Roadworks and events

road-closureThe County Council has sent me its latest list of new roadworks and events. This is for things starting between 1st and 15th September – please see previous posts for works already in progress.

Check out:

  • Glebe Road
  • Queen Edith’s Way
  • Robinson Way
  • Frances Crick Avenue
  • Addenbrooke’s Road

The extent of the works varies from minor to major but please see the attachment for details so you can vary your route if necessary.

CITY 1-15

Thank you!

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

Majority: 716

Turnout: 47%

A heartfelt thank you to everybody who supported me and the Liberal Democrat team and our work for the community.

Hills Road cycleways: U-turn on total road closure but no end in sight

The Greater Cambridge City Deal has announced new plans for traffic management on Hills Road to facilitate cycleway construction.

Diversion routes for cycleway works

Having announced in January that they would close the top section of Hills Road entirely for five months, there has been some rowing back following public anger. The road between Long Road and the Addenbrooke’s roundabout will now be closed to outbound traffic for approximately 14 weeks, starting in June. There will be a diversion via Queen Edith’s Way and Fendon Road see right). The citybound lane will still be open to traffic.

The modifications to traffic management are welcome, but the works will still continue to be extremely disruptive to local residents as well as to people visiting the area, including the sixth form colleges and Biomedical Campus.

Outstaying their welcome

When the first phase of the cycleway works started in January 2015, it was scheduled to last 37 weeks. Over 2 years on, Phase I is still unfinished and it seems the Council cannot even organize simple things such as bus stop signs. The City Deal told us the second phase would take 11 weeks from February, but it is now not due to finish till September 2017. (They might like to update their website.

The project is the responsibility of the City Deal but is being managed by the County Cycling Team.They have given us a Q&A, which I can share with you here. FAQs Hills Road June TM

Any other questions or complaints should be directed to them at [email protected].

Fendon Road roundabout and Queen Edith’s Way cycle lanes

Fendon Road roundabout

Fendon Road roundabout

Long-awaited improvements to the Fendon Road roundabout will be voted on by county councillors at the Economy & Environment committee next Thursday. The proposal is to remodel the roundabout to provide crossings on all four arms as part of a ‘Dutch-style’ design. The committee will also consider a linked proposal for cycle lanes for Queen Edith’s Way.

We are expecting the green light for the roundabout and a flashing amber light for the cycle lanes so that further local consultation can take place, to ensure a safe walking and cycling environment for all ages.You can read the qew-cycle-lanes-_ee-nov-16on the County Council’s website, or download my pdf here.qew-cycle-lanes-_ee-nov-16

Queen Edith’s to stay single!

New Queen Edith's county council divison

New Queen Edith’s county council divison

The Local Government Boundary Commission has made its final recommendations on the new county division boundaries – and Queen Edith’s is to stay as an independent division, and NOT be merged with Trumpington, despite their earlier recommendations.The new division will be larger than the current one, with  an estimated 8,342 electors compared to 7,694 now.

Queen Edith’s moves eastward, losing ground in the west and gaining some in the north and east. Part of Long Road, most of the western side of Hills Road, Luard Road and Close and Sedley Taylor Road will return to Trumpington, where they used to be before the last boundary changes; and parts of Cherry Hinton Road and its side roads will come into Queen Edith’s. Institution-wise, we will lose a hospital and a university college; we will gain a chalk pit, a caravan park, cinema and bowling alley.

They listened

The Commission had a change of heart after reading submissions from local people. Over 40 submissions opposed the proposal for a two-member Trumpington & Queen Edith’s division, plus several others who opposed double divisions in general. There was just one submission in favour of the merger. A big thank you to everybody who considered the recommendations and made submissions.

The Commission writes:

‘We have adopted the single-member divisions of Trumpington and Queen Edith’s, which take into account evidence received from local respondents that Trumpington and Queen Edith’s should be in separate divisions.

