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Question 3 - we asked:

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?

We asked this question in all 14 wards, namely: Abbey, Arbury, Castle, Cherry Hinton, Coleridge, East Chesterton, King's Hedges, Market, Newnham, Petersfield, Queen Edith's, Romsey, Trumpington, West Chesterton.

39 of the 62 candidates (63%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

(Conservative Party)

Growing up in Cambridge we couldn't afford a car and I can remember our family of 6 traveling round the city likes ducks in a row. My 83 year old father still cycles daily but I worry that drivers seem to be less not more considerate of cyclist and it will be an accident not old age that will gets him in the end. I am lucky enough to have a road bike and mountain bike when I want to hide from 3 scream kids but my favorite is an original Dawes Galaxy plus wicker basket which is hands down the perfect Cambridge bike. My biggest concern is that one or all will be stolen at any point! As mentioned my eldest cycles to school and my two little one are still building their confidence but I would not repeat my childhood ducks in a row due to the increased level of traffic, narrow cycling space on road and limited cycling space off road. My wife is a worried cyclist so she will be signing up for Outspoken and will also be doing the family cross Cambridge cycling challenge !

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

(Green Party)

I cycle around the city daily, as well as enjoying off-road cycling for leisure. I rely on fast acceleration, a high speed in general and emphatic signalling in order to feel safe. This pressure to compete with cars should not be a part of cycling, and others understandably find it difficult to feel safe.

(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!

(Green Party)

I have been cycling in Britain since 1981, travelling widely in the UK on holiday using public transport and bicycle. Some areas of the UK are much easier to cycle in than others and Trumpington Ward is well served by cycle paths by comparison with most other cities in UK.

When travelling abroad in Holland I enjoyed the ease and safety of cycling on dedicated cycle paths widely integrated into their transport system though I never got used to having priority, as cyclist to crossing roads while on cycle path. The need to ensure it is safe to cross a road ingrained by cycling on the UK roads meant I did a dance with confused motorists who waited to let me cross.

One of my concerns is that now the streets around the station are a no cycle parking zone it means that if the new cycle park does not suit your cycle parking needs you need to search further away for a parking space. On observation I found the new cycle park is difficult for people with cargo bikes, child carriers and 3 wheelers to find parking space, cycles with child extensions and for those with mobility difficulties and for people like myself who has difficulty lifting the bike on and off 2 tier racks creates concern about whether I can park on a given day. This means for some to ensure parking there is quite a long walk to the station from the side streets in order to access the railway station.

If we really want to tackle congestion and climate change by supporting cyclists to manage their work and family time and speed of access to the station we need to encourage a wider group of people to come by bike rather than car so the new cycle parking at the station has to be set up to cater for older people like myself, cyclists with disabilities or family groups.

Looking at the ground floor area dedicated to cycle parking for those with special needs, according to Abelio literature there is limited space if one is unable to find a parking space one has to push bikes up a ramp suitable only for standard bikes as there are no lifts to the upper floors. On the day I visited these steps were quite slippery which concerned me too. There were not any notices to identify this area as a dedicated space for those who might have difficulty accessing the 2nd and 3rd floor. This parking has Sheffield racks are very close together and double decker racks that are difficult to access unless you have a certain level of physical fitness. The Sheffield racks are too tightly packed and when the area is full has bikes they are falling across each other, blocking access for standard bikes let alone larger ones. There is no notice to tell cyclists these places are for people with special needs and it would be difficult to park a large cycle in this area due to layout, so it needs some rethinking.

To give examples of difficulties people might experience: For people like myself with arthritis in the joints of the spine in the area of the ribs, and in right elbow it’s difficult to lift the bikes on/off the double decker racks without causing stress on the spine and rib movement that is not recommended with this condition and causing pain. Another person I know with balance issues uses a 3 wheeler would have difficulty pushing a bike to level 2 on the ramp, another local cyclist with profound mobility issues would not be able to get to upper floor at all. My own solution is to take my bike on the train and park in Kings Cross where there is plenty of parking or cycle to my destination in London.

