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.

39 of the 62 candidates (63%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

Julius CARRINGTON
(Conservative Party)

I can only speak from experience when my eldest son began cycling on his own to is primary school. I think parents and schools can play an important role to provide help, support and advice. We had Outspoken recommended to us and he took part in their excellent training so I would like to see cycle training freely available across the City's schools. I also insisted that he did "time in the saddle" and before he was allowed out and about solo we took trips across the city, ensuring he could handle some of the City's cycling challenges. I think many more parents would let their children cycle to school if they felt it was safer. If children could get at least 80% of their route via a separate cycle path I think that would have a big impact. Dame Sally Davies CMO points out that children who cycle to school are fitter and concentrate better, so we need to make it safe and get them out of cars! As for secondary school in Sept he has strict instructions to keep clear of the county's second worst cycling junction by the Royal Cambridge Hotel!

Manas DEB
(Conservative Party)

I propose dedicated cycler path in certain areas of Queen Edith ward so that parents feel safer to send their children to school using the bike and this will also reduce the current traffic congestion

John BACHELOR
(Green Party)

The plans for cycling provision need to provide wide lanes which must be separated from the road so that cyclists of all ages and abilities can feel safe. Ultimately measures such as improved cycling provision, a congestion charge and changes in parking restrictions would decrease the number of vehicles on Cambridge's roads. 20mph zones would also improve safety. These measures would greatly improve the safety of both walking and cycling to school.

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. Too many times waste collection vehicles are emptying bins at school drop off time. Whilst it is not easy to control their schedules, basic rules around schools at key times of day could be established. Children coming to school by car is of course also 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. 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.

But also a word on education: Bikeability schemes promote cycling and safe cycling and these programmes must continue to be supported. However, parents also can be educated in the benefits of cycling and 'making space for cycling' is as much about consciousness and behaviour as it is about design and infrastructure.

Ceri GALLOWAY
(Green Party)

Many parents are rightly fearful of allowing their children cycle to school when the route is not ideal for parents and children cycling together or older children cycling alone. So starting with a really thorough city wide consultation of parents and children about what would help them in their ward to get them onto their bikes, really taking on board what they say. One solution for parents who have multiple drops to have cycle meeting places for children to cycle together to school. Second starting point could be to research which school catchment areas could be made safer for cycling to school starting with the simplist solutions in areas where children are most likely to increase cycling to school. Then to look at long term planning and prioritisation of more expensive remedies. Setting up a schedules of targets to make at least one major improvement per year.

Additionally exploring solutions in special areas such as assisting families to buy, maintain cycles and purchase appropriate, lights and waterproofs/warm clothing. Setting up a city wide roving team of cycle repair experts to advise and help parents and children lacking in confidence in cycle maintenance and cycling awareness. Supporting people on low incomes by directing them to grants for clothing and recycling of lost and abandoned cycles that are not reclaimed and grants.

Jiameng GAO
(Green Party)

We need to consider the safety of both children who ride bicycles and those who don't. Considering this aspect, we need to have wider cycle lanes for two reasons: by having wider cycle lanes, both parents and children themselves will feel safer when riding a bike to or from school; secondly, through wider lanes, fewer children will feel the necessity to cycle in pedestrian areas. We need to make sure that there are safe pedestrian crossings on routes to schools, and ensure that we have adequate cycle spaces on the routes to schools too.

Monica HONE
(Green Party)

We need to make sure we have appropriate speed limits in place around schools and where cycle paths are inadequate. We need to make sure these speed limits are enforced.
We also need to reduce traffic generally by making buses a more viable and attractive option, and ideally introducing a congestion charge for cars coming into the city, as in London.

Virgil IERUBINO
(Green Party)

Traffic needs to be controlled more strictly in general, and especially around schools or areas where children play. Such areas need strictly enforced speed limits.

Sharon KAUR
(Green Party)

I would like to see direct routes being created and strongly used by schools. These routes will have their own cycle lanes that are visible, with lighting. These routes, where possible would be away from the road and have enough space. But also the roads near the route will need to have lower speed limits.

Stephen LAWRENCE
(Green Party)

Practical "ride test" with Council workers and council officers, together with kids and their parents.

Mark SLADE
(Green Party)

School traffic is a huge problem in Cambridge and when I speak to parents across the city, many tell me that they want to cycle with their children but it does not feel safe. The message I receive is clear; if they could cycle to school without being on the road or on narrow paths, they would.

So the cycle solution seems to lie in segregated cycle paths. For those unable to cycle, the City Council, County Council and private bus companies should work together to provide affordable school bus services.

Stuart TUCKWOOD
(Green Party)

As above, safer segregated cycle lanes with room between them and traffic will make cycling safer and less intimidating for all, but especially children.

I also believe restricting the entry of HGVs into the city centre makes cycling feel significantly more pleasant and less scary. We have outlined this proposal also in our cambridge 2016 manifesto.

As the Greens have stated previously, driver behavior is also a very important factor in how safe cycling is, and feels, which is key to getting more people onto their bikes. We would like to press for more cycling awareness training for drivers on local buses and in local government. The City Council could lead by example by ensuring drivers working for them do this and encourage local bus companies to do so also.

