Using Addenbrooke’s access road? You could be fined.

The Addenbrooke’s access road is experiencing increased volumes of traffic unconnected with the Biomedical Campus – no doubt in desperation at the never-ending delays on Hills Road. The NHS Trust management say that 400-650 vehicles a day are using the road as a rat-run, rather than to access the hospital – although they do not say how the journey purpose is established.

They have announced that from 22nd May, drivers using the road as a short-cut will be hit with a £50 fine, using data from Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.  The enforcement will apply to Addenbrooke’s Road at its intersection with Dame Mary Archer Way and Frances Crick Avenue at the roundabout, Robinson Way, Adrian Way and the main drive from Hills Road.

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].

Hills Road closure: seven questions

County Council officers claim there are ‘many good reasons’ why they need to close Hills Road to enable construction of new cycleways. It is set to be a 24-7 closure, starting in May and lasting for five months. I can see many reasons why this is a bad idea and have grave concerns about access to the hospital (especially the Rosie Maternity Hospital and A&E), the impact on students sitting exams, and the knock-on effect on smaller, neighbouring roads. I have put seven questions to the County Council:

1. What studies have been done of the impact on neighbouring roads?

2. What contact has there been with schools and colleges in the area, and what has their response been?

3. What has the response been from Addenbrooke’s A&E Department, the Rosie Maternity Hospital and the ambulance service?

4. As the closure is proposed to begin in May, what contact has there been with the City Council elections department as to how this might affect people going to vote in local elections?

5. What assessment was done of alternative options such as a non-peak closure?

6. What arrangements are proposed for non-vehicular traffic?

7. How will residents access their homes?

I await their response. Meanwhile, if you have additional questions, please keep them coming.

Also, visit the exhibition on Thursday where the plans will be on display:

Thursday 26th January 17.30 – 19.30 St John the Evangelist Church, Hills Road.

All aboard the Abbey-Addenbrooke’s Express!

115 busGood news! We’re getting a new bus service. Starting next month, the new 115 service, run by Whippet, will run hourly between the Newmarket Road Park & Ride site and Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The bus will stop at both Long Road and Hills Road sixth form colleges, St Bede’s and the Perse. In the other direction, it drops you off at shopping and leisure destinations such as Sainsbury’s, Mill Road, the Abbey Pool and the Cambridge United football ground.

The new service is a trial, funded by Section 106 developer contributions and will be made permanent if there is good take-up – so if you enjoy shopping, swimming or soccer, take a ride on the 115. Its first journey will be on Tuesday 3rd May.

Here’s a timetable and a handy map showing the route

Parking survey in the Morley area

Working witMarshall Roadh residents, I am surveying the streets in the north of Queen Edith’s on parking problems.

The streets suffer from a daily influx of visitors: students, office workers, shoppers, Leisure Centre visitors – and even hospital staff. This severely limits the parking spaces for  local people, and there has also been dangerous parking, cars on the pavement, blocked drives, damage and petty crime.

Parking is a problem throughout Queen Edith’s, but it makes life particularly difficult in the older housing opposite the sixth form college and Homerton, as many of the houses have no drives.

Parking controls for some streets in the area have been agreed twice, in 2004 and 2009, but then not implemented by the County Council due to policy changes.

Residents ran a petition to Hills Road VI Form College earlier this year asking them to stop their students from parking in residential streets. I am working with some of the residents and with County Council officers  charged with addressing parking issues in Cambridge. Following a meeting and a walkabout with the officers, we are now gauging the support for parking controls – which could include a residents’ parking scheme*. If you live between Blinco Grove and Rathmore Road, you should receive a survey through your letterbox soon.

*For more information on how residents’ parking schemes work, including permits for visitors and medical professionals, see http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/info/20018/parking_permits_and_fines/9/parking/2

“Addenbrooke’s is a big hospital: world scale, world class.”

The special measures imposed by the CQC inspectors on Addenbrooke’s Hospital were the subject of a question at the Cambridgeshire County Council meeting this week (14th Ocotber).

Cllr David Jenkins

The chair of the County Council’s Health Scrutiny committee is Histon councillor David Jenkins, who sits next to me on the Lib Dem benches.

David spoke up for Addenbrooke’s and commended the many positive aspects of its recent inspection that didn’t make the deadlines: the outstanding compassionate care of staff and the hospital’s clinical excellence.

This is what he said:

“Thank you for the question Ian and thank you for the advance notice.

