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Question 3 - we asked:

Safe routes to schools: What measures would you like to see to improve the safety of children getting to school?

We asked this question in all 14 wards, namely: Abbey, Arbury, Castle, Cherry Hinton, Coleridge, East Chesterton, King's Hedges, Market, Newnham, Petersfield, Queen Edith's, Romsey, Trumpington, West Chesterton.

52 of the 62 candidates (84%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

(Conservative Party)

I'm not sure there are generic solutions. Good cycling infrastructure, support for adults to accompany children, and engagement with governors and PTA s would be a good start. We will also have to make compromises given that schools were suited long before integrated infrastructure plans were contemplated.

(Conservative Party)

Better policing of inconsiderate parking and measures to slow down motorists near schools

(Conservative Party)

Safety of kids cycling to school is essential. Sensible measures such as education campaigns, enforcement of rules at known danger points by the police, wearing of safety equipment and practical road safety measures should all be used in concert to make cycling to school as safe as possible.

(Conservative Party)

I think this could be greatly improved by the two measures discussed above, both in terms of having protected space on the road within which children can cycle safely and independently of any motor traffic as well as potentially making more use of the measure above to minimise the amount of motor traffic on certain roads.

Timothy James HAIRE
(Conservative Party)

In terms of cycling there is no substitute for high quality cycle training and road awareness course for school children of the sort that are currently being provided by outspoken and others. Also greater police enforcement at hot spots where there is in appropriate and dangerous parking at school drop off and pick up times.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(Conservative Party)

Implementing better visibility and reducing (and enforcing) speed limits around schools.

Daniel Jacob JOHN
(Conservative Party)

In East Chesterton the traffic flow around the Shirley is often problematic. I'd like to evaluate whether it would be possible to connect Nuffield Road to Milton road, particularly for the commercial traffic. In addition I'd like to see more enforcement around schools in the mornings to prevent roads being blocked by traffic.

Simon LEE
(Conservative Party)

Defiantly fewer cars outside school, getting parents to walk and cycle to school would make a huge help. Bring back Cycle proficiency test 20mph limit

(Conservative Party)

possibly free bus journeys between the hours proposed

(Conservative Party)

I do not know enough about the routes that people might want to use to get to schools, and I think it is up to the schools and the school governors to lobby for those if local improvements can be made.

(Green Party)

Children usually cycle on the pavements and there is not enough road width to put in protected cycle lanes -- except along the Backs perhaps. Cycling on the pavement can be hazardous for pedestrians, but it seem to be the best compromise

Joel Henry CHALFEN
(Green Party)

PLEASE NOTE: I have only just received this questionnaire.

Schools can encourage cycling but cycling with children in Cambridge, as I am finding out, is quite scary! It should be possible to identify and support safe routes through the city with schools and playgrounds being the pins in the map. Where possible this should direct families through safer back routes but where necessary may require additional measures, such as lollipop women and men, to provide extra security.

Maximillian FRIES
(Green Party)

The already discussed protected spaces for cyclists as well as pedestrians will do a great deal to improve the safety of the children. In addition, a better and more affordable public transport will allow decreasing the amount of motor traffic, especially of those parents dropping their children off at school with too often humongous cars in the tiny alleys of my ward. For the latter problem, I think that the council should also approach local schools to develop schemes to encourage the use of public transport to get to school. Moreover, intelligent adjustment of traffic light phases, e.g. on Hills Road, would allow the often large crowds of children to pass the streets together. I observe dangerous crossings due to short green phases every day.

(Green Party)

I would like to see a Dutch style off road cycling system for everybody. However, where children cycle to school and to and from leisure activities, improving the standard of cycling facilities is imperative. I would like to see an audit of all cycle routes used regularly by children and a plan of action for improving this. Where double parking restricts safe cycling for children in residential areas consultation with local residents to alleviate parking problems and to create barriers and road landscaping should be explored.

Oscar Edward GILLESPIE
(Green Party)

Improving cycle paths so that there is more space, clearer delineation, and fewer blind corners would make a great impact. I am concerned that some children are cycling to school without understanding the dangers involved, and would like to see more cycling proficiency training for young children, which covers some of the local hazards such as the heavy gates on Midsummer Common.

(Green Party)

For children cycling to school it is essential to provide safe cycle routes, separated from car traffic. Off road or protected, well-lit cycle lanes are needed.

(Green Party)

I agree that Norfolk Street could be improved for cycling, which would make travel to St. Matthew's safer. Limiting parking to one side and introducing a cycle lane would improve the road. Some neighbouring streets such as St. Matthew's Street and Broad Street should have a clearer crossing point, and some roads need resurfacing – Vicarage Terrace is quite dangerous for younger children.

