Residents’ parking scheme passed

A residents’ parking scheme for the north of Queen Edith’s has been approved by the councils’* traffic committee.

The Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) for the parking scheme was advertised to local residents and in the local paper, following  majority support by residents in the Morley area for the County Council’s proposals when consulted last year.  The council consultation followed my survey to establish in principle support for residents’ parking, and after a public meeting and display at the library.

Residents from the area attended the meeting and spoke both in favour of and in opposition to the proposals. The vote was 10 votes in favour, 2 against.

The scheme will cover the area from the Leisure Park to Blinco Grove, including both main roads.

Also yesterday, a new residents’ parking policy was passed by the County Council’s Highways Committee.

*Joint committee comprising councillors from Cambridge City and Cambridgeshire County Council.

 

 

Residents’ parking – make your mind up time for Queen Edith’s

Marshall RoadLast year, I ran an informal survey on parking in the north-west corner of Queen Edith’s — the streets opposite the colleges on Hills Road. Residents there experience heavy commuter parking from the sixth form college as well as Addenbroooke’s, Cambridge Leisure and other businesses. Many houses in the streets there do not have their own drives, so residents struggle to park their own cars in the locality.

My survey resulted in a 2-1 majority in favour of parking controls, including residents’ parking. It has taken much longer to move things on than I would have liked, but  Cambridgeshire County Council will be asking residents if they want a residents’ parking scheme. This will take the form of an official consultation; if there is a majority in favour, the Council will launch the statutory process.

Morley area

Morley area

The streets included will be: Elsworth Place, Rathmore Road, Hartington Grove, Rock Road, Blinco Grove and Magnolia Close, Marshall Road, and the sections of Hills Road and Cherry Hinton Road which adjoin these streets.

Residents will very soon be receiving a mailing from Cambridgeshire County Council outlining the proposals. This will include a map showing the proposals, and there will also be information on display at Rock Road Library. You can respond either using the form provided, or on line.

For information on residents’ parking in Cambridge, see http://amandataylor.focusteam.org/2016/10/28/residents-parking-frequently-asked-questions/.

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.

Why a road safety initiative is frightening parents

Speed up as you approach a school –really?

Speed up as you approach a school –really?

The signs say ’30, 20 zone ends’ — you can see them in Blinco Grove, Hartington Grove and Hinton Avenue. The sign in the picture is in Blinco Grove, home to Morley Memorial Primary School.

Why are our streets still 30mph while streets on the other side of Cherry Hinton Road are 20mph?

The speed limit is changing throughout Cambridge, following last year’s citywide consultation on a change to 20mph, to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. That resulted in a public vote of confidence for changing the limit to 20mph in most residential streets.

The implementation of the 2omph project is being rolled out in four phases. The east area is being done now, and as part of their signage, the Council is installing signs like the one pictured.

But many Queen Edith’s residents have said the signs virtually invite cars to speed into streets such as Blinco Grove, Hartington Grove and Hinton Avenue. Ironically, these streets are used by vulnerable road users, such as children going to Morley Memorial Primary School – just the people the 20mph limit is intended to protect.

People are already reporting cars speeding up as they exit Cherry Hinton Road, egged on by the signage. One parent of young children has described it as ‘terrifying’ to have cars ‘belting down’ our roads, as they rat-run between Cherry Hinton and Hills Roads.

Queen Edith’s should be 20 too by next spring or summer, subject to the traffic regulation orders going through. That’s a long time, plenty long enough for an accident. It would be horrible if an initiative to improve road safety results in an accident because of the timelag.

I have asked the Council to address this unintended consequence. We hope they can come up with a solution.

