Monday 29 April 2019

Camcycle Local Election Survey 2019 - The Blue Team

Not a whelk in Hades chance in this ward, but fair is fair, lets find a couple of Tory candidates and treat them the same as we have the others.

In Kings Hedges there are two seats up, but the Tories have selected two candidates and arbitrarily I'm picking the epically named Eric Barrett-Payton. Just as well like, the other guy didn't answer yet.

His concerns cycling and for those who are more vulnerable?

Some family members have cycled and I was a very keen cyclist when I was younger, but not now, due to problems with joints. My main concern is the lack of safe places to park and lock a bike where ever we want to stop at our temporary destinations
Really? Thats your main concern? Not that councillors direct the Police to target children terrified to mix it with articulated lorries? Well I don't share your values then.

How would he get more people cycling because its leaner, greener, more economical?

 More places where it is possible to park a bike securely would help
Bit of a one trick pony, Eric? Like, did someone beat you to a Chelsea lock once and you've not recovered from the emotional trauma? Look, bike locking helps, but its not the be all and end all. Likewise his answer on planning is, well, not dismissive so much as not in any way invested in cycling as an issue. And his answer on cycle theft demonstrates that he doesn't understand the role of our elected police commissioner, the relationship between Cambridgeshire Constabulary and British Transport Police, the role of the provider of protected cycle parking, or that of councillors in setting policing priorities at an area level in Cambridge.

And on physical barriers to cycling? He's just wrong.
This is a tricky balance between the requirements of walkers and cyclists to have full access, but safely, without the risk of rogue motor cyclists using unsuitable routes. There is no excuse for not having full access for pedestrians, but it is more difficult to see how larger bikes can be accommodated and still deter motorbikes. Technical innovations might provide an answer in future, perhaps something like a low style that allows you to lift over a three wheeler, or other larger bike and trailer, which would be possible for them, but not heavier machines, although this is not an ideal solution, it might be some improvement in the present situation
I don't want to sound uncharitable but... Ok, lets be honest, I don't care if I come across as uncharitable, nor am I going to mask what I'm about to say by putting 'with respect' in front of it. Alex here is an idiot and basically wrong about most things. 0/10 for turning up and not being actively hostile to cycling - like I'm just glad I don't have to give you a negative score.

Now we've been mooching abut North Cambridge with all the responses so far and frankly I'm bored, so we'll go and look at what Manas Deb has to say in Queen Ediths.

His  experience of riding and concerns for more vulnerable riders?
I cycle with my little boy in weekdays for his school run and with family in weekends. My son has passed level 3 in cycling year before and we send him for cycling courses arranged by his school from time to time. Last year I have purchased an advanced multi gear cycle with a carrier for my son to use for his school journeys safely.Addenbrooke’s round about and Queen Edith’s Way round about is unsafe for cyclist and pedestrians due to the absence of zebra crossing and unfortunately elected Lib Dem Councillors are doing nothing to improve situation. Children should be taught about road safety at early age and I have made my child aware of few unsafe cycle paths and he cycles on his own using Queen Edith’s Way round about and Hills Road.
Oooh. A bit of politics. Well, yeah, that roundabout is crap. But (1) libdems aren't in power in the City, thats Labour which is what this election is for, so can do little there and (2)  the transport authority is the County, they're really best place to take action here, and thats Tory, thats your team. So yeah, I get your frustration and share it, but your political point scoring here backfires spectacularly when we analyze it.

On to what Manas would do to increase cycling:
Cycling is certainly a good exercise to keep one physically fit. Cycling increases cardiovascular fitness, improves joint mobility, decreases stress level and strengthens bones. Motorised transport is noisy, while its emissions reduce air quality and add to the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. Cycling can also reduce congestion and the journey times of other road users, particularly in Cambridge City.
My vision to encourage more people of all ages and all abilities to cycle is to first Improve safety and perception of safety, providing infrastructure that encourages active transport, such as creation of direct or shorter routes for cyclists and pedestrians. Encouraging a culture of active transport, understanding that the barriers are different for different populations.
One of the things that New Labour learned from the Tories was that sometimes a simple message said simply is better than a more verbose one. Infrastructure, infrastructure and infrastructure. Just say it dude - everything else, the cycling culture, the respect that people get when they're no longer treated as an out group, it all follows from that. You're right to look at safety and subjective safety - thats done through infrastructure. You're right that this is a different threshold for different populations but all of them are addressed by infrastructure.

His answer on planning is enthusiastic and clear that he wants to make improvements, but perhaps a little thin on how he'd change things. Tough, nuanced question, and while Manas here has avoided an own goal here he hasn't cleared the ball away.

On to bike thefts...
Cambridgeshire has been hit by a wave of bike thefts. Police data shows a total of 4,296 bikes were recorded as stolen by police in 2017/18.That works out as an average of 12 every day. The figure is up by more than 500 from the 3,793 bikes stolen the previous year. It is the highest it has been since 2010/11, when there were 4,374 bike thefts.
Lib Dem Councillors have failed to raise this bike thefts issue with local police seriously. If elected as Councillor, I would work with City Council to introduce cycle marking initiatives and continue to deliver the message that people have to lock up their bike safely and take the time to security mark their bikes and register the details of their bike with Bike Register. I will also work closely with Police & Crime Commissioner to allocate additional police resources dedicated to reduce cycle thefts.
He doesn't like the Liberal Democrats, does he? I don't really go in for the squabbling between party candidates and I just wish they'd all just fucking grow out of it, but there you go, I'm an idealist. He's well informed as to what the problem is, but not really getting just how little resource is needed to make an enormous impact here - that the difference between looking at footage of cycle thefts on CCTV and not doing so is literally expending 5 minutes of time digitally chopping to the point of theft. Bike marking isn't the issue here, the Police giving this zero priority and actively making it hard to report crime to keep their numbers down, in a way that the Commissioner must surely be fully aware of, is the problem.

There's a Queen Ediths specific question on verge/bike lane/pavement parking next and while he's right in his desire to combat this he's missing out on a handy local bye-law that would stop parking on verges overnight. Right spirit here, needs a bit more information to get in and fix it.

So... Hard to grade this one. He's spot on in so many ways but seems to sacrifice making a good point to make a political one as often as not. 7/10 - some excellent moments, and he gets what the needs are, and he's someone campaigners can work with and, I do hope, influence favourably.

That gives us an inelegant 3.5/10 average for the Tories. Slightly more shit than Labour.

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