This article was published in 2017, in Newsletter 132.
I can’t cycle, but cycling matters to me as the rest of my family all cycle, including my children. I want them to be able to continue to do so safely, and enjoy themselves while doing so.
As a well-known Cambridge character once said, our city has a global brand but the infrastructure of a mediaeval market town. We’re going to be able to turn this world-class city into something even greater yet. I think it’s great that decisions can now be taken by an accountable Mayor rather than somebody we don’t know in Whitehall. While working across parties is important, I’m excited about working with James Palmer to deliver a really good system including the metro and to sort out our public transport and congestion here in Cambridge.
For those who are willing and able, cycling is going to play a major role in reducing Cambridge’s congestion. We need to ensure they have good, high-quality, routes to cycle on, somewhere safe to lock their cycles in town, and that their needs are understood and met by the council and employers.
I know only too keenly from the debates on how much disabled parking there should be that there are serious and difficult tradeoffs to be made between different types of road use: residents parking for cars, disabled parking, cycle parking, and we know that there’s not enough space to go round for all these uses. We know the situation at the station isn’t good enough.
Cycling must not be for just those fit and fast enough. I’ll champion the interests of less-able cyclists when it comes to getting the council to be more thoughtful when designing road fixtures and bollards.
The biggest council-run project is of course the Chisholm Trail. Parts of the Chisholm Trail are already in place; it’s an initiative I strongly support, and it’s a great example of how Conservatives think things should be done: someone has a vision to improve things for the community, and a group of concerned private citizens works together with government to make it a reality. For those seeking employment on the other side of town, the gradually improving access along the railway/guided-bus line is really improving quality of life.
The Mayor is going to be looking into light rail for Cambridge. If that goes ahead, we must insist on getting good quality cycle routes next to any new tracks, just like the Trumpington section of the Chisholm Trail.