Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council 2017: Petersfield

Summary: Elections to Cambridgeshire County Council, May 2017
Polling date: Thursday 4th May 2017
Division:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Emma BATES  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Virgil IERUBINO  (Green Party)
  • Linda JONES  (Labour Party)
  • Linda YEATMAN  (Conservative Party)

Questions for Petersfield division candidates (8 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8 

# 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?

Emma BATES
(Liberal Democrat)

I cycle on evenings and weekends around Cambridge; unfortunately, my workplace on Granta Park is a little too far away for cycling to be practical (though I do intend to attempt this at some point over the summer when I have more time on my hands). My partner is an enthusiastic long-distance runner rather than a cyclist, which means that he is also an unintended beneficiary of improvements to cycling infrastructure. I believe that improving cycling infrastructure frequently has a ‘curb-cut effect’ that leads to benefits for other groups in this way.

I have no younger or older family members living in Cambridge, but I am aware of busy roads that would not be safe for children cycling, and some bone-shaking potholes that are particularly dangerous for the elderly.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

I cycled a lot as a child, in fields behind my house and along the canal nearby. It's been 12 years since I arrived in Cambridge, but it was only 2 years ago that I finally got the courage to cycle here.

I know many people who've felt similarly. We desperately need investment to make cycling both seem, and actually be, safer – to encourage more people to try it for the first time. Those safety concerns are particularly worrying when thinking about more vulnerable cyclists. I've learnt to deal with slightly 'risky spots', but I wouldn't want a child doing that. Children should be able to cycle to school without parents being worried. Falls can also be much more serious for older cyclists, so dangerous potholes need filling as soon as possible. I would also work to reduce traffic in Cambridge, which will cause less wear-and-tear to roads, meaning they stay in better shape and need repair work less often.

Linda JONES
(Labour Party)

I have cycled all my life, in London growing up and in my adult years in various cities including Birmingham. As a family we have regularly cycled for work and on holidays. Our children and grandson learned to cycle early in life, practising with us, and in semi-retirement my husband and I cycle everywhere in Cambridge.
I have belonged to the UK-wide Transport and Health Study Group since 1991 and have always seen cycling as a central contributor to building a healthy transport system and a healthy and inclusive city.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)
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?

Emma BATES
(Liberal Democrat)

Narrow roads, sharp turns and several tricky junctions make cycling challenging for inexperienced or unconfident cyclists in Petersfield, especially children, and doubly so for those who need larger bicycles or who cannot simply dismount and take a section on foot. The Mill Road bridge is a notable example of a section that is inherently challenging for less physically able cyclists, compounded by the narrowness of the road and, unfortunately, at times the impatience of drivers.

Cycling to the schools in Newtown also faces challenges such as parked cars blocking cycle routes, drivers leaving their engines running so that cyclists breathe in petrol fumes, and an overall high volume of traffic at school pick-up and drop-off times. As a result, I believe that reducing the volume of car traffic would help as much as making roads more cycle friendly (the two go hand-in-hand, of course), and I am aware of several ideas for reducing the volume of traffic suggested by the local community, working in conjunction with the schools, that would be my priority to engage with if elected as Councillor.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

Cycling just doesn't seem safe. And in many cases it isn't. The first thing is sorting out roads with the potential to literally knock people off their bikes, just because of the surface. Reducing traffic and kerbside parking will also alleviate the problem of narrow streets, which can make the use of mobility scooters impossible. Ultimately the ideal is to create as many segregated cycle ways as possible.

I want cycling to slowly become the predominant method of transport across the city, by making it the safest, fastest and most convenient option (which is also free, good for your health and good for the planet). Installing more bike parking all over the city will mean that, when planning a journey, you can be sure of a simple A to B trip on your bike.

Alongside this I'd like to see more readily accessible, cheap programmes that encourage and teach safe, legal cycling. Some children and even some adults need encouragement and coaching to overcome any fear, try it for the first time, and gain confidence.

All of this needs to consider all kinds of cyclists: young, old, and those using cycling as a mobility aid, in just the same way as how pavements should be considering the wheelchair user.

Linda JONES
(Labour Party)

Petersfield is a reasonably safe area to cycle in because of the percentage of cyclists around.. However, Illegal parking is growing and creates dangers for cyclists. Road surface quality - road edges in particular - have suffered through county council cuts, and some pothole repairs add to risks. I have already worked with councillors to press for road repairs, to review safety along Mill and Hills roads, to enforce 20mph and to highlight air pollution risks and will continue to do so.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)
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?

Emma BATES
(Liberal Democrat)

I believe that both the Greenways proposals and the Chisholm trail will help a great deal with cycling in Cambridgeshire (on a personal note, the Linton Greenway would help significantly if I were to cycle to work).

However, I have been disappointed in the consultation process for the City Deal generally. Finding details of what is proposed can be a chore, and hugely unpopular and counterproductive proposals such as the thankfully scrapped Peak-time Congestion Control Points were pursued for pursued for too long.

