Elections

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Question 3 - we asked:

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?

We asked this question in all 14 wards, namely: Abbey, Arbury, Castle, Cherry Hinton, Coleridge, East Chesterton, King's Hedges, Market, Newnham, Petersfield, Queen Edith's, Romsey, Trumpington, West Chesterton.

56 of the 61 candidates (92%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

Eric BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

Safety is the top priority and more considerate driving by all road users should be encouraged and enforced in those areas where vulnerability is at its worst, especially near schools at the most congested times

Manas DEB
(Conservative Party)

I agree that motorists and cyclists should follow road signs and highway code and respect traffic signals, pedestrians, fellow drivers and bikers. Police is doing a fantastic job on the road and under Police & Crime Commissioner’s leadership arrested many offenders and bike stealers. We would need more dedicated cycle paths in Cambridge to reduce accidents and improve quality of journeys for cyclists.

Donald DOUGLAS
(Conservative Party)

Safe use of the roads is a major issue and it would be great if the police could assign more resources to it based on the evidence.

Mike HARFORD
(Conservative Party)

I enthusiastic endorse this view as already outlined. I was a County Councillor on Highways some time ago. Safety must always be a priority . I may not be popular by saying that motorists should not always take the blame.

Tom HARWOOD
(Conservative Party)

I agree, and would absolutely want to see road safety resources deployed proportionally to the danger each group of road users presents to society. Cyclists should be law abiding and can pose danger to the public, but pale in comparison to the road safety issues presented by cars.

Martin KEEGAN
(Conservative Party)

The question doesn't distinguish between the cost of harm, the probably of harm, and the costs of preventing or mitigating harm.

Simon LEE
(Conservative Party)

I agree in principle. The subject Its talked about all the time we all have a responsibility to our City in making it better all. I think better education at School, University and drivers would make a difference, maybe a refresher course for drivers and an introducer to cycling in Cambridge for student’s.

Connor MACDONALD
(Conservative Party)

Safe roads is a major issue. More must be done to stop close passing, and the police should use evidence to cut down on traffic infractions that put cyclists at risk.

Henry MITSON
(Conservative Party)

I agree that policing, especially in a town with high numbers of cyclists such as Cambridge, should continue to improve with regard to transport. In Cambridge the key issues are often non-use of proper lights at night, cycling against the one way system which is especially prevalent and highly dangerous on Trinity St and the risks of inebriated cyclists after hours.

In each of these cases, cyclists, pedestrians and other road users are put at risk unnecessarily and a visible and educational police presence is important to prevent these issues from becoming more prevalent. I believe the Cambridge police force is doing an excellent job currently and their visible presence in town is making a difference. Naturally, however, I am committed to the further reduction of risks on the road.

Phil SALWAY
(Conservative Party)

As a cyclist, driver and pedestrian I can see the difficulties that all road users have
but we have to share the roads. Cyclists riding without lights should be a higher police
priority and not just at the start of term. Cambridge Conservatives undertook a cycling
survey at midnight on Mill road bridge a few years ago and found that half of all cyclist did not have lights.
Police investigations should be evidence based and not target just one group of road users.

David SMITH
(Conservative Party)

I fully support the ‘Position paper on responsible legal cycling’. The principle of targeting any crime based on evidence versus resource is common sense. There are wider issues of targeting all traffic-related crime, which might improve law abidance generally if enforcement were visible on the streets. I feel that there is a lack of ownership i.e. dropping children off as school and parking illegally – the Council say it is a police problem and the police say it is a Council problem. I think there should be a permanent visible traffic force in Cambridge enforcing traffic law.

Gareth BAILEY
(Green Party)

I agree with this view. My priorities would be policing speed limits and preventing parking in cycle lanes.

Naomi BENNETT
(Green Party)

I would like to see more emphasis on changing road user behaviour through education, signage and speed restrictions. I have focussed on one area which is safe overtaking.

For example, a city wide 20 mile per hour speed limit would be less confusing for out of town drivers and reduce the temptation to overtake cyclists.

Many of our city centre cycle lanes are narrower than the safe overtaking margin . Drivers need to be told this through driver education and reminded through road signs. Drivers could be incentivised to view a short safety webinar by being offered a park and ride voucher.

