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Hovercraft? Double-decker punt? Children's vision for future transport

Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Orsen, James and Aaron receive their book token from Prof Helen Valentine for their winning hovercraft design

A double-decker punt, a magnetic hovercraft and a sugar-powered rocket which flies to the moon via school were some of the ambitious transport ideas conjured up by Beavers.

Professor Helen Valentine, Deputy Vice Chancellor at Anglia Ruskin University, was on hand to judge the 1st Histon Beavers’ designs for a new form of transport last week as part of the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s ongoing Big Conversation.

The Beavers used cardboard boxes, lollipop sticks and pipe cleaners to create new modes of transport including a cycle-powered train, a fish-inspired submarine which would travel through underground water tunnels and other interesting ideas.

Orson, James and Aaron’s futuristic design of a magnetic hovercraft caught Prof Valentine’s eye, with the trio winning a book token for their innovative idea.

Prof Valentine said: “The 1st Histon Beavers came up with some fantastic ideas for new ways to travel and I particularly liked the detailed thought put into the idea for a magnetic hovercraft.

“I hope this helps to inspire the children of Greater Cambridge to keep coming up with lots of ideas and solutions to improve transport in the future, as it will be our young people who will benefit most if we are able to deliver successful new transport schemes in the years to come.”

The Greater Cambridge Partnership has been out in the community to talk to residents, shoppers, commuters, football fans, school children and business chiefs about how best to improve transport, reduce congestion and grow jobs and housing.

More than 25 Big Conversation events have been held over the past two months.

The Partnership is taking part in the Children's Commissioner Takeover Challenge on Friday, with four Greater Cambridge primary schools sharing their ideas and solutions to the challenges facing the city over the coming years.

Officers will be at Foxton Village Hall at 10am on Tuesday 21 November to listen to the views of residents, with a ‘hack the city challenge’ to be held in conjunction with Cambridge City Council on Saturday 25 November.

For more information about the Big Conversation and upcoming Partnership events visit