Manifesto for Transport in Cambridgeshire

Everyone in Cambridgeshire should be able to make journeys easily and affordably, while protecting lives and respecting the needs of others. Journeys should also safeguard the precious world we live in.

Cambridge City Council elections in May are a key test of our local politicians’ commitment to this goal. Every candidate can play a part by pledging their support for a transport network that works for us all.

We ask all local politicians:

Ask 1: Sign up to a fair and efficient transport future for our county 

Cambridge City Council will not help to meet the county’s objectives in terms of reducing inequality, supporting business, promoting health and wellbeing for all, and reducing carbon emissions without finding sustainable solutions to the region’s transport challenges. Make your commitment and play your part in helping to achieve this.

Ask 2: Support local control of the bus network and faster routes for buses 

Support franchising of the bus network to increase local control, provide better services and ultimately increase bus ridership. Give your backing to more bus priority schemes, so buses can run more quickly and to timetable, rather than getting delayed in traffic jams.

Ask 3: Back plans for more safe and attractive routes for walking, wheeling and cycling 

Use your influence to make walking, wheeling and cycling in the city safer, easier and more pleasant. Work with residents to identify opportunities for local highway improvements to existing routes. Help to ensure that new planning proposals focus on meeting all transport users’ needs, including those of buses users, not just those of private car drivers.  Support the allocation of adequate space for footways and cycleways and press for the repair of inadequate and unsafe routes.

Ask 4: Advocate for better journeys to school

Work with your local primary schools and parents to press for measures such as ‘school streets’ and safer routes to school. Support the case for safe, healthy and independent travel for all children and young people and the reduction of air pollution and congestion.

Ask 5: Become a champion for accessibility 

Strive for a transport network that gives everyone the freedom and independence to get to where they want to be. Transport choices should not be inhibited by characteristics such as age, income, background or disability. Support stronger enforcement measures against anti-social and pavement parking to improve journeys for all road users – drivers, bus passengers, walkers, wheelers and cyclists.

Download Cambridgeshire Sustainable Travel Alliance’s Manifesto for Transport in Cambridgeshire here.

Signatories

We asked all candidates for the 2 May 2024 elections to Cambridge City Council whether they would sign up to our Manifesto. A list of the candidates who have pledged their support so far is below. (If you are a candidate in the forthcoming elections and would like to provide a response, please get in touch.)

Abbey
Rosy Ansell (Lib Dem)
Simon Brignell (Communist)
Ben Cartwright (Labour)

Arbury
John Leighton (Lib Dem)
Patrick Sheil (Labour)

Castle
Antoinette Nestor (Labour)
Caroline Stoddart (Lib Dem)

Cherry Hinton
Aiden Roe (Lib Dem)

Coleridge
Judy Brunton (Lib Dem)
Tim Griffin (Labour)

East Chesterton
Gerri Bird (Labour)
Bob Illingworth (Lib Dem)

King’s Hedges
Jenny Gawthrope Wood (Labour)
Fionna Tod (Lib Dem)

Market
Tim Bick (Lib Dem)
Rosy Greenlees (Labour)

Newnham
Lucy Nethsingha (Lib Dem)
Yvonne Nobis (Labour)

Petersfield
Mike Davey (Labour)
Sam Oliver (Lib Dem)

Queen Edith’s
Immy Blackburn-Horgan (Lib Dem)
Beth Gardiner-Smith (Labour)

Romsey
Dave Baigent (Labour)
John Walmsley (Lib Dem)

Trumpington
Nadya Lokhmotova (Lib Dem)
Carlos Toranzos (Labour & Co-operative)

West Chesterton
Sam Carling (Labour)
Jamie Dalzell (Lib Dem)

Cambridge Green Party’s response

The Cambridge Green Party candidates provided the following statement as their response to the Manifesto:

“Ask 1 [Sign up to a fair and efficient transport future for our county]

Cambridge City Council is not the transport authority in this area. That role belongs to the county council with some functions delegated to GCP and the Combined Authority. However, the city council does have a role in reducing barriers to active travel and the Green Party’s 2024 city council budget response included a number of measures aimed at these barriers such as cycle theft and the failure to provide an inclusive public realm.  Greens were the only party to submit any response to the 2022 Making Connections consultation . Our consultation response analysed where significant further changes were needed to promote inclusion and avoid increased inequality. Elected Greens will always work as advocates for their wards and work to achieve a consensus.

Ask 2 [Support local control of the bus network and faster routes for buses]

Green party policy is to support renationalisation of key utilities and public services.  Franchising is very much a second best option. It is clunky, inefficient and still leaves local authorities open to significant risks.. No discussion of franchising can be complete without consideration of how it will be funded. We understand that Grant Thornton have proposed that the Combined Authority be permitted to keep a larger share of business rates in order to fund the transport infrastructure. However, it is premature to assume that the government of the day will agree to this.

Ask 3 [Back plans for more safe and attractive routes for walking, wheeling and cycling]

Greens fully support proposals to provide safe and attractive walking, wheeling routes. However, we believe that the priority should be to repair and maintain the routes we already have before considering new ones. Potholes, broken kerbs prevent our paths and roads from providing safe travel. The failure to provide adequate bat-friendly lighting on offroad walking, wheeling and cycling routes forces travellers back on to roads in winter rush hours. The snagging and safety concerns on the Chisholm Trail need to be addressed and further e-bike police patrols introduced at anti-social behaviour and drug related crime hot spots on popular offroad paths.

Ask 4 [Advocate for better journeys to school]

Greens believe that a holistic approach to school provision and school travel is required. We do support initiatives such as school streets but they need to be supported by initiatives such as breakfast clubs to allow earlier drop offs and greater flexible working provision for working parents.

