Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council 2017: Cherry Hinton

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council, May 2017
Polling date: Thursday 4th May 2017
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Sandra CRAWFORD  (Labour Party)
  • Maximilian FRIES  (Green Party)
  • James MATHIESON  (Conservative Party)
  • John OAKES  (Liberal Democrat)

Questions for Cherry Hinton division candidates (6 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

# Question 1

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 for yourself?

Sandra CRAWFORD
(Labour Party)

Myself and my husband cycle to work daily.
We live in the High Street and find that ourselves and local residents are still concerned with the cycle lanes in the High Street. Young people cycling to school are still using the pavement because the refurbishment of the cycle lanes is not as adequate as hoped.

Maximilian FRIES
(Green Party)

We are taking our now six months old son everywhere in our bike trailer, because we don’t want to own a car and it is still the best way to get around in Cambridge. This said, it could be so much better. For cycling with a trailer you need a bit more space, and the main problem in Cherry Hinton and too many junctions throughout the city that the existing cycle paths stop way before the lights so that you have to literally wiggle your way through the long queues of cars to get to the cycle priority area in front of the queue. With anything larger than a normal bike, this is very difficult or impossible, so we spend a long time in the queues getting the car exhausts blown into our faces. To encourage the use of non-standard bikes that could replace so many cars in the city, I will campaign for fully-segregated and protected cycle lanes up to the junctions, which of course make it safer for everyone to cycle, including the very young and older family members. Finally, intensive cycle training at schools for every pupil and within the community for everyone else is crucial for a safe cycling experience, and should be free. The benefits of a safe cycling experiences, clearly outweigh the cost of this, e.g. when considering health costs of air pollution of injuries.

James MATHIESON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John OAKES
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 2

What challenges do people face in your area that prevent them from cycling, especially children and those using cycling as a mobility aid, and how will you address them?

Sandra CRAWFORD
(Labour Party)

The cycle lanes in Cherry Hinton High Street are advisory only, which encourages cars to drive in them in busy periods. As a councillor I had advised that the pavements be widened and a cycle lane painted on the edge of the pavement, but I was told that the money was not available for this.
As the pavements are deteriorating anyway, work might need to be done to them at some point, and this might be the opportunity to extend them and have a raised cycle lane on the edge of the pavement. It is something that I would like to be able to achieve if I get in again as a councillor and if I get local residents support. Many young people cycle through the High Street to the Netherhall School, and I think that cycling should be made as safe as possible here for them as well as other groups.

Maximilian FRIES
(Green Party)

The lack of cycle lanes or cycle lanes that are not adequately separating cyclists from traffic like along Cherry Hinton High Street make people feel insecure for good reasons, and prevent those with non-standard bikes such as mobility aids, trailers etc. from cycling, as well as rightly makes parents hesitant to let their children cycle. As it is now, I can’t imagine letting my son cycle to school in Cherry Hinton. Even if he would use the pedestrian walk in the beginning, crossing side streets is often very dangerous. The solution is very much fully-segregated cycle lanes, ideally in a way that green spaces with trees separate road from cycle lane, or not along roads at all. This is something I will fight for as County Councillor. To achieve this though, there needs to be a paradigm shift in city and road planning. Too often, the question for planners seems to be “How can we fit cycle lanes into this road?”, but not “How can we fit cars into a street so it is safe for everyone?”. “Making space for cars”, seems to be the motto. That needs to fundamentally change and cycle and public transport gain the priority. Only this will allow a coherent and functional cycle infrastructure for the future. Just “fitting cycling in”, is not working.

James MATHIESON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John OAKES
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 3

Which aspects of current City Deal proposals do you support, and what additional measures which have not been officially proposed do you think should be explored?

Sandra CRAWFORD
(Labour Party)

I like the Chisholm Trail and Greenways into surrounding villages, and the Workforce Parking Levy.
I believe that a whole new approach to transport in the City needs to be undertaken. Obviously we need as much safe cycling infra structure as possible, but other measures such as cheap and green public transport would also help reduce the number of cars, making the air cleaner and making cycling even safer. Something such as a light electric railway system that is very cheap would help.

