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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 19 wards, namely: The Abingtons, Balsham, Bar Hill, Barton, Bourn, Comberton, Cottenham, Duxford, Fowlmere & Foxton, Fulbourn, Hardwick, Histon & Impington, Milton, Orwell & Barrington, Papworth & Elsworth, Sawston, The Shelfords & Stapleford, Teversham, Willingham & Over.

36 of the 77 candidates (47%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

(Conservative Party)

Off-road cycle links. Safer car parking and drop-off arrangements outside the schools, where cars and cycles mingle.

(Conservative Party)

The main schools for Hardwick children are located in Comberton to which there is no segregated cycle route and, for a smaller number, in Cambourne to which there is a cycle route part of which is a path shared with pedestrians or a cycle lane along a derestricted fast flowing road. In both cases a segregated cycle route would improve safety and enhance a cycling experience enormously.

Graham CONE
(Conservative Party)

I have no children of my own, however I have spoken to many parents on the doorstep in Fulbourn who would like to see more zebra crossings on roads with heavier traffic leading to the school. I agree with these residents and have made enquiries to the local Parish Council surrounding zebra crossings. I would also happily see a reduced speed limit on the small surrounding roads leading to the Primary School. I am conscious that any speed limits set must be enforced by issuing fines. Enforcement of speeding would have a positive effect on children and families cycling and walking to their local school. In terms of cycle safety for children or young adults cycling to school I believe schools should actively encourage and provide cycling proficiency courses.

Roger HALL
(Conservative Party)

i) Instill into children a knowledge of the Highway Code, ii) be aware
of other road and pavement users, iii) do not ride two abreast.

(Conservative Party)

More provision of footpaths and cycle routes in rural areas. Discourage the use of the car for journey's to school.

(Conservative Party)

More cycle ways , HI Vis patches , the opportunity for some guidance at school on how to cycle safely

(Green Party)

I am aware that some children go to school or have after school activities which require them to cross the A505 - this can be quite a challenge for a competent cyclist, let alone a small child. Therefore alternative methods of crossing the A505 should be considered. Looking at methods of routing a cycle/pedestrian way either over a bridge or by creating a path that goes under the road (there is possible access by going under the railway bridge) would make this much safer. Also looking at creating designated cycle and pedestrian ways along the Hunts Road, and along to Ickleton and Saffron Walden would be very helpful. Currently there is no pavement along sections of this road, and no seperate cycle pathway, with car speeds being quite fast. All of these improvements would help all pedestrians and cyclists as well as children.

Colin COE
(Green Party)

20 mph speed limited during open and closing times

(Green Party)

Again improving the permeability would mean school children cycling to school would have to spend less time on the busy main roads. The Green Party policy of reducing the speed limit on all village and urban roads from 30 mph to 20 mph would considerably increase safety for both pedestrians and cyclists, as well as reduce air pollution.

(Green Party)

The Green Party wants to see a step change in road safety. The aim is a road transport system that results in zero deaths or serious injuries, to be achieved by systematically reducing sources of danger on the roads.

We would:
• Bring down speed limits, in particular to 20 mph in residential areas; enforce speed limits with speed cameras and policing.
• Change the culture of road justice and civil compensation with a road danger reduction approach. A greater duty of care should be expected of drivers in reducing injury and intimidation of vulnerable road users. Motor vehicle drivers should be presumed liable for injuries to pedestrians and cyclists. If the casualty has contributed to the collision, compensation may be reduced, but not when the victim is a child, elderly (70+) or impaired.
• Reduce the alcohol limit for drivers to as close to zero as is practicable.
• Require newly manufactured lorries to be equipped with best practice technology (already in use in several countries) to make sure that drivers are fully aware of the presence of all pedestrians and cyclists. Lorries already in use must be retro-fitted with the same equipment and lorries not so equipped will not be allowed into our towns and cities.
• Reduce lorry activity and road freight volume by improving rail freight services, reducing the number of empty or partially loaded trips, and using cargo bikes for last-mile deliveries to replace some white van trips.

The Green Party will support an Active Travel Bill for England. For example, we would:
• Help schools and workplaces to support active travel to and from work, and encourage local authorities to assist this by linking their public health and transport functions.
• Ensure that all planning decisions have to take into account the active travel and public transport implications.
• Reduce the amount of cars on the road: make public transport more convenient by integrating ticketing with smart regional ticketing systems such as the London Oyster card; introduce road-pricing schemes such as the London congestion charge and road-user tolls for heavy lorries.
• Begin consultation with a view to developing a framework for the progressive elimination of diesel exhaust emissions. A major cause of air pollution is emissions from diesel vehicles (cars, buses and trains). Children's (and adults') health can be harmed by air pollution and cyclists can encounter particularly high levels of exposure.
• Eliminate pavement parking. Ensure that parking policies in residential areas deliver a high-quality street environment and reduce the numbers of those who are clogging up residential streets as part of a commuter trip or other activities not related to a visit to an address in that street.