Jeremy CADDICK
(Green Party)

I fully support the observations in your newsletter. A lack of police enforcement for all types of road user undermines trust in the Police and engenders hostility between different groups of road user. A concentrated period of police enforcement (perhaps at the beginning of the university academic year?) would have a strong educative effect.

Joel CHALFEN
(Green Party)

There would be benefits to cyclists to know that the police take responsible cycling seriously. But still it partially feels like a moment of loss when the advocates for safer public spaces ask for more policing. It would be far more preferential - as your position paper does indicate - to have well-designed transport routes that make self-policing between travellers the way to manage this. Indeed, developing legal guidelines on responsible cycling will require support in the form of training and that in itself may be enough to circumvent the more disciplinary approach! What the campaign is focusing on: education, cycle servicing, better road design and signage - seem to be vital to strike a good balance in which the need for greater police intervention is underwritten by better road awareness and communication.

Ceri GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

I agree with many of the solutions to bad behaviour in your paper “Responsible, legal cycling”. It is frustrating that much is made in the media of cyclists bad behaviour, but without challenging attitudes of drivers towards cyclists, which can be very distressing. The quote below from your document makes it clear that cycling is by far the least dangerous option for the public so we need to promote safe cycling and challenge attitudes.
“Enforcement of the rules is important for all road users. However, the consequences of transgressions by motorists are likely to be far more serious than those by cyclists. We understand that pedestrian deaths caused by cyclists are about one every two years nationally (and that, in terms of injuries, more cyclists than pedestrians are hurt in cycle/pedestrian collisions). By way of comparison, 823 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles in 2001[1]. Moreover, 53% of motorists do not obey the speed limit in urban roads with a 30mph speed limit[2]; 95% of vulnerable road users survive a collision at 20mph; at 40mph only 15% survive”
One thing that could help cyclists to be safer users would be to have more training in cycle use and cycle maintenance and for some cyclists to recieve help or interest free loans with expensive items. Bike maintenance and replacement of parts is expensive. I spend £200-300 per year to maintain my bike and replace parts. This is restrictive to people low incomes, for instance inadequate lights might be due to cost of batteries or the lights themselves. Good quality lights that threw a useful beam are at least £30 each and very effective Dynamo lights cost more.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

This is a good proposal which naturally must be weighed up as part of a bigger picture when it comes to policing.

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?

Shayne MITCHELL
(Green Party)

Agree. Would particularly like to see the police do something about the many moped riders who zoom around especially in the evening, without silencers and accelerating hard around circuits in the town. Somebody is going to get killed. From what I have read (hopefully changed?), the Police at most "talk to" those found doing this.

Lights - would like to see the many car-drivers with only one headlight working fined!

Taxi-drivers. Unfortunately there seems to be a culture of dangerous, aggressive taxi-driving (and parking) in Cambridge. This needs addressing urgently, both in education and enforcement. A role for the City Council taxi-licensing department.

Fully support the Police campaign to stop drivers overtaking too close. Was grateful to Cam Cycling Campaign for pushing for this.

Sarah NICMANIS
(Green Party)

First and foremost, our highways and byways must be designed with our non-polluting, congestion-relieving and health-promoting mode of transport in mind: the bicycle must be prioritised in street design, particularly in the predominantly narrow streets of Cambridge where we encounter close interactions between cars and bicycles. Better facilitated streets allow for safer, law-abiding cycling and discourage the irresponsible cycling that many car-drivers in Cambridge vociferously complain about.
My priorities would be to ensure that drivers uphold the recently introduced 20 mph speed limit with the use of speed cameras around the city whilst at the same time also supporting the fine that cyclists are charged for riding without bicycle lights at night-time.
I would campaign for a council-wide publicity drive that promotes awareness about safe cycling: providing information about local cycling-safety courses, encouraging cyclists to gain a cycling certificate (qualifying cyclists could be given an attention-grabbing sticker or seat cover to place on their bikes advertising the fact that they have completed training), and ensuring that all local primary, secondary and language schools provide a cycling proficiency course free-of-charge. I have witnessed too many bike accidents with international students over the years to know they are a particularly vulnerable group so I would campaign for all local language schools to provide introductory cycling courses. I would be sure to also advise that cyclists are informed not to wear headphones or use mobile phones while cycling as I have seen this a lot recently and it is not helping our cause!