Ask 5 [Become a champion for accessibility]

Greens have consistently pointed out where transport infrastructure has failed to be inclusive. Our Making Connections consultation response and technical paper on the impact of the congestion charge on disabled, low income residents, the elderly and carers showcased our thorough and thoughtful approach to inclusion. Greens are lead on the city council by Naomi Bennett who is a Local Government Association Disability Network Champion and also has a mobility disorder.”

Naomi Bennett (Abbey), Stephen Lawrence (Arbury), Esmé Hennessy (Castle), Josh Morris-Blake (Cherry Hinton), Sarah Nicmanis (Coleridge), Elizabeth May (East Chesterton), Robin Brabham (King’s Hedges), Krzysztof Strug (Market), Hugh Clough (Newnham), Zak Karimjee (Petersfield), Oliver Fisher (Queen Edith’s), Iain Webb (Romsey), Chloé Mosonyi (Trumpington), Shayne Mitchell (West Chesterton).

Cambridge Liberal Democrats’ response

In addition to pledging their support for the Manifesto, Cambridge Liberal Democrat candidates provided the following statement:

“Liberal Democrat city council candidates are pleased to support the [C]STA manifesto.

The important underlying question is, after withdrawal of the Making Connections proposals, how can a fair way be found to take the necessary positive steps? We intend to try for an approach which unifies more than it divides.

We are committed as a wider party to work through our local councils and through their roles in the Combined Authority and the Greater Cambridge Partnership to pursue this, involving residents and travellers.

The need remains to use limited space more efficiently – for more people – through greater use of public and active transport. Unless we address this as a community together, access to services, to places of work and to leisure will get worse for everyone; and our pockets, our time, our environment, and our businesses are likely to suffer.

Rosemary Ansell (Abbey), John Leighton (Arbury), Caroline Stoddart (Castle), Aiden Roe (Cherry Hinton), Judy Brunton (Coleridge), Bob Illingworth (East Chesterton), Fionna Tod (King’s Hedges), Tim Bick (Market), Lucy Nethsingha (Newnham), Sam Oliver (Petersfield), Immy Blackburn-Horgan (Queen Edith’s), John Walmsley (Romsey), Nadya Lokhmotova (Trumpington), Jamie Dalzell (West Chesterton)

Cambridge Conservative Party’s response

We have not had any responses from Cambridge City Conservative Party candidates.

Responses from Cambridge Labour Party candidates

In addition to pledging their support for the Manifesto, Cambridge Labour Party candidates Patrick Sheil (Arbury), Gerri Bird (East Chesterton), Rosy Greenlees (Market), Beth Gardiner-Smith (Queen Edith’s), Yvonne Nobis (Newnham) and Sam Carling (West Chesterton) added the following:

“Cambridge Labour is working hard to deliver a transport network that works for us all, while recognising that the city council must work with Cambridgeshire County Council, the Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority and other stakeholders on transport issues. We have made significant progress on wider issues around mobility, increasing bike safety and reducing cycle theft, and prioritising accessibility, and we are working hard on ways to improve air quality with interventions such as our own ‘Air Quality Action Plan’.

Our manifesto pledges consider how we move from stepping out of our front doors, to getting on a train; how the state of pavements and roads is causing difficulty and harm for walking, wheeling and driving; and ensuring that the transport needs those who live, work and study in the city are fully considered within the complex web of democratic structures around transport.

Our three key aims for mobility and transport in our city continue to be: to create space for people; to be environmentally friendly and cut carbon emissions; and to deliver high quality, affordable transport. The Labour Party will be putting these complex issues at the top of the discussions with the transport authorities and elsewhere, so that the final integrated transport network will work for all.”

Jenny Gawthrope Wood (King’s Hedges) signed up to the Manifesto and added:

“We are working hard to deliver a transport network that works for us all, while recognising that the city council must work with Cambridgeshire County Council, the Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority and other stakeholders on transport issues. However, we have made significant progress on wider issues around mobility, increasing bike safety and reducing cycle theft, and prioritising accessibility. We are working hard on ways to improve air quality with interventions such as our own ‘Air Quality Action Plan’.

Our manifesto pledges consider how we move from stepping out of our front doors to where we need to go: how the state of pavements and roads is causing difficulty and harm for walking, wheeling and driving; and ensuring that the transport needs those who live, work and study in the city are fully considered within the complex web of democratic structures around transport. That includes trains, buses, cars, public and private transport, bikes and legs.

Our three key aims for mobility and transport in our city continue to be: to create space for people; to be environmentally friendly and cut carbon emissions; and to deliver high quality, affordable public transport. The Labour Party will be putting these complex issues at the top of the discussions with the transport authorities and elsewhere, so that the final integrated transport network will work for all.

I support the work that the Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority are undertaking to move to a franchised bus service system.  Many of my residents rely on buses and many also have mobility issues.”

Mike Davey (Petersfield) signed up to the Manifesto and said:

“In our own manifesto we pledge to look at the transport needs of all folk who live in the city. Through our work with the GCP (I am a member of the Board) we will continue to advocate for a model of sustainable transport that will be fit for the city for the future.”

Simon Brignell’s response (Communist Party)

In addition to pledging his support for the Manifesto, Simon Brignell (Abbey) made the following statement:

“Public transport across Cambridgeshire remains dysfunctional with many workers and residents still relying on the car. Stagecoach still holds a monopoly on buses in the area. They are liable to chop and change routes frequently to maximise profit meaning commuters are often at their whim. 

What Cambridgeshire needs is for buses to be franchised and placed under public control. We need a true multi-modal system complete with light rail both in the city and connecting rural areas and villages, as well as safe routes for walking and cycling. Any proposals must include transport that is accessible to all, especially those with disabilities, and they must not unfairly penalise those who do need to use their car.”