City council elections

This article was published in 2016, in Newsletter 126.

The fifth of May saw new councillors elected to Cambridge’s 13 wards. All but two of these had responded to Camcycle’s questions in the run-up to the election, sharing their thoughts about cycling (and walking) issues and any ideas they had for improving provision for cycling in Cambridge and nearby.

Every year the Campaign surveys all candidates and publishes their answers on the election pages of the website in the hope that their responses might help people decide how to use their vote. The relevance of our survey is clear as this year the election pages of our website saw 1,278 visits, with a spike of 225 on 3 May following a Cambridge News story which linked to our page.

Candidates were asked the following questions:

  1. Cambridge Cycling Campaign has created a guide to cycling best-practice called Making Space For Cycling, endorsed by all national cycling organisations. Do you fully support this guide, and if so, what one principle in it do you think could most effectively be applied in your ward?
  2. What measures would you like to see to improve the safety of children getting to school?
  3. 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?
  4. Secure cycle parking has been fixed in the short term at Cambridge Railway Station but is still a major problem for people travelling to work or to shop in the city centre. Where do you think that additional cycle parking can be provided in the city centre?
  5. Recent construction in the city, such as on Abbey Street, Milton Road and at the University Arms have closed routes or removed cycle space. What would you do to ensure that cycle routes
  6. Cycle routes which are narrow and involves sharp turns and chicanes make routes difficult or impossible for users of tricycles, handcycles and cargo bikes, impairing accessibility for the most vulnerable. Can you think of anywhere in your ward that is difficult to use on a non-standard cycle and what will you do to improve it?
  7. Protected junctions where pedestrian and bicycle traffic are fully separated from motorised traffic have been proposed by Cambridge Cycling Campaign for the Milton Road/Elizabeth Way junction. Which junctions do you think would benefit from this safety improvement within the Cambridge area?
  8. Residential streets used by commuters to park all day for free increases traffic on already congested roads. This has an impact on cycle safety. It also means that residents of those streets may not be able to park cars outside or even near their own homes during the daytime. How would you solve this problem?

Full responses to all questions can be found on election pages as can responses to all surveys since 2007. The Making Space for Cycling document, written by members of the Campaign, can be found here

Map shows an extract of each new councillor’s answer to Question One, dealing with cycling aspirations for their ward. We look forward to them championing these over the next four years and will keep an eye on their progress.

Map by courtesy of Cambridge City Council
Image as described adjacent

Sarah Rodger

King’s Hedges – Nigel Gawthrope

‘On balance I think it’s easier to apply it in the design of new developments rather than redesigning Kings Hedges. I would like to see much more investment in providing good cycleways along the lines of the Dutch model. I would also like to see improvements in the general maintenance of pavements and road surfaces. There are far too many hazards for pedestrians and cyclists at the moment caused by the lack of maintenance and poor condition of the highways.’

West Chesterton – Mike Sargeant

‘I support segregated cycleways and would like to see them introduced on the re-configured Milton Road and Histon Road. I believe Chesterton Road should be treated in a similar way rather than the mixture of on-road and on-pavement that we have currently.’

Castle – John Hipkin

‘The physical separation wherever possible of cyclists and motorists.’

Market – Tim Bick

‘In my ward I’d pick out the principle that “people want to cycle away from parked cars” as pretty important as it is a major hazard in the city centre. I have recently sponsored a successful highways improvement bid to turn the cycle lane in East Road into a mandatory lane with double yellow lines emphasising the prohibition on parking 24/7. There are other similar opportunities.’

Newnham – Lucy Nethsingha

‘I think having cycle routes which are wide enough and away from the traffic would be my top priority.’

Trumpington – Donald Adey

‘Trumpington Rd needs off-road cycle paths throughout.’

Queen Edith’s – Jennifer Page-Croft

The candidate did not respond to the survey.

Coleridge – Rosy Moore

‘I think enforcing the new 20mph speed limits, particularly on Lichfield and Coleridge roads, would make a big difference, and cycle priority at the side roads along Cherry Hinton Road, where the cycle lane is on the pavement, with raised (same height as the pavement) crossings for the cycle path. If money was no object I would have a cycle lane along Cherry Hinton Rd.’

Cherry Hinton – Rob Dryden

‘One of the principles in the guide could be home zones where some of our streets would give priority to people over vehicles’

East Chesterton – Margery Abbot

‘I think separating cars, cyclists and pedestrians is a very good idea and could be used in Green End Road, especially for when the [new] station is open and increasing amounts of traffic are expected.’

Arbury – Mike Todd-Jones

The candidate did not respond to the survey.

Abbey – Richard Johnson

‘Regarding a single principle of the guide that could be effectively applied in Abbey, I would want to see fewer obstructed routes. Stourbridge and Coldham’s Common, as well as Ditton Meadows, have paths that can and should be enjoyed by cyclists and pedestrians alike (Coldham’s Common will be a major part of the Chisholm Trail, with widening the paths to the 2m standard forming part of the plans, as well as the Abbey-Chesterton bridge providing access to Ditton Meadows). Improving the permeability of urban paths/roads with paths on common land will assist with that goal. To that end I was pleased to win £50,000 of Eastern Corridor Area funding in 2014 to improve access to Stourbridge Common from Riverside. This project is still being worked on by officers. Consultation will commence soon with implementation soon after.’

Petersfield – Richard Robertson

‘Applying the principles in Petersfield is quite difficult on the roads which would most benefit especially Mill Road. Providing mandatory cycle lanes on Gonville Place and East Road needs consideration.’

Romsey – Sophie Alice Barnett

‘Romsey is definitely a ward where all of the ‘Making Space for Cycling’ principles apply, for example on the prospective development of the Ridgeons site, which offers the chance to put these principles into practice especially given the link with the Chisholm Trail. Apart from the Ridgeons site, if I needed to apply one principle to Romsey it would be ‘People want to cycle away from parked cars’. There are lots of narrow streets in Romsey, many of which have cars parked on either side, for example Greville Rd, which sometimes make it difficult to navigate on a bike. This is exacerbated by Romsey’s proximity to the railway station, which means many commuters park on Romsey’s streets during the day. I would like to seek residents’ views on a review of commuter parking on Romsey’s streets, particularly in roads where cars are parked on both sides.’