Parkside Federation has done amazingly well in encouraging students to cycle - the best rate in the country - but needs to provide more on-site parking so the cycles are secure and don't spill into neighbouring streets. St. Matthew's has made excellent efforts on parking provision.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Get adults involved with schools to cycle the routes themselves at the relevant times?

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

The first stage of improving safety is to teach defensive mobility. This is a vital element of education, with the responsibility falling on parents, either individually or as a community initiative.
Stage 2 is a defensible zone at school entrances with no parking, pedestrian priority, 10mph speed limit and high-vis cordons that can be drawn across the carriageway by parents.

Michael Philip POTTER
(Green Party)

What initially comes to mind is some sort of scheme whereby children can be escorted to pick up points if need be, similar to park and ride schemes. If parents and families actually live in the school area, then it seems mostly unecessary to use cars to ferry the children to and from school. Where they live some distance away from the school, then a park and ride like scheme or school buses and free school bus passes might be a way forward. Free bus passes might seem a much easier option when there would be a state owned public transport system.

Marie-Louise HOLLAND

There is an ongoing problem caused by inconsiderate commuter parking on the Macmanus Estate. Cars are impeding access along Warwick Road and Carisbrooke Road which compromises safety for the parents and pupils who are accessing Mayfield Primary School. Initially double yellow lines are needed on corners and stretches of the road towards the traffic lights.

As well as motorists slowing down, could I ask for some cyclists to slow down and give consideration to children on scooters, mini bikes and pedestrians?!

the dragon fairy PUFFLES

The bigger public policy question is the concept of 'parental choice and using competition between schools to drive up standards' - which I have issues with. Personally I'd like to see we as a city getting behind all of our schools, working together to both raise standards and make them enjoyable places for staff and students to be and learn. But then I completely understand why any parent would not want to send their child to a school that is seen to be failing and/or where their child does not want to go.

The reason why this matters is because of the impact long commutes children and students have to make to get to school/college every day. Parents driving their children to school on the 'school run' can sometimes be a danger to other children, as well as generating extra traffic.

Thus there is only so far localised schemes can go without dealing with the national picture too. That said, one measure I would like to see is PCSOs regularly outside school gates meeting parents and children - their presence hopefully reducing the number of parking offences outside schools. Also, I'd like to get the views of staff, children and students about what they think needs to be improved outside their schools. What are their solutions? This could be done as part of a citizenship project in partnership with yourselves and the councils.


I prefer the use of school buses to cars to take people to school and would like to see minimum distances reduced so that more people could use school buses. As part of an integrated transport policy, the network of safe cycle routes must include routes to schools as well as other key journeys. I would also like to see school terms and start/end times staggered to avoid rush hour and to spread the 'holidays' through the year to reduce congestion during term time. I would like to see variable speed limits rather than fixed - so that outside schools at start/end of the day there is a 10mph limit, but 30mph the rest of the time. I would like the car parking laws enforced at schools to avoid the appalling chaos as parents park on double yellows and zigzags rather than safely. If parking at schools was made more difficult and alternate transport made easier then there would be less congestion at these times.

(Labour Party)

Parents need to consider not using their cars to do the school run and this may happen if we persuaded schools to be more active in this area.
If schools held meetings with parents and children in support of a bike or walk to school campaign then this could be very important and could also bring on the next generation as cyclists.
Discussions with schools and parents could also lead to them being active in asking for a ban on parking during peak times outside their school and this would then be by consensus.
Riding to school also has to be safe and discussions should take place with parents on how best to do this.

(Labour Party)

Clearly 20mph limits around the school, but also persuading parents to organise other ways of getting children to school than by car.

(Labour Party)

Protected space for cyclists should also be included on roads leading to schools. The city does have large numbers of children using cycles to get to school and this will increase if safer routes are provided, and numbers arriving by car reduced. Closing roads outside appropriate schools to motor traffic should also be considered as an option. This would discourage more parents from using their vehicles for the “school run” and promote more walking and cycling to school.

(Labour Party)

Less use of cars to take children to schools would be a good start; perhaps anyone living within half a mile of the school should not be allowed to use a car to bring children to school (unless of course there is a medical reason for such use); no parking within half a mile of a school between designated times; 20mph (or less) speed restirctions within half a mile of a school at designated times(unless its a 20mph are anyway of course): Much more road safety training for children - including cycling and walking. Bring back the crossing patrol and seeking co-operation of parents in perhaps marshalling a 'safe-route' at flash points to create a 'corridor of safety' might be a good idea.

Charlotte PERRY
(Labour Party)

Protected space for cyclists will benefit school children and adult cyclists equally and encourage more children to cycle. Encouraging parents to avoid using their cars on the school run would also help both the safety of children and the residents near schools by preventing unsafe traffic build up in the mornings and late afternoons.

