Councillor Amanda Taylor

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Nightingale Avenue — no through road

by Amanda Taylor on 10 June, 2020

Nightingale Park, Nightingale Avenue

As we return to normal life following the COVID-19 lockdown, there will be differences to the way we travel, given the difficulties of using public transport and maintaining social distancing. To avoid a massive increase in car use, local and national government have provided funding for changes to the road layout to make it easier for people to walk or cycle.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership is managing the schemes in Cambridge and they have come up with a series of measures throughout the city to create a better environment for pedestrians and cyclists. In our area, there are proposals to make both Nightingale Avenue and Luard Road no through road. The details of the individual schemes are not yet settled but you can see more information about the programme of post-COVID cycling and walking schemes at: https://www.greatercambridge.org.uk/news/gcp-pandemic-cycling-walking-plans.

The schemes are being fast-tracked as Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (ETROs) in order for them to be ready quickly. Feedback is invited on how the schemes work after installation, and changes may be made to the initial designs. If the schemes are popular and effective and to be made permanent, they will go through a normal Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) procedure, including consultation.

The schemes have been recommended by the County Council to the Greater Cambridge Partnership. We are disappointed that neither body sought advice from councillors or local residents as to which roads would benefit from changes, or the form those changes might take.

Councillors do not have a vote or a veto on the schemes, although we will be meeting the GCP to discuss the details. This will provide an opportunity to incorporate feedback we have already received from residents, and to make recommendations.

Thank you to the many people who have already sent in their views. There has been a broad mixture of views, both strongly for and strongly against, particularly in the case of Nightingale Avenue. We will do our best to get the GCP to address people’s concerns.

   7 Comments

7 Responses

  1. Peter and Linda Swallowe says:

    While we support a better environment for cyclists and pedestrians for a change some consideration should be given to the people who actually live in this area.

    For the local people this could mean a journey which they have to travel via two extremely busy roundabouts instead of a straight forward journey .

    Surely, at the very least, local residents should be allowed to actually view the changes.

    However, we fully expect that the changes will be made and as always seems to be the case go ahead without any thought for the people who live in Queen Edith’s

  2. Ian Marks says:

    I thought Luard road was already restricted. Closing it completely will put more traffic on the long road Hills road lights.
    Closing Nightlingale Ave will put more traffic on to the Addenbrookes roundabout making it more difficult for Ambulances to get in and out of the Hospital. It will also put more traffic on to Lime Kiln hill which is already dangerous for cyclists.

  3. […] the scheme falls is Amanda Taylor, one who makes the effort to let us know what she’s doing. Amanda has been on the case, and writes: “We are disappointed that neither body (the County Council or the Greater Cambridge Partnership) […]

  4. David Irving says:

    I agree that this is a terrible idea. It will have the opposite of the desired effect and increase the length of time cars are on the road with them having to divert via Addenbrookes. This will add to the amount of cars on the road at any one time, as journey times will, take so much longer.
    It also will hugely impact all traffic needing to get in and out of Addenbrookes, including ambulances. This will directly put more lives in danger, particularly those living around Nightingale Avenue !!

  5. Wookey says:

    I actually live in the area (on Nightingale Avenue) and whilst I’m as surprised as everyone else I’ve very happy to see action to stop through-traffic on this road. 90% of the cars on the road are just ratrunning between Hills Rd and QEW so removing those movements will transform the road environment to one safe for kids to cycle to school, and even skateboard in the road (I’ve seen this in the last few weeks for the first time in more than a decade living here).

    It’s been demonstrated over and over again that removing rat-runs like this does not just displace car journeys, but it makes a lot of them evaporate completely. Filtering like this in Walthamstowe in 2016-2017 reduced traffic on the calmed roads by 56% (10,000 cars) and in the whole area by 16%, with only a 3% and 11% increase on two major roads. There was a corresponding 13% increase in walking and an 18% rise in cycling in just the first year. Despite some very loud complaints beforehand it has been wildly popular and is now being implemented in various other London boroughs. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/mini-holland-scheme-in-walthamstow-hailed-as-major-success-as-traffic-falls-by-half-a3389936.html

    If we want to deal with air pollution (which causes more early deaths than covid every year), climate change, and obesity (as well as just making the area nicer to live in) then this is exactly the sort of change that is needed, even though it will make some car journeys for residents like me (and you) a little bit longer

    Thinking about this stuff as a zero-sum game is the wrong way to think about it. Changing the road environment changes the way people travel and the journeys they choose to make. Build more roads and more people drive, and drive further. Make quiet streets where people feel safe to cycle and you can walk without noise and diesel-stink or worrying that you kids will be run over (and connect them up) and more people walk and cycle. We’ve been trying the ‘build more roads’ thing for about 60 years now and it’s got us in a right mess – it’s time to design for _people_ not just cars, as the Dutch have been doing since the 70s.

    Right now, whilst traffic levels are much lower than they were, we have the chance to (very cheaply) just try the experiment and see what happens. Then, (if it is reasonably popular and there is a consultation on making it permanent later), we’ll have real experience to use to decide whether to scrap it, change it or keep it.

    One of the lessons from Belgium (Ghent) is to try things cheaply _before_ spending a fortune on re-engineering roads. Then it’s easy to adjust before finalising the design:
    https://youtu.be/sEOA_Tcq2XA?t=367

  6. […] her website about Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (ETROs) and reports on the road closures here, here and here. No other councillors replied to […]

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