Queen Edith’s Way and Cherry Hinton Road pavements

The County Council has launched a consultation on pedestrian and cycle arrangements on Queen Ediths’ Way and Cherry Hinton Road.

dual useThe aim is to address safety concerns over the shared use pavements, whereby cyclists may legally ride on the pavement. Many do so to keep out of the way of heavy – and sometimes fast – motor traffic. This is entirely understandable – but ironically, in avoiding cars and vans, cyclists themselves pose a hazard to an even more vulnerable class of traveller – the pedestrians who use the pavements. It is a particular problem for people with disabilities, especially the visually impaired, who cannot see bikes coming or report incidents easily.

Cambridgeshire County Council conducted a trial of the shared use arrangement in the late 90s and despite strong local opposition, made the ‘trial’ permanent. It still doesn’t work terribly well: in Queen Edith’s Way, the combination of schoolchildren at one end of the road and a high proportion of older people in nearby Wulfstan Way frequently leads to conflict, with cyclists sometimes failing to slow down or stop when they encounter pedestrians. Many cycling campaigners would agree that shared use is a cheap compromise that satisfies no one, and that demarcated space is to be preferred.

So local councillors have asked the County Council to spend some of its transport fund on a solution in both these roads. The money comes from Section 106 funds – payments by building developers as part of their planning conditions to offset the traffic impact of their developments.

At this stage the County Council is asking residents and other road users for information on which areas they find particularly dangerous and what options they would consider. There’s an on line questionnaire to complete. It is important that the County hears from everybody, so if you know of places or groups of people who would appreciate printed copies, let me know.

 

 

Queen Edith’s being pushed eastwards!

QE red wardThe Boundary Commission has just published proposals for changes to the Cambridgeshire electoral divisions, as part of its periodic review. The Commission is charged with arranging the boundaries of the divisions so that they all have roughly the same ratio of electors per councillor. For example, at present, Cherry Hinton has 6,344 voters, while Market Ward in the city centre has 8,495. The new boundaries are intended to come into effect in 2017, when we next have Cambridgeshire County Council elections, so the figures take account of projected housing growth, eg the Bell School. The other factor is that the total number of councillors will be reduced from 69 to 61.

This review is for the county council elections and will not automatically change the Cambridge City Council ward boundaries, although the City Council may well follow suit so that people are in the same voting areas for all local elections. Who knows what impact it will have on a future parliamentary boundary review? Maybe there will be a chance to address the odd situation of Queen Edith’s having a different MP to the rest of Cambridge, but there are no guarantees.

Although Queen Edith’s is in between the two extremes with just over 7,000 voters, the proposal is to shift us eastward in order to get the numbers right on other wards which will have greater housing growth.

The Commission wants to move the odd side of Hills Road and everybody to its west into Trumpington, and to move parts of Cherry Hinton Road and streets leading off it into Queen Edith’s. Ironically, that would echo the ward boundaries before the last review. We’d lose Addenbrooke’s and Long Road Sixth Form College, but gain Hills Road Sixth Form College. Although the colleges don’t have any residents, it makes sense for the institutions that affect a community to be represented by the same councillor.

The Commission is also proposing to add the Greystoke Road area and the Cherry Hinton chalk pits – which have more of a Cherry Hinton feel to them than a Queen Edith’s one. It makes the ward a very strange shape. Here’s a map: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/4143

The Commission is inviting your comments up until 6th July.

71% say YES to 20mph – but not for Queen Edith’s Way or Cherry Hinton Road

20mph71% of Cambridge residents have voted in favour of reducing the speed limit to 20mph on residential and shopping streets.

There was also a majority in favour of reducing the limit on unclassified roads, but not for Cherry Hinton Road or Queen Edith’s Way. The NOs narrowly outnumbered the YESes by 2% for Cherry Hinton Road, while for Queen Edith’s Way, 43% were in favour of reducing the limit and 47% against. Residents of these roads did not vote significantly differently to everyone else.

You can see the full results here: http://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/documents/s27803/Appendix%20B%20-%20Consultation%20Results.pdf

The results will be discussed at the next South Area meeting, which will be held at St John’s Church on Hills Road on Monday 2nd February. This meeting is open to the public, and will also include the police report and priorities.

