Five candidates have taken time to answer questions about walking and cycling infrastructure in Ipswich. They made clear to me that decisions about highways is out of their hands as it is Suffolk County Council business, and the councillors’ remit mainly lies within influencing planning permissions.
Here are the main points that came across:
1.Why Ipswich is a town worth living in: Outdoor spaces were mentioned a lot “lovely parks especially christchurch park” (Inga Lockington, Lib Dem), “lovely parks and the quay” (Lee Reynolds, Conservative), “surrounding countryside…still close to… London and Cambridge (Nadia Cenci, Conservative)
2.Support of Space4Cycling: is mostly supported. Edward Phillips and Lee Reynolds (both Conservative) support it. Inga Lockington(LibDem)would not support the closure of residential roads for through traffic,as this would only push the problem elsewhere and congest other roads nearby. Nadia Cenci (Conservative) does not prioritize cycling as such, but would support anything that enhances health and enjoyment and is value for money.
3. Improvements/Deterioration so far:
Nadia Cenci (Conservatives) thinks that footpaths open to the public are abundant, but potholes are an issue for cyclists
Edward Phillips (Conservatives) states that only minor improvements on traffic lights, advanced stop lines and extra cycling lanes in some places have been implemented so far.
LibDem Inga Lockington admits that there have been some pavements relaid but a lot still needs to be done.
4. What would they improve when elected:
John Cook(Labour):highway issues are with County Council,but sees opportunity for improvement through borough’s role in planning permissions (newbuild and developments on the Northern fringe
Nadia Cenci(Conservatives) would encourage parents to walk and not drive children to school. She also would continue working with County Council to tackle potholes
Edward Phillips(Conservatives) would push for safe cycling facilities when roads are improved.
Lee Reynolds(Conservatives) suggests to try and stagger out the school run by varying schools’opening and closing times to avoid mass traffic
Inga Lockington(LibDem) sees planning permissions as a good start to improve things
5.Danger points in Ipswich
Inga Lockington(LibDem) : Tuddenham Road and Henley Road, esp. at the junction to Belvedere Road and at the right turn into Anglesea Road
John Cook(Labour): the one way system between Duke Street and Novotel roundabout; the subways crossing Civic Drive when esp when nobody is around
Edward Phillips(Conservative): Norwich Road beyond Valley Road roundabouts
Lee Reynolds(Walkable and cyclable Ipswich, some candidates’ responses to the survey
Conservative): Cardinal Park roundabout
6. Suggestions for improvements, interest in improving certain areas:
Inga Lockington (LibDem) would love to see a pedestrian and cyclists’ bridge east of Stokebridge. She says that the past plans for a Tesco would have come with an improvement budget. She also mentions that the new block of flats “must have taken pedestrians, cyclists and cars in consideration”. We might be able to get more information from her.
Lee Reynolds (Conservatives) and Edward Phillips (Conservatives) both think improvement of Cardinal Park roundabout area is needed.
John Cook (Labour) is happy to be lobbied about improvements in Futura Park shopping Centre
Lee Reynolds(Conservatives) says that more can be done for cyclists at Futura Park.
Lee Reynolds (Conservatives) encourages businesses to invest in safe bike parking.His company does.
Please click here for the full survey:
Did you know that this group uses the Cyclescape platform to log and track issues using map technology?
This gives us a place for discussion and exchange of ideas, so that we can identify where best to improve the experience of cycling in Ipswich.
Visit http://cycleipswich.cyclescape.org/ to register and find out more.
Our June meeting is on Thursday 5th June at the offices of ITO World at 25 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich. New members are always welcome.
At this meeting we will be reviewing the responses to our questionnaire from the candidates for the Local and EU elections; hearing back on progress on the meetings with Suffolk County Council engineers and making plans for Bike Week 2014.
The next Cycle Ipswich meeting will be held on Thursday 8th May 2014 at 19:30. The location as usual will be ITO World, 2nd Floor, 25 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AQ.
There will be a debate between Shaun McDonald and Alex Oldman arguing for and against segregated cycle infrastructure, for about 45 minutes. There will be initially a 10 minute presentation putting forward the arguments for and against. Then there will be a debate, which the audience can participate in.
The next meeting of Cycle Ipswich will take place on Thursday 13th March from 7.30pm to 9pm at ITO World, 25 Lower Brook St, Ipswich, Suffolk IP4 1AQ.
We will be discussing the groups draft constitution and Play Streets.
Tell Suffolk County Council that proposed changes at Nacton Road/Ransomes Way don’t give space for cycling
Suffolk Council currently have a consultation for the Nacton Road and Ransomes Way corridors “to meet the projected increase in traffic associated with development in this corridor”. However they haven’t considered cycle traffic. Cycle traffic currently has narrow cycle lanes, or shared use pavement cycling. See our discussion on our Cyclescape group and on our Google group.
The nearby Ravenswood estate (just to the south of the Nacton Road) has one of the highest cycle to school rates in the UK, yet the people who live there don’t cycle to the nearby shopping area due to the inconvenient and scary cycle journey that you have to take. The new plans make this even worse.
Please can everyone write to Suffolk County by emailing Suffolk.LTP@suffolk.gov.uk before the end of Wednesday 5th March 2014, highlighting the problems that their plans pose for cyclists and pedestrians. Here are some general things that you can mention:
- Mixing cyclists and pedestrians on the pavement doesn’t encourage large numbers of people to cycle thus should be avoided. If shared pavement cycling encouraged more people to cycle, then there would be a huge number of people cycling in Ipswich compared to what there currently is. A separate cycle track is much preferred.
- Tighter corners are needed to slow vehicles down on the junction to make it safer.
- Dog leg crossings need to be replaced with straight across crossing, otherwise cyclists and pedestrians are treated as second class citizens and discourages people from walking and cycling instead of driving.
- Crossing multiple traffic lanes is currently problematic at many junctions already, the new plans will make this even more inconvenient and harder with up to 3 lanes.
- The new designs will induce even more motor vehicle traffic and reduce cycle and pedestrian traffic.
Shaun McDonald has published a blog post containing his response, which you can use as further inspiration.