Wednesday 3 May 2017

Cambridge Election Survey - Greens

So the last of the parties I'll cover here is the Green party. And... Well, not a lot of respondents. A shame, really, you'd think that this would be up their alley, but never mind.

The first I find is Monica Hone down in Abbey. Her husband and her kid both cycle, although she lists no particular issues (which is odd).

Regarding particular issues...

I think the cycle lanes along the main roads are inadequate and cyclists should have priority over cars at junctions.
Well, yeah, ok. But... Which roads? Which junctions? Priority how and where, what kind of junctions?

She hasn't answered regarding City Deal (seriously? I mean this is a big, big issue in Cambridge), but does hilight the Macdonals roundabout as particularly bad.

Re. Park Street and cycle parking in the City Centre?
I would explore reducing car parking spaces in favour of more cycle parking, and reducing demand for car parking in the city through a combination of higher parking fees, improved alternative access, such as more Park and Rides, or free bike hire.
OK then, thats reasonable. But a little vague maybe? Which car parking do you mean? Where? Improved alternative access? Whats that even mean?

So not a great first candidate but not a wash out. Lets hunt another...

Histon isn't far, just yonder side of the A14. And their candidate Dan Cotterell is there.

Does he cycle, family experience thereof, issues associated...
I commute by bicycle from Impington to Addenbrooke's Hospital 5 days a week on my Giant Roam 0 Hybrid. I am also an active member of Histon and Impington bicycle club and regularly make 60-80 mile trips at the weekend on my Cube Attain GTC Pro Disk.
 Oh, really? A Giant hybrid? Yeah, I've got one of those too. Reliable. Dependable. Lots of other words ending in 'ible'. Cube Attain is a bit more flash, like. But with respect, I don't care. At all. I mean what bike you ride isn't important to me at all. I care about what issues you can hi-light based on personal experience. But never mind, I do like a bit of being a nerd too, so...

What are the challenges?

Roads are poorly maintained. Too many cars not only in Cambridge but also in the surrounding villages. Poorly designed cycle lanes with just a white line painted about a metre from the curb. This gives drivers an excuse to pass far too close as they assume as long as they are their side of the white line they are giving the cyclist enough space.
Errm... Ok. As far as it goes. I agree, but thats only part of the picture, especially for Histon and Impington (where I'd have thought the bigger issue is improving cycle links to Milton which are currently just awful, and making the route up to Cottenham better, and of course looking at how you can get more cycling within the division - which roads are currently hostile and can that be resolved).

Regarding city deal (bits they're doing he supports and other stuff)

The city deal does not go nearly far enough in providing transport infrastructure for the city. Cycling provision should always, where practical, be dedicated to cycles and not shared use. Far more needs to be done to keep commuter traffic out of Cambridge. Bus services, especially out to the villages run only once or twice per hour, providing no incentive to use them at all. Until public transport is provided as a service and not for profit this will never change. Bus and Rail services must be returned to the public sector before this will ever have a chance of working.
Well I won't argue with him about all of this, I agree with a lot of it. But renationalisation of bus and rail? Thats not what the city deal is. I do wish he'd been more specific here.

Which junctions are bad and how can he fix them?
Histon Road, Kings Hedges Road is extremely dangerous for cyclists with the cycle lane running between the the lane for traffic heading for Kings Hedges and traffic heading into Cambridge. The majority of traffic coming off the A14 at the Histon junction is heading for the science park. All of this traffic has to cut across the cycle lane. I have been actually hit twice on this junction and cut up and forced to brake hard more times than I can remember.
Thats half an answer. Its a good half. But its only half - what would he do to fix this (frankly terriying) junction? Personally I'd like a dedicated bridge from the old Histon Road on the Cambridge side to the cul-de-sac that was formerly the continuation of the road on the other side, with that access route re-surfaced on the City side to fulfil requirements for riding and walking. And I think this will be crucial ater the new houses are built right off that site.

His answer on greenways and getting more people cycling in to Cambridge rather misses the point and mostly goes into national politics, but his commitment to a Cambridge congestion charge is interesting. And his response to the ward specific question about school provision there? Ok.

So... The Greens. Not bad. Not epic either.

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