Friends with cargo child bikes would not be able to access the ground or upper floor space at all due to the size of their bikes and layout of grd floor and access issues.
So I’d work to see the ground floor dedicated to special needs and reorganised after consultation with them on layout and to see lifts installed to upper floors before the building is finished and it is too late. Lifts large enough to take 6 bikes or 2 cargo bikes at least. There is suitable space for this at present and contractors are still on site. There will not be enough specialist parking on the ground floor and having discussed this issue with a number of people they were all taken aback by the lack of planning at the early stage for provision of lifts.

Additionally there appears to be no secure provision for longer term storage while away on holiday similar to the provision provided by Station Cycles provided prior to redevelopment, which at £3 per week was an affordable price. This service meant that your bike was not only secure but not in the way of daily parking.

Jiameng GAO
(Green Party)

Personally, I only walk or take public transport around Cambridge. I'm greatly aware of the hazards of cyclists encounter around Cambridge. I would be greatly concerned if any of my family members were cycling in Cambridge. The attitude of motorists in Cambridge have towards cyclists, regardless of age, is incredibly dangerous, and often this is caused by the fact that there is inadequate cycling space on the road in the first place.

Monica HONE
(Green Party)

My husband cycles to work, and my older daughter will be cycling to school from September.

(Green Party)

I started cycling fairly recently (previously I walked everywhere). It's a shame it took me so long, but I was worried about finding myself cycling in areas where it is not properly supported. While I have managed to make it work it could be so much better, and I worry that others may have more trouble.

Sharon KAUR
(Green Party)

I used to cycle until my physical health deteriorated. But when i did I felt scared cycling on main roads as it felt like a struggle against motorists, and mainly Mill Road with cars parked meant having to either get off the bicycle or hoping I would not be hit by an angry motorist. Having spoken to residents with families, one particular lady told us that her youngest son cycled to school every day so he didn't end being stuck on the bus at peak traffic time. She said she often worried about his safety. This really touched me.

(Green Party)

30 years, and a number of improvements to infrastructure seen, over the years, but my goodness it's been slow!

(Green Party)

I grew up in Cambridge and have cycled to school since I was ten. When I went to university in London, I continued to cycle everywhere. My experience has made me a confident cycler with few personal concerns. However, I have spent a lot of time talking with people who are not confident or are worried and can understand why.

Between pot holes, dodgy drivers, pedestrians stepping out, parked cars on cycle ways, incessant red lights and poor weather conditions, a lapse in concentration could cause an accident and injury.

(Green Party)

I have used cycling as my principal form of transport for maybe around 5 or 6 years now. While a student and a support worker in Glasgow I cycled (and kept very fit) all over the city to get to my shifts. Glasgow's a very hilly city and doesn't have the best cycling infrastructure in many places so it definitely made me appreciate how flat and relatively cycle safe Cambridge is.

I cycle from home to Addenbrooke's most days for my work. I bought my girlfriend a bicycle for her christmas last year and she's really enjoying using it to get around Cambridge as well. I do worry about her safety though and am always telling her to be careful when cycling anywhere!


We all cycle. My wife and daughter share a tandem.

Margery ABBOTT
(Labour Party)

I have cycled in and around Cambridge for nearly 50 years, including through 3 pregnancies. I don't drive, never have, I have always either walked, cycled or used public transport. Due to medical issues I no longer cycle and I miss it. My children all cycle, while at school they did safer cycling courses, which made me feel more confident of their ability to cycle safely.

(Labour Party)

I cycle to work at Addenbrookes every day – I also rely on my bike to get me pretty much everywhere around the City. As a hobby I cycle further afield at the weekend. I don’t think younger/older family members would necessarily be more vulnerable but would be concerned for less experienced cyclists particularly on busy routes with little or no cycling provision for example Mill Rd. I would also be concerned for less experienced or non-local cyclists where cycling routes are not clear or rely on prior knowledge of the road for example awareness of the location of advanced stop lines.

(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.

(Labour Party)

I personally don't cycle very much because of a back condition that prevents me but my wife cycles a lot because she does not drive. Her main complaints is potholes and some of the bad behaviour from motorists.

