on cycle safety. It also means that residents of those streets may not be able to park cars outside or even near their own homes during the daytime. How would you solve this problem?

John BERESFORD
(Labour Party)

Resident parking in streets where houses have no drives.s

Joel CHALFEN
(Green Party)

As mentioned above, car parking in residential streets is one of the biggest hazards I face as a cyclist especially on the school run. Regulated resident parking needs to be introduced; Park & Ride and Park & Cycle facilities should be provided outside the city, with high-quality routes leading to the city centre. Once these facilities are established, a congestion charge would help to deter commuters from driving into the city to park. In Queen Edith's it is students for the Hills Road Sixth Form College who particularly add to the levels of parking in side streets - though they may not be the only ones to do so. For them, greater incentives to use public transport/cycling is critical.

Manas DEB
(Conservative Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
Jennifer PAGE-CROFT
(Liberal Democrat)
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.