It is not as if Cambridge is short of community groups, from residents’ associations to groups such as Camcycle or Smarter Transport Cambridge, who are prepared to provide detailed feedback on plans and produce innovative ideas of their own. Openness to ideas and clear communication of proposals should be a priority; I would like for the City Deal proposals when put into action to be measures that the local community has been fully involved with, not ones that feel as if they have been imposed from above.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

Before I say what I support, let me state how it's possible. Something has to give, and for me that's investment in car travel. I don't believe we should invest in measures designed to allow greater flow of more traffic (though we should invest in measures to calm and reduce traffic). This change of priority would free up money to make the below actually happen.

I fully support the implementation of the Chisholm Trail and the Greenways fanning out to local villages, and would work to ensure these are developed to a high standard. I also support the Workplace Parking Levy which will raise further money to invest back into the measures I'm proposing, which in turn greatly benefits the businesses who will be paying it.

I would go further than existing plans in a number of areas, including protected cycle lanes from Park and Ride to the City Centre, more protected cycle storage (particularly at Park and Ride), more bike parking structures and provision, quicker road resurfacing with better materials, more segregated cycle lanes all over the city, better signage and marking, cycle training, support for cycle hire, and so on – I am also generally very supportive of the ideas of the Cambridge Cycle Campaign.

Read our full vision for transport in Cambridgeshire: http://bit.ly/2q2no1h

Linda JONES
(Labour Party)

The City Deal focuses on affordable housing and skills and both seem to me vital, given the city's/hinterland growth trajectory. Upgrading transport (rail, road, cycleway) is also urgent but the core vision must be a rebalancing of modes so that environment-friendly transport (walking, cycling, low pollution bus and rail) is prioritised and city congestion is curbed. I welcome the city's application to be a trial area for clean air zones and its rejection of discriminatory and unfair congestion charge proposals.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)
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?

Emma BATES
(Liberal Democrat)

Almost the entirety of the Petersfield sections of Mill Road, East Road, Hills Road and Trumpington Road appear as ‘accident clusters’ on the Cambridgeshire County Council website, and cyclists were involved in a significant proportion of the accidents listed there. There are too many junctions with a large number of accidents to list here, and none of those (e.g. the crossroads of Mill Road, Kingston Street and Devonshire Road, or the junction of Coronation Street and Hills Road) is likely to come as a surprise to regular cyclists.

I would wish to consult with local residents and experts before suggesting solutions as road safety is not my area of expertise. Measures to increase visibility at these junctions and to make traffic priorities clearer and more appropriate for cyclists seem sensible to me. This should be alongside offering alternative traffic-free routes where possible, accepting that cyclists will often choose the fastest route even when it is not the safest.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

Junctions leading onto and off Mill Road are always danger spots, and particularly those near the Mill Road Bridge, where cars and cyclists inevitably accelerate or become more unstable. Better signage, road markings, and traffic control measures can make this safer. A line-of-sight audit would also reveal turns where drivers and cyclists are blind to each other and why. Similar problems can be found when joining and exiting other key main roads in the area, such as East Road, Trumpington Road, and Hills Road.

Linda JONES
(Labour Party)

The Great Northern Rd/Tenison Rd junction is unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists. There is no safe crossing place, the signage is unclear and the road is too narrow to take the existing traffic. Cyclists are using the pavements to avoid traffic danger. Traffic volumes mean air quality is being compromised. County engineers are already being pressed to make changes and I will push for a safe crossing point and some rerouting of traffic.
The Kingston St/Mill Rd/Devonshire Rd junction is problematic for cyclists crossing because Mill rd traffic enters/exits the railway bridge at speed. The Chisholm Trail will help with safe north-south cycle travel but speed restriction enforcement and better signage could help on Mill Rd.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)
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?

Emma BATES
(Liberal Democrat)

A shortage of suitable land has been a major obstacle in creating a third covered city centre cycle park, despite obvious need and political will. One answer is not to look at a large-scale project but to identify as many smaller areas as possible where cycle parking could be added. This also allows for the fact that cyclists may be unwilling to travel far in order to park their bikes, as demonstrated by the stubborn numbers who persist in locking their bikes to the trees around the station despite the ready availability of covered cycle parking.

One example of where multiple smaller areas could be found is that the removal of a single parking space can create space for half a dozen bikes or more; repeated across the on-street pay-and-display parking across the city centre, this could create considerable extra capacity. I support the removal of the parking charge at Park & Ride sites; with this removed, I would hope that demand for city-centre car parking would be reduced, allowing for more of these spaces to be converted to cycle parking. Hopefully this would help with the demand for cycle parking while the search for a suitable area of land for a covered cycle park continues.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

I would favour the installation of a larger number of smaller parking facilities of various types, dotted around the centre, rather than one huge park (including turning over car-parking spaces in car-parks). The benefit of lots of smaller parks is having a parking spot always conveniently closer. But the idea of a third, large, covered, central cycle park is definitely a good one too and I'd support both approaches if at all possible. To determine a location for it I would work with the appropriate councillors and officers to conduct a careful analysis and resident consultation.

