Elections

2021 South Cambridgeshire District Council by-election: Milton & Waterbeach

Summary: 2021 South Cambridgeshire District Council by-election
Polling date: Thursday 6th May 2021
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Paul BEARPARK  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Eleanor Ruth CRANE  (Green Party)
  • Clive Michael RABBETT  (Conservative Party)
  • Jane Marie WILLIAMS  (Labour Party)

Questions for Milton & Waterbeach ward candidates (11 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11 

# Question 1

Planned works to widen the path between Milton and Waterbeach to 3m are not LTN 1/20 (the government's official guidance) compliant. What other measures would you push for to ensure a safe journey for pedestrians and cyclists to and from Waterbeach?

Paul BEARPARK
(Liberal Democrat)

The path between Waterbeach and Milton is a well used but extraordinarily unsafe path for both pedestrians and cyclists. The recent tragedy very sadly brought this to everyone's attention.

There are constraints, such as the ditch, the hedge, and the properties alongside the A10 which limit the extent to which Stantec have been able to design it to comply with LTN1/20.

The most significant concern is that there is no segregation between the road and the path. Given this lack of segregation the speed limit should be reduced to 40mph in line with LTN1/20. The road speed limit should be reduced anyway because there are around 25 driveways for approximately 100 properties which emerge onto the A10 between Denny End Rd, Waterbeach and Milton. The speed limit should be enforced with average speed cameras.

For cyclists travelling north at night along this path the kerb between the road and the path can be difficult to see due to oncoming car headlights. The edge of the path should be marked with solar studs.

In addition, I will be asking the GCP to pull forward the construction of the Waterbeach Greenway. This will provide a safe alternative to the A10 path. There will be those who wish or need to use the A10 path. Therefore, it is important that the improvements are made to it along with the speed reduction.

Eleanor Ruth CRANE
(Green Party)

I support the recommendation of Milton Cycling Campaign that a segregated cycle path of 4 meters is built alongside the A10, with the necessary connections at Milton. I also support the proposal for segregated cycle ways along Ely Road.
The Cambridge Sport Lakes Trust proposal for a greatly expanded Country Park between Milton and Waterbeach (https://www.cambridgesportlakes.org.uk/news) includes a bus route and cycleway – I believe this project or something like it is necessary to increase green space in this area (especially given the planned development at NE Cambridge), and it raises exciting possibilities to connect up the cycle network with high quality routes.

Clive Michael RABBETT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane Marie WILLIAMS
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 2

What specific measures would you support to ensure safe cycling and walking for children travelling to and from Impington Village College?

Paul BEARPARK
(Liberal Democrat)

A particular problem with the path between Milton and Histon is that the path is close to the hedge. During the spring/summer it quickly becomes overgrown and needs regular maintenance. Brambles and wild roses tend to grow out at head height. A section where the fence and hedge had fallen into the path blocking it completely as recently been cleared but I would like to see regular cutting back of the vegetation (perhaps 3 to 4 times during spring/summer).

A further problem with this road is that in many places there is no segregation from the road. For as long as there is no segregation the speed limit should be reduced to 40mph as per LTN1/20.

If there was sufficient community support I would be in favour of a bus gate along this road to restrict vehicular access. A safer route for vehicles travelling between Milton and Histon is via the A14.

Eleanor Ruth CRANE
(Green Party)

One basic improvement would be to ensure the vegetation along the Butt Lane shared pavement is cut back on a regular schedule. In a previous job I used to cycle along this route daily and I well remember the joys of dodging face-height brambles while balancing on the few inches of path that were free from leaf litter!
The planned upgrade/replacement of the A10 bridge is welcome.
The suggestion of a modal filter west of the recycling centre junction seems worth exploring.
The most dangerous point of the route is probably the sharp corner at Clay Close Lane – I don’t know what improvements have been suggested for this area but this should be a priority.

Clive Michael RABBETT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane Marie WILLIAMS
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 3

Do you support additional cycle parking at the Post Office and along the High Street? If so, how do you want to achieve this?

