Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council 2017: King's Hedges

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council, May 2017
Polling date: Thursday 4th May 2017
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • David CORN  (UK Independence Party)
  • Jamie DALZELL  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Angela DITCHFIELD  (Green Party)
  • Anette KARIMI  (Conservative Party)
  • Elisa MESCHINI  (Labour Party)

Questions for King's Hedges division candidates (7 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7 

# 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?

David CORN
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jamie DALZELL
(Liberal Democrat)

I myself cycle to and from work and currently ride a recumbent tricycle along Milton Road most days. Trikes are bit wider than normal bikes and therefore it has highlighted access issues to me (discussed later) and some hazards on routes such as the narrow bike lanes by the Golden Hind pub.

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. It is therefore very important that we have safe cycle paths along key routes to schools.

Angela DITCHFIELD
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elisa MESCHINI
(Labour Party)

I don’t own a car, and my bike is my only mode of transport. I cycle to work every day and into the centre of the city several times a week. I’m a relatively slow cyclist. I can cycle from my house just off the top of King's Hedges Road to Cambridge railway station in half an hour and to Addenbrookes in 45 minutes (haven't timed myself on the new Cambridge North station yet).

I frequently cycle to Addenbrookes for medical appointments and my personal experience, as well as that of many North Cambridge residents I've spoken to, is that cycle parking facilities could definitely be better over at Addenbrookes. More dedicated space and safer covered facilities would help several people from my neck of the woods not feel put off at the thought of making the trip by bike.

# 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?

David CORN
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jamie DALZELL
(Liberal Democrat)

We do have some significant gaps and obstacles in the King’s Hedges cycle network which I believe do discourage more vulnerable potential cyclists.

As noted by other local campaigners, the current plans to improve the cycle way along Arbury Road is limited by the narrow sections closest to Milton Road. I understand that plans are being developed to link this into the rest of the cycle network along Milton Road by a different route, but a cycle route should always be judged by its most hazardous sections.

This has recently been illustrated on Green End Road (documented online by Richard Taylor) where the recent cycle lane additions do not make sufficient room for buses and appear to be regularly

We also have a number of tight chicanes and awkward bollards (such as the ‘pram arms’ on the route between Ramsden Square and Campkin Road) which make it difficult/impossible for trikes and children’s trailers. I have raised this with officers and I am pushing for review and improvements (which would be a lot easier if elected as a Councillor).

Angela DITCHFIELD
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elisa MESCHINI
(Labour Party)

Cycle lanes along Milton Road, King’s Hedges Road and Green End Road are in very poor state of repair from years of underfunding by the Tory-led County Council.

If elected to the County Council I will work to ensure that more money is spent on maintenance of cycle paths and also pavements, as too often there are patched repairs that last only a short time before degrading again back to a very poor state. This isn't ideal when we think about encouraging the elderly, children, or first time cyclists on to the road. Several areas could do with looking specifically at improving cycle safety by prioritising cyclists, for example at the bend of Green End Road near the shops by the junction with Water Lane.

The City Deal needs to think longer term when implementing agreed schemes and take the chance to significantly improve the current state of roads and pavements. On Green End Road, they should strip back and completely resurface the roads (and pavements) rather than just paint over the current poor surface. Many residents are disappointed that new schemes don’t seem to include fixing existing problems with pavements and surfaces and are too superficial.

# 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?

David CORN
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jamie DALZELL
(Liberal Democrat)

The City Deal has pledged to deliver some great projects. Focussing on cycling, an example would be the Chisholm Trail, which should provide a fantastic connection to the new train station and an alternative and highly accessible cycle route across the whole city.

However there are some considerable weaknesses in projects (for example, recent replanting of hedgerows on Arbury Road) that have been highlighted by campaigners but exacerbated by the accountability deficit of the City Deal, with key policy documents not being subject to consultation or public discussion. These situations undermine the credibility of the City Deal and often create conflict between different community groups (e.g. on the doorstep, poorly implemented cycle routes are often partly blamed on cyclists).

From my experiences, many of the best ideas (one noted above) come from the local community. Similarly the worst mistakes could often be avoided by better community engagement (especially as we are lucky to live in a city with so many highly-engaged groups).

Therefore, as a Councillor, my focus would be ensuring that City Deal continues to look for ideas from across our community and conducts meaningful consultations when finalising plans. Extending this, I also believe that any proposals should include a detailed review of opportunities to engage local children.

For example, when designing the ‘planting’ sections for Milton Road, could local schools run projects to help decide which trees and hedges should be incorporated into final designs? I think this could be a fantastic way to develop future stewardship of our area.

Angela DITCHFIELD
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elisa MESCHINI
(Labour Party)

Having attended most of the Local Liaison Forums conducted in my area, I am fully behind the resolutions that were passed for Milton Road and Histon Road.