Maximilian FRIES
(Green Party)

I support the big cycle infrastructure projects such as the Chisholm Trail and Greenways into surrounding villages, and congestion-related actions such Workforce Parking Levy. Also, I welcome the promotion of cycling in many of the projects such as for Milton and Histon Road. But as mentioned above, the flaw of the whole City Deal in my eyes is it’s remit of unlimited growth, exemplified by the schemes for major road extensions and improvements around the city (M11, A14 etc.) that eat up most of the money. Again, here, motor traffic is too often given priority, and cycling something to “add on”. As I explained above, this must change. This change would mean that many of the current proposal would fundamentally change, which can only be a good thing.
In terms of additional measure, secured and dry cycle storage at park-and-ride sites could go a long way to encourage more people to use the services (together with making parking there free). In addition to this, cycle hire schemes and changing facilities at the sites should be introduced to facilitate the transition to cycling. Moreover, I will work to ensure that all sites are connected to the city with fully-segregated cycle lanes. I am also in favour of exploring measures such as a congestion charge to reduce the traffic into the city and create revenue for better walking, cycling and public transport. The best way to do this must be determined scientifically with trials across the city, to find the best fit for Cambridgeshire.
As a party, we have formulated our vision for transport in Cambridgeshire with many more ideas: https://cambridge.greenparty.org.uk/site/Cambridge/files/Transport_Policy_2017.pdf

James MATHIESON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John OAKES
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 4

Which junctions in your area need to be improved to increase safety for people cycling, and how what can be done to fix them?

Sandra CRAWFORD
(Labour Party)

The junction at the Robin is dangerous because a) the cycle lanes that lead upto it are not mandatory. They are advisory and cars drive into them as they approach the traffic lights and sometimes drive cycles onto the pavement. What needs to be done here is that the cycle lane on the left leading onto Cherry Hinton Road should become mandatory, and the lanes for cars should be reduced to one.

Maximilian FRIES
(Green Party)

The central hot spot in Cherry Hinton is the junction between Cherry Hinton Road and Cherry Hinton High Street. Here, the on-road cycle lanes stop far before the lights and cyclist have no safe way to get in front of the queue to their priority areas. I witness dangerous situations every day, including left-turning cars cutting straight going cyclists. The solution is a segregated lane up to the lights so cyclists can make their way to the front safely. Also, special lights for cyclists giving them a head-start as on Hills Road/East Road junction would work well here. Another problem area, is the roundabout at Budgens (Cherry Hinton Road/Perne Road). First, the cycle lane coming from Cherry Hinton is in very bad shape, making the approach with a larger bike or trailer unsafe. Second, coming from Cherry Hinton, cars often block the cycle lane to the roundabout, which could be solved by more segregation. Finally, the roundabout where Radegund meets Perne Road is very cycling unfriendly with cyclists needing to change onto the pavement and then having no priority on the outgoing roads. I would work with officers to get that re-done and take CamCycle’s “Making Space for Cycling” with me, which shows clearly how such a roundabout can be done. Especially the fact that this roundabout is rather new, makes me doubt that they have read it.

James MATHIESON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John OAKES
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 5

With Park Street due for demolition, and Grand Arcade cycle park frequently beyond capacity, where do you think a third covered city centre cycle park should be located? What other additional actions do you propose to increase cycle parking capacity on our city centre streets?

Sandra CRAWFORD
(Labour Party)

As there is one on the south side of the City Centre at the Railway Station, it would make sense for people cycling from the Northern side to have a cycle park somewhere near to the Park Street Area.

Maximilian FRIES
(Green Party)

I am open to suggestions for the location, which depends on the availability of a site. The suggestion of the Post Office Terrace is a good one and should be explored as is the roof of the telephone exchange. Automated underground storage (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcZSU40RBrg) would also be an interesting option, though likely more expensive, less space would be needed. With a lot for the central city owned by the University and Colleges, as a student, I would also start talks with them, as they possibly could provide a (shared) location and make a positive contribution. In addition to a large third space, I would campaign together with other Green councillors to gradually turn on-street and indoor car parking spaces into cycle parking. This gradual change would encourage more people to cycle in from Park and Ride sites (then with our proposed cycle storage and hire) and provide the space they need.

James MATHIESON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John OAKES
(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 6

What measures would you support to boost cycle commuting into Cambridge? For instance, the City Deal Greenways proposal, reuse of old railway alignments, or new bridges over main roads?

Sandra CRAWFORD
(Labour Party)

I like all of these suggestions.

Maximilian FRIES
(Green Party)

As discussed above there are multiple projects that I would work for, including putting cycling, walking and public transport ahead of cars in all city planning and therefore changing the whole nature of all City Deal and related projects, cycle storage and hire at park-and-ride sites and a gradual replacement of car with cycling parking. More ideas I would work for can be found in the Green Party’s vision for transport here: https://cambridge.greenparty.org.uk/site/Cambridge/files/Transport_Policy_2017.pdf.
In terms of specific projects, the Greenways scheme is a start, but standards are too low and more routes should be considered. I think the Chisholm Trail will certainly be a big boost, too, and I will work hard to make sure that these projects will be implemented fast and with the best possible standards. The more this can use existing infrastructure such as railways, the better. If building new bridges would be the solution, then this should be considered, too.
Finally, working with developers across Cambridgeshire for residential, community and business buildings it must be ensured that new builds have excellent connection to cycling infrastructure, have a large number of dry and secure cycle storage, changing facilities and programmes to encourage cycling.

James MATHIESON
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
John OAKES
(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.