Elections – Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Elections

Local elections (City), May 2018: Arbury

Summary: Elections to Cambridge City Council in May 2018
Polling date: Thursday 3rd May 2018
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Dylan COLL-REED  (Conservative Party)
  • Stephen LAWRENCE  (Green Party)
  • Patrick SHEIL  (Labour Party)
  • Tim WARD  (Liberal Democrat)

Questions for Arbury ward candidates (9 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 

# 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 yourself?

Dylan COLL-REED
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Cycled since a young lad. Only wasn't able to cycle when I succumbed to a nasty bout of Glandula Fever

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

My family and i are frequent and (in my case) daily bicycle users. I cycle to and from work every day (up and down Histon Road).

As an undergraduate i would cycle around Cambridge all the time and have done so ever since (despite now being a *very* 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 the local shops and just to keep healthy.

My Mum and Dad are senior citizens, however, and i am concerned for their safety. For although they do observe all guidance and rules around legal and safe cycling, the fact is, cars are still going too fast in built-up areas. Sleeping policeman are not always enough to stop this. National introduction of an option to install 20 mph zone speed cameras would be good.

The world has yet to understand fully the health benefits of cycling: more cycling means reductions in obesity and to the threat of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This means a lessening of the nation's healthcare bill, aside from the quality-of-life improvements for individuals.

My Dad has often written to the local press to defend the rights of cyclists.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

I and my family routinely cycle both within Cambridge and beyond, including daily commuting. There are various hazards, with the worst at the moment being the proliferation of potholes which distract attention that should be spent on situational awareness, along with the perennial illegally and antisocially parked taxis, and completely oblivious pedestrians stepping out in front of cyclists without looking in the city centre. One of which led to a broken wrist (and destroyed bike) in my family since you asked this question last year.

# Question 2

A key aim of our organisation is enabling more people to cycle, by the provision of protected space for cycling away from traffic, not shared with pedestrians, thus reducing traffic and providing transport choice. This best-practice is outlined in our guide, Making Space For Cycling, endorsed by all national cycling organisations. Do you support these principles, and if so, where could they most effectively be applied in your ward?

Dylan COLL-REED
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

We have a particular problem at my residence (built 1976) with complete lack of sufficient cycle parking (10 spaces for 13 flats). There must be many other residences like this.

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

I support *Making Space for Cycling* and have continued to promote its use. I would say that lowering speeds for motor vehicles either through design (as on p. 12) or by legal restriction is key in Arbury, containing as it does a long stretch of road (Carlton Way) on and off of which cyclists are at risk because of speeding. Cars on Perse Way should go slower and so should motorbikes. Speeding on Arbury Road needs to be controlled, especially now that we are encouring more cycle use on this road through the addition or segregated cycle lanes.

Another principle that could usefully be applied in Arbury is the visibility principle (see p. 21). The shaping of junctions (and especially hedges and fences near junctions should allow people to see each other whatever vehicle they happen to be using. The junction of Roseford Road and Histon Road is an example.

In Arbury we have a number of roads that were built at a time when there was less infrastructure and/or developments generally. This means that visibility can become an issue where previously it would not have been.

Total visibility should be the aim in all the new developments - so no fences or hedges going right up to corners for example (as we currently have at points on Histon Road for example).

On the protected space theme, the plans being put before the Greater Cambridge Partnership for the Histon Road upgrade will include segregated cycle lanes and i welcome this.

I will continue to promote the *Making Space for Cycling* guide. The SUSTRANS *Handbook for Cycle-Friendly Design* is also a useful guide.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

I support the principles, but as there is essentially no unused land available for new development in Arbury the use cases would be largely restricted to "street renewals". The recent work at the top end of Arbury Road is interesting, but even this has its downside, making the right turn into St Alban's Road that much more challenging now that both lanes of traffic are no longer slowed down by the mini roundabout. The poor GCP proposals for Histon Road show the difficulties of satisfying the demands of cycling as well as those of preserving trees and front gardens where available land is severely restricted, but at least, following representations I made last year, the proposal to ban cyclists from turning right into Warwick Road has now been dropped.

