Post Office on the move

After 30 years serving the local community, Mick and Demi will be closing the Post Office shutters this autumn, and the Post Office will be moving from no 206, where it has offered Post Office services alongside an eclectic mix of cards and children’s gifts.

The Post Office’s plan is to move the PO services to the Cherry Hinton Mini Market, at no 108 Cherry Hinton Road. Although it would only be moving 320m down the road, it would be 320m in the wrong direction for most of us in Queen Edith’s, as many residents already have a long way to go for Post Office services since Labour closed the Wulfstan Way branch in 2003.

On the plus side, the Mini Market is open for much longer hours, seven days a week, which may be more convenient for some people, and it will have two tills.

The Post Office is carrying out a six-week public consultation to find out public views on the suitability of the new premises. There is an on line questionnaire (key in the code 072113), or you can email the Post Office: [email protected]

Here is a link to tmore information: https://www.postofficeviews.co.uk/images/pdf/cherry_hinton_road_cb17aw_letter.pdf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advice surgery with an armadillo

armadillo-7657The Liberal Democrats in Queen Edith’s hold a regular advice surgery once a month. It’s my turn this Saturday, and I shall be at St James’s Church in Wulfstan Way between 10.30 and 11.30am. Our surgery craftily coincides with the church’s own coffee morning / bring & buy sale on too, so you can have a drink and a cake at the same time.

Please come with any questions about local issues, or ideas. As a county councillor, I have best access to the county council officers handling education, transport, libraries, social care and children’s services but I’ll do my best to help with any other matters too.

If I don’t have the answers on the spot, I’ll do my best to find out or share your question with someone who knows more than I do.

So where does the armadillo come in?

The Government has given Cambridge £8.2 million of  funding for investment in Dutch-style cycling, with the objective of getting more people cycling. One of the projects the Council is considering is segregated cycle lanes on Hills Road between the Cherry Hinton and Long Road junctions. Others are in Huntingdon Road and Trumpington Road.

I’ve been talking to transport officers at the County Council, particularly about the Hills Road scheme. They’ll be starting a two-stage Royal College Stconsultation on the proposals soon, once options have been costed. Initially they are looking for information on journey patterns, routes etc and will then draw up detailed proposals taking into account people’s comments. They’ll be consulting residents, also businesses and other institutions.

The cycle lanes would be marked by traffic separators, dubbed ‘armadillos’ by cycling afficionados. They keep cars out of the cycle lanes but because they are spaced out they allow cyclists to go into the main part of the road when they need to. Here is an example of them in use in Royal College Street, Camden.

Intrigued, I asked to see an armadillo. I concede it’s a similar shape to the Dasypodidae, and hopefully it’s as tough. It was certainly very heavy, asarmadillo I found out when I carried it home! I’ll be bringing one along to my surgery on Saturday: if you’re interested in the segregated cycle scheme, please call in for a chat.

Second Saturday of the month, 10.30-11.30am. At St James’s Wulfstan Way when they have a coffee morning on, otherwise at the Coffee House.

Marque building works

The builders carrying out the erection of The Marque on the corner of Hills and Cherry Hinton Road are using the pavement and cycleway for working in, which means no cycle lanes until the work is complete. I have heard this isn’t likely to be until Christmas!

Meanwhile, I have heard complaints from people who are finding Hills Road even harder to cross than usual, as well as seen the extra congestion in the mornings for myself. On some days the builders are using the car lane as well as the bike lanes for carrying materials, and this morning there was a lorry parked right in front of the traffic lights.

I am making enquiries as to what hours they are allowed to operate, and to see whether safer working practices can be followed. This is already one of the most dangerous junctions in Cambridge and it is unacceptable that it should be made worse. The route is used by many people, including children going to and from Morley and Coleridge.

Hills Road resurfacing: you’ll need to consider your route

IMAG0002_COVER-1-1Hills Road is to be resurfaced this month, all the way between Cherry Hinton Road and Fendon Road. This is the result of a campaign by former county councillor Geoff Heathcock – a great result to conclude his time in office!

It is badly needed, as anyone who drives or cycles along Hills Road knows only too well.

The Council is carrying out the work in August, when Hills Road is quieter, or at least less busy than at other times of the year. Works are scheduled to commence approximately 12th August and finish around the 30th.

During this time there will be a one-way system allowing traffic to travel down Hills Road into the City from the Addenbrooke’s direction. All southbound traffic will be diverted along Cherry Hinton Road, Mowbray Road and Fendon Road.Potholes

The bus stops on Hills Road will not be served during 6a.m. and 3.30p.m. and and passengers will need to use the Addenbrooke’s bus interchange or stops on Queen Edith’s Way and Cherry Hinton Road. Please see Stagecoach’s website for full details.

Some cycle lanes are closed, though we assume the on-pavement ones will be as normal.

Please check for updates, as we know from experience that County Council plans can change!

Cycling blackspots: government announces funding to fix jeopardous junctions

Personal injury lawyers Levenes published a Top Ten Cycling Blackspots for Cambridge earlier this year. Two are in Queen Ediths – see their interactive map.

The Queen Edith’s Way/Fendon Road junction near Addenbrooke’s has the second worst accident record in the city – 34 crashes between 2005 and 2010;  the Hills/Cherry Hinton Road junction had 23. Work has been done on the Hills Road bridge, but the Cherry Hinton Road turn into Hills Road is still the most unnerving manoeuvre of my daily commute. Addenbrooke’s is generally difficult on a bike – or, for that matter, on foot.

In Queen Edith’s as a whole there were 13 accidents involving cyclists that caused serious injuries.

With this in mind, I very much welcome the announcement by Lib Dem Transport Minister Norman Baker that £15 million is to be assigned to safety improvements at dangerous junctions for cyclists. It is not enough money of course – but it is a good start. There should be enough to do about 75 junctions.

Local authorities will be bidding for the fund. I would encourage you to write to the Transportation Department at Cambridgeshire County Council to support funding for the junctions that you consider dangerous, explaining why. As Cambridge MP Julian Huppert, a great cycling advocate, has said, “In order to promote cycling we have to make it safer, and that requires investment in infrastructure.”

Bring it on.

A community bakery for Cambridge?

Would you like to eat locally baked bread made from local ingredients? Cambake, an offshoot of Transition Towns, describes itself as being ‘for people in Cambridge that love bread – not taste-less, soul-less industrial bread but bread that still remembers the oven it was born in, made locally – from the finest locally produced ingredients.’

Locally, I enjoy the breads from Balzano‘s on Cherry Hinton Road, the filled Continental rolls at the Coffee House on Wulfstan Way and the cosmopolitan selection of loaves on Cambridge Market. We could certainly do with more ‘real bread’ in Cambridge.

CamBake is carrying out a survey – help them with their planning by telling them about your bread habits and hopes.