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.

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.

Yellow lines have arrived!

Yellow-lines_Nightingale_trWe are pleased to say that Cambridgeshire County Council has at long last brought into force the parking restrictions they advertised in 2012. Many are double yellow lines superseding single ones, while others are completely new ones, as in Almoners Avenue and on junctions near schools. We sincerely hope that this will give relief to residents from commuter parking and inconsiderate parking on corners.

The new yellow lines are in the following streets:

  • Almoners Avenue
  • Kinnaird, Maners & Topcliffe Ways
  • Nightingale Avenue & Rotherwick Way
  • Red Cross Lane, Greenlands and Stansgate Avenue
  • Wort’s Causeway, Alwyne Road
  • Baldock Way
  • Godwin Close & Way

I’m keenly aware that there will be some displacement parking; what we cannot tell is how far this will go; or to put it another way, how far people will walk to work. I shall be keeping a close eye on what happens over the next few months. I am also meeting residents in streets where the Council’s proposals were not accepted.

Hills Road VI Form College is another car magnet, and the roads off Hills Road are used by students and staff during the day, particularly inconvenient for those who do not have their own drives. Some of these roads are very narrow and the Fire Service has raised concerns.

I have asked officers to propose some solutions, and they will be consulting soon.

Yellow lines coming soon

TROAddenbrooke’s is an outstanding hospital, but the thousands of cars it attracts pose a problem for those of us living nearby, earning the south of Queen Edith’s the sobriquet of the ‘Addenbrooke’s Overflow Car Park’.

Last year, Cambridgeshire County Council advertised a raft of parking restrictions, some new yellow lines and some extensions of existing ones, for example, making them effective seven days a week instead of just Monday to Friday.

I have been pushing the Council’s Highways officers to get on with the restrictions that they advertised last year as the first step of the Parking Review. Most of these were agreed last spring under Geoff Heathock’s watch as county councillor, but the yellow paint has still not hit the streets.

The officers are now making and sealing traffic regulation orders for new and extended yellow lines in the following streets:

The Council plan is to have the yellow lines in operation week beginning 16th January, weather permitting. I had hoped to have them in place before Christmas, but given we are getting so close, the decision has been taken to wait until the New Year, so as not to make life difficult for your Christmas visitors.

Hills Road VI Form College is another car magnet, and the roads off Hills Road are used by students and staff during the day, particularly inconvenient for those who do not have their own drives. Some of these roads are very narrow and the Fire Service has raised concerns.

I have asked officers to propose some solutions, and they will be consulting in the New Year.

How long does it take to paint a yellow line? Up to seven years in Conservative Cambridgeshire

Quizzing Cllr Tony Orgee about parking in QE

Quizzing Cllr Tony Orgee about parking in QE

Last December, Cambridgeshire County Council advertised a suite of Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) for parking restrictions in nearly 20 streets in Queen Edith’s – see previous post.

Many were intended to create some order out of chaotic commuter parking in the streets near Addenbrooke’s Hospital; a couple are to make school routes safer, eg Godwin Way/ Close.

Some of the proposals are ancient and pre-date most of the Queen Edith’s councillors: one proposal for Hinton Avenue responds to a petition presented to the County Concil in 2006.

The orders were advertised two months ago, coinciding with a broader review of parking across the south of Cambridge, the aptly named South Cambridge Parking Plan.

Consultations on the TROs and the parking plan both closed two months ago: the TROs on 17th December and the parking plan on the 21st December. Since then – a deafening silence.

The Council’s Highways officers can’t say what representations were received – it seems they haven’t yet read through them all properly. So the parking restrictions and the parking plan appear to have been … er, parked.

Meanwhile, many people in Queen Edith’s are asking me and other members of the Lib Dem Focus Team what’s going on … ‘When are we going to get our yellow lines?’

Cambridgeshire County Council held their full council meeting today and I took advantage of their public question slot to quiz the Cabinet Member responsible for parking. All he could tell me was that comments are still being ‘processed’, but he expects to be discussing them with local councillors in 2-3 weeks. So that’s something.

Parking Promenade

As I’d like Cllr Orgee to see just how clogged up with parked cars we are round here, I have invited him to come for a walk around Queen Edith’s and look at some of the most congested streets – and he’s accepted, so I’ll try and settle a day with him soon.

UPDATE: We have now agreed a date for our walkabout with Cllr Orgee: Wed 13th March.

Cambridgeshire County Council: making a start on yellow lines

Cambridgeshire County Council is the council responsible for parking management, and they manage the budgets and the authority for parking restrictions, residents’ parking schemes, and meters. So it is the Highways people at Shire Hall to whom we turn when we need help to sort out parking problems, not the Guildhall.

In response to local demand and campaigning, the County are at last about to advertise parking restrictions, or extensions of existing restrictions in a number of streets in Queen Edith’s:

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After a year of talking, the County Council unveils its Parking Plan

QUEEN EDITH CHAPEL THIS WEDNESDAY

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 agreed to 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 meetingabout a year ago, and since then Cllr Geoff Heathcock has represented Queen Edith’s on that group.

The County officers have visited twice, once to our South Area meeting at my request and again to meet residents in Queen Edith’s. It was made very clear that people were impatient with the long delays and looking for solutions soon.

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