Before I respond let me give a little background.
The Commission for Quality Care, (CQC), conducted a regular inspection of Cambridge University Hospitals Trust, I’ll refer to that as Addenbrooke’s, earlier this year. The inspection resulted in declaring Addenbrooke’s overall as inadequate and so the hospital has been placed in special measures.
The outcome of the inspection the was presented at an NHS ‘quality summit’ in September. During its presentation the CQC made it clear that, although the judgement was clear and appropriate, the compassionate care given by staff was rated as outstanding, and there were several examples of clinical excellence of the hospital. Addenbrookes is no mid-Staffs and it’s only the change in the inspection regime which has resulted in the two hospitals having the same rating.
CQC highlighted staff shortage, the impact of the EPIC implementation, a disconnect between operations and the board and poor medicines management. It’s also worth noting that the hospital was rated good on services for children and young people.
With respect to this council’s response I’m sure you appreciate that it has no executive authority where NHS trusts are concerned although through the NHS scrutiny role of the Health Committee it can challenge and otherwise show leadership. This is what we’ve done.
Shortly after the announcement the Director of Public Health and I met to consider it. Our main concern was that the health sector at large in Cambridgeshire, the CCG, other trusts and ourselves, should recognise that the Addenbrookes problem was our problem and that we shoud all be working together to address it with a view to Addenbrookes coming out of special measures as soon as possible.
We are satisfied that that is the case. The local NHS chief executives meet regularly and Addenbrookes is part of the discussions at their meeting. The common attitude was summed up by the CCG’s press release after the announcement in which is noted the strong negatives of the CQC judgement but at the same time highlighted Addenbrookes’ strengths.
Futhermore we have been talking to key contacts to ensure that they share this attitude. I have met the chairs of two of the trusts, including Addenbrookes itself, and will shortly be meeting with the chair of the CCG.
And finally as a part of its regular program of scrutiny the Health Committee will be scrutinising the Addenbrookes’ response to the CQC judgement in November. This will be attended by the CSC, Addenbrookes and the CCG.”

Welcome to Papworth but pleas for Addenbrooke’s to be a good neighbour

Cambridge City Council’s planning committee this week discussed the relocation of Papworth hospital to the Addenbrooke’s site. The application is for a New Papworth Hospital, allowing relocation from the hospital’s current site in Papworth Everard, 13 miles from Cambridge. The hospital is the largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital in the UK and includes the country’s main heart and lung transplant centre.

This would be built on the land to the west and south west of the Addenbrooke’s Campus in Robinson Way, Cambridge and the proposals is for a new hospital and associated amenity space, planting, a vehicle drop-off area, cycle parking, an energy centre/plant room and servicing area.

Although councillors welcomed the new development, Queen Edith’s councillor George Pippas expressed concerns that the travel plan and parking arrangements for staff and visitors will not be sufficient to meet the needs of the new development. He and others argued that Addenbrooke’s has not been a good neighbour when it comes to parking, and the pressure on the local Queen Edith’s community will only increase if the relevant measures are not taken. One of the suggestions George made was to reduce the staff car park charges to make it affordable and attractive to be used by the staff. He also called on Addenbrooke’s to take responsibility for cleaning the cigarette ends and coffee cups from the perimeter of the hospital.

The application was passed by 6 councillors voting in favour but George abstained, because his requests fell on deaf ears!

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.

Queen Edith’s residents say ‘No’ to Addenbrooke’s smoking litter!

Those little brown things aren’t flowers!

Addenbrooke’s Hospital introduced a total ban on smoking this year. An unintended consequence has been that people go just off site to smoke, and leave litter behind. The smokers congregate in local streets such as Red Cross Lane, and residents are annoyed about their loss of privacy as well as by the copious litter left behind — not only cigarette butts but sandwich packets and drink cans too. The Liberal Democrat City Council is clearing up after the smokers by providing more litter bins, at some expenses.

My colleague Cllr George Pippas has called on the hospital to provide somewhere for people to smoke on site. We hope that Addenbrooke’s will take steps to stop staff and visitors causing nuisance to local residents in this way.

Cambridge Park and Ride parking charges: to be decided on Tuesday

P&RThe Tory Cabinet at Cambridgeshire County Council is to vote on parking charges for the Cambridge Park and Ride sites on Tuesday.

The rot set in last September, when the Tories proposed a £1 charge, but the vote on Tuesday will be on a schedule of parking charges, which starts at a £1 but goes up to an eye-watering £30 for a longer stay.

There have been nearly 200 objections, focussing on shifting the parking elsewhere and the threat to the Cambridge evening economy.

I objected, as I fear that even a £1 charge will displace parking to residential streets, which in this area are already blighted by commuter parking. There is an amendment for new parking restrictions in Babraham Road itself, which will stop parking on the highway and on the grass verge and this is welcome – but I do not think this will be enough. Once away from the Park and Ride site, a commuter might as well park elsewhere and catch an ordinary bus. My objection

Park & Ride was introduced to keep cars out of Cambridge city centre and the charging for parking, on top of the bus fare, is a regressive move. While the P&R sites need to make more money, we in my party do not believe this is a wise way of raising it, and would prefer the Council to look at other ways of raising revenue, eg retail or catering at the sites, or raising the bus operator’s departure charge.

The £10 charge will be a lot to pay for low paid shop workers if they work long shifts, and jeopardises the evening economy, as it will be costly to do any shopping or socialising in the city after a day’s work. It will have an additional sting at the Babraham Road Park & Ride site, which is closest to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in my ward: it could well catch people who have to stay at the hospital longer than they expect to, for medical reasons, even the newly bereaved. There is an amendment to the original charging schedule to make this 18 hours instead of 12. I hope this is accepted.

The decision on the charging structure is to be made by the County Council Cabinet on Tuesday. You can read the report and recommendations here: http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/CMSWebsite/Apps/Committees/AgendaItem.aspx?agendaItemID=9419