The EU referendum

By now, we all know that the UK narrowly voted last week to leave the European Union. The result has opened up huge fault lines in both the economy and the body politic, which will take much time and much hard graft to resolve. It has also created a great deal of personal uncertainty and anxiety for many individuals.

Our Member of Parliament, Heidi Allen, has called a public meeting for this Saturday. She writes:

Following the result of the Referendum I have received an unprecedented level of emails from constituents who are greatly concerned about their future and that of the UK. In order to facilitate a discussion I have arranged an open meeting to enable residents of South Cambridgeshire to express their concerns.

Due to the number of emails I have received I will be posting a detailed response on my website towards the end of the week which I hope will address the concerns raised and I will update my website as and when more information becomes available from the Government.

Saturday 2 July 2016, 16.00 – 18.00

South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, Cambridge CB23 6EA.

Parking available.

Fendon Road roundabout success

Fendon Road roundabout councillors and surveyers

Fendon Road roundabout councillors and surveyers

5-year community campaign gets results

Pedestrian crossings

There have been many calls over the years for pedestrian crossings on Fendon Road, and for safety improvements to the roundabout linking Fendon Road to Queen Edith’s Way and Mowbray Road.

One cold November day in 2013, Queen Edith’s councillor Tim Moore recruited a team of people from the community to survey the roundabout, to demonstrate to the County Council how busy it is. We counted thousands of cyclists an hour during the morning and evening rush hour and hundreds of pedestrians, many of them school or college students. The roundabout is not just busy, but also fast: in just one hour, we witnessed two pedestrian near misses and a cyclist who had to jump onto the pavement to avoid being hit by a vehicle. The County Council tells us there have been 15 accidents here in the past 5 years.

So we are pleased to report that the County Council has acted on local concerns.and is proposing zebra crossings not just on Fendon Road but also on the other approach roads to the roundabout on Mowbray Road and Queen Edith’s Way. A Dutch-style orbital cycle lane is proposed for the roundabout itself, which looks much clearer than the messy arrangement at Perne Road.

Queen Edith’s Way: separate space for pedestrians and cyclists

The County Council is combining the crossings with another much needed improvement scheme for Queen Edith’s Way. It is used not only by traffic to and from the Biomedical Campus but by local residents and children going to and from school: Netherhall, Long Road, Queen Edith and Queen Emma. Surprisingly for such a busy route, it has no cycle lanes and cyclists either take their chances on the fast road, or ride on the pavement (designated dual use in a ‘trial’ in 1999). The pavement is safer for them, but makes it less so for pedestrians. Schoolchildren rushing to school and older folk walking on the pavement do not a happy marriage make!

The Council is proposing two schemes which would provide new cycle lanes separate from cars and pedestrians. The designs have been informed by the first consultation last year and by workshops held at Netherhall earlier this year. If you live in Queen Edith’s, a leaflet should be dropping through your door very soon (here is a preview: Fendon&QEW_June16). You can complete it on paper on on the Council’s website for the project.If you would like to know more, come along to one of the Council’s exhibitions:

Tuesday 28th June, 1630-1930, Netherhall Sports Centre

Tuesday 5th July, 1200-1400, Addenbrooke’s Concourse

Wednesday 13th July, 1630-1930, St James’s Church, Wulfstan Way

The consultation is open from today until Monday 1st August.

Given the experience of the Hills Road cycle lanes project, we asked if the Council could issue updates about the project to interested parties, and I am pleased to say the Council is offering this for the Queen Edith’s Way/ Fendon Road scheme.

How the media reported the campaign:

105 radio interview: http://cambridge105.fm/105-drive-21-01-2014/

Cambridge News coverage: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/accident-fear-cambridges-fendon-road-roundabout-triggers-improvements/story-22365337-detail/story.html

Lamppost levy false alarm

NWSeveral residents involved in Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Cambridge have been warned by police that they will in future have to register signs that they fix to lampposts, and pay £25 for each one, plus surveying costs.

Such charges have not been imposed.

In some areas, you do have to register signs that are fixed to lampposts, in the interests of safety.

But not in Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire County Council has not authorised Balfour Beatty to make charges, and councillors have not approved such charges.

 

UPDATE (18th June 2016)

We have pursued this at the Council and it transpires that an officer gave an instruction to Balfour Beatty when he shouldn’t have done. That has now been countermanded and we have received the following advice:

Thank you for forwarding on the residents’ concerns. We have no current or future plans to charge Neighbourhood Watch Associations for signs which are already in place and I have confirmed this with Balfour Beatty. Neighbourhood Watch Associations are not subject to fees for the installation of new Neighbourhood Watch signs at this time and if we do consider introducing charges in the future, Balfour Beatty and ourselves will notify Neighbourhood Watch Associations as to the requirements of any new installations.

Hopefully this has provided you with reassurance about the situation and I would be grateful if you could forward this information on to any concerned residents that come forward. Neither Balfour Beatty or ourselves have officially issued any information in relation to this but I will contact Neighbourhood Watch leaders to let them know the above.

This doesn’t mean the idea of the charges is dead – the Conservatives on the County Council may seek to get the plan agreed at committee. We in the Liberal Democrat group will be voting against, but any feedback from you would be helpful.

Hills Road this weekend

Red tarmac going down

Red tarmac going down

Hills Road cycleway update: The County Council Cycling Team has advised me that their contractors will be laying the next lot of red tarmac on the southbound side of Hills Road this Sunday (5th June). You may find it quicker and easier to avoid Hills Road if you can.

