Gas repairs in Nightingale Avenue

The County Council informs me that Nightingale Avenue will experience some ‘disuption’ at the end of this month/ beginning of July, as Cadent Gas are carrying out repairs to a leaky gas main.

The biggest impact will be to pedestrians, as the work will be mostly on the pavement and verge of the street except for the Queen Edith’s Way junction, where there will be three-way lights.

Working times will be 08:00-17:00 on Nightingale Avenue and 07:00-19:00 at the junction with Queen Edith’s Way.

Friends of Nightingale Park Open Meeting: 23rd January

Nightingale-Avenue-Rec-OpenThe Friends of Nightingale Park have an Open Meeting on Friday 23 January 2015 to discuss the future of the park. It’s at 5.30 pm to 7 pm, St James’s Church, Wulfstan Way.

City Council officers will be present to answer questions and report on plans for development, especially for the bowling green and pavilion.

Nightingale Avenue: the Trim Trail is coming

trim trailCambridge City Council has formally agreed to spend £30,000 of developer contributions on a new trim trail and outdoor gym equipment for Nightingale Avenue Recreation Ground.  The design will be discussed at the forthcoming South Area meeting on 6th September, to be held at Homerton College (Alison Shrubsole room).

There has been a public consultation this year on designs from four different suppliers; the one chosen is HAGS SMP, a global play equipment manufacturer whose motto is ‘inspiring all generations’. There will be outdoor fitness equipment including a ski stepper, leg stretch and parallel rails, made of steel but coloured green and grey to blend in with the park environment; and wooden trim trail items such as balance beams, hurdles and chin-up bars.

Liberal Democrats oppose Tory ‘sweat tax’ at Cambridge Park & Ride sites

P&RWe are disturbed to see that the County Council’s Conservative Cabinet is due to consider a lightning strike on Park & Ride users, with the introduction of a parking charge. This would be on top of bus fares and is targetted at people  – such as commuters — who walk or cycle from the Park & Ride rather than take the bus. A sweat tax, if you like.

The Liberal Democrat group has called for the plan to be withdrawn, as there has been no consultation with the users of the service, the people living near the Park & Ride sites, with councillors in the city, or with the district or city councils – despite the statement in their paper that these groups have been consulted.

While it is right that charges should be reviewed to ensure the Park & Ride sites are run efficiently, it is not right to change things with no consultation. In Queen Edith’s, I fear that if charges are brought in at Babraham Road, our local commuter parking problem will intensify.

The Tories’ case for the charges has been badly presented, with insufficient attention to the risk of parking displacement and of the effect on sustainable travel.pound coins

We have called upon the Tories to drop their plans until they have consulted users and people living near the Park & Ride sites, as well as councillors representing people in the Park and Ride site areas.

Not just for children…

trim trailNightingale Recreation Ground is going to have a trim trail, which will give people of all ages the opportunity to keep fit in the open air.

This is being funded by building developers’ ‘Section 106’ contributions.

A trim trail was one of the ideas put forward by residents at a seminar last autumn on ideas for improving the local community, and Cambridge City Council is consulting on the specifics, such as the location within the park, and what equipment should be included.

Your views are valuable whether you are a possible user of the trim trail, or a user of the existing facilities. Please have a look at the on line survey, and say what you think:

https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/fitness-equipment-consultation

and please share the survey with anyone you know who lives in the area. Closing date is 12th July.

What is a ‘trim trail’? 

The term ‘trim trail’ usually means a series of wooden exercise stations, scattered in parkland or other locations beside a jogging or walking trail, which can be used to develop balance, strength and co-ordination. They are suitable for both adults and children, and the individual stations are scientifically designed to provide a range of exercise. Most have simple instructions attached and can include balance beams, sit-up bars, chin-up bars, parallel bars, and more challenging feats such as pole climbs and ladder walks.

You can see trim trails locally at Romsey Recreation Ground and Cherry Hinton Hall.

 

Holbrook Park: the new equipment is here! and in use too

IMAG0573-1Our small park on Holbrook Road has seen three new arrivals over the past few weeks: a multi-use activity centre, a climbing frame and a spinner roundabout. And despite the freezing weather, local children have been enjoying trying out the new kit. I am glad their blood is warmer than mine!

The new pieces of play equipment have been installed by Cambridge City Council as part of a makeover, and there’s also new safety surfacing.

The equipment was last updated in 1995 by Cambridge City Council after youngsters got up a petition, which I helped them take to the Council’s Leisure Committee. The climbing frame installed in the 90s was well used by children over the years, but had become tired and outdated.

I am very grateful to all the people who took the time to share their ideas about the makeover when I ran my consultation last summer, and I hope you are pleased with the results.

Holbrook Park: playground revamp starting soon

Holbrook Park playground is set to be refurbished very soon. Thank you to everyone who took part in the consultation about the play equipment that I ran in the summer.

The City Council has acted on the wishes expressed by local people and ordered the climber and spinner roundabout. These are now at the Council’s depot and ready to be installed. Other maintenance work is going to be done at the same time, including a new safety surface and some landscaping.

I met the council’s managers responsible for maintaining and running the parks at Holbrook Park yesterday morning. They are ready to go with the new equipment, and have also said they would like to upgrade the wooden climbing equipment that has been there since 1995, as it is in poor shape, with splits in the wood and some wearing away of the rope ladder. Here is a picture of what they propose to put in its place.

The Council would like to begin the refurbishment work this month, before winter sets in, so any comments by the end of the weekend, please.

South Area Parking Plan exhibitions next week

FLAMSTEED ROAD SCOUT HUT NEXT MONDAY, TRUMPINGTON VILLAGE HALL NEXT THURSDAY

Most residents of Queen Edith’s will know that parking is a big problem in this area. Lib Dem councillors have for many years been calling for action from Conservative-run Cambridgeshire County Council, the council responsible for parking management and highways.

Last summer the County Council set up a parking review group, to look at all of the south of the city, including Queen Edith’s, Trumpington, Romsey and some streets in Coleridge. Cllr Jean Swanson and I attended the first meeting, and since then Cllr Geoff Heathcock has sat on the group. (more…)

Liberal Democrats propose 1,000 new cycle parking spaces

One challenge faced both by Cambridge cyclists and motorists is finding somewhere to park in central Cambridge. The lack of places to lock a bike up securely in town is one of the key factors in the high level of bike theft in Cambridge, so I am pleased that the Lib Dems on the Council are proposing an extra 1,000 more spaces.

The proposal is to spend half a million pounds on parking for up to 1,000 bikes in on-street or ‘just off’ street locations, and to identify places for a third new cycle park like the one in the Grand Arcade, which is wonderful – but often full up.

As Cllr Tim Ward, the councillor with responsibility for environmental matters, says, more cycle parking will benefit pedestrians as well as cyclists, reducing the number of bikes parked in the street, often getting in people’s way.

If approved, the project will be funded by housebuilders.

Great response to Holbrook Park playground survey

A big thank you to all those who took part in the survey I ran about new equipment for the Holbrook Park playground. There was a mixture of replies, from children themselves as well as parents and a few grandparents. The most popular options were the Climber and Rotator 2 (the more disc-shaped of the two carousels).

Thanks also for the other comments and ideas about this park. I shall be feeding them all back to the City Council along with people’s preferences, and we hope to see some new equipment soon!