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Question 9 - we asked:

The Eastern Gate SPD proposals include a very welcome proposal to remove the unfriendly 1970s roundabout joining Newmarket Road with East Road. It was intended to be funded by developments in the area. However, despite the many new buildings, this is not happening because the Councils have still not undertaken a proper study providing more finalised plans. How will you move this forward?

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.

(Conservative Party)

I cycled over there and took some photographs yesterday (21/4/2018). This is by far the most difficult looking problem I observed. The obvious thing to do is insist that a study take place. I fear that the answer will not be a cheap solution if a good result for cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles is to be reached. In the short term I am wondering the alternative routes east/west and north/south which avoid the roundabout could be better signed and improved.

(Green Party)

I would start by asking for an update on the plan and the timetable and for details of any problems preventing the Councils from moving forward. I would continue to ask questions until I understood the situation and would then shape any further action plan accordingly. For example, I would want to look at whether the expected funding had been raised from the new developments bearing in mind the rule changes mentioned in my answer to question 5.

(Labour Party)

This roundabout is not good for cyclists and many others besides. Pedestrians have to negotiate a complicated and unsafe underground system of underpasses, as indeed cyclists are meant to do. However, many cyclists use the roundabout above although this is not a very safe route. The slopes that are meant for cyclists are very steep and not easily used by all cyclists unless they dismount. Disabled cyclists are not always able to dismount, and as for many disabled pedestrians, especially those using wheelchairs, then the junction is inaccessible as the slopes are just too steep. This roundabout and the associated circulation routes for different users are from another age of urban planning and put quite simply not fit for purpose. I for one will be at the forefront of those pushing for change in this area.

Back in 2014, Labour City Councillors, including Abbey Cllr Richard Johnson, managed to ringfence £50,000 from County Council strategic transport funds for a detailed study of the Eastern Gate SPD proposals, so to assess how they can be realistically delivered.

I understand that, despite numerous attempts to seek clarification about how this money was used, the County Council have not brought this work forward, probably because of lack of officer capacity due to cuts, and the fact that much attention has been taken away from projects with a long-term goal so to deliver GCP first tranche schemes. (Work to improve Newmarket Road traffic movements, such as a four-way junction where the roundabout current is situated, is on the list of the second tranche of GCP schemes --( funding is of course dependent on delivery of the first tranche of schemes.)

(Liberal Democrat)

Newmarket Road and The Eastern Gate area need desperate improvement. However, much of the recent improvements have been huge, tall and very much against the wishes of local residents. As councillor for Abbey I would commit to pushing forward the plans for Newmarket Road, ensuring that it is included in either the Greater Cambridge Partnership or Combined Authority plans as a priority for improvement. I would also like to see significant increases in planting, trees and other measures to improve the biodiversity and air quality along this key route.

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.