The majority of local residents in the Queen Edith’s area of Cambridge were opposed to our proposed two-member Trumpington & Queen Edith’s division. They preferred the division to be split into two single-member divisions. We have modified our recommendations and propose a single-member Queen Edith’s division. We consider this division effectively balances our three statutory criteria and it forms part of our final recommendations.’

The final step is for the recommendations to be put before parliament. Subject to parliamentary scrutiny the new boundary will come into force at the county council elections next May. City council and parliamentary boundaries remain the same until they too are reviewed.

Sedley Taylor Road: bother with builders

Builders are giving rise to concern in Sedley Taylor Road and last week residents requested my help in addressing issues around parking and anti-social noise.

Cars and larger vehicles are reported as parking on yellow lines and blocking driveways and pavements. I have taken this up with the local police and the County Council, the authority responsible for parking enforcement.

Our police sergeant, Sgt Chris Horton, has asked his PCSOs to include Sedley Taylor Road in their patrols. If you witness obstruction or dangerous parking, ring the police non-emergency number 101.

One of the County’s enforcement officers has already been to see the building firm and has made it clear that vehicles must be parked legally and safely, since this street gets a lot of pedestrians, including children.

At present some of the plates stating the parking restriction times for the single yellow lines are missing. It’s not certain when or why the plates disappeared but I’ve asked for them to be replaced, which will enable traffic wardens to issue offenders with FPNs. If you see illegal parking on yellow lines, ring the County on 727900.

People have said that builders and delivery vehicles are arriving very early, sometimes before 7am, and creating a lot of noise. I have asked the City Council what conditions on hours were attached to the planning consent, and what else might be done to restore tranquillity.

UPDATE:

The City Council responding saying:

You are quite right, there is no condition on this consent controlling working hours so the Local Planning Authority has no control in this regard. We wouldn’t normally put this type of condition on a householder application. I suggest that this is taken up with Environmental Health if the concerns cannot be resolved between neighbours.

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.

Rural county councillors combine to block Busway lights

It is frustrating to report that the County Council’s Economy & Environment Committee refused last week to approve extra funding required for lights on the Guided Busway bridleway, instead voting to defer the decision until the committee’s next meeting (September). Even if the lighting gets the OK then, the delay will mean the lights cannot be installed until December – meaning yet another dark winter for people using the path and cycleway.

The vote was 9 for deferral, 7 against, the votes to defer coming from UKIP, Independent and all but two of the Tory councillors. The chair abstained.

The reasons given betrayed a total lack of understanding on the part of several councillors of how Section 106 transport funding works and in particular, the need to demonstrate that a scheme mitigates the transport impact of a development. See previous post.

But several councillors took a rather ‘dog in the manger’ attitude, arguing that because streetlights are being removed in their villages, cyclists in Cambridge should not have lights.

The most ridiculous comment came from Wisbech councillor Cllr Alan Lay (UKIP), who declared that he had experienced the blackout during the Second World Way, and couldn’t see what cyclists and pedestrians were making ‘such a fuss about’.

The fight continues. If you support the campaign and know people who live in other parts of the county and who have Conservative/ UKIP/ Independent councillors, I would urge you to write to them.

New yellow lines to mark junctions

Cars parked on junctions is a frequent complaint. The Highway Code says, in its Waiting and Parking section:

DO NOT PARK opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space

However, this follows a section of fiercer prohibitions starting YOU MUST NOT, so the junction parking words are advisory only. A traffic regulation order for parking restrictons at a junction, followed by yellow lines, would be required to make it an offence to park there.

The County Council has identified several junctions in the Hills Road area and are proposing new parking restrictions which would do just that. These would be yellow lines around the junctions to prevent cars parking too close, blocking the view for traffic and pedestrians and in some cases, obstructing dropped kerbs.

Residents living close to the junctions should have received letters and plans of what is being proposed. This is an informal consultation: if there is general assent then the Council will proceed to advertise these formally. Here are the plans:

Edendale Close and Hinton Ave     Hills Ave and Cavendish Ave     Blinco Grove and Magnolia Close     Blinco Grove and Rock Road