On Tuesday the 6th of May 2014 Cambridge Cycling Campaign held a hustings event in advance of elections for Cambridge City Council.
Those present were:
- Lewis Herbert, the Leader of the Labour Group on Cambridge City Council.
- Rodrick Cantrill, a current Liberal Democrat City Councillor.
- Simon Sedgwick-Jell, representing the Green Party.
- Anthony Carpen and Puffles the Dragon Fairy (Independent, standing in Coleridge).
Notably the Conservatives were unable to muster a representative to send to the event; however local Tory Nick Clarke sent a brief statement which was read out. Statements were also read out from absent independent candidates Marie-Louise Holland (Castle) and Ian Tyes (King’s Hedges).
There was unanimous support for a single council for greater Cambridge; including following the event from the Conservatives:
— nickclarkecambs (@nickclarkecambs) May 6, 2014
Those present argued for a single council on planning grounds; as currently planning decisions are taken by district councils, often without appropriate input from the highways officers at the County Council. Having highways officers working for those making the planning decisions could significantly improve co-ordination and ensure the transport impacts of new developments are properly dealt addressed.
Another argument for a single council was simply to remove confusion; with many people not understanding which council does what.
One of the most ambitious statements made came from Labour’s Lewis Herbert who said he would like to consider the option of Cambridge’s ring road no longer being a ring; and that a reduction in capacity for four wheeled vehicles to get through central Cambridge is needed.
Apparently resignedly admitting failure by the Liberal Democrats during their time as the majority party on the council Rodrick Cantrill said pressure from central government had forced rapid decisions on the Cambridge fringe developments, in relation to not making it as attractive as possible for residents in them to use bikes as a major form of transport. Cantrill also admitted the council was still working on getting a cycle-way from the West Cambridge Site to Silver Street in the historic core, despite the funds for it being connected to a development approved eight years ago.
20 MPH zones were discussed; with no opposition to them other than in the statement from Ian Tyes, and a lot of support for additional enforcement, with one cycling campaign member calling for 24/7/365 automated enforcement via cameras.