Cambridge Joint Area Committee

Since September, I have been chairing the Cambridge Joint Area Committee (CJAC for short) is a joint County/City Council committee that handles a number of traffic-related matters in the City of Cambridge, including:

  1. Determining priorities for the Local Highway Improvement Initiative
  2. Traffic management, parking regulation, cycle and pedestrian schemes
  3. Advising on on-street and off-street parking charges.
  4. Advise on priorities for Section 106 funding for traffic management and other transport schemes
  5. Determining objections to Traffic Regulation Orders
  6. Resolving detailed design issues for traffic management proposals

The next meeting is on Tuesday 22nd 20th January, and councillors will be taking decisions on new parking restrictions on the Accordia Estate, cycle parking in Thoday Street, and pavement café licences in the city centre. To view the agenda, click here.

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.

Calling for a traffic survey on Hills Road

Today I attended Cambridgeshire County Council‘s Economy & Environment Committee, which was voting (for the second time this year) on segregated cycle lanes for Hills and Huntingdon Roads. The project had first been considered in May but deferred on safety grounds, including many raised by myself on behalf of local residents.

I called for a traffic survey to measure traffic speeds and behaviour before and after the scheme, as well as representing residents’ mixed views on the scheme.

Thank you for allowing me to speak.

I am speaking particularly about Hills Rd, as the stretch concerned runs through Queen Edith’s. It is the part between the notorious Hills Rd bridge and Long Road.

Local views are mixed. Although people want the cycling environment made safer, my residents have articulated the concerns you heard at your last meeting: floating bus stops and how pedestrians would manage

I know this aspect has been improved and I welcome the wider islands and the refashioning of the cycle lane near bus stops. I still have my doubts about whether this is the right place for such a scheme, given the heavy volumes of different road users (2400 getting on the bus)

But residents have other concerns which are very local: how it affects the roads:

Concern about what will happen when tradesmen visit, as not all properties have their own drives.
Rat-running: if cars get held up behind buses there is a risk they will become impatient and divert into streets off Hills Road. Four of these have schools, with children from 2 upwards, many of them walking or cycling to school.

I would like a traffic survey to be carried out before and after the scheme is input.

Lighting up time for the Guided Busway

Most people in Cambridgeshire have heard of the Guided Busway that runs between Trumpington, Huntingdon and St Ives – even if not always for the reasons its creators would like. Sadly, one of the country’s most ambitious transport projects has been blighted by poor project management, leading to legal wrangles that have cost the county millions of pounds in interest alone.

It’s not all bad news. The guided buses have attracted more passengers than forecast. And one of the unexpected bonuses of the Busway has been the bridleway running alongside it, well used in the three years that the Busway has been open. Completely separated from traffic it provides a convenient and safe route, and it’s well used both by pedestrians and cyclists.

But it is not reaching its full potential. It could be better used still – were it lit. Illumination would make it safe for cycling and walking on at all hours, all year round. Back in 2012, people I know in the community and at work asked me to see if I could get lighting installed. In the winter months, it is pitch black at the end of the working day, and not much better at the beginning. Many people working at Addenbrooke’s start early in the morning and can get caught at both ends of the day. (more…)

ADVANCE WARNING: Mowbray Road: closed for maintenance this Thursday

road-closureMany people will have noticed the signs advising a road closure in Mowbray Road. This is so that the County Council can carry out surface dressing of the road. Their contractors did some preparatory work a couple of weeks ago, and this week they plan to carry out the second stage, overlaying the road surface with a plymer-modified bitumen and covering it with aggregate or chippings. This is to seal the surface to keep water out and improve the road’s ability to stand up to its heavy usage.

The County Council plans to close Mowbray Road to through traffic between 9.30am and 3.30pm on 4th July. If the weather is good, that will be the only day the road is closed; if it rains, things will take longer. Here’s the weather forecast for Thursday.

There will be people at the end of the road to give access to properties for residents and businesses, though it won’t be immediate and you may have to wait a bit. Buses will also have access. Other traffic will have a signed diversion: Cherry Hinton Road, A1307 Hills Road and A1134 Queen Edith’s Way and vice versa. Cyclists will be able to wheel their bikes along the pavement.

Some people have raised concerns about bin collections. I have been in touch with the City Council and they assure me that they will collect the bins the next day if necessary.

Also scheduled for repairs are Babraham Road and Cherry Hinton Road. Hills Road will be resurfaced in August.

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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How would you improve transport in the south of Cambridge?

Transport and traffic are two of the hottest topics of debate in Cambridge. So I know there are lots of ideas for improving transport. Now it looks as though we may be able to put some of them into practice.

By law (Town & Country Planning Act 1990), councils may require money from developers to offset the impact of their developments. As this is laid out in Section 106 of the Act, the contribution is dubbed ‘Section 106 money’ by councillors. I do not know what the developers call it.

Cambridgeshire County Council is asking us for our ideas on how this money should be spent in the south of Cambridge. Projects should ‘mitigate the effect of the additional transport-related movements from new development’. The officers have come up with two proposals already:

  • a link between the Hills Road Bridge and the Guided Busway cycle route
  • a clean-up of signage on the ring road

They are asking us for further suggestions, and we shall be discussing proposals at the next South Area Committee on 5th March (Cherry Hinton Village Centre). So please let me have your brilliant ideas – come to the meeting too, if you can, as it is open to everyone.  If you’d like to join in the discussion, why not post a comment here?

OK, I’ll get things started: My idea is signage and low-level lighting on the Guided Bus cycleway. What’s yours?

Hills Road VI Form College travel plan is in

Hills Road Sixth Form College recently applied for planning permission to demolish their existing sports pavilion on Sedley Taylor Road and build a new one. The application was considered at the recent South Area meeting on 7th November.

Many residents of Sedley Taylor Road have concerns about parking and access to the existing sports pavilion and playing fields, and fear that the new pavilion could increase these difficulties. There has been a well supported petition, and residents met the College before the application to express their concerns. So parking and traffic were very much in councillors’ minds at the meeting, and although the application was approved, one of the conditions was that the College submit a travel plan including measures to discourage private motor vehicles and to encourage other means of transport. The travel plan has now been received. Here it is: HRSFCtravelplan

I have asked that it come back to the Area Meeting for consideration.The next meeting is on 9th January, at the Cherry Hinton Village Centre and begins at 7.30 p.m. The travel plan is the third item on the agenda.