Caitlin PATTERSON
(Green Party)

I largely agree, I am a junior sister on a ward specialising in trauma and orthopaedics and see have to care for many, many people involved in road-traffic collisions locally. These happen far too often and are very damaging for people.

My priorities would be firstly to ensure that there is protected space for cyclists as much as possible.

Secondly I agree with awareness raising campaigns to try and improve respect and tolerance between different groups on the roads, particularly to ensure cyclists are given safe space. I would also like to see further action taken by the police to police close passes and aggressive behaviour towards cyclists

We also believe in there being better measures and training for groups such as bus and taxi drivers, to ensure they are as careful as possible to protect people cycling and pedestrians.

Jenny RICHENS
(Green Party)

I agree that policing of all forms of road users should be more of a priority, and that it should be based on the relative levels of danger presented by each group. However, it would seem to be fairly simple for police to crack down on irresponsible cycling (such as cycling without lights, or cycling through red traffic lights) by monitoring busy junctions where cyclists frequently break the rules. If they issued immediate spot fines then I’m sure cyclists would quickly become more rule abiding. As stated before I cycle (or walk) everywhere, and I am infuriated by irresponsible cyclists not stopping at red lights, even on very busy junctions, and while they are unlikely to kill someone by cycling into them, some of them seem very likely to cause an accident between cars on the road, by cycling out in front of them with no regard for safety.
Aside from tackling irresponsible cycling, I would wish to cut down on aggressive road users who overtake when it isn’t safe to do so (e.g. on mill road railway bridge) or who drive very close behind you and behave very impatiently, or those who overtake with very little space. I think one thing that might prove useful here is if offenders were forced to undertake virtual reality training, where they are the cyclist, and a bus/lorry/car overtakes them repeatedly with only a few inches of space. This could educate them in how unsafe this actually feels when you are the one on a bike, and are totally at the mercy of drivers around you. Again, the police could monitor hotspots where dangerous manoeuvres are known to take place frequently, and they should take appropriate action to make sure drivers to not repeat this behaviour.
I fully agree with the proposals that junctions should be made safer, and easier to navigate, to reduce the temptation of cycling through red lights, and cycling on pavements. I also agree that educational projects are a good idea, perhaps colleges could be encouraged to run a seminar for new students about the road rules?

Lucas RUZOWITZKY
(Green Party)

I think a better use of funding would be to invest in cycle lanes that run parallel to sidewalks and roads - separating the three user groups. I think spending money on policing is a short term solution, it would be better in the log term to make the investment in this improvement to infrastructure.

Mark SLADE
(Green Party)

There is clearly a lot of tension on the streets between different road users which I feel contributes to dangerous driving and cycling the most. Cars have deliberately cut me up or overtaken me very close in retaliation to a perceived wrong by myself or even another cyclist. However, I am not convinced that greater policing will resolve the problems. Police priorities are fluid and will depend on a large variety of ever changing factors. In addition, their resources are stretched thin due to massive austerity cuts.

I think that other options that the Cambridge Cycle Campaign proposes, such as independent cycle lanes, are more likely to reduce tensions and get rid of the need to over police the road system. When I consider cities that have great road systems – Malmo or Amsterdam for example – I do not think that they have heavy policing to control it. A well set up system eradicates the need to police it heavily.

Dave BAIGENT
(Labour Party)

The notion of 'threat risk and harm' which is used by the police to prioritise their work does not seem to recognise that this really applies to cyclists. We should make the effort to point this out to police: a campaign may be appropriate - in fact it should happen. Someone should think of a clever slogan and we should all use it.

From my studies of police I would ask the question if protecting cyclists is not a priority because it is not 'exciting' enough work for a police officer.

Mike DAVEY
(Labour Party)

Cyclists need to feel safe, and as said above greater clarity over who has priority on roads and pavements would be welcome. Awareness raising would therefore be my priority, but whether that should fall to the police or to other Groups or Agencies is more open to debate.

