Bassett ward

Summary: Elections to Southampton City Council in May 2018
Polling date: Thursday 3rd May 2018
(by surname):
  • Richard BLACKMAN (Liberal Democrat)
  • Alan FRENCH (Green Party)
  • Beryl HARRIS (The Conservative Party)
  • Sally SPICER (Labour Party)

Questions for Bassett ward candidates (6 questions)

Question 1

If elected will you sign up to the Space for Cycling campaign?

Richard BLACKMAN (Liberal Democrat) Yes, as a cyclist (but one who would cycle a lot more if there was better infrastructure), I am personally committed to cycling as a form of transport and would join the Space for Cycling campaign. I will work with my Liberal Democrat colleagues to develop viable ways to deliver on this commitment.
Alan FRENCH (Green Party) Yes, and I have petitioned the incumbent councillors in Bassett to do the same
Beryl HARRIS (The Conservative Party)
Sally SPICER (Labour Party)

Question 2

Are you in favour of removing road space for cars and using this for safe segregated cycle superhighways similar to London?

Richard BLACKMAN (Liberal Democrat) Southampton already has above average rates of cycling (although other cities are well ahead of us), despite a lack of serious investment in infrastructure to ensure safety and to encourage more people to take up cycling.

The Liberal Democrats are committed to towns and cities that are designed to be safe and attractive walking spaces and to implementing the recommendations of the Get Britain Cycling report.

Segregated cycleways are clearly the safest way to deliver this, but they are not always practicable on the routes where we need them. We are committed to developing a comprehensive cycle network scheme that connects the key centres of population, work and recreation safely, and properly funding that scheme. We will require all future proposals for road developments to demonstrate how they will contribute to our city-wide cycling plans, prioritising options for segregation, while considering the wider environmental and economic impact of all options so we choose the best way forward for all road users.

Alan FRENCH (Green Party) Yes, I think my ward in particular could benefit from this. Although the pavement along the Avenue is shared use, I see many people cycling on the road despite the obvious dangers from passing cars and lorries, and from potentially lethal potholes. I understand why they do so, as using the pavement presents its own dangers, particularly when crossing junctions. A segregated cycle lane would mean cyclists no longer have to choose between these two less-than-ideal options
Beryl HARRIS (The Conservative Party)
Sally SPICER (Labour Party)

Question 3

Are you in favour of lowering speed limits to 20mph in some residential areas to make it safer for people to walk and cycle?

Richard BLACKMAN (Liberal Democrat) Yes, as someone whose main form of transport locally is walking, I am pleased that we would introduce 20mph zones in residential areas across the city where residents want this, and we would proactively encourage this in areas near schools, nurseries and parks.
Alan FRENCH (Green Party) Yes, I believe there are many residential roads that would benefit from having a 20mph speed limit, particularly those where junctions are often obscured from view due to on-street parking.
Beryl HARRIS (The Conservative Party)
Sally SPICER (Labour Party)

Question 4

If elected what would you do to encourage cycling in Southampton?

Richard BLACKMAN (Liberal Democrat) The Liberal Democrats will deliver on our plans to improve cycling infrastructure, through our revised budget that adds £1m of extra capital expenditure for cycling and incorporating cycling and public transport considerations into the city-wide and local area development, transport and housing plans.

I would push for greater connectivity of cycle routes from Bassett towards the city centre and the university campuses and halls of residence, as well as promote cycling as a healthy outdoor activity. I would also like to see a safer cycle route through Bassett and Swaythling towards Parkway station and improved cycle routes on the approach roads to the sports centre.

Alan FRENCH (Green Party) I should probably try to lead by example, for starters! I’m not currently a frequent cyclist, though I make most of my journeys within the city either on foot or by public transport.

I would be in support of continuing fantastic community events such as Let’s Ride Southampton, and encouraging the use of bike-sharing schemes.

Beryl HARRIS (The Conservative Party)
Sally SPICER (Labour Party)

Question 5

If elected would you be in favour of allocating 10% of the local transport budget to cycling?

Richard BLACKMAN (Liberal Democrat) In principle yes, but I would want to assess all budgetary figures before confirming. In our alternative budget, presented to Council in February 2018, we committed £1m of Council capital expenditure to building new or improving existing cycleways across Southampton, and reprioritise pothole repairs to protect cyclists’ safety. This is in addition to existing revenues that Labour have already dedicated, thereby increasing net spending on cycling in Southampton’s transport budget.
Alan FRENCH (Green Party) I would generally be in favour of increasing the amount allocated to cycling, however I wouldn’t want to put my finger on a specific figure without going over the budget in more detail.
Beryl HARRIS (The Conservative Party)
Sally SPICER (Labour Party)

Question 6

If elected would you be in favour of a Workplace Parking Levy?

Richard BLACKMAN (Liberal Democrat) The level of air pollution in Southampton is well beyond recommended limits and is attributed with the premature deaths of an estimated 200 people per year. We need immediate and meaningful action to address this, including finding ways to reduce the volume of traffic commuting into Southampton daily. The Workplace Parking Levy could be an effective way to do this, and provide valuable funds to invest in alternative transportation – including cycling. However, we would need to consider if it will deliver the desired impact before committing to its implementation, and we would explore this among several options if elected.
Alan FRENCH (Green Party) In theory, yes, however it would require careful consideration in order not to simply push commuters into parking on the streets instead, should companies decide to reduce the number of spaces available or pass on the cost of the levy to their employees. An increase in on-road parking is likely to be a nuisance for local residents as well as hazardous to both pedestrians and cyclists.
Beryl HARRIS (The Conservative Party)
Sally SPICER (Labour Party)