Getting home

A good night out should always be followed by a safe journey back. Most risky situations can be avoided by planning ahead, for example, before you got out in the evening decide how you will get home safely. Don’t wait until you’re half way across Jesus Green at three in the morning to think about it!

Consider whether the transport used to get to a pub or club (e.g. bike, bus or on foot) will be suitable for getting back again. It’s always useful to keep the telephone number of a taxi and some emergency cash with you, just in case.

It’s not commonly known that cyclists are bound by the same alcohol restrictions as drivers. So if you’re likely to be propping up the bar, it’s best to leave your bike at home.


Taxis

There are two sorts of taxi:

  • Hackney carriages: Often London type cabs, or vehicles with roof signs. All have Council plates front and back with a white background with black lettering. They are allowed to pick up at ranks and when flagged down. They must run on the meter when working within the city boundary. For a journey outside the boundary they must either charge on the meter or negotiate a price before the journey starts.
  • Private hire cars: Most of these are saloons and they don’t have roof signs. The plates are again to the front and rear, but they have a yellow background. They are not allowed to pick up when flagged down, or at ranks. If you get in one in those circumstances it will not be insured and nor will the passengers. They must be pre–booked.

Drivers of both categories are required to wear a Council issued identity badge, and to have a similar badge on view in the vehicle. Hackneys should have a fare tariff on display.

There are several taxi ranks in Cambridge, which operate throughout the night. These include:

  • Opposite Christs’s College,
  • By the Bus Station at Drummer Street,
  • Cambridge Rail Station.

The vast majority of taxis are very safe, but you may want to take a few precautions, especially if you’re travelling alone. For example, have your money ready before you reach your destination, get out of the cab and then pay the driver. When booking a cab you can also ask what sort of car will be collecting you.


Walking back

Corpus is situated in the city centre, and walking back can seem the most practical (and cost–effective) way home. However, it’s always advisable to avoid walking alone and leave in groups whenever possible. Most importantly, be alert and walk confidently.

  • Walk in the centre of the pavement away from bushes and shop doors, and towards oncoming traffic. This way you will be fully aware if a car stops near you.
  • If you think you’re being followed, cross the road. If you are still worried go a busy area like a garage, pub or restaurant and ask for help.
  • Try to avoid subways wherever possible (e.g. the one on Newmarket Road and Elizabeth Way).
  • Avoid carrying all your possessions (e.g. keys, wallet, diary, mobile phone, cheque book) in one bag and hold it close to your body.

Personal alarms

Carrying an alarm might make you feel more confident, and can give you a vital few seconds to get away if needed. However, an alarm is no substitute for common sense and forward planning–and, if you want to carry one, make sure it’s accessible (e.g. in your hand or pocket).

Alarms are available to both men and women for £2.00 from the JCR Welfare Officers and from CUSU.


Self–defence

Physical self–defence really is the last resort! If you are attacked, make as much noise as you can and get away from the area as soon as possible. The law is not very clear about how much force you can use to defend yourself, it states that you should only use as much as necessary.

Never allow yourself to be lead away from an area where there are people who might be able to help you. An attacker won’t take you to a safer place, but rather a place where they are less likely to be disturbed.

Self–defence classes are frequently run both by CUSU, Colleges, and Cambridge Community Colleges. For more details please contact welf...@cusu.cam.ac.uk.