(Labour Party)

If we make cycling more attractive and safe for cyclists and pedestrians we will reduce the number of school runs being done by car and this can only be a good thing. Improvements on routes to and from schools should be looked at as a priority. Being able to walk or cycle to school will also be good for children's health and self-confidence.

(Labour Party)

Routes for school-children should have PROTECTED SPACE for cyclists. Large numbers of children use cycles to get to school, and MORE WILL IF safer routes are provided. Closing roads outside schools to motor traffic should also be considered an option (as happens in some countries). This would encourage parents to stop using their vehicles for the “school run” and promote more walking and cycling to school.

(Labour Party)

I am in complete support of safer cycle routes around schools. I feel sorry for parents forced to cycle with their young children on pavements because of unsafe roads. I hope that any such schemes to improve the areas surrounding schools would also reduce the number of ‘school run’ cars on the road, encouraging more kids to consider cycling and walking into school. Furthermore, I am sure that more could be done by all to work with primary schools to bolster cycle induction and road safety lessons.

(Labour Party)

It is very important to encourage children to cycle and reduce the number of cars taking children to school. Cycling to school should be encouraged and related safe routes should be developed wherever possible. In some places this may involve some widening of paths and pavements and this would need to be done sensitively. See Q 5

(Labour Party)

We desperately need School Catchment Area and intakes for schools addressing so that people living in the De Freville and other areas do not need to take their children to Milton School or various others in Cambridge - distances of more than 2 miles - not suitable for young children to cycle.

Protected space routes for cyclists should be included on roads leading to schools. The city does have large numbers of children using cycles to get to school and this will increase if safer routes are provided. Closing roads outside schools to motor traffic should also be considered an option (as happens in some countries). This would encourage parents to stop using their vehicles for the “school run” and promote more walking and cycling to school.

(Labour Party)

Protected space routes for cyclists should be introduced on roads leading to schools. I am a strong supporter of the CCC proposal with respect to Nuffield Road, to stop heavy vehicles, for example, racing past the Shirley

(Labour Party)

Cycle lanes on school routes, with no-parking restrictions around school entrances, at least, and possible road closures.

Martin SMART
(Labour Party)

Protected space routes for cyclists should be included on roads leading to schools. The city does have large numbers of children using cycles to get to school and this will increase if safer routes are provided. Closing roads outside schools to motor traffic should also be considered an option (as happens in some countries). This would encourage parents to stop using their vehicles for the “school run” and promote more walking and cycling to school.

(Labour Party)

A review should be carried out on the number of pupils using a bike to get to school before any decisive action is taken. It is almost certainly higher than the average as bikes are commonly used in the city. Young people should be protected on the roads as much as possible. I would certainly like to see increased protection outside primary schools and possibly for secondary schools as well depending on the use of the roads outside. Closing of the roads outside schools at the beginning and end of the school day could also be an option to consider.

(Labour Party)

As many members will be aware, there exist a number of concerns on behalf of parents about cycle safety for school-children in Newnham. The Barton Road/Grantchester Street Junction and the Barton Road/Grange Road junction are especially dangerous for young cyclists, whilst frequent motorist speeding on Grange Road and Madingley Road, among others, leaves children unsafe when cycling to school.

Clearly the Council needs to address this issue, both in Newnham and across Cambridge. Re-enginerring junctions with safe demarcated cycle routes are part of the solution, as is the prioritisation of dedicated cycle-ways which have a physical barrier between them and the road. Although it could prove controversial, I would personally back a pilot study of closing roads immediately in the vicinity of schools to motorists at drop-off and pick-up time. I saw this work very well when living in Berlin and although it may require a change in mentality on the part of some, would improve safety here too.

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

Further cycle priority on routes to schools. Expanded parking restrictions around schools. The "school run" is a national disgrace. Children should walk or cycle in nearly every case.

Ysanne Margaret AUSTIN
(Liberal Democrat)

For childrens' health and well-being all should be encouraged to travel to school by bike or on foot. A coordinated approach is needed between county highways and education. Parents need confidence in safe routes for their children to travel to school. Schools should take responsibility to ensure pupils have the skills to travel safely (encourage bikeability) and cycle storage needs to be available for the secure storage of bikes. To improve safety of school children I would like to see more parking enforcement outside schools particularly at the beginning of each term. Haphazard parking often creates blind spots for those trying to cross a street, or forces children on cycles into the middle of the road to avoid badly parked cars.

