Tuesday 3 May 2016

Cambridge Election Survey - Green Party

Continuing looking at the parties here one at a time, next in the list is the Greens. They've got one councillor here and didn't have such a bad showing in the General Election. 

Sadly their Kings Hedges candidate hasn't responded, so I'll go the other way this time and head straight towards town. Arbury is the next ward... 

Stephen Lawrence is their candidate, and he's a supporter of the Space for Cycling document - pointing out that routes should be complete which is good. But then when asked what he'd do for kids getting to school?
Practical "ride test" with Council workers and council officers, together with kids and their parents.
Well that sucks. And blows. At the same time. Is that it? No 'lets give them great facilities', no 'lets get them excellent safe routes'. No. Lets train the kids because nothing encourages cycling like teaching kids what they want to do is dangerous.

His response on keeping cycling facilities good during building works is likewise muddled, but he does understand the problems of getting big bikes through chicanes and he's picked out a cracker of a junction that needs improving with Arbury Road/Milton Road (without telling us how) - and his imagination re. how cyclists are impacted by residential/commuter parking goes no further than charging for parking. Lacklustre would be too generous here - and you call yourself Green. For shame.

Lets go back down to West Chesterton and see what John Bachelor has to say.  On 'Space for Cycling'?
I fully support 'Make Space for Cycling'. I think the key principle for West Chesterton is in the title - there needs to be space for cycling of a sufficiently quality and quantity. For example, the City Deal proposals for Milton Road suggest a cycle lane less than 2m wide, significantly less than the 2.5m recommended for a route of this type (allowing overtaking without disrupting the flow of vehicular traffic). There are better solutions which provide enough space for cyclists as well as pedestrians, vehicular traffic and plants.
Spot on. 10/10. Go to the top of the class.

Getting kids to school?
The plans for cycling provision need to provide wide lanes which must be separated from the road so that cyclists of all ages and abilities can feel safe. Ultimately measures such as improved cycling provision, a congestion charge and changes in parking restrictions would decrease the number of vehicles on Cambridge's roads. 20mph zones would also improve safety. These measures would greatly improve the safety of both walking and cycling to school.
Bloody hell. I mean, whats going on, two decent candidates in this city? In the same election campaign? 

I really don't need to go on - his responses (except perhaps regarding parking where I feel he's missed the point) are superb.

Now one would think its a no brainer, that greens would be good on cycling, but as ever they're a mixed bag. Look at your green candidates closely and question them closely - and you might have a cracker. Or you might have someone like this Stephen Lawrence chap. 

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