We will make sure that rural areas like Balsham are not neglected when transport budgets and planning for our cities and city regions are under discussion.

(Green Party)

Dedicated cycle lanes, secure cycle parking and cycle training for those children at primary school.

Incentives for parents, as well.

(Green Party)

More and better defined crossing places, and better lighting in winter (for instance on the footpath to Cambourne Village College); clearer division of cycle paths and footpaths (and, of course, comprehensive provision of both).

Also, drivers need to take greater care. Excessive speed, impatience, and turning without indicating, are sadly common practice. (Though I've also seen cyclists guilty of all these behaviours, and they too need to consider road safety more carefully - I would support a mandatory cycling proficiency test, and stronger enforcement of the use of helmets, lights, etc. - but the primary onus must be on drivers.)

The Green Party policy of a 20 mph speed limit in residential areas, which Green councillors have already helped to implement in several parts of the country, would be a major factor in improving safety for all road users, particularly children. Casualties fell by 19% after Green Councillors introduced this policy in Brighton. This policy also helps to reduce air pollution, which is itself damaging to children's health. In Cambourne, where there was a 19 mph speed limit until 2007, there is a movement to put a 20 mph limit in place, which I support.

(Green Party)

I want to see it as the norm that all children walk or cycle to and from school on safe routes, except in exceptional circumstances when they use public transport.

(Green Party)

Traffic calming measures and 20mph speed limits around schools at times when children are arriving/ leaving

(Green Party)

The Green Party would impose a 20 mph speed limit throughout built-up areas, and introduce more traffic calming measures. We support the 'walking bus' idea, and would prefer that cycles can ride safely on roads with other vehicles, rather than share paths with pedestrians; we would introduce measures to facilitate this. We would integrate training on all aspects of cycling, eg both riding and bike maintenance, into the mainstream education curriculum to support those children who cycle to school.

(Labour Party)

In our area there are many very dangerous cycling routes used by children, for instance along Impington Lane, along Histon Road or as I mentioned above, the proposed route to Milton, where the existing path is very narrow and shared with pedestrians. They would all require improvements, like stopping road side parking and more visible marking of cycling paths.

(Labour Party)
The candidate did not enter a response for this question.
(Labour Party)

Properly designed crossings on increasingly busy roads within Cambourne. In line with NPPF key points 'give priority to pedestrian and cycle movements.' Local, Primary and Secondaryt streets are all navigated by children on their morning and home journeys (in winter months visibility is also an issue). They therefore need priority at side roads and junctions. This is not always the case and the routes are not always the most direct. Solutions are explained excellently in the Making Space for Cycling report.

Elizabeth HERBERT
(Labour Party)

The idea of segregating traffic, cyclists and pedestrians along main roads would improve the safety of all roads users, including cycling to school.

(Labour Party)

As above, effective traffic control measures would make a difference. Improvements around Thoday's Close have made a difference to roads around Willingham School but I would still be reluctant to let my children cycle to school due to the high volume of car traffic. Over desperately needs a pedestrian crossing over the High Street nearest the green.

(Labour Party)

- more zebra/pelican crossings
- further restrictions on parking around schools
- further reductions in speed limits
- as above
- whatever further segregation of cyclists and traffic can be achieved

(Labour Party)

Traffic calming, special walkways and cycle ways. Encourage people buses, I.e. Supervised Walking groups.

(Labour Party)

The introduction of further space for cycling paths. lower speeds in built up areas and the reduction of parked cars, especially in busier traffic routes and roads near to schools. I would certainly try to make cycling safer for parents and youngsters on the way to school. I would also look to introduce raised zebra crossing outside schools as this would facilitate a reduction in speed from all traffic users when near schools.

Alison WOOD
(Labour Party)

Clearly signposted safer cycling routes to Milton Primary using residential side streets.

The footpath/cyclepath well-maintained with improved lighting along Butt Lane to Impington Village College, and another path built on the other side of the road for travel in the return direction.

The Guided Busway is good for getting to Cambridge Regional College.

(Liberal Democrat)

Proper training at schools and messages to parents about the importance of the training and the use of helmets and approprite clothing.

(Liberal Democrat)

The school’s location and the good footpaths mean that the proportion of children who walk to school is very high, although the number who cycle is quite low. Most paths are shared use, so if they were widened and segregated, this would improve things both for people on foot or scooter and on bike.

