Parking charges at the Babraham Road and other Park and Ride sites will END on 1st April. After four years in which usage of the Park & Ride sites has slumped, County Council Conservatives have at last admitted the daily charge was a mistake.
When the Tories proposed the charges, I opposed them, knowing that drivers would just park elsewhere. Unfortunately, that “somewhere else has been outside our houses. In Queen Edith’s, we have been suffering from the extra parking for four years, so I am pleased the charges are at last being scrapped.
I am delighted to have been re-elected to represent Queen Edith’s for a further four years on Cambridgeshire County Council. The votes were verified on Thursday night and counted on Friday morning, with the result announced just before noon on Friday:
Amanda Taylor, Liberal Democrat 1678
Adam Pounds, Labour 962
Manas Deb, Conservative 752
Joel Chalfen, Green 226
A heartfelt thank you to everybody who supported me and the Liberal Democrat team and our work for the community.
It is fair to say that views on the Hills Road cycle scheme are mixed, at least amongst local residents.
Council consultation results show Queen Edith’s residents split 50-50 between those who support the new segregated lanes and those who fear that the scheme will improve safety for cyclists at the expense of more vulnerable pedestrians.
Residents raised a number of concerns about safety, rat-running and access to properties. Councillors shared these concerns and asked County Council Highways officers to do further work to address safety issues. A number of changes have been made to the original proposals and the scheme will go back to councillors on 8th July.
There is now a clearer division between footway, bus stop and cycleway.
All the bus stop islands will be at least 2 metres wide and all waiting facilities will be on the island, so passengers won’t have to cross the cycleway as the bus arrives.
As the cycle lane approaches the bus stop it will veer left and narrow to 1.5 metres; there will then be a short ramp up to the level pedestrian crossing point, which will have tactile paving and be a different colour to the cycle lane. These differences are to alert cyclists of the need to be mindful of pedestrians.
The kerbs will now be sloped to allow cyclists to mount more easily should the need to leave the carriageway arise.
Although there will be double yellow lines, there will not be a loading ban to allow commercial vehicles to park briefly.
New gullies will be installed and a full CCTV drainage survey carried out to identify any necessary repairs.
There are concerns that if there are additional traffic hold-ups, motorists may evade them by using smaller streets off Hills Road – four of which have schools/ nursery schools. It is hard to predict the effect in advance, but I shall be asking for a traffic survey to be carried out before and after the scheme is input.
We campaigned on a range of key issues in the Queen Edith’s ward, including roads & pavements maintenance, parking management, road safety and policing, as well as community amenities, such as playgrounds and the local library.
Lib Dems in Queen Edith’s have a tradition of working all the year round, but the election campaign proper began in March, with lots of lovely snow! Thank you to those of you who bravely opened their doors to us. Between then and the belated appearance of spring, we called on as many people as we could, and had a wealth of conversations about the local area, garnering many good ideas as well as things that need to be sorted out.
My thanks as a candidate also go to my fellow Liberal Democrat councillors Jean and George, as well as to the army of helpers who delivered leaflets and got the message out. And to retiring county councillor Geoff Heathcock, who has set a high standard of hard work and commitment for the Queen Edith’s area.
The work starts immediately: tomorrow morning I shall be making my first visit to Shire Hall for my induction as a county councillor – an opportunity to raise a number of local issues with officers, building on my work over the past year and during the campaign.
Today I presented the petition for lighting the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway to the Conservative Cabinet of Cambridgeshire County Council. It closed on just over 230 signatures, 150 on line and 80+ on paper. A great show of support.
The petition’s main focus was on low-level lighting for safety reasons, but it included requests for signs and a dividing line.
I proposed these things should be funded by ‘developer contributions’, money for transport projects, contributed by developers as part of their planning obligations.
Children have a right to be able to walk or cycle to school in safety.
At the recent South Area meeting, Lib Dem councillors called for police to take a tougher approach towards people parking illegally and dangerously outside schools.
The South Cambridge Neighbourhood Community Police Team has been targeting dangerous and inconsiderate parking outside Morley Memorial and Queen Edith’s Primary Schools since last September, telling people when they are parking where they shouldn’t be.
Policing outside these schools will continue, but now the police will be issuing tickets for parking offences as opposed to merely ‘advising’ motorists.
They will also start observing parking outside Homerton Children’s Centre on Holbrook Road and the Perse Pelican Pre-Prep in Glebe Road.
The tougher approach is necessary. Children have a right to be able to walk or cycle to school safely. The police will be visiting at the beginning and end of the school day, but they cannot be everywher at once. If you spot parking on junctions or worse still, yellow zigzags, ring the police on their new non-emergency number, 101.
Transport and traffic are two of the hottest topics of debate in Cambridge. So I know there are lots of ideas for improving transport. Now it looks as though we may be able to put some of them into practice.
By law (Town & Country Planning Act 1990), councils may require money from developers to offset the impact of their developments. As this is laid out in Section 106 of the Act, the contribution is dubbed ‘Section 106 money’ by councillors. I do not know what the developers call it.
Cambridgeshire County Council is asking us for our ideas on how this money should be spent in the south of Cambridge. Projects should ‘mitigate the effect of the additional transport-related movements from new development’. The officers have come up with two proposals already:
a link between the Hills Road Bridge and the Guided Busway cycle route
a clean-up of signage on the ring road
They are asking us for further suggestions, and we shall be discussing proposals at the next South Area Committee on 5th March (Cherry Hinton Village Centre). So please let me have your brilliant ideas – come to the meeting too, if you can, as it is open to everyone. If you’d like to join in the discussion, why not post a comment here?
OK, I’ll get things started: My idea is signage and low-level lighting on the Guided Bus cycleway. What’s yours?