Elections

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Question 2 - we asked:

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.

45 of the 65 candidates (69%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

Sam BARKER
(Conservative Party)

Good cycle training and support for parents and carers to help children cycle. Good cycle access to, and parking at, schools.

Eric William BARRETT-PAYTON
(Conservative Party)

Greater enforcement against dangerous and anti social car parking, especially near schools

Andrew James BOWER
(Conservative Party)

There are concerns that parking causes a danger for drop-offs at the Queen Emma and Queen Edith but I'm not sure if this is reflected in accident stats – perhaps more of a logistical frustration for residents than something serious, as traffic planners consider parked cars to be an effective form of traffic calming, though for cyclists, dooring is always a fear in areas of parked cars and children may not all be aware of the cycling practices needed to avoid such risks. Keeping cut-throughs in good condition, e.g. from Field Way and Bower's Croft, with hedges cleared back will be helpful.

I would be in favour of changes to Queen Edith's Way outside the Netherhall school if evidence suggests there is a problem there – a change in appearance giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists and a short 20mph stretch may be in order, though I think the proposed limit for the road is unnecessary and incorrect.

Daniel Jacob JOHN
(Conservative Party)

A number of the schools in Trumpington have problems where large numbers of cars are parked in narrow streets. This causes difficulties for those cycling or walking to school, as well as blocking the roads for other motorised traffic.

Any measures that increase cycling or walking, reducing the need for cars would improve this situation. Where possible, I would also like to see provision for children to be dropped off by cars further away and then a single shuttle bus could bring them to the school, as happens at some schools already.

Simon Anthony MITTON
(Conservative Party)

I don't have direct experience of this. Naturally I would listen with interest to those who have knowledge of the problems

Linda YEATMAN
(Conservative Party)

All schoolchildren should be made to pass a Cycling Proficiency Test before cycling to school, either accompanied by a parent or other adult, or on their own.
All Cyclists should wear high viz clothing, children included, and helmets.

Philip Paul BARNETT
(Green Party)

I'd like to see decent, off-road cycle lane provision. Many parents are unhappy about younger children mixing with traffic on roads – regardless of the quality or width of cycle lanes. In the absence of action on building such off-road provision, I'd like to see greater tolerance for children cycling on pavements – many people are unaware that successive Home Office/Ministry of Justice guidance has suggested sympathetic treatment of children and vulnerable people using pavements. A return to the use of lollipop men/women on busier road crossings would also be helpful.

Martin Julian BONNER
(Green Party)

Separating cars, bikes, and pedestrians would certainly help. Training to enable older children to cycle on their own would also be useful.

Jane CARPENTER
(Green Party)

I would welcome 20 mile per hour speed limits in all streets and roads immediately surrounding schools as well as the introduction, where possible, of extra-wide cycle lanes that might accommodate "cycling buses" i.e. small groups of children cycling to school with a supervisory adult. And no turning round at the end of Norfolk Street next to St. Matthew's Primary (not in the Romsey Ward)

Joel CHALFEN
(Green Party)

I take my daughter to Morley by bike everyday. The journey is very short but not trouble free. We all need to learn that we share our space with others and I am pleased that she has to learn about road safety. However, I would also like to see much more done to limit the flow of motor traffic around the school at the beginning and end of the school day. Children coming to school by car is of course part of the issue here: investigation needs to be made as to why so many cars are used and whether alternatives could not be found - perhaps even with a school bus. But there are other issues such as ensuring that bin trucks are not blocking traffic at these critical times in neighbouring streets as well as the school's road itself. These are observations from my own journey to school but I am sure they are similar elsewhere. Each school should advertise its safest cycle routes and have them upgraded so that they are 'the instinctive choice'; schools should investigate the possibility of buses and promote car pooling where cars have to be used. Drop off points need to be carefully managed and schools need to be designated 'safe zones' at critical times.

Angela Kalinzi DITCHFIELD
(Green Party)

I think we have lost a lot by not having 'lollipop ladies' including safety cycling or walking.

For other measures, I will quote Rupert Read's response to how we encourage cycling to school, as I am impressed with his thorough investigation into how to improve transport generally:

"Improving infrastructure has to be the priority.

The other two key priorities would be to ensure lower speed limits are in place near all schools, and to consider a 200m dropping-off ban around schools.

It is important that funding for the very important Bikeability cycle training scheme is continued. Whilst this is not a replacement for the provision of infrastructure, it is an important coping strategy given the current state of the country's roads, and ensures that the current generation of schoolchildren will continue to acquire a culture of cycling. Arguably also, children who cycle from an early age go on to become safer drivers if they drive later in life.