Paul BEARPARK
(Liberal Democrat)

I do support additional cycle parking in Milton and was pleased to see that Milton Cycle Campaign had won a SCDC Zero Carbon Communities grant for this. I was successful in obtaining an earlier grant from SCDC for cycle stands in Waterbeach which have now been installed. These are a great benefit to Waterbeach residents who previously had nowhere to park their bikes around the village green.

Eleanor Ruth CRANE
(Green Party)

I’m not sure which of the villages within our ward this refers to. However, as a general point I fully support improved provision of cycle parking. Any new cycle parking needs to be secure, accessible (including spaces suitable for non-standard cycles if possible) and take into consideration the needs of other users of the space (e.g. not making the pavement less accessible for wheelchairs, not getting in the way of deliveries to shops). If I were elected and involved in a project to install new cycle parking I would recommend CamCycle’s Cambridge Cycle Parking guide as a starting point.

Clive Michael RABBETT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane Marie WILLIAMS
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 4

How would you improve cycling conditions for all ages and abilities along Milton High Street?

Paul BEARPARK
(Liberal Democrat)

Several issues exist for people who cycle along Milton High Street & Cambridge Rd in Milton. There are several junctions including the Fen Rd junction which have seen several accidents some of which have been serious. Improvements to these junctions should be made to increase safety.

There have also been several accidents involving people cycling on the path passing the entrance to the industrial units and Winship Rd. Visibility for both those cycling and drivers needs to be improved here.

The mandatory and advisory cycle lanes are too narrow in many places. This forces people on bikes to ride close the gutter and for vehicles to pass close by. I would support removing the cycle lane southbound and increase the width to 2m northbound. Also, the road surface is very poor in many places forcing people to cycle further into the road to avoid them. Re-surfacing is required.

Finally, to make this route feel safe for people of all ages and abilities on bikes or those walking I would support a reduction in the speed limit to 20mph.

Eleanor Ruth CRANE
(Green Party)

I would push for a 20 mph speed limit with suitable enforcement (NB this falls under the County Council so as a District Councillor I wouldn’t have any direct authority over this). I would ask to have removed the painted ‘emergency’ cycle lanes – as both a cyclist and a driver I have long felt these just encourage vehicles to overtake cyclists unsafely, and recent research carried out in London confirms this. When I cycle along the Cambridge Road/ the High Street the main points that I personally feel uncomfortable with are: the junction at the foot of the Jane Coston cycle bridge, the entrances to the industrial estates, the area around the parade of shops (with bus stops, cars pulling into and out of the parking bays by the shops, the narrowing of the road at the zebra crossing). I don’t have the answers to these issues but if elected I would look to commission a study of the problems and options to enable evidence-based decisions to be made.

Clive Michael RABBETT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane Marie WILLIAMS
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 5

How would you improve the South Cambridgeshire District Council cycle parking policy? How would you bring inclusive cycle parking into the Local Plan? Also, how would you ensure that cycling parking policies are enforced in subsequent planning applications?

Paul BEARPARK
(Liberal Democrat)

The development of the next Local Plan for SCDC should be informed by Camcycle's Cycling Parking Guide. In the Local Plan there should also be some measures outlined for enforcement. Perhaps this could be included as part of the building control sign-off.

Eleanor Ruth CRANE
(Green Party)

I’m not familiar with the cycle parking policy so I will just make the general statement that, if I were elected, I would base my decisions and advocacy on the best available evidence and on the views of the people I would be representing. Camcycle and its local branches (such as Milton and Waterbeach Cycling Campaigns) have a wealth of knowledge and experience that I would look to draw on.
I’m fully supportive of inclusive cycle parking. I note that the wording of the Local Plan refers to “Provision of secure, accessible and convenient cycle parking”. When coupled with the Council’s responsibilities under the Equality Act I would argue this means that the Council is committed to providing inclusive cycle parking – if elected I would make this case.
I agree that proper enforcement of policies (including cycle parking) is essential and I would see it as one of my jobs as a Councillor to understand these policies and check for their enforcement when considering planning applications.

Clive Michael RABBETT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane Marie WILLIAMS
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 6

How will you ensure that the developers of Waterbeach New Town deliver the active travel infrastructure as quickly as possible in order to benefit both new and existing residents?