Peter FANE
(Liberal Democrat)

This is a major issue at Shelfords school in Church Lane. Congestion for all road users also makes cycling and use of the pavements unsafe. Even considerate drivers find themselves forced to mount the pavements at times when they find they cannot get past the line of parked cars, their way is blocked and they cannot backup because other cars have followed them through. This is frustrating for drivers, dangerous for cyclists.
Radical options need to be considered as moving a few yellow lines will not suffice to deal with the issue or improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians. One option which should be explored (as part of wider plans for congestion and cycling in the Shelfords) is part-time traffic lights, combined with a lower 20mph speed limit for this section. The temporary traffic lights erected during recent construction works were shown to improve safe traffic flow in both directions, and therefore to improve the experience of both cyclists and pedestrians.

Richard GYMER
(Liberal Democrat)

There is a noticeable "rush-hour" in Cottenham, in what is otherwise a fairly quiet village, and the narrowness of Lamb's Lane road and pavements, especially, does not make it easy to keep separate cars, pedestrians, buses and cycles. It might be worth looking at doing something radical, where the roads and pavements are marked but have no kerbs, and vehicle drivers feel they have to travel slowly, such as they have in Poynton.
(note that Google Streetview is not up to date)

(Liberal Democrat)

Other than the use of Home Zones that I’ve already mentioned, I would really like the provision of cycling to and from Swavesey VC and Cottenham VC looked at.

I have most experience of the latter as both of my children cycle to school there and they use the existing shared-use path. There are various improvements that I could think of, for example making it wider (it gets very congested at times and both of my children have fallen off because of this), improving junctions and crossings to slow traffic down – New Road/Station Road particularly - and even providing a completely different route. I was thinking here of the current footpath and bridleway from New Road, through the Orchard, over the Busway and then into Lairstall Drove, Cow Fen Road and Market Street in Swavesey. It’s not perfect, but it would separate the children from traffic for most of the route to school.

I believe that most students travelling from Willingham to Cottenham VC go by bus. It is a 4 mile cycle there and, other than a reasonable shared-use cycle path from Rampton, cyclists often have to share a narrow, bendy, derestricted road with motorists. If the school, students and parents thought that improvements here would increase cycling and the safety of cyclists, I would certainly support that.

(Liberal Democrat)

Make all roads around school areas 20mph. Create more cycling routes on school routes. More warning signs indicating look out for cyclists.

(Liberal Democrat)

Segregation of cyclists from traffic or school group leader and tail-end supervisors on long rural routes

(Liberal Democrat)

In both Orwell and Barrington, the greatest source of danger is currently the inconsiderate parking of cars by parents to drop children off. In both cases, there is much that could be done to reduce the speed of motor traffic. Improvements to cycling facilities would reduce the amount of parking as more children cycle, but the space for very safe facilities is limited and the reality is that only consistent enforcement of parking restrictions will help this. I am currently looking into whether decriminalisation of parking enforcement might enable this.

(Liberal Democrat)

In Fulbourn, we need to make sure that cycling remains an option for children. At the moment there are unsuitable levels of congestion on roads near Fulbourn Primary School and there are narrow pavements. There are concerns locally that Haggis Gap is getting too congested for children crossing the road, let alone on their bikes. Also, there are lorries driving through the village when children are on their way to and from school, which is a concern.

Encouraging cycling in the village as a whole, I hope, will help to encourage more children to get involved. Making sure there is access to proficiency training and advice when children and parents need it - this highlights the importance with communicating with the schools in the area.

We need to make sure the right facilities are in place, so bikes can be kept safe during school hours. It was great having the new bike shed put in just as I was leaving Fulbourn Primary School and it's great seeing it put to good use, but communication with schools is key to make sure the right facilities are available.

(Liberal Democrat)

As Duxford School also has Ickleton village within catchment a safe cycle route from Ickleton would be excellent. From Hinxton the route is safer, but the recent installation of a gate to close off the Hinxton ford at the Duxford side has been poorly planned for cyclists and needs improvement. St John's Street (where the primary school is) is very hazardous to cyclists due to the large number of parked cars and narrowness of the road. A safe route across the A505 such as a proposed cycle route from Moorfield road, around the back of Welch Transport to the station platform, would aid routes to the station for access to sixth forms, and would improve routes for children to cycle to Sawston VC. It is also currently difficult for people to cycle safely from Heathfield (opposite the air museum) to Duxford village.

(UK Independence Party)

I think the part-time speed restrictions near schools are an excellent idea but they could be blessed with better signage.

(UK Independence Party)

Greater encouragement and improved facilities for children to cycle to school safely, (rather than using the "Chelsea Tractors"!) would be good for safety, fitness and the environment

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.