Finally, I must stress that we have to look at transport in the round, if we are to improve cycling-to-school rates. One of my rivals at this election may have a good record on cycling, but that isn't enough: if one is also prioritising road-building and road-expansion etc., and locking in car-dependence, one is undermining one's cycling ambitions at the same time - giving with one hand, taking away with the other. Only the Green Party has a serious joined-up offer for transport in greater Cambridge: http://cambridge.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/localparties/cambridge/Transport_Greenprint.pdf"

Ceri Barbara GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

A joint plan of action for all local schools and the county council to provide safe routes to school and to be put this into action improving health alertness at school and reducing the need for additional journey’s by parents ferrying young people to school. Currently many secondary children from Trumpington attend Sawston Village College however the cycle route is patchy and unsafe even for older children. An off road cycle path is required from Trumpington to Stapleford with a safe crossing at The Rose public house before many parents would feel it is safe enough for their older children to cycle to school. The new School on Clay farm will be better provided for cycling to school. However children may still choose to attend Sawston as its well respected school and suites some young people’s needs.

Oscar Edward GILLESPIE
(Green Party)

Training for children so that they are aware of the hazards is essential. They should be encouraged to wear helmets, hi-vis jackets and use their bell assertively. After that, improving the quality of driving in the city is an important aim so that people are safe wherever they cycle. I believe drivers are careful in the vicinity of schools, and in fact the speed is often very slow due to backed up traffic. I would be more concerned about accidents on the faster roads en route.

The Dutch only give out driving licenses when the driver has done a course in cycle awareness, I would advocate for this in the UK. There seem to be some very bad drivers around who don't know the basic highway code, for example rule 170.

I fully support the move to a 20MPH speed limit for residential roads in Cambridge, and hope that this achieves better safety for children.

Monica HONE
(Green Party)

At the moment it is cheaper to drive into Cambridge and pay for parking than to buy a family bus ticket. We need a combination of policies which will lead to people choosing alternative forms of transport to the car.

I would like to see a congestion zone around the city of Cambridge, charging cars to enter. I would exempt electric cars, and to encourage carbon neutral vehicles I would be happy for electric cars to be allowed some perks, such as the use of some bus lanes and free parking.

I understand Cambridge is in contract with one bus company and we seem to be powerless to impose any changes. We need to find a solution to this so that we have better and cheaper bus services that people are prepared to use, and that actually get children to their local school. We no longer have a bus link from Thorpe Way to Abbey Meadows, and there is no bus for children from Abbey to any secondary school.

We need to listen to cyclists make routes easier and safer to use.

Kate HONEY
(Green Party)

All cycle routes should be suitable for cycles with trailers and 'tag-along's so that parents can safely take their children to school this way.

Har Hari KAUR
(Green Party)

Compulsory cycle lessons. Not optional extra. Part of educational life. There are good courses which need to be more comprehensively taken up by children when young. This will set up good patterns for their cycling lives.
I'd like to see traffic lights on Milton road, by the hungry horse pub.
I'd like to see the 20mph limit on Milton road, up to the science park.
There's a lot of children crossing Milton road to get home and it's the main route to town from arbury through the shortcut.
I'd like to see the introduction of yellow vests for all child cyclists.

Stephen Roger LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Devoting a lot of time to looking at the difficulties as they actually faced on the day at the time in question. Ie appoint someone to cycle the route, and give them the authority to say what changes would actually make the most difference. INCLUDING of the different types of bike/trike/bakfiets/trailer etc.

Atus Eamon MARIQUEO-RUSSELL
(Green Party)

I fully support the 20 mph speed limit being rolled out by the council and would like to see it implemented in all parts of Cambridge. However, if we are serious about protecting, not just children but all persons living in Cambridge, then we need to really look at how we can reduce congestion and air pollution levels. That is why we are proposing to investigate the possibility of a congestion charge to cut down on car use and reduce harmful air pollution throughout Cambridge.

Peter Harry POPE
(Green Party)

Mindfulness education to improve awareness for all road users.

Ian TYES
(Independent)

It is unfortunate but not surprising that some schools are perceived as 'better' than others and hence parents are choosing not to send their children to the nearest school. The nearest school is normally within easy cycling distance, the preferred school is often not near enough to cycle and often not on a standard bus route, requiring parents to drive their children to school increasing traffic congestion. School holidays show a remarkable drop in congestion as a result. Clearly school holidays and start/finish times need to be staggered and must avoid rush hour, thereby making it safer and easier for everyone to travel. For cycling to school, children need formal cycling education and it should be a requirement that all children must have some training before being allowed to cycle to school.