John HIPKIN
(Independent)

The restoration of lollipop ladies and gentlemen even if they are little more than qualified volunteers

Margery ABBOTT
(Labour Party)

I would like to see more children walking or cycling to school. If cars were not allowed in the vicinity of schools then it would be a safer environment for children and this might encourage parents to allow children to cycle.

Sophie BARNETT
(Labour Party)

I think it’s great for children to be able to walk or cycle to school where possible. This question is particularly relevant to Romsey, where last year some children were unable to get a place at St Phillips and therefore have to travel further to school at Abbey Meadows. I’d like to see designated cycle paths along major routes used by school children, ideally segregated from other traffic, which would be more suitable for younger children. Where children are driven to school, I would like to see parents encouraged to drop them off at a safe distance from the school gates to ensure the safety of children cycling or walking to school.

John BERESFORD
(Labour Party)

Less reliance on being dropped by car.

Rob DRYDEN
(Labour Party)

Parents should be discouraged from taking and picking up their kids from school by car.

Nigel GAWTHROPE
(Labour Party)

At primary level we need to give parents confidence that older primary children have safe routes to school, either for walking or cycling. Parking congestion outside schools also needs to be addressed. The Arbury Road Cycle Improvement plans should help improve safety along what is a key route to Cambridge North Academy for many pupils and also access for some to preschool and two primary schools. I also strongly support cycle training in schools for children

Nick GAY
(Labour Party)

As I know from daily experience taking my son to St Matthews parents should be discouraged from transporting their children to school by car. It is great to see large numbers of children cycling, walking and using public transport to get to school but there are still too many children being dropped off from cars causing conflict and competition for space and danger to children as they arrive and leave school. I would like to see “no car zones” around schools as has been introduced in some towns. Extending the “Bikeability” schemes to children in the lower years at secondary schools should be considered.

Danielle GREENE
(Labour Party)

I have young children who are not yet of school age, but I think it is so important to encourage children to cycle or walk to school - it encourages fitness and a sense of independence for older children. For this reason I think that extending the “Bikeability” schemes to children in the lower years at secondary schools should be considered. It is great to see large numbers of children cycling, walking and using public transport to get to school but there are still too many children being dropped off from cars causing conflict and competition for space and danger to children as they arrive and leave school. Cambridge already has a high volume of traffic so I feel that parents should be discouraged from dropping their children off by car. I would like to see “no car zones” around schools as has been introduced in some towns.

Richard JOHNSON
(Labour Party)

Parents of children at Abbey Meadows Primary have told me in the past that they would probably prefer not to send their children to school by car, but do so – even if located a few streets away - due to concerns about the safety of their kids. Aside from the obvious pollution created, cars dropping off children to school can create conflict and congestion, and the prevalence of cars at the school gates in fact can make it less safe and more dangerous for those children who do walk or cycle to school.

With these problems in mind I would like to see efforts by schools to put in place ‘walking buses’ or even ‘bike buses’. Regarding the latter: as well as safety in numbers, it can improve the confidence of children who are less assured cyclists by travelling with their friends.

I also believe that extending the ‘Bikeability’ scheme to children in Years 8-9 may help, along with ‘no car zones’ around school sites for an hour at the beginning and end of the school day.

Ewan MCGAUGHEY
(Labour Party)

We need an integrated network of autonomous cycle paths is the best long term solution, and particularly around schools, like Newnham Croft School.

Rosy MOORE
(Labour Party)

A better cycle lane along Cherry Hinton rd, either separate from the pavement (very costly), or with priority for the cycle lane over side roads.
Safer crossings at the junction with Queen Ediths way (not my ward but school children go up there to school)
A cycle path through from Ashbury Close to Goldings Rd. This is currently not for cycles but lots of children use it to get to school.
Drivers who park in their front gardens reversing into park so that when they drive out they can see children walking or cycling on the pavement.

Richard ROBERTSON
(Labour Party)

Too much of the danger to children on their journey to school is caused by to many parents driving to drop off their children. The way some of them park on corners and/or block pedestrians is quite extraordinary. More walking and cycling to school should be encouraged. Safe routes to school identified and publicised. More cycle racks at schools. Cycle proficiency schemes developed further.

Mike SARGEANT
(Labour Party)

Parents should be discouraged from transporting their children to school by car. It is great to see large numbers of children cycling, walking and using public transport to get to school but there are still too many children being dropped off from cars causing conflict and competition for space and danger to children as they arrive and leave school. I would like to see “no car zones” around schools as has been introduced in some towns. Extending the “Bikeability” schemes to children in the lower years at secondary schools should be considered.
One of the challenges for the City Deal on Milton Road is that many children live on the western side of Milton Road and would be discouraged if they had to cross the twice to get to Milton Road School and Chesterton Community College. A 2 way cycleway needs to be implemented on the stretch from Arbury Road to Gilbert Road.