Dan GREEF
(Labour Party)

Police cuts have made enforcement difficult, although I know that enforcement hasn’t always been strong even before these cuts. I am always frustrated when waiting on my bicycle at a red light and another cyclist passes through. We all have a responsibility to make sure our friends and family are fully informed about the highway code.
I would like to see shared paths and cycle paths at a minimum and when used that they are clearly marked as I have seen cyclists on footpaths illegally and I have been shouted at while using a shared use path. I also find the one-way system in central Cambridge very frustrating and have seen cyclists going the wrong way down one-way streets, as cycles aren't as big a danger as motor vehicles couldn't these be made two way for cyclists?
Ultimately it comes down to cyclists feeling safe on the road as motor vehicles have the ability to do serious harm to cyclists which puts many off from cycling on the road. I want to see more dedicated cycle paths as a way to make cycling for everyone more accessible. It would be amazing to promote a safe cycling day once a year when road traffic is limited to bikes and emergency vehicles only.

Lewis HERBERT
(Labour Party)

I organised an effective recent meeting at the Guildhall between
- the Cambridge Cycling Campaign
- Cambridge police including their officer leading their trial on cutting "close passing"
- County road safety officers, and
- City and County councillors
which I expect will be the first of several, including when we get the promised data breakdown by accident type on accidents involving cyclists.
Priorities include more separated cycling lanes, safer junctions including cyclists getting green first and to get greater police enforcement work on serious driver behaviour like close passing but also on thoughtless cycling.

Clare KING
(Labour Party)

I think it would be extremely useful to have the data, yes and it's also useful to address perception. Knocking on doors across the years, as those of us standing for election do, gives a useful insight into the concerns of a wide range of people. Close passing, especially by large vehicles like buses, fear of being doored (I share that one and always try to be careful passing a parked car!) and, from a fair few elderly or less mobile residents, concerns about thoughtless cycling frequently come up.

Nicky MASSEY
(Labour Party)

Traffic policing of all road users must be a very important police priority. All users of the road need to follow traffic laws, for example in the case of vehicles overtaking cyclists and what the Highway Code has to say about that. In terms of cyclists and their use of the road, if they are not made to feel safe, then they will not want to cycle, at least not on the road. It should always be born in mind by all concerned that vehicles have the potential to kill as well as injure, and indeed seriously injure, whereas cycles will really only have the potential to injure pedestrians in any common sense approach.

Russ MCPHERSON
(Labour Party)

Having been very involved in Road Safety myself as an Advanced Motorcycle Instuctor for the BMF some years ago (I still have a M/C); I have always been very keen on the robust policing of our roads: GATSO's are no substitute for Traffic Officers. I belive that all road users - in what ever form have a duty to maintain the saftey of both themsleves and other road-users that thay may encounter, and that due regard should be taken by them in line with the form of transport they are in charge of - an HGV driver has a differing level of responsibility than a cyclist for example and that the law and the implimentation of that legislation should reflect that. My priority is therfore - is that all road users take responsibility for their actions and pay due regard to the likely impact of those actions on others - what ever they ride or drive.

Carla MCQUEEN
(Labour Party)

My thoughts are that there should be a greater police/warden presence at peak times particularly on Nuffield Rd and union lane also the high street. I feel dangerous driving again can make cycling very scary.

Dan RATCLIFFE
(Labour Party)

I agree that the police should be given more resources, and some of those resources should be dedicated to greater traffic policing. A sense of impunity makes it more likely that irresponsible road users will cause accidents. Speeding on Maids Causeway has been an issue for years and this can endanger both cyclists and pedestrians. It is vitally important that no resident should feel afraid of using pedestrianised areas (such as Burleigh/Fitzroy Sts) as a result of anti-social cyclists ignoring restrictions. Schemes like Lights Instead of Tickets are helpful and should be run more regularly.

Mark READER
(Labour Party)

I am very much in favour of risk based policing. Cyclists are very vulnerable road users, and can be hurt or even killed by vehicles. But can also seriously hurt pedestrians - and there are even instances of cyclists killing pedestrians.