# Question 3

Safe use of the roads is a major issue. Our view is that traffic policing, of all groups of road users (cyclists, drivers, etc.), should become a greater police priority, and that this should be evidence-based, namely based on the relative levels of danger presented by each such group. What are your thoughts, and where would your priorities be?

Dylan COLL-REED
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

"Levels of Danger perceived" seems more relevant. So cycling courses to increase self-confidence - and these will also raise awareness of where real sources of danger are. It is interesting that "road breakdown-assistance" has provided funding for a very effective pro-car lobby. Would the same help cyclists?

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

Yes i agree that traffic policing should be a greater police priority, and i voted accordingly when Cambridgeshire Constabulary presented North Area Committee with options for prioritization last year.

Moreover, i agree that the resource allocated should reflect the level of danger presented by the group in question, and for assessment of that level of danger to be evidence-based.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

I agree with your view. My priorities would go with the evidence, following the accident record, in addition to listening to Camcycle and local people via the Area Committee, and addressing any behaviour patterns that emerge as problematic.

# Question 4

We are keen to see more children being able to cycle safely to school independently. Ideas from our members to assist this include protected space for cycling, parking/pickup bans 200m of schools, cycle parking. What measures would you suggest?

Dylan COLL-REED
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Seems good.

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

Fixing pavements would make walking safer and more appealing as an option, especially if and when the distance from home to the school is under a mile. Also, it should automatically be 20 mph if not in some cases 10 mph speed limit in school areas. This would reduce risk of accidents and allow cyclists freer and safer access to the roads.

There should either be pinch points or speed bumps (possibly two sleeping policemen would work) in the lower part of French's Lane. Children cycling to and from St Luke's School will be safer as a consequence. Cars have been frequently spotted going too fast down that road. There might be a case for similar measures regarding Arbury Primary School; the views of parents, residents and teachers should be canvassed. As noted above, cars often go too fast down Carlton Way.

Temporary walkways should be provided when any new development forces pedestrians - be they parents or children (and parents and children who might be wheeling bikes) - onto the road.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

The measures already suggested seem a reasonable starting point, along with perhaps some more police priority (see Q3) given to things like parking in the new cycle lanes on Arbury Road outside St Laurence School ... but perhaps this has already been actioned, as I have seen less of it recently than used to be the case.

The city wide 20mph project which I led whilst a councillor was in part aimed at encouraging higher rates of cycling to school.

# Question 5

Our volunteers spend a lot of time scrutinising planning applications for failures such as lack of secure cycle parking, poor access, failure to fund nearby improvements to make the roads safer, and so on. Many of these things get let through by officers and Councillors in clear contravention of the Local Plan. The lack of a full-time cycling officer makes this situation even worse. What are your main concerns about the planning system, and how would you seek to make improvements?

Dylan COLL-REED
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Most of the problems seem to emmanate from the people submitting the applications. They seem unable to comprehend that members of their own family might be need to access their own developments on 2 wheels. I guess this is a nationwide problem requiring presentations to architects, developers?

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

My main concern about the planning system, and the first thing i would change if i could, is the absence of a forum via which members of the public can make representations on specific applications to County Highways ahead of their statutory consultation reports to the City. Failing this, there should at least be scope for Highways to revise their initial conclusions in the event of new information coming to light.

The City works in partnership with the very good County Cycling Team and together they are producing excellent results as more cycling infrastructure is delivered both in Cambridge and it’s environs.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

This is a bureaucratic process question, so I'm afraid I am going, of necessity, to give a bureaucratic process answer. I could guess where improvements might be effective, but it's quite easy to guess this sort of thing wrong, so I'd take an "issues and options" approach. I would commission an investigation into the scope and scale of the problem, perhaps by the Internal Audit team, to identify the root causes of recent problems ("issues") and suggest remedial measures ("options"). These can then be evaluated and the most effective measures chosen for implementation.

