Highways improvements: clean sweep for Queen Edith’s

Eight out of eight bids for highways improvements in Queen Edith’s have made it to the list of funded projects for the coming year – including one which made the top ten for the whole city.

I have been working with local residents to get funding for various small highways schemes, under the County Council’s Local Highways Initiative, which funds schemes up to £10,000. We had to submit the bids last autumn and they were scored by a panel of councillors in January.

A bid for mobile speed signs in Queen Edith’s Way was the top-scoring bid in our area. Many thanks to QEW resident Ken Hart, who put the bid together, and addressed councillors on the day. Speeding is a continual cause of concern in Queen Edith’s Way, especially at the Hills Road end.

The other bids were for parking restrictions, to address concerns raised by residents in many streets:

Cars on the grass

  •  Topcliffe Way, where vehicles park on the grassed island
  • Godwin Way, where vehicles park on the grass outside the school and too close to the junction with Wulfstan Way
  • Netherhall Way and Chalk Grove, to tackle double parking and junction parking
  • Cavendish Avenue, to tackle double parking and junction parking
  • Beaumont Road to tackle junction parking
  • Lichfield Road– submitted by Coleridge ward councillors

Many thanks to all the residents who provided evidence for the bids, especially those who attended and spoke at the council meeting.

Speedwatch in Queen Edith’s Way

SpeedWatch 2015-02-13 QEWSpeeding is a frequent cause of complaint to councillors – and most people are saying, ’Slow down!’  Fast traffic is intimidating, putting people off walking and cycling, or letting their children do so. The result: more motor traffic. Speed causes accidents – police say it is the cause of about a third of traffic collisions – at worst, it results in injury or death.

Cambridge is changing the speed limit in residential roads, and the 20mph signs should be coming to Queen Edith’s next – but as we all know, some motorists flout speed limits, either through carelessness; or worse, because they don‘t care.

Police do their best to enforce speed limits, and tackling anti-social driving is a priority in this area; but they cannot be everywhere at once. So how about some community action?

SPEEDWATCH enables volunteers to address speed concerns in their own neighbourhoods. Teams of three people set up roadside speed monitors. When a vehicle passes, the monitor flashes up the speed the driver is doing. Volunteers clock vehicles that are over the limit, and police then follow up with letters of advice.

2016-02-15 13_53_29-Cambridgeshire Maps

Accidents in Queen Edith’s

Jennifer Page-Croft of Wulfstan Way and I met PCSOs Michaela Bright and Decca Riondino for a training session – you can see us here in our yellow Speedwatch tabards. We chose Queen Edith’s Way to practise in, as it’s a road that generates a lot of complaints.

The officers showed us how to set up the signs and speed monitoring device, and how to record the cars. You record the details of the cars exceeding the limit: speed and time, vehicle colour and – slightly harder for me – the make and model.

If you’re one of the people anxious or annoyed about speeding in the area, can I invite you to get involved? We need some more people in the south of Cambridge to make this work.

The police have another training session next Tuesday evening at Parkside Police Station. I’m told there are even a couple of parking spaces (priority for people with disabilities).
Tuesday 23rd February 6.30-8.00pm
If you’d like to attend, email [email protected]

Speedwatch needs you!

speedoAlongside parking, speeding is one of the most common complaints around here, so I was pleased to see the police are considering starting a Community Speedwatch scheme in Cambridge and gauging the level of interest. Sergeant Ian Wood has just put out a recruitment email on e-cops and invited us to spread the word – so here you are. Ian writes:

These schemes have been hailed a great success in other areas of the county (and nationally), and helps local residents feel more empowered to address road safety in their neighbourhood.  We will provide volunteers with full training and equipment, as well as ongoing support and site surveys – all we require from you is your time.

There’s more information on the police website (www.cambs.police.uk/roadsafety/speedwatch ), and further enquiries can be addressed to [email protected] .  Please feel free to pass on the message to friends, neighbours and colleagues who may have an interest in Cambridge Speedwatch.

20mph consultation

20mphCambridge City Council has today launched its consultation in this part of the city for changing the speed limit to 20mph.The responses will determine whether or not the change is made.

You should receive a paper questionnaire, but you can also contribute on line, here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/20mph_south_westcentral. Note that there are separate questions on small residential streets and main roads.

There is a drop-in event on December 4th at the Cherry Hinton Village Centre, 4-8pm and there is also an exhibition of the plans at the City Council’s Customer Services Centre in Regent Street.

Police priorities for South Cambridge

  • The South Area meeting at the Cherry Hinton Village Centre last night set five policing priorities for the coming four months:
  • Anti-social behaviour in Cherry Hinton
  • Mini-moto misuse in Cherry Hinton
  • Dangerous driving and parking outside schools in Queen Edith’s
  1. SpeedParking at Homerton Childrens Centreing in Church End, Cherry Hinton
  2. Domestic burglaries

The police recommended carrying on with the school parking and asked to add another, domestic burglaries. They asked to discharge the three Cherry Hinton objectives.

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20mph trial gets the thumb-up … but more support needed

Amanda and 20mph sign

There was a lively discussion on the Queen Edith’s 20mph trial at the Cambridge South Area meeting on Monday night. The meeting was held at the Cherry Hinton Village Centre for the first time, and was well attended, with many people there specially for either the 20mph item on the agenda or the policing session.

Mr Richard Preston from Cambridgeshire County Council Highways Dept was there to report and listen, and at my request, the police stayed on for the discussion.

Despite disappointing speed tests showing that drivers have not changed their behaviour much, here was general support for continuing with the lower 20mph limit, but there were also emphatic demands for two things that would make it work much better:

  • better signage (painted areas on the road or flashing signs)
  • police enforcement

There was a request for the lower limit to be extended to the whole of the estate, a change which councillors are happy to take on board. We limited it to Gunhild, Godwin and Wulfstan Ways initially, on the grounds that these roads had schools – but the point of a trial is that you can learn from it and make changes.

Mr James Woodburn of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign presented some very useful evidence, explaining how Portsmouth had brought in 20mph speed limits across 94% of the overall road length. They had taken a much more holistic approach, getting police buy-in from the beginning, making signage really prominent and giving much more information about the trial before it began. The result had been very good adherence to the lower speeds.

We asked Inspector Kerridge what enforcement there had been and what the police could offer us for the future. He didn’t give us a direct answer about what enforcement there had been (I suspect none) but explained the police had needed to do some research first about the viability of enforcing a 20mph limit. But he did say: ‘Can we enforce 20? Yes we can!’ and explained the approach he would like to take (talking to people and advising them if they were driving at over 20mph, following that up with a letter, before actually ticketing), while making it clear that the police would not enforce every 20mph limit without local requests to do so in areas where infringement was a particular problem. So: halfway there.

Mr Preston from the County Council told us more signage would cost about £500 (the cost of a painting gang) and that interactive signs could cost up to £5,000. The County had initially been trying not to clutter the area up with too many signs and taken a low-key approach – but in v iew of our comments would look favourably on local requests for more signs … if funding could be found. That may mean we have to fund them from Area Committee funds.

Mr Preston will report back on what we said on Monday to a joint county/city transport committee, and it is expected that the lower limit will remain. We evidently have more work to do on securing the better signage and police enforcement, but Monday’s meeting was a constructive sharing of what’s needed to improve the scheme. Thanks to all those who came along to speak, especially Claire from Godwin Way and Jim and James the Cycling Campaign, and to everyone who sent in surveys, or made comments on the Queen Edith’s  Facebook page.

Oh … our trial appear to have made the news!

BBC News

BBC News (Cambridgeshire)