Paul BEARPARK
(Liberal Democrat)

Many new developments are built around car based living. For several years I have been encouraging the New Town developers and SCDC not to adopt this failed model.

The New Town SPD (Supplementary Planning Document) states as one of its aspirations that active travel and public transport is the norm. However, the spatial layout of the New Town presented in this document does not support this. The layout supports car-based living. Waterbeach Cycling Campaign produced an alternative to the SPD called the People First Vision (https://tinyurl.com/People-First-Vision).

One of the elements of this is to avoid building entrances to schools on through roads and creating a layout which means that the majority of children have to cross the main peripheral road to get to school from their homes.

I will continue to work the developers and council officers to deliver a new town which meets the aspiration stated in the SPD.

Eleanor Ruth CRANE
(Green Party)

Active travel infrastructure (along with public transport links and local facilities) needs to be in place when the first residents move in, otherwise people can become locked into car ownership and use. I therefore agree this is a priority and would do everything in my power as a Councillor to make it happen.

Clive Michael RABBETT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane Marie WILLIAMS
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 7

How important is it for every rural village to have at least one safe and accessible off-road path for people walking and cycling, connecting to the growing network of such routes in the county? What action should be taken to enable everyone in the county to have access to the cycling network?

Paul BEARPARK
(Liberal Democrat)

The GCP Greenways programme is an excellent first step towards providing connectivity between the villages around Cambridge and the City. However, this programme needs to be fast-tracked. The Waterbeach Greenway, in particular, should be in place before New Town occupation.

However, it should be possible for everyone in the County to be able to travel to their neighbouring villages by bicycle, E-bike or other active travel mode. For example, the majority of secondary school age children in Waterbeach attend Cottenham Village College. They should have the opportunity to cycle safely to school. The only option is to cycle along a national speed limit rural road.

Eleanor Ruth CRANE
(Green Party)

It’s extremely important for people’s health and wellbeing. I have friends and family who live in very rural areas and they essentially have to get in their car every time they leave the house (or risk walking along a single-lane road with no verges and cars doing 60mph). My partner didn’t learn to ride a bike until adulthood because, growing up, there was nowhere safe near his house for him to cycle. To enable everyone in the county to have access to the cycling network, this needs to be a priority in planning so that gaps in the network are filled in and new developments do not break up the existing network. Routes need to be maintained and signposted. Providing information and maps is also important so people are aware of what routes exist near them.

Clive Michael RABBETT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane Marie WILLIAMS
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 8

What do you think should be done to enable more children to walk and cycle safely to school? How can the county support more school communities to implement School Street schemes?

Paul BEARPARK
(Liberal Democrat)

As outlined in my answer to question 6 a first step is that new developments, such as Waterbeach New Town, should be designed with the specific goal of providing safe active travel routes for all. Entrances to schools should not be on through roads and the spatial framework should be designed to reduce the need to cross main roads to the minimum when travelling from home to school.

I support the School Streets Schemes and I would like to see them in both Waterbeach and Milton. For these schemes to be successful it is important that local residents are consulted and the benefits of the School Street are explained to them. The county council can support this by providing the relatively little funding need to support these schemes and provide support and guidance to parents and staff willing to set up and operate these schemes.

A 20mph speed limit throughout the Waterbeach and Milton villages would have an immediate positive impact on parents' willingness to let their children walk or cycle to school.

Eleanor Ruth CRANE
(Green Party)

Many of the actions needed will be location specific (e.g. measures to address a dangerous junction, narrow pavement etc). Parking along the streets near schools creates particular risks for children arriving and leaving - in Milton, our local pubs have said they are happy for parents to use their car parks when dropping off and picking up children, to try to keep the area immediately around the school free of school run traffic.
More generally, I support 20 mph speed limits in all residential areas (this has long been Green Party policy). Probably the biggest benefit would come from reducing the amount of traffic on our roads.
The School Street scheme is an excellent initiative and if elected I would work with the communities I represented to encourage applications to the County Council.

Clive Michael RABBETT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane Marie WILLIAMS
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 9

Safe and responsible 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?

