Following on from our recent article on the Romsey Town Hampshire County Council candidates, Romsey Cycle Hub has also written to candidates standing in Romsey Rural Division. We asked them what they will do for cyclists. Here are their responses ...
Heather Butler - Labour Party firstname.lastname@example.org
"I live in Romsey and often cycle around town, when I lived in Dunbridge (for 15 years) I cycled around the Test Valley area with my family. I like the fact that in Romsey town there are many off-road and quiet cycling options and places to lock up the bike but I think that the rural cycle routes are poorly maintained with potholes and obstacles and I would like ongoing maintenance to be a priority. I think going forward that an overall transport strategy needs to put cycling at the fore. With a joined up plan seeing existing routes linked with new ones.
In the rural area around Romsey provision for cyclists seems patchy, cycle routes have a tendency to peter out and cycling on the roads can be downright dangerous especially for families. This contributes to isolation in the rural areas and leaves people with little option but to use the car. I would like to see speeds through villages restricted, green routes developed where possible and speed restrictions on dangerous corners with more cycle passing places to help keep the traffic moving safely".
Roy Perry - Conservatives email@example.com
"The most important way we will help cyclists as with all residents of Hampshire is keeping the county council's finances sound. Nobody will thank us for spending money we do not have
That being said the County has a cycling strategy - set out on HCC website
For environmental and public health reasons we see cycling as positive and our strategy is to incrementally extend the cycling routes
The Government plans to allocate £50 million for cycling proficiency training for schoolchildren, £85 million to "cycle proof" 200 sections of A-roads and £389.5 million for councils to promote walking and cycling, including more dedicated lanes. Hampshire will apply its share of the programme and work through its Highways and Public Health teams to deliver these programmes.
In Hampshire we have worked with the funder Sustrans to extend the cycling infrastructure and made substantial investment in cycle routes such as the Petersfield to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park.
Specifically in Romsey Rural we are working to extend parts of the national cycle route network- extending the route from Castle Lane to North Baddesley and on through Nursling and Rownhams to Southampton and link to the projected Baddesley to Chilworth route.The initial part will cost approx £250,000 and the latter is estimated to cost in excess of £500,000 so will depend on a share from developers contributions. There isof course already the link from Chilworth to Southampton
We have concerns about Child and Adult obesity and we see sport, and in particular cycling, as a major catalyst to behavioural change. Winchester has the CycleFest in June and we are looking to increase the family element of these type of events. In Andover we will help sponsor a family ride in September and an Elite cycle street race in Andover Town Centre next year.. We are linking these events to an Energise Me (was Sport Hampshire) programme to address obesity and health and wellbeing in general. We would be happy to work with Romsey Rural cyclists for a similar event in Romsey".
Catherine Royce - Liberal Democrats contact@RandSN-LibDems.org.uk
Catherine was understandable very busy campaigning, but found time to phone us. This is what I remember from our conversation (she phoned when I didn't have access to a pen):