Linda JONES
(Labour Party)

I am not an expert on cycle parking and would encourage Camcycle to work with the council , colleges and businesses on this - it is about where land is available centrally and having clear directions to available space. For example, I often park in Downing Place and it is rarely full even when cycles are overflowing outside John Lewis and along Regent St railings. Since cycle hire companies and colleges generate lots of cycle traffic we might encourage them to contribute to the solutions (land and investment).

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)
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?

Emma BATES
(Liberal Democrat)

High-quality, safe, well-lit and well-signposted cycle routes are vital in boosting cycle commuting into Cambridge, and assuming that they meet these requirement, I support the City Deal Greenways proposals for this reason.

However, this is not the be-all and end-all of boosting cycle commuting. For instance, cyclists need to have a place to store their bikes once they arrive at their workplaces. Suitable facilities, such as showers, can also contribute; some employers have showers but no place to store wet towels, which can act as an invisible impediment to cycling. Encouraging employers to work with their staff in finding ways to encourage cycling is important.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

Strengthening the cycle network and creating connections through the city and county, through projects like the Chisholm Trail and Greenways, will help immensely. On top of Park and Ride we need better support for Park and Cycle, Cycle and Ride, and Ride and Cycle (as it were) as well, which can include support for convenient cycle hire schemes.

The City Deal, our Councils and the new Mayor should also insist that new development always be accompanied by proper provision and consideration of cycle routes and parking. Businesses, especially new ones setting up, should be encouraged to provide facilities for cyclists to change and shower.

A number of measures to reduce overall congestion in our transport vision for the region (http://bit.ly/2q2no1h) would make commuting by bicycle more attractive, too.

Linda JONES
(Labour Party)

There is no single initiative to boost cycle commuting but City Deal and other cycling infrastructure proposals can help. Bristol has done quite a bit to boost cycling through Travel Planning work and Cambridge should be trying this, because shifting household beliefs and behaviours is part of the solution. As a public health expert, there is also the health angle to highlight: growing concerns about air pollution and its pernicious effect on children and older people's lungs needs to be linked to car use and to how cycling can help reverse this .

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 7

On Thoday Street, two blocks of eight on-street cycle parking spaces have been created by replacing a car parking place each. Is this something you would like to see more of in your ward? If so, where would you consider it?

Emma BATES
(Liberal Democrat)

Yes, I would support this, as discussed above - providing that it had the support of a majority of local residents. There are several areas where the shortage of bicycle parking is already causing a problem for residents, with bikes blocking the pavement (e.g. near pubs and schools), where residents might therefore welcome this as a solution.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

Absolutely. I fully support the CamCycle proposal of converting 1 parking space per street per year to bike storage or other uses. This will increase convenience for any journey made across the city, while also making streets safer and more attractive. If I was to focus on just a few streets to start with, it would be those near to destinations like the various pubs and cafés in the area.

Linda JONES
(Labour Party)

This is a sensible, local response to cyclists' needs and seems a sound measure for other places in the city where such a need arises, especially where housing is straight onto the street. In Petersfield there is some Mill Rd cycle parking but I am not sure if there are other pressures - I have not seen them. I would need to consult with residents to find out if this is an issue - it has not so far emerged in our door-to-door work with Petersfield residents (unlike bin management, which is problematic).

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 8

The gates in Hooper Street and Gwydir Street are a useful means to prevent through-traffic while retaining cycle access, but the volume of cycle traffic now is such that their restriction to one-way operation causes blockages. Would you support their replacement with simpler bollards, as worked successfully (without causing motorbike problems) on Argyle Street?

Emma BATES
(Liberal Democrat)

I live on Gwydir Street and have seen the blockages caused by the gates first hand - particularly on Hooper Street where there can be a queue of cyclists even at non-peak times. If supported by local residents and causing no impediment to emergency services (as the gates are sometimes opened to allow emergency vehicles through), I would be happy to support their replacement with bollards.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

Yes! These kinds of gates are overkill, causing unnecessary difficulty for cyclists to manoeuvre through them. I regularly enjoy a little 'hello' with a stranger as one of us waits to the right and the other passes through slowly. Bollards would be simpler, effective, and permissive of other types of bike. I imagine they are cheaper, too.

Linda JONES
(Labour Party)

If the review of the Argyle St bollards demonstrates no decrease in cyclist or pedestrian safety then this sounds like a sensible step. Has a survey been done which has highlighted the blockages you mention? I assume that the Council will have surveyed, scoped and costed the change and judged it to be a cost effective measure? If so, similar logic can be applied to Hooper and Gwydir Sts.

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)
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.