County gives top billing to Light The Cycleway and Long Road improvement proposals

It was a pleasant surprise to come back from holiday to see that the County Council has given top billing to my proposal for lighting the Guided Bus cycleway in a report going to Cambridge councillors tomorrow night (Wednesday 5th Sept).

This year I have been leading a campaign calling for better lighting along the city stretch of the Guided Busway bridleway, following a spate of accidents.

Cyclists have been injured while riding there, and others, especially women and older people, fear for their personal safety on dark stretches of the path.

Together with Trumpington councillor Caroline Shepherd, I launched a petition asking Cambridgeshire County Council to install lighting along the cycle path in Queen Edith’s and Trumpington.

The petition was supported by many working people and had the support of trade union UNITE. It garnered 230 signatures and I presented it to Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet on 22nd May. You can read an account of that here.

The cycleway is a fantastic facility for cyclists and pedestrians; it is well used, but the lack of lighting on most of the route poses a serious safety risk, especially as the days get shorter and it becomes dark both in the mornings and evenings.

Lighting this track provides an opportunity to make a good thing even better, and I am delighted that the County Council has put this project top of its list on value for money. I look forward to seeing progress.

Another scheme with very high scoring is a plan to remodel the Long Road cycleways by widening and resurfacing the existing shared us, to improve access for the thousands of people who walk or bike down Long Road en route to school or college as well as Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The case for this was eloquently presented to the South Area meeting by Hills Road resident Sam Davies.

The funding for transport schemes is to come from developer contributions as part of their planning obligations. You can see the report and a list of all the projects under consideration here.

If you would like to lobby for any of the schemes being considered, contact your local councillors.

Liberal Democrats launch petition against Tory bus cuts

Why are we waiting?

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats have launched a petition to reverse the Tories’ 100 per cent cuts to rural bus services.

The petition, started by Liberal Democrat county councillor Susan van der Ven, “Stopping the cuts to bus services in Cambridgeshire” reads:

“We the people of Cambridgeshire are opposed to the Conservative County Council’s decision to scrap 100% of funding for subsidised buses, which led to an application for Judicial Review.

“Socially necessary bus services are vital to the whole of Cambridgeshire, especially for young people who need to access to centres of employment, those with mobility issues who wish to access the wider community and its resources, and for tackling the root problem of ‘rural isolation’.

“We also believe that the “Cambridgeshire Future Transport” project, to which half of bus funding has been transferred, is fundamentally flawed and not capable of delivering an adequate replacement for the existing public transport network, never mind the improved system that has been promised.

“We call on the Conservative administration to reinstate 100% of the cuts to bus funding and to conduct a systematic view of Cambridgeshire residents’ transport needs before making any changes to it.”

The petition can be found here: http://epetition.cambridgeshire.public-i.tv/epetition_core/view/Buses

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?