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Question 3 - we asked:

What would you do to improve the number of children cycling to school nationally?

We asked this question:

4 of the 6 candidates (67%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

Rupert READ
(Green Party)

Improving infrastructure has to be the priority, as outlined above.

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

(Labour Party)

The first thing I would do is improve safety, reassuring worried parents and teachers that cycling can be both healthy and safe for their children. I would do this by bringing back a national target to reduce death and serious injury on the roads, ensure Labour proposals to enhance safety measures on HGVs are enforced, bringing cyclists into infrastructure planning, and by teaching children at school the skills they need to minimise risk to life and safety.

A holistic approach through education, consultation on infrastructure and improvements to safety are needed to give children the confidence they need to get on the road. A commitment by central government to year on year investment in infrastructure that includes comprehensive networks of segregated cycle routes with eradication of dangerous junctions is required.

Julian Leon HUPPERT
(Liberal Democrat)

There are many things that can be done to change the very low rates of children cycling to school in most areas. Firstly, I would like to see bikability training expanding to cover all schools and all pupils. This would encourage more children to cycle, and to do so safely and legally, and would also mean that if they become drivers they are far more aware of what a cyclist’s perspective would be.

Secondly, we need to normalise cycling far more, so it becomes something that just happens, and that parents don’t see any reason not to encourage their children to cycle. This is part of a feedback loop – the more normal cycling is seen to be, the more people will cycle, and the more normal it will become.

Thirdly, we need to have good quality infrastructure, so that there are routes to schools that are safe and are felt to be safe. 20 mph speed limits are very helpful in this regard.

Lastly, we need to get schools to welcome cycling, by providing secure cycle parking, and other facilities, such as basic tools for repair.

Keith Alexander GARRETT
(Removing the politicians)

The country needs to decide that this is the way we want to go and then we use citizens panels to put this in place talking to parents, experts in traffic and cycling, town planning etc.

Asking one person how to solve the problem is asking for sound bites for a complex issue that should be solved as a group using the collective intelligence of a nation.

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.