# Question 6

Cycle routes which are narrow and involve sharp turns and chicanes make routes difficult or impossible for users of adapted cycles, tricycles, handcycles, cargo cycles and cycles with trailers, impairing accessibility for the most vulnerable. Can you think of anywhere in your ward where it is difficult to use a non-standard cycle and what would you do to improve it?

Dylan COLL-REED
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

1) Jesus Green Lock Bridge
2) Bermuda Terrace (both ends)
3) cut-thru beetween French's Rd and Harvey Goodwin Av
4) Cut-thru beetween St Luke's St and Castle park (steps)
Most of the problem areas are not specific to the ward, but are on routes to common destinations, eg Rail station. Parker's Piece (eg crossing by Swimming Pool)

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

Non-standard cycles offer attractive and interesting alternative modes of transport and are helpful, for example, to those with more luggage than would fit on a bike, or to those who have a need or preference for greater stability, and also to those who have children as passengers. We should promote use of these innovative options.

However, existing arrangements around the town are not always conducive. Moreover, it's not just width of thoroughfare that is at issue. There are frequent dips on pathways on Madingley Road. There is also the mini-roundabout and the floodgate-and-bollard system on Bridge Street and the turn-off down Round Church Street. The design of the latter is not ideal and directs cyclists to the left of the road putting them in the path of buses turning left. I would consult on possible remediation with engineers and planners.

Generally, i would want to see cycle paths being made wider for the sake of tricycles, cargo bikes and similar. And we should promote the style and ethos of the Greater Cambridge Greenways approach to making thoroughfares for all (https://www.greatercambridge.org.uk/transport/transport-projects/greenways/).

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

When I was previously a councillor we removed barriers to non-standard cycles in various places across Cambridge, some of the ones in Arbury at my suggestion, and I'm not aware of any quick wins (such as removing pram arms or bollards) remaining. Of course if any were drawn to my attention I would take action to deal with them. Some passages and alleyways are probably intractable as it would not be easy to make out a case for demolishing a garage or a wall just to benefit such traffic, but of course any redevelopment that takes place should be regarded as an opportunity to improve permeability for all cyclists.

# Question 7

Protected junctions where walking and cycling traffic are fully separated from motorised traffic have been proposed by Cambridge Cycling Campaign for junctions being rebuilt by the Milton and Histon Road GCP projects. Which junctions do you think would benefit from similar safety improvements within the Cambridge area?

Dylan COLL-REED
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

North Mere Way roundabout, and the route to Roxburgh Rd

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

The junction connecting Huntingdon Road, Histon Road, Victoria Road and Castle Street is one which needs attention, and one where full separation might work well. There are a number of problems here. Traffic lights do not give pedestrians enough time to cross the road. Cars go into lanes not corresponding to their destination. Cyclists and pedestrians are suffering as a result. We need a cycle light that goes green allowing cyclists to move ahead of cars for those first crucial seconds (as in the new arrangement at the bottom of Castle Hill). What currently happens is that both start to move at the same time with one or the other having to improvise if there is a sudden change of direction. This can lead to accidents.

However, the good news is that County Officers are now looking at just this kind of scheme, for that very junction. This was discussed with help of diagrams in our most recent Local Liaison Forum (LLF).

Also, we are improving safety along Arbury Road by removing mini-roundabouts and going for raised junction tables.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

Whilst it would be of value to many cyclists, I would not like "fully separated" to be compulsory - for example in the proposed "improved" version of the Milton Road / Elizabeth Way junction I would probably go straight on along Milton Road westwards in the main carriageway rather than be held up on the segregated cycle path, and the animation fails to demonstrate such behaviour and thus might give an overestimate of motor vehicle speed and thus capacity. Cambridge Cycling Campaign has in the past been supportive of "confident cyclists" who use their right to use the main carriageway as well as those who prefer segregated facilities, and I hope they will continue to be so. As always, the right balance must be struck.

One thing I would seek to do is carry out an audit of controlled junctions which don't have advance stop boxes for cyclists, and find out why they don't, and campaign to add them where it is physically and legally possible (even if it might reduce junction capacity for motor vehicles). A relatively straightforward improvement for segregated movement for cyclists, albeit not segregated road space, might then be to add more "cyclists go first" phases to some of the traffic lights.