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.

Ann SINNOTT
(Labour Party)

While police, as I understand it, can and will intervene on pavement riding and riding without lights, they can only do so if they actually see the infringement. Cycles aren't registered in the way that cars are, so enforcement is effectively impossible.

Not a popular view, I know, but it seems to me that our universities have responsibility and a part to play. Each year we have a fresh intake of, in many cases, inexperienced, cyclists onto our roads. If our universities made taking the Cycling Proficiency Test an obligatory part of intake procedures, we would see less hazardous cycling.

Martin SMART
(Labour Party)

It is very important that cyclists are made to feel that they will be safe when using cycling infrastructure or they will move away from it and use other options. For example they will choose to cycle on the pavement instead of the road. It is critical that we all understand that vehicles can injure and even kill cyclists whereas cyclists can injure pedestrians but not kill them. This common sense approach needs to be taken on board by all concerned, including the police.

Katie THORNBURROW
(Labour Party)

I was very encouraged to hear that the Cambridge Police have undertaken Operation Velo, inspired by the Wet Midlands' initiative Operation Close Pass, to educate drivers about how to overtake safely and to educate cyclists on how to protect themselves as vulnerable road users.

Baiju VARKEY
(Labour Party)

I believe the protection of the road users is vital, especially for a city like Cambridge, which is a cycle friendly city. Monitoring dangerous driving and cyclists without sufficient protection on Union Lane and Elizabeth Way from Milton Road to East Road, can be adopted.

Joshua BLANCHARD LEWIS
(Liberal Democrat)

I was very glad to see our local police force agreeing to and implementing Operation Velo, with a view to protecting our cyclists and re-educating drivers about safe road practices around bikes. I would also be keen to see greater enforcement around the double-yellow lines on Mill Road itself, both on our side of the bridge and the Petersfield end, to prevent dangerous and illegal parking from taxis and deliveries. I would hope to see more local businesses working together to co-ordinate delivery times and share available spaces sensibly, such as the Co-Op's rear car park and the car park on Cavendish Road.

Sarah BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

On cycling from the station today, along Great Northern Road, I was close passed by a taxi. That street has a 20mph limit and I am not a slow cyclist. Regardless, it seems the driver decided it was vitally important to pass me as soon as possible, without regard for whether it was safe to do so.

I see this behaviour a lot. I would like law enforcement to treat addressing it as a priority.

Rod CANTRILL
(Liberal Democrat)

I believe that the police should be enforcing the rules for all road users and in relation to parking restrictions. It’s frustrating, particularly in Newnham, where people ignore the rules and as a result put other road users and themselves in a position of vulnerability. I have and continue to ensure that at West central area committee we include road safety as one of the policing priorities.

Jamie DALZELL
(Liberal Democrat)

I have been canvassing residents across our area for a number of years now, and conflicts between different road users is a common topic of conversation. I therefore agree that effective policing and enforcement would be welcomed by residents across the city.

With mind to their increasingly limited resources, as a Councillor I would encourage police to focus their efforts on targeting the most dangerous issues across our area, identified based on both data and the knowledge of our local community.

At the same time, as a community we also need to be supporting the police in their role of enforcement by demanding better planning and building awareness of considerate and safe driving and cycling.

Owen DUNN
(Liberal Democrat)

I would encourage the police to focus on areas and situations where different classes of road user come into conflict, with the aim being to protect the most vulnerable road users. This could include: better enforcement of mandatory cycle lanes and parking restrictions; enforcement of the 20mph limit; checking goods vehicles have the appropriate mirrors; spot checks to encourage cyclists to keep clear of and give way to pedestrians (and be well lit in the dark!).