(Labour Party)

I'm afraid the only cycling I do is my daily commute to work, which is in the city centre. I do this for speed and convenience.I don't often use my car to come into the city centre, I invariably use public transport. When I do cycle to work one thing that annoys me though is other cyclists and pedestrians wearing headphones, oblivious to their surroundings and a hazard to other road users

Nick GAY
(Labour Party)

Cycling is central to my daily life and that of my family. I cycle about 60-70 miles a week (non recreational) and have done so for the 37 years that I have lived in Cambridge. In 1979 provision for cyclists was very poor and although things have improved it remains substandard. Segregation from motor traffic especially HGV is essential for safety and yet it is simply abandoned at the most hazardous places like Hill/Lensfield Rd, Hobson St. The £2M remodelling of this junction has not made things better in my experience. A big problem for planning of cycling provision is the dysfunctional dual authority with Cambridgeshire County Council – I am strongly in favour of Cambridge becoming a unitary council. The Tory proposal for a third tier with an Eastern Region Mayor is in my view bonkers and will make things worse.

Danielle GREENE
(Labour Party)

I have always commuted to university lectures and later to work by bicycle across the city. Now that I have two infants my opportunities to cycle have lessened, but I always try to cycle where possible.

(Labour Party)

My dad was a very keen cyclist. My late mother developed chronic arthritis after I was born so had to give up cycling. I got from my dad the importance of not just seeing cycling as an easy way to get around, but also for recreation and personal wellbeing. I got from my mother the need to ensure that cycling should be made accessible to all. Those values have rubbed off on me. That was why I, as Executive Councillor, was very keen to ensure that any legacy of the Tour de France in 2014 ought to be not simply about enhancing cycling infrastructure (important though that is) but to further increase participation of cycling activities.

The City Council’s partnership with Sport England and British Cycling enabled several initiatives, such as free ‘Sky Rides’ to take place after le Tour, and the Council’s TdF Legacy and Activity Group created a forum for local sports and cycle groups, schools, charities and other interested parties to develop ideas for future events that celebrate cycling in Cambridge. I am also proud of the support the City Council has given to organisations like ‘You Can Bike Too’, who have done excellent work in widening access to adapted cycles for people with a disability.

(Labour Party)

I've cycled my whole life, and so has my partner, and so have our families. As a child I lived in Milton Keynes, which is famous (apart from its roundabouts) for its 'redways': a planned model of cycle systems that is an ideal aspiration, which benefits people of all ages. Big cities like Berlin or Amsterdam have excellent cycling networks and it is so important that we catch up in the UK, and learn what we can from other countries' experience. I'd like to see Cambridge becoming a model for the UK. I currently take the train to London for work, and I cycle through the City. Ultimately, promotion of cycling helps make a happier, more environmentally sustainable society: it makes us healthier, it relieves congestion for public road transport and people who need to drive cars, and it plays a crucial part of our goal to develop a carbon-neutral economy.

(Labour Party)

I cycle to work and when I go out in town. All of my children cycle to school.
I used to have a Christiania bike which carried four children so I have been cycling my children around Cambridge since they were very young.Yes I worry about cycle safety for all of us

(Labour Party)

I cycle every day in Cambridge and find it quite safe though one has to take more care in rain (or snow) partly because of the slippery conditions but also the reduced visibility for drivers of vehicles. I usually wear a helmet mainly because granite kerbs are unyielding if your head hits one. I first wore a helmet when we started a family, partly to act as a role model for our daughter. My concerns are for myself and others in my family equally really. We almost always wear a helmet while cycling. One is inherently more vulnerable as a cyclist than almost everyone else whether in a vehicle or walking.

(Labour Party)

I rarely use my car and cycle around the city as much as possible. My son and daughter both cycled from Gilbert Road to Hills Road and Long Road 6th Form Colleges respectively. My son became a confident cyclist after taking a County Council course. They now cycle in Hull and London respectively and I do not have an particular concerns.