Paul BEARPARK
(Liberal Democrat)

I agree with the view that the police should engage actively on policing all groups of road users.
The Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable need to build into the forward plan for policing a new strategy for policing all groups of road users
My priorities would be on information and education with safety and security at their heart. This means enforcing regulations but also educating all road users. A sustained campaign on social media, bill boards, posters in significant locations could announce a new emphasis on road behaviours, training and skills. The police do this kind of thing best when they engage with communities through groups such as Camcycle, through schools and parents, institutes of higher education, businesses and public service bodies. A fundamental aspect of this emphasis on appropriate road behaviour would be the hierarchy of users: pedestrians first, cyclists second and motorists third, with safety concerns being paramount.
Some of the current problems stem from not knowing or observing the appropriate behaviour for roads, paths and junctions.
There would need to be a commitment to this plan or approach and not just from the police, with a commitment to gathering evidence about current behaviours and how these might need to change.
This evidence could then be fed into a discussion of the need for cycle- or foot- path or road- engineering to facilitate more appropriate behaviour.

Eleanor Ruth CRANE
(Green Party)

I broadly agree with this position. I welcome the focus in the Camcycle statement on reducing offences through better highway design and better information provision – this accords well with the Green principle (which I fully support) that crime reduction requires a focus on the causes of crime, and cannot be achieved by solely focusing on policing policy.

Clive Michael RABBETT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane Marie WILLIAMS
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 10

Transport is the largest source of UK carbon dioxide emissions (34%). Physical inactivity is responsible for one in six UK deaths. What role do you think cycling can play in tackling the urgent climate and health crises we face?

Paul BEARPARK
(Liberal Democrat)

In tackling the climate emergency we need to make changes that have an immediate impact on our emissions. A switch to active travel from vehicles does have an immediate impact with a negligible cost compared with major energy and transport schemes which may take years before we see the benefits or even the planting of trees which could take decades before there is a significant impact.

We are recovering from one health emergency but still have the inactivity health emergency to deal with. A switch to active travel also has an immediate impact on people's health with almost no cost compared with the healthcare costs arising from sedentary lifestyles.

Eleanor Ruth CRANE
(Green Party)

Clearly cycling has a big role to play. I would include mental health benefits as well – cycling for pleasure, whether alone, in a club or as a family, is one of life’s joys. Obviously cycling is not a panacea, but it is one of the tools we have at our disposal for tackling the climate and health crises and we should be using it to its fullest extent.

Clive Michael RABBETT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane Marie WILLIAMS
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 11

What challenges do people face in your area that prevent them from cycling, especially children and those using cycling as a mobility aid? How should cycling and walking infrastructure in your area be improved so that people of all ages and abilities would feel safe cycling there?

Paul BEARPARK
(Liberal Democrat)

The fact that a higher proportion of people with a disability cycle in Cambridge than those without disability is testament to the fact that cycling is a benefit to a very wide range of people.
Almost all children enjoy cycling and the freedom that a bicycle provides them is a huge benefit but the main challenge is parents’ concerns about being hit by a vehicle.
Within Waterbeach, Milton , Landbeach and Horningsea a 20mph speed limit throughout would immediately reduce this fear but this would need to be supported by measures to discourage speeding such as traffic calming. Between the villages there needs to be dedicated cycling infrastructure segregated from roads as described in my answer to Q7. The excellent path between Quy and Lode is a good example of what can be done.

Eleanor Ruth CRANE
(Green Party)

Probably the main one is lack of a joined up network of safe cycle routes. There are sections of good, segregated cycle lanes but most of these abruptly end, or require you to cross a road to continue. The ideal would be a proper network of off road cycle paths. Retrofitting this into our existing settlements and transport network is very challenging, but there are many improvements that can be made. Excellent cycling infrastructure should be designed into all new developments from the start.
Another key challenge is traffic. As previously mentioned, I would push for 20 mph speed limits in all residential areas. I strongly support the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods concept and would like to see this idea explored for residential areas in our villages.

Clive Michael RABBETT
(Conservative Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Jane Marie WILLIAMS
(Labour Party)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.

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.