Daniele GIBNEY
(Liberal Democrat)

I fully agree with taking an evidence-based approach. Not just in terms of relative danger, but also in terms of the amount of impact that can be achieved – e.g. is it possible to ‘nudge’ behaviours to make big differences. I’ll be interested to see the outcomes from ‘Operation Close Pass’, and whether the same techniques have any effect on other behaviours such as using mobile phones while driving. Some larger vehicles can pose a particular danger to cyclists, particularly if their mirrors leave areas unsighted. The London Safer Lorry Scheme is interesting – requiring e.g. all heavy vehicles to carry appropriate mirrors to be able to see cyclists and pedestrians. I’d like to see similar ideas adopted in Cambridge.
I think cyclists also need to take responsibility though. When I learned to drive, I was stunned by how hard it is to spot unlit cyclists in the dark, and I get nervous when I see people using phones while cycling. These cyclists put themselves in danger, but if there’s a collision drivers and others can also get hurt. Cyclists should always be considerate around pedestrians in shared use areas.
Policing approaches should be about education, not just sanctions. Education campaigns can operate more widely though, for example advocating the ‘Dutch reach’ – I’ve been doored in the past so I’m very keen on that one.

Dan HILKEN
(Liberal Democrat)

I agree, and would emphasise that prevention is better than cure. My priorities would be: 1) to create a more comprehensive network of safe cycle routes throughout Cambridge; 2) put up signs on roads reminding drivers that they must be on the look-out for cyclists; and 3) have a tougher approach to speeding. I would suggest declaring Cambridge a “cycling city”, to encourage cycling as the default transport, and go from there.

Anthony MARTINELLI
(Liberal Democrat)

The principle of prioritizing resources based on harm caused is sensible. Equally I know that cyclists using Christ’s Pieces is a source of concern for some residents – having rules forbidding cycling in such places without enforcement seems to serve little purpose. In terms of safety in general, I am also pushing for better lighting on Parker’s Piece at the crossroads next to Parkside Café as I know that when it’s dark it can be difficult to see other path users when cycling across.

Colin MCGERTY
(Liberal Democrat)

Enforcement, whether it be of road users or parking restrictions, is something people often tell me is important to them. It’s frustrating to feel we are observing rules which others are ignoring, especially where safety is concerned. We are acutely aware that police funding is under pressure, however, residents, councillors and neighbourhood policing teams have worked together in some areas on Speedwatch schemes, with good results.

John OAKES
(Liberal Democrat)

Better cycling needs to be taught, especially to the large numbers of foreign students who arrive here without having cycled before.In view of policing priorities, and recent cuts in the service,it might be preferable to set up a separate, fee-funded cycling school/proficiency certificate scheme.

Cheney PAYNE
(Liberal Democrat)

I think cyclists in Cambridge often receive an unfair amount of criticism: often the offences committed cause little harm to other road users. However, it is the sheer volume of cyclists we have that magnify these issues. I think the priority actually needs to be educating road users, particularly students, about how to cycle safely, rather than just punishing offences. Many students arriving in Cambridge having never cycled before, and then are suddenly cycling regularly around a busy city, under intense time pressure from their courses, and often with baskets laden with books making them unsteady. Some of the key student cycle routes are complex for everyone, for example the junction of Lady Margaret Road to Madingley Road, and the junction at the bottom of Castle Hill are lethal at the best of times. When you add cyclists to this who are not familiar with Highway Code then accidents are going to happen. As a student, I remember it was compulsory that we attended a tour of our College library during fresher’s week: I think spending some time attending mandatory cycle safety training before being able to register a bicycle in Cambridge would be a really helpful step to educate inexperienced student cyclists and help keep them, and other road users safe.

Linking to Question 2, I also think a lot of the dangers presented by each group can be minimised if more of the recommendations in ‘Making Space for Cyclists’ were embedded across the City, particularly at junctions. Many risks to road users come when cyclists, pedestrians and drivers are in the same place at the same time and thus conflict occurs. One of my key priorities for Castle would be that ensuring routes which are used by a variety of forms of transport aim to separate the users as much as possible. On Madingley Road for example, I think it is essential that good cycle routes are maintained so that cyclists are not forced on the road: it is much safer to combine a bus lane with a lane of traffic than it is a cycle lane with fast moving traffic.

Shahida RAHMAN
(Liberal Democrat)

It should be based on risk of danger and of injury. Priority of police protection should be those most at risk - the disabled, pedestrians, cyclists etc.