Nicholas Brian AVERY
(Liberal Democrat)

Better road/path infrastructure generally can only go so far in protecting children travelling to and from school. Parents should be encouraged to allow their children to walk or cycle to school wherever possible and extra traffic calming measures can be a part of this with lower speed limits generally at these hours and super-low speed limits in the immediate vicinity of schools. Temporary one-way routes can help and crossing patrols at crucial points can be used to assist not only in negotiating a particular junction or road but also as a visual cue to everyone of the need to take extra care. Becoming independent in travelling to and from school is one of the great moments in growing-up and I would not want to stifle that experience. Students need to be educated (including safe cycling skills) and information given to parents on the available safe route choices.

Fergus BLAIR
(Liberal Democrat)

I think the council could do a lot more to raise awareness of cycling safety among school children. For instance, at the start of the academic year the City Council should produce a map of cycle routes – highlighting any danger hot spots – to be distributed to school children and their parents.

In Castle, the most dangerous areas for children on their way to and from school are those where there is a conflict of road use between cyclists and pedestrians; in particular, in the many narrow cut-throughs in the ward. I want to get the council to look at the safety of as many of these cut-throughs as possible: wherever possible, they should have a clear dividing line separating cyclists from pedestrians, and the entrances and exits must be designed so as to allow for maximum visibility. Hopefully this will reduce the chance of children colliding with other people using the cut-throughs.

Sarah Elizabeth BROWN
(Liberal Democrat)

Increased prohibition on parking and waiting near schools at opening and closing times, with a focus on enforcement. Encourage schools to offer cycle proficiency training to their pupils. While I do not generally favour dual use paths, I think there may be a case for them near to schools, especially primary schools, where appropriate.

We should do more to publicise safe cycling routes. Maps already exist of cycle routes in Cambridge, but maps with particular focuses on school routes would be useful.

(Liberal Democrat)

I would like to see steps to stop parking and waiting at or around school gates and make sure that these measures are enforced. I would welcome audits of cycling routes to schools (such as Newnham Croft) so that actions can be identified for improving the safety of the journey.

In Newnham, a key issue is the safety of the Newnham Road and Barton Road junction for families travelling to Newnham Croft. The County Council will undertake a feasibility study of the junction later this year.

(Liberal Democrat)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
(Liberal Democrat)

A focus on creating safe routes to schools has significant health and community advantages; exercise is highly beneficial -children are encouraged to walk or cycle to school; air pollution and collision risk - parents can be discouraged from driving to and parking near schools, community backed initiatives such as walking crocodiles can be encouraged, visibility near the school is improved for cycles and road crossings.

(Liberal Democrat)

There is no one magic solution to this as it depends very much on local road conditions. I have spoken to parents who live just meters from the Shirley School who are worried about safety, simply because the most dangerous area is the crossing outside the school. High-visibility policing and parking controls at peak times would reduce some of the worst, most anti-social driving that leads to problems.

Colin Richard ROSENSTIEL
(Liberal Democrat)

City Centre schools seem to be well supported by routes for cycling but need more cycle parking, esp. at Parkside. My granddaughter uses the Park Street cycle park, well located for her school

Paul Stuart SAUNDERS
(Liberal Democrat)

We do need to improve the safety (and the perception of risk) for those cycling to school. It would be good to see more of cycling, there are health and social benefits. If more families did cycle perhaps that would reduce risk as the number of cars at school gates decreased. But we do need to make cycling to school safer in other ways and making in more obvious where people can cycle. This will mean a mixture of techniques: parking restrictions, dual use paths (where there is no alternative), and, perhaps, innovative coloured road finishes that indicate (to everyone) the areas where special care is needed!

(Liberal Democrat)

Stronger enforcement of 20mph limits in school areas with particular reference to reported dangerous drivers. I think average speed cameras could be considered for critical areas. We also need to look at root causes of "adventurous" driving in the young.
A re-think of the urban space where there are challenges. I think there are plenty of places in Cambridge where walking space is too restricted and is next to a busy road.
Naturally, for cycling, segregated routes would already help.

(Liberal Democrat)

Improving cycling routes to schools is a win for everyone – parents feel that it’s safer to let their children cycle to school, so they don’t feel the need to drive them, so traffic and congestion is reduced, resulting in a better road environment for those who still want to drive as well as those who are cycling.

As with question 1 it’s a case of making best and most appropriate use of limited road space. The County Council usually say the right things in this regard, but that’s not always what they deliver on the street – I’ve seen them implement measures which appear to be designed to actually encourage people to drive children to school.

(UK Independence Party)

Parents should accompany them.

Camcycle is a non-partisan body. All candidates are given an equal opportunity to submit their views. Information published by Camcycle (Cambridge Cycling Campaign), The Bike Depot, 140 Cowley Road, Cambridge, CB4 0DL.