In general, I would look most favourably upon any measures aimed at prioritisation of public transport, cycling, and walking. The Greenways proposals are very good. Segregated cycle lanes need to be put in wherever possible. Cycle parking facilities should be included in most public transport hubs.

# 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?

David CORN
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jamie DALZELL
(Liberal Democrat)

Quite a few – as mentioned, I find the Golden Hind cross-roads is a particular hazard with larger vehicles sweeping into the bike lane, but there difficulties along Milton Road including the junctions onto Ramsden Square and Lovell Road. These are unlikely to be resolved until a proper improvement plan for Milton Road has been agreed (as discussed in question 7), with proper protect cycle lanes kept separate pedestrian pavements and roads.

Angela DITCHFIELD
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elisa MESCHINI
(Labour Party)

From talking to residents, the junctions of King’s Hedges Road, Milton Road and Green End Road have been of particular concern recently but all junctions shared with other motorised vehicles could do with looking at. Advanced green lights for cyclists improve cycling safety at controlled junctions and I'd quite like to see a few of those being introduced, as they would be very useful in helping regulate traffic to the advantage of cyclists, for example at the Union Lane junction with Milton Road.

# 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?

David CORN
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jamie DALZELL
(Liberal Democrat)

Although plans to revitalise Park Street should be welcomed, I do also hope that the eventual plans incorporate replacement cycle parking. However, additional cycle parking is also required within the city centre and it would be good to see the David Earl’s proposal for utilising Post Office Terrace explored.

I understand previous studies found also concluded that it would be possible to further extend the bike park facilities Lion Yard. It is disappointing that the City Council has not developed this project more quickly, and they clearly need to consider opportunities for other areas in all future planning.

With such limitations in our historic city centre, I would also be keen to see the Council working more closely with local businesses to encourage and support better cycle parking for employees (which could help to take pressure away from existing public facilities).

Finally, in the longer term, I would like to see new community hubs developed outside of the current city centre. For example, in King’s Hedges the new train station could be used as a platform to develop a Cambridge North Quarter to include shops and other attractions and reduce overcrowding in the city centre.

Angela DITCHFIELD
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elisa MESCHINI
(Labour Party)

Since shortage of cycle parking is such a perennial problem in the city, I believe that new planning applications should include cycle parking allocation with very stringent measures for monitoring delivery.

The structure replacing Park Street will include cycle parking facilities and I expect to work very closely with my City Council colleagues to deliver this.

Further ideas to explore would include cycle parking in front of shops that have space, expanding the capacity of the Grand Arcade and negotiating with the University to provide more cycle parking outside of its buildings. If the Workplace Levy is introduced, more cycle parking could be offered to employees as an incentive to switch from their car to a bike.

# 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?

David CORN
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jamie DALZELL
(Liberal Democrat)

With recent news regarding local pollution levels and worsening congestion issues; I am keen to support the principles of Greenways proposal, with better cycling connections for orbital villages offering many benefits.

However, the success of this ambitious project will depend upon the quality of routes and, in particular, safety and avoidance of conflict with pedestrians and drivers.

Angela DITCHFIELD
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elisa MESCHINI
(Labour Party)

I definitely support the Greenways proposals, which would enable quality cycling routes free of traffic not only for people coming into the city but for people travelling between locations in the city. When looking at long distance cycling facilities, segregation is crucial for safety.

Other ideas to explore would include a safer A10 cycleway into the city and a cycleway out towards Waterbeach.

Safe and capacious cycle parking at the new Cambridge North station will hopefully alleviate commuter cycle parking problems in the North of the city. Cycle parking at the new Cambridge North station will need to be monitored carefully to ensure it is sufficient in the first couple of years after the station opens.

Cyclists in the North of the city suffer from the lack of safe cycle parking facilities along the Busway and this is something that I would definitely like to work with Stagecoach on.

# Question 7

What improvements for cycling would you like to see on Milton Road?

David CORN
(UK Independence Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jamie DALZELL
(Liberal Democrat)

Milton Road could be substantially improved for cyclists, with separate and widened cycle lanes needed. The route I ride daily includes one section which is too narrow and leads to conflict with pedestrians, another section which is on the road and frequently has cars cutting across when turning left. Coming back the other way, it is then shared with a bus lane which is quite intimidating and dangerous (I have seen some extremely-near misses).

The ambitious ‘Do-optimum’ proposals put forward by local residents and the Cambridge Cycle Campaign would address these issues, which is why I am throwing my full-support behind developing these plans.

Angela DITCHFIELD
(Green Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Anette KARIMI
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Elisa MESCHINI
(Labour Party)

According to the plans that the Residents have submitted to the City Deal, I’d like to see segregated cycle lanes safe for people to use to cycle into the city regardless of experience or level of confidence on a bike.

We need segregated cycle lanes in both directions with some shared use areas where they are needed, for example around schools.

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.