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

As an undergraduate i would cycle around Cambridge all the time and have done so ever since (despite now being an occasional car user). Both my parents (who are now retired) would cycle to work throughout their careers and they still take regular cycle rides to keep healthy. They are senior citizens, however, and I am concerned for their safety.

The world at large has yet to value fully the societal and health benefits of cycling. More cycling means reductions in obesity and to the threat of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It therefore means reductions to the nation's healthcare bill, aside from the quality-of-life improvements for individuals. My Father has often written to the local press advocating the rights of cyclists.

At the same time we do see that cyclists have responsibilities towards pedestrians. On shared-use pavements cyclists should be kind to pedestrians, rather than almost knock them over and then be indignant. That said, fully segregated lanes have the excellent double-benefit that they protect the pedestrians as well as the cyclists.

Donald ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

My partner cycles to work daily. I do for leisure.

(Liberal Democrat)

Well, I cycle most days, and have done for many years, apart from a period when a leg injury meant I couldn't cycle.

Is there a problem -- especially given the diverse range of choices of routes for cyclists.

(Liberal Democrat)

I am a regular cyclist and have encouraged my children to be the same.

(Liberal Democrat)

I myself cycle to and from work almost every day and currently ride a recumbent tricycle (the lazy-boy of British cycling). The Ant is a bit wider than normal bikes and therefore it has highlighted access issues to me (discussed later).

My partner commutes between Suffolk, but has a conventional bike for evenings and weekends around Cambridge.

Although we do not have kids, I am a school governor and Cheney is a teacher and therefore we are both acutely aware of the scrapes younger cyclists can get themselves into. Young cyclists can lack experience and, sometimes, consideration or common sense. It is therefore very important that we have safe cycle paths along key routes to schools.

(Liberal Democrat)

I do most city journeys by bike and brought my children up to enjoy the freedom that cycling offers young people in this city. I do worry about the safety of children and young people and believe cycling training is of great importance in schools, but there are also important issues for older people. To ensure that people can continue cycling into old age, it's vital to provide safe, convenient routes and plenty of easily accessible cycle parking at local shopping centres, doctors surgeries etc.

Daniel LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

I walk rather than cycle. No one in my family currently cycles, although I have a relative who used to many years ago and gave it up over safety concerns.

(Liberal Democrat)

See question one for cycling with my children, my parents live in Cornwall, but my mother (who is in her 70s) cycles regularly in-spite of the very steep hills! Safe cycling is just as important for older people. The health benefits of active travel for older people are huge.

Shahida RAHMAN
(Liberal Democrat)

Cars parking on the cycle lane. This means we have to manoeuvre to the main road which isn’t safe at all. They feel unsafe doing this. I believe that more action should be taken to stop people parking their cars like this. Cycling in busy traffic can be difficult too. I am particularly concerned when my children bike during these times.
As explained in Question 2, children are less experienced in being aware of cycling hazards.

(Liberal Democrat)

I try to cycle as much as I can. When my children were toddlers, I used a bike trailer which they loved but was very hard on me. Now that they are both older, we’re working on road safety and safe cycling practices. I’m very aware that in a few years my eldest will be going off to secondary school on his bike, I want to make sure he is prepared for that and has a safe route to use.

Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

I have never been able to ride a bike.

My various cycling relatives have the usual mixed experiences of intermittent and regular cyclists in various parts of the country.

(Liberal Democrat)

I and my family routinely cycle both within Cambridge and beyond. There are various hazards, such as the dooring zone on the way down to the Botanic Gardens, the occasional badly trained bus driver, illegally and antisocially parked taxis, and completely oblivious pedestrians stepping out in front of cyclists without looking in the city centre, but these can all be coped with given a modicum of alertness and experience.

(UK Independence Party)

I no longer cycle. Most short journeys are on foot, longer or with packages by car.

Richard JEFFS
(UK Independence Party)

My concern is that cycling is not inclusive as it requires a certain level of fitness and ability. it could be described as a sport as well as a mode of transport and people should be discouraged from using the public highways as a gym for everyone's safety, especially elderly pedestrians.

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.