Waterbeach Cycling Campaign questionnaire

Waterbeach Cycling Campaign has recently circulated a questionnaire to all District and Parish Council candidates. Here is the questionnaire with my responses:

Questions for Waterbeach District and Parish Council Candidates standing in forthcoming elections (May 2018)

Waterbeach Cycling Campaign’s mission is to make Waterbeach safe, connected and enjoyable for all types of cyclists and users of non-motorised transport.[1]

Q1: Do you support Waterbeach Cycling Campaign’s mission? If not, please explain why not?

Of course, this is very important, but it is essential that the environment is made safe for all vulnerable road users. Within this category I include all those you have mentioned, plus what in the jargon are called ‘PTWs’ – motorcycles, mopeds and scooters.

Q2: If elected would you be willing to work with Waterbeach Cycling Campaign in order to create a cycling-friendly environment in our area?

Of course, provided that making a cycle-friendly environment doesn’t make life harder for, for example, pedestrians. Conflict between cyclists and pedestrians can be a real issue.

Our supporters would like to see better cycle routes to Cambridge.

Q3: Would you campaign for funding to improve the current main cycle route to Cambridge (the path beside the A10) and if so where would you look to obtain funding?

I am not sure that is the answer if the aims of question 4 are achieved.

Q4: Waterbeach Greenway was the first to have a public engagement event .  What actions would you take to ensure that it is the first to get built?

We all need to work with our County Councillor because that is where the initiative will come from, I believe.

Our supporters would like to see a safe cycle route to the Research Park and Chittering from Waterbeach.

Q5: How would you suggest that a safe cycle route to the Research Park and Chittering could be created?

The obvious answer is through the Barracks site well away from the A10

Our supporters would like to see safer cycling and walking within the village especially for children and the elderly.

Q6: Would you support traffic calming in the village?

Traffic calming is a very wide topic and must be approached with caution since there can easily be unintended consequences. The real issue is a reduction of vehicle speeds. The Parish Council has already looked in detail at this topic and has invested, through the LHI, in staggered speed reduction on the three main entrances to the village. This is something I strongly supported.

The real issue here is what sort of traffic calming and I am aware that road humps, for example, can provoke strong opposition from residents who live close to them. The Parish Council has in the past looked at these issues and I would strongly advocate progress being made.

Q7: Would you support a 20mph speed limit in the village?

There is no point in introducing a 20mph limit in the village if it is not observed and the general advice seems to be that we should look at traffic calming before introduction of a 20 mph limit.

Q8: Would you support parking restrictions to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists in the village?

I have concerns that, if parked cars are removed, vehicle speeds might well increase. Thus any parking restrictions must be looked at carefully. However, there are clearly some potentially dangerous junctions where parked cars can reduce visibility and cause danger to pedestrians; a particular example is the Cody Road – Bannold Road – Way Lane staggered junction.

Q9: Would you support improvements to footpaths and/or the creation of cycle lanes in the village?

Any improvement to footpaths and / or introduction of cycle lanes would have to be done with caution. It should be done in a coordinated way with traffic calming.

On a more general point, some time ago I got the Parish Council to agree in principle to a village-wide report by a traffic consultant. No progress has yet been made, but I wonder if that would not be the best way forward so that a coordinated and planned approach can be taken? Would you be prepared to support the Parish Council in this?

The development of the new town presents a great opportunity to create an environment which is safe, connected and enjoyable for cyclists, pedestrians and other users of non-motorised transport.

Q10: Do you think that the design of the new town should prioritise walking and cycling over vehicles?

I attended a workshop on the SPD for the new town and I got the impression that these issues were at the forefront of the planners’ intentions. However, things have gone very quiet and no information is coming out of South Cambridgeshire District Council. We all need to keep a very close watch on this process to ensure that priorities for pedestrians and cyclists are kept in the plan.

Waterbeach Cycling Campaign is a non-partisan body. All candidates are given an equal opportunity to submit their views.

[1] Our definition of non-motorised transport is inclusive. It encompasses pedestrians, wheelchairs, mobility scooters (yes – aware that they do have motors..), horse riders and the various devices that children use to get from A to B