This article was published in 2021, in Magazine 151.
Camcycle believes that people in the Cambridge region need spaces to breathe to allow them to stay safe, happy and healthy. This campaign works to achieve more safe space for cycling and walking during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, so that more people feel able to choose active travel for everyday journeys, or spend time outdoors in the places where they live. Find out more at camcycle.org.uk/spacestobreathe
The School Streets initiative, begun as part of the Covid-19 active travel fund, continues to help Cambridgeshire communities improve safety and increase active transport for children travelling to and from school. To date, Cambridgeshire County Council has helped 11 schools to implement a School Street. The schools are at various stages with the scheme: some have fully operational School Streets in place while others are still seeking volunteers to support the traffic restrictions.
Where the schemes are working, they are having a very positive impact. As the Co-Head at Alconbury C of E Primary said: ‘We have embraced the School Streets initiative and found it to be a resounding success. The drop off and pick up at school is both safer and calmer and more children are able to bike or walk to school safely (and) often independently as parents feel they will be safe. We have noticed that lots more families now opt not to drive and this also includes some of our staff!’
Camcycle visited St Philip’s Primary School in the autumn term to film their School Street in action and will be going to Barton C of E Primary School soon to find out more about their School Street. In the coming weeks, we’ll also be adding more resources to our website to help communities get involved and hosting another webinar following on from our ‘Introduction to School Streets’.
Find out more and get involved at camcycle.org.uk/schoolstreets.
Low traffic neighbourhoods
Low-traffic neighbourhoods are not a new concept: new OpenStreetMap data compiled by CycleStreets for #BikeIsBest show that there are already over 25,000 modal filters in the UK (we’ve started to document our favourite ones on our blog).
Evidence shows that restricting motor traffic on residential streets opens up safe routes for walking and cycling and we need to keep campaigning – both for existing trials to be made permanent and for the full list of the second tranche of Covid-19 active travel experiments to be fulfilled. We’ve been working with community volunteers on ideas for improvements for Mill Road and to reach out to local stakeholders around Arbury Road. At the time of writing, the Greater Cambridge Partnership has just opened a consultation on phase two of the Newtown trials – if you cycle in this area please make sure you have your say!
Support a low-traffic Newtown
Please share your views on phase two of the trial, including the modal filter on Panton Street. Complete the survey by 11 June at tinyurl.com/NewtownTrial
Write to your councillors
Tell newly-elected councillors in your area that you want to see safe routes for cycling and walking: writetothem.com