# Question 8

How will you work with the GCP to improve walking and cycling proposals in their Histon Road scheme, in particular with regard to children cycling to school at the Mayfield Primary School, crossing Histon Road near Carisbrooke Road, and within the narrow section of road from Aldi south to the junction with Victoria Road?

Dylan COLL-REED
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Arrange to cycle with the groups specified at peak travel times, to see problems at first hand.

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

Thankfully, segregated cycle lanes are a key element in the latest version of the Histon Road Scheme, soon to go before the board of the Great Cambridge Partnership.

Regarding the Borrowdale crossing, yes; thanks for asking. Crossing Histon Road always feels more difficult than it should, and for that reason, i think we should consult on the possibility of going from uncontrolled to controlled with Borrowdale (near Carisbrooke Road).

And as for that narrow section of road from Aldi to the end of Victoria, it should be 20 mph. I have always thought this. And i think it would apply even in a future where on-street parking down there had been reduced/scaled back.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

The Histon Road scheme was aimed at improving bus times along Histon Road, which always struck me as being rather a big ask as, whatever was done along the road, buses would continue to get held up at the junctions at the ends. The original proposals seemed to be more aimed at car drivers than anyone else ("hey look, they've put in a bus lane, which takes all those pesky buses out of my car lane, so I'll drive more often"): they certainly didn't look good for cyclists, or trees, or owners of front gardens, or people living along the several rat-runs that would have been created. After I and others, including the Histon Road Area Residents Association, made representations a number of the worst features of the original plans have been dropped, and the plan then spent some time on the "too difficult" pile making no visible progress. However it has recently been revived and we're awaiting the next set of "final" proposals: the feeling at the moment seems to be that the plans will end up delivering a small net benefit for cyclists, albeit at vast cost.

Personally I cycle along Histon Road most weeks and don't usually have any problems apart, of course, from the potholes - perhaps the GCP money could be better spent fixing the potholes on Histon Road, so that cyclist can have some attention to spare to watch the traffic?

Particularly in the narrow section from Victoria Road northwards motor traffic, in both directions, is in my experience usually well behaved towards cyclists, and indeed drivers are only too pleased when they can actually drive as fast as the cyclists! The only manoeuvre that I sometimes find difficult is turning right into the passageway through to Borrowdale, through traffic accelerating away from the Gilbert Road traffic lights. But that's a wide section of road that does already have a cycle lane, and it's not obvious that there's any sensible intervention that would be proportionate for the limited number of people making that turn.

# Question 9

How would you improve cycling on Carlton Way?

Dylan COLL-REED
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Stephen LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

It is a mish-mash! I would need to ask for advice on whether fixing the individual problems, or designing a whole new layout would be more effective.

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

Great question. I would love to improve the cycling experience on Carlton Way, not least because i myself am regularly up and down there on my bike.

As City Councillors we need to keep the pressure up on the County to invest regularly in the upkeep of our Cambridge public highways, and to contribute that wherever possible by proposing Local Highways Improvement bids to the County Council. I am delighted to say i've recently done that, with success, in respect of a secion of Gilbert Road. It might be possible to do the same on Carlton Way, and indeed, that road might well benefit from some added speed control measures being put in place.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

I wouldn't have started from here - I wouldn't have put in the current scheme. The illustrated route appears to me to be a failed attempt to provide a segregated facility at any cost, no matter how poor the result (I cycle on the main carriageway there but appreciate that not all cyclists will want to). My recollection is that this was part of a scheme which, bizarrely, seemed to be designed to ADD space for parking for children to be driven to school! - I did question how the scheme was supposed to comply with the County Council's priority of "walking and cycling first" but didn't get a straight answer from them. In improving that area I would look at whether we really need to allocate road space for driving children to school, but as the current scheme was put in so recently I can't imagine the County being happy to spend money tearing it out again just yet.

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.