Success for Fendon Road roundabout campaign

fendon_7875_WEBThe Lib Dem campaign for remedial work on theFendon Road roundabout has resulted in allocation of transport funding by the Cambridgeshire County Council..

The roundabout connects Queen Edith’s Way, Fendon Road and Mowbray Road and is ua key route to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. It is used by more than 300 cyclists an hour, yet has the second worst cycle accident record in the city. It is also so difficult to cross for pedestrians that some people even take a taxi to the hospital rather than risk their lives crossing the road.

Queen Edith’s City Councillor, George Pippas has been campaigning for a crossing and Cllr Tim Moore ran a traffic count about this time last year, covering the morning and evening rush hours. In just one hour he witnessed two near-miss accidents involving pedestrians and a further incident where a cyclist was forced to jump on the pavement to avoid being hit by a vehicle.

Yesterday Tim attended the County Council’s Economy and Environment Committee to describe his findings and to support the project.

Now the junction, which is a main route for children going to school and students heading for the city’s sixth form colleges, will be improved with a share of a £2.3 million Cambridgeshire County Council improvement fund, which will also pay for improvements to Cherry Hinton Road and Queen Edith’s Way, where the current dual use for cyclists and pedestrians causes many conflicts.

I am relieved that we are finally going to get improvements and a crossing that are so desperately needed at this junction to keep cyclists and pedestrians safe. I am pleased our concerns have been heard and acted upon so that we can put in place safety measures and hopefully reduce the accident risk at this junction.

Road closures: Marshall Road and Cherry Hinton Road

conesBoth Marshall Road and Cherry Hinton Road will be closed in the near future to enable roadworks to take place.

The County Council will be doing remedial work to the surface dressing in Cherry Hinton Road. This road was only treated last year, but is already in a poor state, so the Council is re-treating it with a better material. The prohibition order provides for the road to be closed at some point between September and March; however, it will not physically be closed for all of that time, only when the work takes place. It is hoped to do it in September, otherwise in the New Year. I will update this post when we have more information.

Marshall Road is being closed because the sewer is structurally unsound and Anglian Water is going to insert a liner pipe. The work will be done between 9 and 5 on 17th September. They will be able to use existing manholes but the road needs to be closed because the sewers are in the middle of the road.

Anglian Water say the work is to the surface water sewer not the foul water one, and assure me that there should be no chemical smells. You should be able to use your water as normal.

Here is the traffic regulation order: road closures

 

 

 

Get fresh with Rock Abundance: coming to Cherry Hinton Road this Friday

ROCK ABUNDANCE: “One person’s glut is another person’s feast”

Were you lucky enough to catch the Transition Cambridge pop-up stall at Rock Road Library last Saturday? I was, and went home happily with some beautiful sweet peas, a little jar of redcurrant jelly, and a prickly cucumber. The idea is that you take along any spare produce from your garden, and swap it for someone else’s superfluity.

This Friday, the group will hold its second ‘Rock Abundance’ stall outside the Blazing Saddles bike shop at 102 Cherry Hinton Road – that’s on the corner of Rock Road, for those who haven’t already discovered this gem of a bike shop.

It’s a brilliant idea: you just take along any home-grown (or foraged) fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs; and you swap them for your neighbours’ goodies. Even if you don’t have anything to take, you can take produce and make a donation. When Rock Abundance took place at the library donations went to the Friends of Rock Road Library for community events; this time they will go to the Homerton Children’s Centre community garden. Any excess food will be distributed to FoodCycle or other local charities.

sweet peasThe stall is just there for an hour, between 5.30 and 6.30pm on Friday – set up an alarm so you don’t miss it!

Further details: www.rockabundance.org.uk (Facebook: /RockAbundance; twitter @RockAbundance) [email protected]; or telephone Rebecca Jones, volunteer and first co-ordinator: 07792 531 400.