Gerri BIRD
(Labour Party)

Parking around schools is a real problem and can make it feel very unsafe for those who bike or walk to school. In East Chesterton many parents were worried about the situation outside the Shirley Primary so I got together with the school, parents, residents and the County to sort out parking restrictions which have helped. We also need safe crossing points along the main routes. It's really hard for parents in Fen Road, for example, to let their children bike to school as the railway crossing needs a lot of work to make it safe.

Kevin BLENCOWE
(Labour Party)

The re-introduction of lollipop men and women would be a start to deal with the hazards kids and parents face crossing Hills Rd to go to St Pauls school.Blatant disregard of red lights by vehicles and moreover cyclists has meant we have had PCSO's on request from anxious parents regularly present at morning time at this location.

Nick GAY
(Labour Party)

Cycle paths that are properly segregated from motor vehicles especially HGVs

Danielle GREEN
(Labour Party)

I think that increasing the number of children cycling to school would be great both in terms of reducing congestion and for their health, and improving safety would encourage this. I'd like to see more segregated cycle routes, which are much more appropriate for younger and less experienced children. I would also like the Bikeability scheme to be available in all primary schools, and to be extended to lower secondary schools to encourage pupils to be confident, skilled and safe cyclists.

Ewan MCGAUGHEY
(Labour Party)

An integrated network of autonomous cycle paths is the best long term solution, and particularly around schools.

Carina O'REILLY
(Labour Party)

Speaking from a local perspective, I'd like the County to start looking at having safe cycling zones surrounding schools that ensure that there are designated cycle access routes from all the most-used directions - I regularly see children forced to cycle on the pavement because it's simply too dangerous to cycle on Victoria Road. In general, safe, segregated cycle routes would enormously improve children's safety even if they're not cycling themselves as there would be fewer parents driving - and I'd also like to see parents discouraged from dropping off in cars right outside the school, as the accumulation of traffic is tremendously dangerous.

Kevin PRICE
(Labour Party)

Persuading parents not to drive their children to school would stop a lot
of the congestion for a start. Parents parking close to schools can make it
unsafe for young cyclists as well as make residents feel as if they are
under siege twice a day. Schemes like Bikeability in primary schools are
good but extending them to secondaries to improve pupil's road sense and
confidence would help. Better gritting of cycle routes in the winter would
also help.

Mike SARGEANT
(Labour Party)

I would want more segregated cycle routes and dangerous junctions made safe. The Bikeability scheme should be available in all primary schools and extended to lower secondary schools to improve pupils' skills, road sense and confidence.We also need a catch up scheme for older pupils who will need to cycle to Long Road and Hills Road through the City Centre to the Six Forms.
We should also encourage parents to not drive their children to school, particularly if they live close to school. That will improve safety for all and would be good for everybody's health and better for the environment.

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

There should be traffic calming (possibly two sleeping policemen would work) in the lower part of French's Lane. Children cycling to and from St Luke's School will be safer as a consequence. Cars have been frequently spotted going too fast down that road. There may also be a case for similar measures near Mayfield School on the McManus estate; the views of parents, residents and teachers should be canvassed. More generally, there should be a policy of imposing strict liability in cases of motor vehicles striking cyclists.

Anna SMITH
(Labour Party)

More segregated cycle routes, making cycling to school safer and more enjoyable. Having experienced this in Belgium and the Netherlands (both as a cyclist and a driver), I support routes having priority over side roads and the cycle-friendly redesign of key roundabouts, starting with those on major school routes.

Excellent cycle safety work is already happening in many schools and I would like to see the Bikeability scheme offered to all primary schools and lower secondary schools.

We need to ensure that gritting and de-icing does not ignore important cycle routes. (A lot of parents don't like their children cycling in the winter because of concerns about ice, and icy roads also increase the risk of accidents).

Lobby the Police Commissioner's office to ensure that speed limits are properly enforced, especially in 20mph zones.

Encourage parents not to drive their children to school where possible. Where it is not possible, encourage them to drop them off safely away from the gates.

Continue to address the safety issues, raised by concerned parents, around St Philip’s school, especially with the issue of trucks and lorries having to make potentially unsafe turns outside of the school, as this deters parents from allowing their children to walk or cycle to the site.

Matt WORTH
(Labour Party)

In and around Queen Edith's our primary schools are situated primarily in residential streets, like Blinco Grove where Morley Memorial School is located.

I think the single biggest improvement to safety in these areas would be to arrange for the new 20mph speed limits to be properly enforced by the police. A number of residents I've spoken to have welcomed the lower limit but observed that the police in Cambridge do not seem to enforce speed limits much. Police resources are obviously stretched, given the cuts, but even an occasional presence would deter speeding.

Reducing the level of traffic on Blinco Grove by controlling its use for parking would also help (see below).

Donald Marshall ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

Further encouragement of walking and cycling to schools ... Walking buses, secure bike parking. Enforcement of parking restrictions near schools at opening and closing times.

