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Fenland parents tell Santa NOT to send their kids bikes this Christmas

Campaign to establish a safe cycle route between Guyhirn and March, Cambridgeshire

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Parents in Fenland have taken the unusual step of sending a letter to Father Christmas asking him to stop ending their kids bicycles as presents! The unusual request is part of the campaign group’s efforts to highlight the lack of cycle paths in the area, and particularly between Guyhirn and March.

Instead of bikes they are asking for help in building cycling infrastructure.

Fenland Parent Power, made up of parents from the local community, say their letter to Santa Claus is part of their campaign to establish a safe cycle route between Guyhirn and March.

In the letter, Fenland Parent Power explain how local families are ‘solely at the mercy of our local transport infrastructure as there are few safe cycle paths in Fenland’.

Last Saturday Fenland Parent Power gathered in the centre of March to send a letter to Santa Claus asking him to stop sending bikes to children and instead asking for the elves help to build new cycle paths in the area.

Last Saturday Fenland Parent Power gathered in the centre of March to send a letter to Santa Claus asking him to stop sending bikes to children and instead asking for the elves help to build new cycle paths in the area.

“We hope, through our campaign, that Guyhirn will be connected to March via a safe cycling route, to enable our families to access the opportunities that would be given through access to the train station at March,” said a group spokesperson.

“This letter comes following a meeting between the group and the Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Dr Nik Johnson, in November.

Fenland Parent Power Letter to Santa

Fenland Parent Power Letter to Santa

“During the meeting, Mayor Dr Nik Johnson gave his support for the campaign, and explained that improving connectivity across the Fens through active travel is a mayoral priority”.

The spokesperson also explained that representatives from Cambridgeshire County Council had told them a consultation of key stakeholders will be launched in January 2024, to understand whether there is appetite for active travel routes to be established in the area.

Anna Williams, Communications Officer at CamCycle, said: “Camcycle has been pleased to support Fenland Parent Power with their campaign for a new cycle route between March and Guyhirn as we know just how transformative it will be for local families, opening up educational, work, and social opportunities.

Fenland Parent Power at their meeting Mayor Dr Nik Johnson and others present representing the county council, Anglia Ruskin and Camcycle.

Fenland Parent Power at their meeting with Mayor Dr Nik Johnson and others present representing the county council, Anglia Ruskin and Camcycle.

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“At the moment, cycling levels in Fenland are the lowest in Cambridgeshire, despite the district having the highest level of non-car ownership outside the cities of Cambridge and Peterborough.

“It’s time to change that and give everyone better transport choice and our young people increased independence.’

Maciej Stachurski, Fenland Parent Power leader, explained why the group have written to Santa.

“The Mayor himself suggested putting pressure on officials, and that’s exactly what we’d like to achieve with our quirky Letter to Santa Claus.

Fenland Parent Power

Fenland Parent Power

“We would also like to raise public awareness of how dangerous our country roads are without the cycle lanes which are automatically added to every new road development across Europe but for some reason are not included in UK road planning”.

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “Increasing people’s access to safe, active travel routes around the Fens is a top priority for the Combined Authority, and for me personally.

“This event was about listening, hearing directly from parents how we can work together to improve opportunities for their children and young people, with safe active travel infrastructure that joins up with reliable public transport.”

Yesterday and today the campaign group has been in March town centre next to the post box to highlight their efforts.

For more information on Parent Power, please visit  https://thebrilliantclub.org/parents/parent-power/.

For further information please contact Maciej Stachurski, parent leader, at pan.stachurski@gmail.com and parentpowerfenland@thebrilliantclub.org

 

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