Elections

Petersfield by-election, September 2018: Petersfield

Summary: By-election for the Petersfield Ward of Cambridge City Council, September 2018
Polling date: Thursday 13th September 2018
Ward: Petersfield
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Sarah BROWN  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Othman COLE  (Conservative Party)
  • Kelley GREEN  (Labour Party)
  • Virgil IERUBINO  (Green Party)

Questions for Petersfield ward candidates (5 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5 

# 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?

Sarah BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

I cycle, my partner cycles, my stepchildren all cycle. It’s the preferred method of transport for moving around the city. I consider myself a competent cyclist, but I do think we need improvements to a lot of cycle infrastructure and rights of way to make cycling in Cambridge a more attractive proposition for all.

Othman COLE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Kelley GREEN
(Labour Party)

I'm an infrequent cyclist although my partner is very enthusiastic. He recently cycled from Lands End to John O Groats to raise around £5,000 for Addenbrooks Charitable Trust #LEJOG [search Cambridge Lads] I'd encourage everyone who cycles, to learn CPR as it saved a family member's life, when he was cycling with the local club.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

My bike is my primary mode of transport and I don't own a car. However, while Cambridge has more cyclists than any other city, our support for cycling is by no means the best in the country. There is a huge amount of room for improvement of safety for cyclists and other road users. This is of particular importance when we consider that we want to encourage people to cycle from a young age.

# Question 2

How would you make Mill Road a more pleasant place for people walking and cycling? Camcycle has published some ideas for significant changes here. What are your thoughts on our proposals, and do you have any other suggestions or ideas?

Sarah BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

The proposals look very interesting and there is some evidence that Mill Road traffic levels can be reduced without adversely affecting elsewhere in the city. I am keen to see some of these ideas trialled. We already close off Mill Road for the winter fair, and I think we could do more. Local shops would likely attract more custom if the street was a more pleasant environment for people on foot and on bicycle. What we do needs to be supported by evidence.

Othman COLE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Kelley GREEN
(Labour Party)

The Camcycle vision for Mill Road is an urban design proposal based mainly on the cyclists needs. It suggests closing Mill to through traffic, wider pavements, and dedicated amenity areas called 'parklets' to support local businesses. It contains some assumptions such as 'Trade will boom' and bus services will be, 'On time and expanded'. Whilst I'd support a number of the ideas contained in this vision, I'd challenge the assumption that a comprehensive redesign of the public realm is needed. I've been responsible for delivering schemes, including an award winning 'Living Streets' project and I'd encourage everyone to understand the delicate balance of a successful street. All too often a place, park or street is needlessly changed and it loses it's special appeal. My approach to Mill Road would be circumspect. I'd seek a broad evidence base before changing anything. I'd want input from residents, pedestrians including disabled people and the visually impaired and crucially, the business community. Independent, multi-cultural shops are, in my view, the lifeblood of Mill Road. These need to be nurtured. I'd look to manage parking and unloading. My way of resolving urban design conflict, including congested footpaths and pavements, accident hotspots and pavement obstructions, would be to carry out better street management in conjunction with the County Council. Incremental improvements would be beneficial and our Labour County Councillor Linda Jones has got this right, championing the cause of local residents and consulting widely on residents parking schemes. A measured approach is necessary in my view, to conserve the vibrancy of Mill Road.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

Camcycle's proposals for Mill Road are well thought-out. I particularly like the idea of parklets incorporating seating and cycle parking. Reclaiming the street for pedestrians (limiting through-traffic) is a visionary concept and I would like to see a trial begin as soon as possible.

# Question 3

Our members report problems with bike theft at the station cycle park. What can you do as a councillor to ensure that the operator and police take the concerns seriously?

Sarah BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

The police regularly attend area committees and I would make strong representations that more attention needs to be paid to cycle theft, and to enforcing the 20mph limit in our streets.

My experience is that train operators are not always keen to engage with local government, but it won’t stop me trying!

Othman COLE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Kelley GREEN
(Labour Party)

It's a terrible shame that the design of the new bike storage facility at the station cycle park included a design fault, allowing thieves to pull up the cycle racks so easily. I wonder whether there is a role for groups such as Camcycle to be consulted on major schemes at the planning stage, to avoid this happening it the future. As a Councillor I'd take my liaison role very seriously. Thank you to the anonymous person who brought this to the attention of the press and the wider public.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

Cambridge is a cycling city, so its priority throughout local government and institutions must be elevated. However, in this case security has clearly not been taken seriously. The locking points in the park should have been installed to a higher standard to ensure they could not be tampered with by thieves. Sadly, catching a bike thief is extremely difficult, so investment in prevention is the most effective course of action.

# Question 4

Providing secure places to park bicycles is a simple and effective way to encourage cycling by making people on bikes feel welcome. In some areas of Cambridge residents have got used to all the spare street space being allocated to the storage of motor vehicles and very little for bikes. The result has been badly-parked bikes cluttering hallways, clinging to drainpipes and other street furniture. Our Street Cycle Parking project aims to tackle this. Which streets do you think would benefit from on-street cycle parking, and what would you do to implement this?

Sarah BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

Mill Road and the streets around pubs all suffer from a lack of cycle parking, as do the areas around the station. The very first time I was elected as a councillor was partially on the basis of a campaign for better cycle parking provision, and my views have not changed.

I want to consult with local residents on more cycle parking around pubs. One might expect some hostility on the grounds of reduction of car parking spaces, but I think there is also benefit to be gained in reducing the liklehood that bikes are left on pavements.

Othman COLE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Kelley GREEN
(Labour Party)

I welcome the street cycling project to de-clutter pedestrian areas and improve cycle parking facilities. The news that Camcyle are consulting residents and applying for funding is brilliant. There are lots of places where improvements can be made. Small urban design interventions will generally lift the quality of the public realm in Petersfield. I'd fully encourage it starting with key pedestrian routes such as Mill Road; by looking at private forecourts, public highways, public and private amenity areas as well as existing car parking spaces.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

I can't think of any street that would not benefit from the addition of cycle parking points. The aim here is to make bike journeys from A to B convenient, and that means that point B needs a place to park, wherever it is. Of course, we can prioritise, simply by auditing where we find bikes tied to railings most often.

# Question 5

What other things do you feel you can do as City Councillor to improve conditions for cycling in Petersfield and the wider city?

Sarah BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

One thing that urgently needs addressing is the utter hostility of Station Square to cycling. I want the whole Station Square project rethinking to work better for those accessing it on foot, by bike and using mobility aids. This includes cycling across it - it will form a link between the busway and the Chisholm Trail, and therefore needs to be done right.

As for the Chisholm trail, we need to make sure it is delivered promptly and to a high standard. I’m not impressed with the council’s plans for the old depot site and this is something I will campaign on as your councillor.

I’d like to see the sort of infrastructure improvement we’ve seen on Hills Road rolled our elsewhere too.

Othman COLE
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Kelley GREEN
(Labour Party)

I'd like to continue to use my design and town planning expertise in a public role as City Councillor for Petersfield. I'd be confident taking an overview of strategic decisions as well as commenting on new schemes. I'd scrutinise the Conservative County Council on highways spending and the allocation of cycling funding, to ensure it delivered better cyclist safety, with contiguous cycle lanes a priority. I'd work to help deliver more green routes, such as alongside parks and open spaces. By keeping in touch with people, completing case work and being a general point of contact in the community I'd push the cycling agenda, especially in terms of the quality of cycling infrastructure and the wider pubic realm.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

Simply by championing the cyclist in local government, whatever the decision is that comes before the Council. If elected, I would not allow the bike user to be forgotten or their needs ignored.

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.