Elections

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Question 27 - we asked:

Overtaking on Mill Road Bridge is highly dangerous and scary for many people who cycle, from parents with children to very experienced people. The police response so far has been extremely limited. Instead, we would like to see high-profile, concerted action resulting in prosecutions. What are your views?

We asked this question in these 2 wards: Petersfield, Romsey.

8 of the 8 candidates (100%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

Martin KEEGAN
(Conservative Party)

I have always advocated crowdfunding private criminal prosecutions where the police and the CPS are letting crime get out of hand and the community needs to act, though I don't expect the Cambridge Cycling Campaign to share my radicalism in this matter.

Simon LEE
(Conservative Party)

I agree 100%, I do think a another pedestrian crossing for Mill road bridge would help.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

In cases where culprits can be identified then prosecution should follow. However this may not be much of a method of prevention. Would warning signs help? I'd like to try a variety of approaches here to find out what works.

Caitlin PATTERSON
(Green Party)

I agree, it is a safety issue and many cyclists are injured by it.

Dave BAIGENT
(Labour Party)

The police are unlikely to take any but a sporadic response to the safety of cyclists.
We need to push for some large signs asking cars to respect cyclists and not overtake on Mill Road. Something like 'the person in front of you on a bicycle could be a member of your family - slow down and only overtake when it is safe to do so'

Ann SINNOTT
(Labour Party)

Police funding and resources have been systematically decimated over the last 8 years. In the current economic climate, the police are forced to set unpalatable priorities. Yes, cycling over Mill Rd Bridge is scary at times - requiring all concerned to be hyper-vigilant - but would I want the police to maintain a resource-intensive watch on the Bridge rather than attend a serious crime incident against the person, or a burglary that has left a resident traumatised, or drugs-dealing combined with alcohol-related anti-social behaviour on Petersfield streets, or act on an opportunity to eject a London drugs-dealer who has 'cuckood' the home of a vulnerable Cambridge resident? The answer has to be 'no'. Of course, it's not always so clear-cut, but we need to acknowledge that our police are stretched. PCSOs have been abolished and Cambridge is set to get an additional 60 officers, but that's a fraction of what's really needed. There’s always room for criticism but I believe our police are doing the best they can with finite resources. Having said that, I will flag this up as an issue to our local police or, should I not be re-elected, with other councillors.

Joshua BLANCHARD LEWIS
(Liberal Democrat)

Schemes such as Operation Velo, recently implemented by our police force, would work especially well on Mill Road, considering the proximity we have to the Police Station. I would encourage the local forces involved with this to use Mill Road as a regular entry/exit route to the East, and to be especially watchful over the Bridge as I agree that overtaking is far too frequently carried out before the crest, and often dangerously. I would also like to see a police officer stationed there from time to time, in the same way as sometimes happens with speeding hotspots, to look out for and challenge these dangerous practices.

Sarah BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

It's not just overtaking. One of the scariest experiences I've had cycling in Cambridge was coming down Mill Road bridge in wet weather with a car tailgating me. If I'd fallen off, I would have died.

I want to see if there is anything that can be done in terms of changing the road layout. The Petersfield end of the bridge is one of the worst accident blackspots in the county and we must use the redevelopment of the Mill Road council depot site as an opportunity to make this area better.

One possibility may be making the bridge a tidal one-way system and using the space freed up to create a proper segregated cycle lane over the railway.

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.