Streetlighting contractor told to halt Hills Road works pending consultation

Cambridgeshire County Council’s streetlighting contractor Belfour Betty will be replacing streetlights in Hills Road, to conform to new British Standards for traffic routes. There will be no fewer lights than at present, but the new columns will be further from the kerb, and spaced out differently.

The streetlighting works are being synchronized with the construction of the segregated cycle lanes. This makes good sense, as it avoids having the road dug up twice, and all the associated disruption.

What I am not happy about is that the County Council’s contractor, Balfour Beatty, is digging holes and trenches in the road before consultation. I have taken this up at the County Council, and Balfour Beatty will now cease work until consultation has taken place with Hills Road residents.

Balfour Beatty’s website shows plans for the new lighting scheme: www.lightingcambridgeshire.com/news and you can also view them here:

If you would find it easier to look at a printed version, please get in touch with me. If you have any comments about the changes, please let us have them by Tuesday 17th February so that we can give feedback to the contractor before they make their firm proposals and commence formal consultation.

3 thoughts on “Streetlighting contractor told to halt Hills Road works pending consultation

  1. R. Jonkers says:

    At the meeting on Monday, which we attended I thought that it was stated (I thought by you) that no trees were going to be felled for the construction of the cycleway .We have just seen the notice attached to the beautiful mature Norway Maple on the corner of Luard and Hills Road saying it is going to be felled. Living nearby, it has given us a lot of pleasure and we object to it being felled. It does not appear to be diseased and we would like to know the reason it has been earmarked for demolition. Is it due to the changes in street lighting?

    We are losing the grass verges to accommodate an unnecessary new cycle path. This will make a huge difference to the appearance of the entry into Cambridge which in the past has been regarded as important to preserve. With the building of the present cycle path we lost half the width of the grass verges and now we will lose the rest. The planners in Cambridge have no visual sense. We can not afford to lose trees which in addition to being beautiful, absorb much of the pollution caused by the traffic on Hills Road.

    • Yes, the County Council has clearly stated that no trees will be felled for the construction of the cycleway, and I wouldn’t expect streetlights changes to require trees to be felled.

      I had a look at the tree this afternoon when I was visiting people and see that the notice on it is a City Council one. Cambridge City Council manages trees on the public highway and do a regular arboricultural survey – I think it’s every four years. They have sent me a huge dossier of all the tree works scheduled for the ward: many of them are having remedial attention but there are 11 dead or decaying trees down to be felled. They mention a ‘dying sycamore’ on Luard Road – I think this is probably the one on the corner that you are concerned about. It is described as a ‘significant tree’. I’ve asked the City’s Arboricultural Manager for more information about this.

      Like you, I love trees and wouldn’t want to lose them without good reason, but the City has to make a judgement on the resilience and stability of trees, as you will appreciate.

      I believe grass verge will be reinstated on your side of Hills Road; some parts of Hills Road are gaining additional grass even though other areas will have less.

    • I’ve had some information about the tree from Mr McGrath, who is an experienced arboricultural officer and has worked with the City’s trees for many years. He says the issue is that the sycamore tree is dying – approximately a third of it is dead. While the dead branches could be removed, he says that to do would leave the remaining tree vulnerable and risk branches breaking – which is clearly a serious risk at a busy corner.

      He has said he will look at getting a replacement tree.

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