Simon COOPER
(Liberal Democrat)

Firstly, improving the roads around the schools. Often, there are no dedicated cycle lanes on the roads outside schools, or the cycle lanes that are there are ineffective. There are also issues with on-road parking at drop off and pick up times, making the roads very dangerous difficult to navigate for cyclists and drivers alike. Secondly, schools should have a greater focus on cycle training and inform proper use of lights and helmets.

Markus GEHRING
(Liberal Democrat)

I think we need to re-design several of the Barton Road junctions and ensure better cycle-ability of Grange Road and Madingley Road. The LibDem Team secured funding for better designs for the Barton Road - Grantchester Street junction to improve safety of school-aged cyclists as well as cycle commuters. Especially for the winter months we also need better lighting, we therefore support more solar stud lights to be used for all important cycle routes.

Valerie Margaret HOLT
(Liberal Democrat)

On Huntingdon and Histon Road the volume of traffic at rush hours makes it almost impossible for children to use the roads safely. If all the local schools were allocated Cycle days (one day a week for all) which were well publicized then more people would leave their cars behind on that day. Hopefully this might develop into a regular feature and build up confidence and a changed pattern of behaviour. Too many parents just do not try as it seems too difficult but one day a week might just work?

Nichola Jayne MARTIN
(Liberal Democrat)

Abbey Meadows Primary School is tucked away in an estate that has very wide roads and therefore segregated cycle lanes can easily be put in place. We should work hard with the police to enforce that parking during busy school hours to ensure that cars do not block cycle paths. In addition, the roundabout on Newmarket Road at the junction with Barnwell Road is incredibly tricky for anything less than a confident cyclists.

Zoe Imogen O'CONNELL
(Liberal Democrat)

The availability of cycle training is one obvious action, but also separation of cycle routes from major traffic routes is key, to enable children to develop confidence away from danger. The cycle route on to Parker's Piece, via Gresham Road, is a good example of how this can be done.

George Gregory PIPPAS
(Liberal Democrat)

We have noticed that more and more parents use bicycles to bring their children to school which its very commendable. We have also noticed that some parents walk their children to school which it’s also very welcome.
Where the problem arises is that there is a group of parents who bring/Collect their children by car. The problem that we see outside the schools is people sometimes use the Zig-Zag lines to park. There is not sufficient space for parents to drop off or park their cars safely. This difficult parking arrangement it does endanger Cyclists and pedestrians alike. Should the schools encourage the parents to drop off their kids 100 meters away from the school and walk them the rest of the way it would go some way towards reducing the congestion outside schools and minimize the danger to all concerned.

Shahida RAHMAN
(Liberal Democrat)

There should be more safer routes for cycling to school. This would encourage more parents to cycle to school with their children.It can be a dangerous place outside schools for traffic particularly cyclists. Cars should not be allowed to park very near the school and mounting on kerbs. At the moment, this has proven hard to enforce as well as the 20mph rule; for the former I will push the Cambridge Joint Area committee for more enforcement of yellow lines and a more transparent way of setting where enforcement resource is sent.
I’m very keen to get parking controls in place, around the new Chesterton Primary School in East Chesterton as well as make the route to that school safer via the Lib Dem project to redesign Green End Road.

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

Some improvements have already been made in Arbury, including the cycle lanes on GIlbert Road and the pedestrian phase at the Gilbert Road / Histon Road traffic lights, both of which I supported.

Further afield I have supported, and would continue to support, use of City Deal and other funding streams to improve cycling routes to village colleges, where possible using off road cycle paths. As it becomes safer for older children to cycle to school school run traffic is expected to decrease, leading to generally reduced congestion in the Greater Cambridge area as well as a more healthy lifestyle for the children.

Dom WELDON
(Liberal Democrat)

I'd like to see cycle safety training become a part of the school curriculum - something that Julian Huppert has campaigned for. It's essential that we teach kids about cycling (and other forms of sustainable transport like public transport) to make it more normal for children to grow up not exclusively using cars. On a more direct level, I'd also like to ensure that new cycle routes are built away from main roads, providing a safer way for children (and adults) to travel without coming near cars.

Candido Sebastian CHANNELL
(UK Independence Party)

I believe all built up areas (residential) should be 20mph and it should be law that to over take a cyclist with excessive speed should be a 3 point penalty. More so where there is a school!

Dave CORN
(UK Independence Party)

No Comment

Alex Jeffery CROWSON
(UK Independence Party)

Not cutting street lighting like the Conservative led council wants to do. Re-introduce lollipop ladies, who have been axed, and invest more in education in educating children of the safety of road use.

Richard Graham JEFFS
(UK Independence Party)

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

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.