Elections

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Question 8 - we asked:

Between Ditton Meadows and Coldham's Lane is a cycle route that runs along Wadloes Road and Barnwell Road, parts of which date back to the 1930s. However, it is in bad shape, with a crumbling surface, and is repeatedly interrupted by driveways and side roads. And then the Newmarket Road roundabout completely disconnects both halves of the route, leaving people with no decent and safe option to get across. How would you propose to fix the problems and create a safe walking and cycling route along this north-south axis?

We asked this question only in Abbey.

4 of the 4 candidates (100%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

David SMITH
(Conservative Party)

I went out and cycled this route yesterday (21/4/2018) as well as looking at the East Road/Nemarket Road roundabout. I am a little surprised about the description of the route above. Yes it must have been put in some time ago and looks very tired but in general it is better than many areas of Cambridge have. It does seem strange the segregated side swaps over on either side of the Newmarket Road roundabout and of course negotiating the roundabout without dealing the motorised vehicles involves going a little way down the road to use the traffic light crossing. The roundabout at the end of Coldham’s Lane is also a nightmare for cyclists. If resources were to be spent I would ask for a study into how to improve both roundabouts.

Naomi BENNETT
(Green Party)

Unfortunately, these aren't the only problems with this route. Residents have mentioned poor lighting , cycle way abruptly petering out into roadway , absence of convenient crossing points both at the Newmarket and Coldhams Lane roundabouts to get to Sainsbury's and lack of linkage to popular destinations such as Addenbrookes and Netherhall School. There is also an inconvenient tree at one end. Some residents were only aware of the Barnwell Road part of the path.

The biggest single improvement that could be made would be to have well sited zebra crossings near both roundabouts . This is under the control of the County Council rather than the city council . The crossings would also be useful to local shoppers .

Nicky MASSEY
(Labour Party)

The first thing to say about a route along a north-south axis is that the Chisholm Trail is planned nearby and that is due to be delivered soon. County Councillor Joan Whitehead last year won £4,000 funding from the County Council's Local Highway Improvement fund to improve safety at the Barnwell/Wadloes/Newmarket Road roundabout by changing the configuration of the lanes. Work on this project is ongoing and, if elected, I will work alongside Cllr Whitehead in pushing the County Council to see this important task through.

However, it would be ideal, when progressing this project, if the County Council take the opportunity to look at movement of people and cycles in this area more generally, and that it and the Greater Cambridge Partnership assess the potential for unlocking possible strategic funding by joining up the Wadloes Road/Barnwell Road cycle route with the Chisholm Trail so a) it meets up with the Ditton Meadows portion of the phase one route in the north, and b) link up with phase two of the Chisholm Trail where it is proposed to connect with Coldham's Lane. To that end I would lobby the GCP to get this route onto a long list of cycle projects for the next tranche of funding for 2020 to 2025 from central government and depending on it’s relative merit to other schemes I would push for it’s inclusion on the final list. What I would keep in mind is that most cycleway schemes are so much cheaper that changes to roads it seems that any cycleway scheme probably delivers so much more for any relative expenditure as compared to roads.

Nicky SHEPARD
(Liberal Democrat)

I agree that the cycle route along Wadloes Road is in bad shape and the priority at the junctions is unclear. I would push for this to be resurfaced, including either some kind of ‘cats eyes’ or other technology to give light along the path during winter months. The access from the river path also needs to be improved, so that cyclists do not have to double back on themselves to join the main path, or cut across the grass.

The roundabout at Newmarket Rd and Barnwell Rd is one of the most dangerous in the county, and documented as being especially dangerous to cyclists, which is one of the reasons why I have been campaigning for more than two years for improvements to this junction. Travelling north on Barnwell Road on the cycle-path, cyclists are pushed out onto the road just before the roundabout, and southbound cyclists are pushed into a fenced crossing, then the cycle path resumes across the road. I would like to see improvements to this junction to mean that cyclists can cross the roundabout safely, and also so the north/south axis route is continued into Barnwell Road and along the ring road.

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.