Elections

2016 Cambridge City Council Election: Romsey

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council May 2016
Polling date: Thursday 5th May 2016
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Sophie BARNETT  (Labour Party)
  • Roy BARTON  (Conservative Party)
  • Jane CARPENTER  (Green Party)
  • Catherine SMART  (Liberal Democrat)

Questions for Romsey 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?

Sophie BARNETT
(Labour Party)

As a regular cyclist and member of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, I would fully support this guide and the principles within it. All road users benefit from well planned cycling provision - drivers and pedestrians as well as cyclists. Given the high level of development and building in Cambridge it’s important that appropriate cycling provision is incorporated within new and existing developments to encourage cycling for as many people as possible. Cycling is a great way to get around the city, is vital for making sure we keep our city moving and keeps you fit too.

Romsey is definitely a ward where all of the ‘Making Space for Cycling’ principles apply, for example on the prospective development of the Ridgeons site, which offers the chance to put these principles into practice especially given the link with the Chisholm trail. Apart from the Ridgeons site, if I needed to apply one principle to Romsey it would be ‘People want to cycle away from parked cars’. There are lots of narrow streets in Romsey, many of which have cars parked on either side for example Greville Rd, which sometimes make it difficult to navigate on a bike. This is exacerbated by Romsey’s proximity to the train station, which means many commuters park on Romsey’s streets during the day. I would like to seek residents’ views on a review of commuter parking on Romsey’s streets, particularly in roads where cars are parked on both sides.

Roy BARTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

Making Space for Cycling is an exceptionally useful guide particularly for deciding planning applications in the new communities. As to using it in Romsey - the clue is in the sub-heading - "A Guide for new developments and street renewals".

The street renewal scheme which will soon be coming to Romsey is part of the Chisholm Trail. I would want the principles of Making Space for Cycling be enacted as far as possible when doing that. It will be particularly important to use it for the new crossing over Coldhams Lane - but the whole route should follow it where-ever possible.

# Question 2

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

Sophie BARNETT
(Labour Party)

I think it’s great for children to be able to walk or cycle to school where possible. This question is particularly relevant to Romsey, where last year some children were unable to get a place at St Phillips and therefore have to travel further to school at Abbey Meadows. I’d like to see designated cycle paths along major routes used by school children, ideally segregated from other traffic, which would be more suitable for younger children. Where children are driven to school, I would like to see parents encouraged to drop them off at a safe distance from the school gates to ensure the safety of children cycling or walking to school.

Roy BARTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

We (ie the Romsey Lib Dem team) campaigned for Fairfax Road and at least part of Ross Street to be two-way for cyclists so that children from the north and west of the ward could legally ride to St Philip's School on quiet roads and not have to venture out onto Coldhams Lane.

An important factor in children's safety is the parking problem that can arise at the school gate. Careless parking, opening doors and setting off without looking can scare or even harm children. Constant pressure by the police, the School and other parents is needed to stop this.

It is also important that quality, covered cycle stands are available at the school so that the children can learn how to use them properly

# 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?

Sophie BARNETT
(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.

Roy BARTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
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.

# 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?

Sophie BARNETT
(Labour Party)

Although I welcome the extra cycle parking that has been provided recently, I’d definitely like to see more cycle parking in the city centre – I often have to try several places before finding a free rack at the weekend. There are some places where many bikes are locked to railings for example outside Emmanuel College and along Regents Terrace and given the clear demand I think it would be good to provide additional parking near these areas. Given the limited space in the City Centre I would also encourage businesses and colleges to provide additional cycle parking.

Roy BARTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

An audit was done a couple of years ago after the last set of instalments and confirmed that there were no easy answers to this problem

Extending the area for cycle parking under the Lion Yard shopping arcade was identified as a possible place but, so far as I know, nothing has been done to check this out further.

# 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?

Sophie BARNETT
(Labour Party)

It’s frustrating when developers close cycle routes or remove cycle space, where they perhaps would not consider closing a route for cars. As a ward councillor I would keep a close eye on any construction sites and consult residents to ensure that any closures of cycle routes are identified and highlighted to the appropriate officers. Where possible, I would like see routes kept open but where short term closures are inevitable, I would lobby developers/officers to ensure alternative routes are in place with appropriate signage.

Roy BARTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

Closing a route, even for good reasons, without providing an alternative is not acceptable. This goes for all transport modes but is particularly important for cycling and walking. It is also crucial to signpost it properly.

What to do when this doesn't happen can be tricky and partly depend on how long the closure will last and whether it was planned or an emergency. Liaison with the police, the highway authority and the contractor are all options that can be (and would be) pursued.

# 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?

Sophie BARNETT
(Labour Party)

There are a few routes in Romsey which might be inaccessible to non-standard cycle users:
- The staggered railings on the route between Coleridge Rd and Mamora Rd
- The chicane on Argyle Street
- The barrier between Rustat Road and Charles Street
Working with my county colleagues, I would review these routes with officers to understand the reasons for these particular layouts. For example whether they are measures to restrict car access or implemented for other safety reasons such as stopping cyclists and pedestrians at a ‘blind’ junction. I would then explore whether there are alternative layouts that could achieve the same goals to improve accessibility for non-standard cycles. For example if the goal is restricting car access, it might be possible to remove barriers and make the route too narrow for a car but wide enough for a non-standard cycle.

Roy BARTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

The crossing over Coldhams Lane at the junction with Cromwell Road is not non-standard bike friendly. It is not particularly standard bike friendly either as it has a narrow mid-road island.

It will be essential to get the new crossing connected with the Chisholm Trail a really easy-to-use crossing - with no stop-start and full separation.

# 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?

Sophie BARNETT
(Labour Party)

I commute along Hills Road on a daily basis and one of the junctions I would like to see considered for separation is the Hills Rd/Long Road junction which is busy with pedestrians, cyclists and cars throughout the day and currently quite dangerous for all groups. I’m interested to see the outcome of the recent City Deal consultation on this junction.

Roy BARTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

All round-abouts can be difficult for cyclists, especially those less confident. They are also land-greedy and pedestrian un-friendly. I would like to see a programme to change all round-abouts in the city to signalised crossings with separation for motorised traffic, cyclists and pedestrians.

The junction of Coldhams Lane, Barnwell Road and Brooks Road by Sainsburys would be the first on my list to be changed.

# 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?

Sophie BARNETT
(Labour Party)

As mentioned above, commuter parking is a problem in some parts of Romsey because of proximity to the train station. There are a number of potential solutions such as residents parking zones or the painting of single/double yellow lines or a combination of both. I don’t think it’s possible to take a ‘one size fits all’ approach and therefore it’s important to consider each road individually and most importantly to consult residents on what they think might be the best solution for their road.

In conjunction with on-street parking measures, it’s important to consider why commuters are parking in the city centre in the first place and to encourage alternative means of transport. I would lobby the County Council for the removal of Park and Ride charges and support improved cycling provision to provide attractive and accessible alternatives to driving, which would reduce demand for commuter parking.

Roy BARTON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

If commuter parking is the problem, residents' parking schemes can usually help. However, when the Lib Dem team surveys residents in the most commuter affected part of Romsey (last time last Autumn) so far the majority have not wanted it.

In some parts of the city (including much of Romsey) the number of residents owning cars creates the pressure on parking, rather than it being commuter parking. Only a reduction in car ownership will solve this, beginning with people giving up their second car. This will happen as people no-longer need to own a car due to the availability of safe cycling routes, convenient and efficient public transport and the availability of the car club, which I encouraged to set up in Cambridge several years ago.

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.