New Road Safety Campaign For Cambridgeshire

26 January 2015, 16:06 | Updated: 26 January 2015, 16:09

An 'Action for School Road Safety' petition campaign has been launched to press for action and to hold the County Council to account.

It comes after significant concerns by both Primary and Secondary School parents in Landbeach, Waterbeach and Chittering.

Councillor James Hockney said:

"I have launched this campaign as we must hold the County Council to account. This is in addition to my District Council duties as we must see action on this issue. So much concern has been raised by parents on social media, emails and telephone calls. As a new father, I understand more than ever, that we must do all we can to campaign and press the County for the support that is needed.

This is, after all, about the safety of our youngsters in the community. Certainly I will not rest until we see the improvements that are needed. 

He went on to say, "When the Primary School does not have a crossing or crossing person, is not part of the 'Safer Routes to School' scheme, when the Secondary School bus route is not a priority gritting route and significant concerns have been raised about the quality of School buses, then something must be done".

The campaign has four key aims:

  • Recruit a Primary School crossing person and put in place an actual crossing
  • Add the Primary School to the ‘Safer Routes to School’ scheme
  • Return the Secondary School bus route (Landbeach to Cottenham) to the priority gritting route list
  • Ensure parents concerns about the quality/standard of County Secondary School buses are addressed

The County Council Responds:

The site became vacant just over a year ago. A couple of people contacted us to apply for the vacancy, but when arrangements were made to meet them at the school, they either failed to turn up or said they’d changed their mind. Cambridgeshire has one of the best recruitment and retention rates for school crossing patrols in the country, but we cannot progress if local residents do not apply.

In the face of continued budget cuts, gritting routes are reviewed every year, and talks are ongoing at the moment with County, District and Parish Councillors looking at a range of options for the road from Landbeach to Cottenham.

Safer Routes to School no longer exists, but Cllr Hockney and the schools have been invited to contact the County Council’s road safety team to discuss the options available.

The team works closely with schools advising on all aspects of road safety education, sustainable transport and parking issues. Schools are also encouraged to sign up to STARS – a free online school travel planning tool which helps reduce car use and increase the number of children walking and cycling to and from school.