Fenland YDC to launch campaign on cycling safetyS

Ben Martin at the Jubilee Tree junction
Ben Martin at the Jubilee Tree junction

Fenland’s Youth District Council is to make promoting cycling safety its major campaign over the next year.

The young councillors took the decision last month at their final meeting before the summer holiday. It followed a passionate call from Ben Martin, the YDC’s vice-chairman.

“I feel so strongly about this as I enjoy cycling, and want to cycle feeling safe,” he said. “People have been injured (and also tragically killed) in accidents involving cyclists, and I think that both Fenland District Council and the YDC need to work together before any more serious accidents occur.”

He called for safety measures across the district.

They included:

n More cycle lanes, partly to prevent young, inexperienced cyclists from cycling on the pavement

n All cyclists, especially young children, to wear appropriate gear, including helmets

n Cycle training courses to be made compulsory at all schools

n Trees and shrubs to be cut down at bends where visibility is poor

n Strategically placed mirrors at junctions where it is hard to see round the bend.

One particular danger spot cited by Ben is the Jubilee Tree junction on Harecroft Road in Wisbech. There is a bend just metres from the junction, making it impossible for cyclists turning right into Chapel Road to see traffic coming fast in the opposite direction.

He also criticised some drivers for showing “a lack of respect” for cyclists. “Recently a teacher at my school suffered concussion after an incident with a motorist,” he said.

Councillor Michelle Tanfield, FDC’s Cabinet member responsible for the YDC, said: “Congratulations to Ben and his colleagues for deciding to focus attention on this issue. It is exactly the sort of thing that the YDC is perfectly placed to tackle.

“It is something that affects not just hundreds of young people and cyclists but everyone who uses our roads. So it’s a campaign that deserves the widest possible support.”

The YDC members will draw up a detailed plan of action for the year-long campaign when they next meet in September.