Nicky SHEPARD
(Liberal Democrat)

I fully agree with taking an evidence-based approach, in terms of relative danger as well as in terms of the amount of impact that can be achieved. I was very interested in the ‘Operation Close Pass’ recently launched by Cambridgeshire Police and I’ll be interested to see the effects long term. I agree that cyclists need to take responsibility, and cycle education needs to start earlier, so that all new cyclists are aware of the highway code.

Any police priority has to be around stopping people from taking action which could harm others.

Lindsey TATE
(Liberal Democrat)

I fully support evidence based policing priorities. In addition to your sensible suggestion of considering the danger presented by and to each group of road users, I would like to see an evidence-based approach to choose both which locations in the city and which traffic offenses are causing the greatest harm and/or risk and policing resources allocated accordingly.

In addition to enforcement, I would also like to see the council working together with local traffic police to offer widely-accessible education for all groups.

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.

Aidan POWLESLAND
(Libertarian Party)

The cross party infrastructure group of MPs found, in their report, "We're Jammin" that excessive traffic controls are costing the average motor vehicle user circa £500 per year stuck in unnecessary jams. Since bicycles are generally less fast than motor vehicles the cost to cyclists of traffic controls will be less. In the case of Cambridge, allowing for an average bicycle speed of 20% that of an average car along with a 60% cost reducing adjuster for being able to weave through traffic we might surmise costs of £40 per year stuck, say, at traffic lights. The justification for disproportionate (to the increase in traffic) increases in traffic controls is usually on grounds of health and safety but in practice the proliferation of controls has come about willy nilly. Some experiments over the last decade or so (see http://thecityfix.com/blog/naked-streets-without-traffic-lights-improve-flow-and-safety/) have suggested, counter-intuitively, that the removal of traffic controls increases safety by inspiring more careful driving. In "We're Jammin" The cross party infrastructure group of MPs stated that they favoured the removal of all traffic controls but expressed the view that this would so alarm the public that even though it made sense they were not proposing it. What they proposed instead, by implication at least, was a relative reduction in traffic controls and I embrace the report's wisdom. At the start of question 3 you state that traffic policing with a view to achieving reduced levels of road injury (if I have understood you correctly) should become a greater police priority. The police are not directly subject to the authority of the City Council so to some degree this is beyond a councillor's brief but obviously they may attention and I do not mean to disparage the question. While no one could object to your call for evidence based assessment, focused on the relative levels of danger presented by each such group of road user, my over-arching thought is that to prioritise one aspect of health and safety over another or, indeed, to prioritise all questions of health and safety of whatever sort, over other questions such as questions of beauty or harmony or freedom, is not inherently the path to virtue. Especially not if this prioritising is regardless of cost.

In 1865 the "Red Flag" Act was passed reducing the speed limit in towns from 5 mph to 2 mph and in the countryside from 10 mph to 4 mph. Without a doubt and in so far as the Act was complied with it will have improved road safety. Just as strapping everyone to their bed all day long would. Nonetheless I would have opposed it.

In other words, the Cambridge Cycling Campaign's support for greater priority being given to, in particular, a police focus on improving safety, if it is to be fact based in a wider sense should be informed by questions of what resources are available and, more complicatedly, how else they might be used, if not to say should also be informed by notions of virtue that are not confined to questions of health and safety.

My first priority would be to incorporate questions of cost into the evidence based process that you advocate and which I favour, notwithstanding my tone, equally as you do and especially when comparing different groups of road user.

In so far as the police allocate resources to control of road users I endorse your approach but I think that asking the police to allocate more resources to the control of road users cannot be justified solely in terms of lives saved whether targeted or not. The philosophical question a police force faces when comparing road death prevention to, say, murder prevention cannot be definitively resolved and the comparison between road deaths prevented and crimes to property, to take just one example, prevented is philosophically much harder. As a cycling pressure group your priorities make perfect sense and as a cyclist I am warmed by them, but I would prefer to consider issues in detail rather then endorse the wider philosophical principle of health and safety to the fore irrespective of cost or irrespective of competing ideas of what it is right for authorities to focus on.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

Yes, it would be useful if the police could pay more attention to cyclists riding in the wrong places such as on footpaths and over pedestrian bridges, riding without lights and ignoring red traffic lights.

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.