Laying the tarmac depends on good weather conditions but as the project manager points out, Sunday looks warm and sunny which will be a nice change!

Hills Road parking progress

COMMUTER PARKING in Hills Road near the colleges is just as bad as ever, especially acute when it’s raining cats and dogs like it was yesterday – as fair-weather cyclists/pedestrians / bus users) take to their cars. But take courage: work on parking restrictions has been going on behind the scenes. Here is an update.

Following my survey to gauge support for parking controls and the meeting at St John’s Church, a small parking group has launched to co-ordinate ideas and concerns. This is really helpful for the council officers working on the project and for councillors as it means means information can be shared easily.

Steve, a long-term resident and member of the group, accompanied me to a meeting at Shire Hall yesterday with the County Council’s Parking Manager. We looked at preliminary drawings for a residents’ parking scheme.

The parking restrictions will include a mixture of yellow lines, residents’ bays, and short-stay bays for visitors to the shops, churches and libraries. Existing H-markings (white lines marking private drives) would stay. The area that the Council proposes for the scheme is from Elsworth Place to Blinco Grove and the sections of Hills Road and Cherry Hinton Road that run between them.

One of the challenges for a parking scheme is that Marshall Road is very narrow. At present cars park on the pavement and people walk in the road, which is clearly harzardous, especially for children and people with disabilities. New national legislation to ban pavement parking is anticipated, so the County Council will not introduce any new parking schemes that allow it. So the proposals for Marshall Road would have a narrower carriageway and staggered double yellow lines. This will mean fewer spaces overall – however, if the law changes, the parking spaces will be reduced whether or not there is a residents’ parking scheme.

We also discussed charges for residents’ and visitors’ permits. At present the residents’ charges range from £52 to £84, but they are under review.. There are details of current schemes and what they cost at http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/info/20018/parking_permits_and_fines/9/parking/2. Of course, if you have your own drive, or have no car and do not need a resident’s pass, there is no need to pay anything.

The Council hopes to ballot residents on a residents’ parking scheme within the next month. There will be one vote per property and three options: Yes, No and No opinion. If Yes gets a majority, then the Council will carry out statutory consultation on Traffic Regulation Orders (adverts in the paper and on the street), with any objections being determined by the Cambridge Joint Area Committee (CJAC) in the autumn.

From Queen Edith’s to Queen Elizabeth

Queen road closureThe County Council gives me advance notice of roadworks in Cambridge, which I post here. Usually these are to facilitate utilities works but this month, some streets are closing for a much more interesting event: birthday parties for Her Majesty The Queen!

Check the list so you can re-jig your route if necessary. Here are the roads affected:

  • Field Way
  • Glebe Road
  • Hills Road
  • Hartington Grove
  • Long Road

Please see the attachment for details.road closures 1 – 15 June City

Boundary review

TQEThe Boundary Commission is re-consulting yet again on its new county council division boundaries, following complaints about the last, rather rushed, phase of consultation.

You can see their recommendations on the Boundary Commission website at: http://www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/eastern/cambridgeshire/cambridgeshire-county-council.

The number of divisions (voting areas) is going down by roughly 10%. Cambridge will in future have only 12 councillors representing it on the County Council instead of 14, as at present.

The big difference for us is that Queen Edith’s no longer appears on the map as a separate division, but would be merged with Trumpington to create a huge double division running from the Cherry Hinton chalk pits up to the M11, projected to contain over 16,000 people by 2020. It would be represented by two county councillors.

As your county councillor, I want Queen Edith’s to stay as a division on its own, as we are very different from Trumpington and the two areas have different priorities and needs. We have suggested that the Boundary Commission should keep the two divisions distinct by drawing a dividing line down Hills Road, where it sat before the last review.

Please have a look and let the Commission know what you think. The last (hopefully!) consultation phase is open until 20th June.

The types of questions the Commission is asking at this stage are:

a.    Do the proposed electoral divisions reflect local communities?

b.    How do you think the proposals can be improved whilst maintaining electoral equality?

c.    Are the names of the proposed divisions right?

To comment:

Write on the Boundary Commission’s website: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/4143

email [email protected]

or write to:

The Review Officer (Cambridgeshire), LGBCE, 14th Floor Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP
 
 Amanda’s LGBCE submission 0516
Please write before 20th June.

All aboard the Abbey-Addenbrooke’s Express!

115 busGood news! We’re getting a new bus service. Starting next month, the new 115 service, run by Whippet, will run hourly between the Newmarket Road Park & Ride site and Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The bus will stop at both Long Road and Hills Road sixth form colleges, St Bede’s and the Perse. In the other direction, it drops you off at shopping and leisure destinations such as Sainsbury’s, Mill Road, the Abbey Pool and the Cambridge United football ground.

The new service is a trial, funded by Section 106 developer contributions and will be made permanent if there is good take-up – so if you enjoy shopping, swimming or soccer, take a ride on the 115. Its first journey will be on Tuesday 3rd May.

Here’s a timetable and a handy map showing the route

The Queen Edith’s News is out!

You read it here first … local news on The Netherhall School, parking, bins, transport projects, and new voting arrangements.

If you’d like to receive news bulletins on council and community matters, drop me an email at [email protected], and I’ll add you to my list.