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Young people give their views on local transport

Cambridgeshire is growing. Not physically of course, but the number of people and businesses moving here just keeps getting bigger.

Here at Cambridgeshire County Council we came up with a transport strategy to ensure our network can cope. We started a public consultation on the draft Transport Strategy for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire this July to gather feedback on the plans.

Young people have strong views on transport, but we sometimes find it difficult to reach them. So we arranged a number of events to go speak directly with them and discuss the issues that matter.

On Friday 25 October we went along to Swavesey Village College to give an assembly to one of their five houses; a daunting task of speaking to 250 young people aged 11-16. As they entered the hall, we greeted them with ‘Driving in my car’ by Madness to get them in the mood!

Matthew Bowles, one of our Transport Officers started the assembly by giving a basic overview of the transport strategy. This included explaining that we don’t have enough money for all possible future projects and need to prioritise. He also talked through the aim of the strategy to get more people travelling by bike, on foot and on public transport.

We then played an interactive quiz to gather the students’ views on our plans. We gave the students green and red cards for yes and no responses. The results were rather interesting:

How did you get to school this morning?

Cycle: 20%
Bus: 70%
Car: 5%
Walk: 5%

Did anyone avoid cycling as it is too dangerous?

Yes: 5%
No: 95%

Are buses fairly priced?

Yes: 30%
No: 70%

Are you prevented from going out at night as you cannot get there and back?

Yes: 60%
No: 40%

We then asked students to guess how much a mile of A14, Guided Busway and cycleway costs to build. It was safe to say that the students were astounded that a mile of A14 costs £50 million!

As the students left the assembly, we handed out counters and asked them to post it in the box which represented the type of transport that we should invest in. The results were:

Bus: 82
Cycling: 72
Car: 30
Train: 24
Walking: 6

We were extremely grateful to the students for giving us some very useful feedback and to the staff for having us.

We have left the students with surveys to complete on the draft strategy to gain more detailed responses.

More information about all Cambridgeshire County Council’s transport strategies can be found online: Cambridgeshire County Council Transport Plans and Policies.

What are the best ways to gather young people’s views? Please tell us your thoughts by clicking on ‘Contact us’ At the bottom of the page.



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