Patrick SHEIL
(Labour Party)

Fixing pavements would make walking safer and more appealing as an option, especially if and when the distance from home to the school is under a mile. Also, it should automatically be 20 mph if not in some cases 10 mph speed limit in school areas. This would reduce risk of accidents and allow cyclists freer and safer access to the roads.

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 might be a case for similar measures near Mayfield School on the McManus estate; the views of parents, residents and teachers should be canvassed. Again, cars often go too fast round there.

Temporary walkways should be provided when any new development forces pedestrians - be they parents or children - onto the road. What we had round Chestnut House and what we now have around Kettle's yard is appalling and outrageous. It is as if pedestrians count for nothing.

Donald ADEY
(Liberal Democrat)

Enforcement of parking restrictions round schools.

Mark ARGENT
(Liberal Democrat)

I'm not sure there is an actual problem -- beyond the general issue of congestion. What is your evidence for there being a problem?

Tim BICK
(Liberal Democrat)

In my ward, I have recently achieved a project to prevent the vehicle rat-run from Adam & Eve Street to Burleigh Street which jeopardised the widely used school run along Burleigh Street to St Matthew's School. It remains a campaigning priority to investigate alternative sites for the long distance coach station, which creates a major hazard around Parkside School.

Jamie DALZELL
(Liberal Democrat)

The lack of cycling routes clearly has a major impact on pupils travelling to and from Netherhall. Queen Edith’s Way lacks any protected space for cyclists and we should consider using the space currently taken by grass verges to provide the cycle lanes needed to protect our young people. Greater protection at the Robin Hood junction and the Fendon Road Roundabout, both key routes, should also be sought.

Nicola HARRISON
(Liberal Democrat)

At the strategic level, I want the City Deal to invest in cycling infrastructure and implement anti-congestion measures which will free up roadspace for cyclists, pedestrians and buses, cut commuter parking and raise funds to support an excellent bus service (see the Lib Dem transport statement at www.cambridgelibdems.org.uk/congestion-crisis). At the local level, there is a lot of concern in West Chesterton about the danger to children from poor visibility at junctions, access roads congested with traffic and parked cars, and poor road crossings. Some parents do not want to lose the option of shared use paths suitable for young children to cycle on. Tailored local solutions are needed, including yellow lines and, where there is local support, residents' parking controls.

Daniel LEVY
(Liberal Democrat)

Ensuring adequate cycling and pedestrian access to school entrances. East Road and Norfolk Street, which give access to St Matthew's Primary School, already appear to do a reasonable job of it, although people approaching it from Petersfield would probably be coming from the other direction. Maintaining the roads and pavements around schools and taking measures to ensure visibility of road users would help in this area.
The Liberal Democrats success at getting cycles lanes on East Road made mandatory will also help here. We have also made a long term commitment to the Chisholm trails which will enable safer off road cycling across the city.

Lucy NETHSINGHA
(Liberal Democrat)

The most important measures will be different for each school, but making sure there are safe routes with safe crossing points which are where people actually want to cross is important everywhere.

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 Chesterton Primary School in East Chesterton as well as make the route to that school safer via the Lib Dem project 'Green Up Green End Road' part of the City Deal to redesign Green End Road.
School children are less experienced in being aware of cycling hazards. It is very important for all children to be able to cycle to school safely and conveniently.

Nicky SHEPARD
(Liberal Democrat)

Many of our local secondary school children have to go very long distances along the main ring roads to get to school. This often means cycling in traffic or on-street cycle lanes. I’d like to see this looked at, along with the movement of cycles along Newmarket Road and through the retail parks and Beehive Centre. With the changes to the number 3 bus route, many of our primary school children can no longer get the bus to school. Cycling or Walking ‘busses’ could help primary age children access local primary schools. As always, helping to increase parent engagement helps young people to make healthier and greener choices.

Catherine SMART
(Liberal Democrat)

We (ie the Romsey Lib Dem team) campaigned for Fairfax Road and at least part of Ross Street to be two-way for cyclists so that children from the north and west of the ward could legally ride to St Philip's School on quiet roads and not have to venture out onto Coldhams Lane.

An important factor in children's safety is the parking problem that can arise at the school gate. Careless parking, opening doors and setting off without looking can scare or even harm children. Constant pressure by the police, the School and other parents is needed to stop this.

It is also important that quality, covered cycle stands are available at the school so that the children can learn how to use them properly

Tim WARD
(Liberal Democrat)

The biggest threat to safely getting to school that I'm aware of in Arbury is the plan by the City Deal to prevent right turns by cyclists from Histon Road towards Mayfield school, and I have objected strongly to this proposal. Banning this cycling route would force cyclists to take longer routes or less safe routes, neither of which is an improvement, and might persuade some parents to give up taking their children to school by bicycle and just take the car instead, which is also not going to make things any better.

Peter BURKINSHAW
(UK Independence Party)

Give them supervised instruction and tell them the importance of obeying traffic lights and signals

Richard JEFFS
(UK Independence Party)

I feel that children are safe at the moment. We must ensure that the Green Cross Code is taught, cycling proficiency lessons are laid-on, lollipop ladies are employed at crossings and free school buses are provided to and from the Park & Ride sites.

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.