1. What experience do you and your family have of cycling? Do you have different concerns with younger or older family members cycling, than you would for yourself?
I cycle as much as I can (not as much as I would like) for pleasure around Hertfordshire. I took it up a couple of years ago and got a reasonably decent Boardman cyclo-cross bike following calf problems preventing me running and orienteering, and beginning to threaten my major sports pastime, cricket. I have always commuted on two wheels when I can – in recent years that has meant using the Boris-bikes in London to get from Kings Cross to the City or West End, or between meetings, so I know the issues facing cyclists both in towns and country.
2. What challenges do people face in Welwyn Hatfield that prevent them from cycling, especially children and those using cycling as a mobility aid, and how will you address them?
I think there is still a lack of good safe cycle routes that are well signed, and especially for younger children this is a worry. Having just been elected to the County Council this is one of the first subjects I will be bringing up with the Highways team when we sit down together later this month.
3. Which junctions need to be improved to increase safety for people cycling, and what can be done to fix them?
I’m sure you can provide me a full list and I will be happy to consider any suggestions you have on improvements so that I can take this up with Highways, either as a County Councillor or as your next MP. Of the issues I find frustrating the main ones are: are the poor level of maintenance for cycleways, the fact that it is usually easier to leave the cycle way and brave the roundabouts, rather than use cycle underpasses, the instructions to dismount at more points on cycleways than I care to think about etc etc. It seems to me that there is a need for better consultation with cyclists in designing our highways.
4. Do you support the completion of the Hatfield Station to Business Park cycle route and if yes, how will you ensure the missing section from The Commons to French Horn Lane is rapidly constructed?
I am not up to speed with the proposal so please send me details of the current status, but support it in principle.
5. With road changes planned for Welwyn Garden City, how will you ensure that cycle access is improved into the Town Centre ?
The status of the proposed changes in WGC is top of my list as it is on my patch. There will be further clarity on what is actually proposed post June 8th I believe, suffice to say that my predecessor as County Councillor was not consulted on what was put in the local paper the other week and neither was I. Again, I would be very open to discussions with you about what you see as helping establish better cycle links into the town centre, and encouraging cycling in the town.
I hope the above was useful,
Parliamentary Candidate, Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrats