On Thursday 8th February, the County Council's Economy and Environment Committee will consider a study into the future of the A10 corridor: item 7 on this agenda . Along with fellow Lib Dem Councillors I've submitted a response to it.
In addition to the joint response I've stated that the corridor should include segregated cycleways.
It is vital to prioritise the provision of accessible, affordable, attractive, convenient and reliable public transport, with smart ticketing, to encourage modal shift and minimise congestion in the A10 corridor.
High quality mass public transport needs to be at the heart of thinking about the A10 corridor, for economic, health and wellbeing, and environmental reasons.
- The popularity of the guided bus, whatever issues remain outstanding, is
proof of concept that a reliable, accessible public transport system can
achieve significant modal shift. An effective high quality public transport
system with sufficient capacity and interchanges along the route is
- Drivers are not keen to change to a different mode of transport once they
have set out, unless it is significantly cheaper, more convenient and more
attractive than to continue by car. It is important to enable travellers to
start their public transport journey as close to home as possible.
- For many residents, taking the bus to Cambridge is more expensive than
taking the car. Public transport needs to be affordable, and ticketing
needs to be smart and straightforward with cashless alternatives even for
- The growth of employment at locations including Lancaster Way business
park, Ely leisure village and Waterbeach will require attractive public
transport options for people travelling to work other than in Cambridge.
Any proposal for the A10 corridor should maintain connectivity between villages
east and west of the A10, including Chittering, Landbeach, Waterbeach and
Milton, whilst inhibiting rat-running. The Stagecoach 9 bus service which
currently serves these villages on its route between Ely and Cambridge has been
reduced in recent months.
The exact route of the corridor will raise significant questions, including potentially the compulsory purchase of properties fronting the A10 between Chittering and the A14, or the selection of a different alignment across county farms between Landbeach and Cottenham. The choice of route could affect the Amey waste management site, the Cambridge Research Park, Car Dyke historic
monument and other significant features along the corridor.
Ridgeons on Nuffield Road have applied for planning permission to expand the buildings on their site and to extend their opening hours. Nuffield Road is currently one of the major cycle and pedestrian access routes to Cambridge North, and will be a key access point to the Chisholm Trail. Along with its junior school, housing for the elderly, and a doctor's surgery, this makes it unsuitable as access to an industrial estate.
In 2012 the Lib Dems made sure the busway route to the new station was a road, anticipating a future chance to allow road access to the industrial estate.
Growing Ridgeons will attract more traffic including heavy goods vehicles along Green End Road and Nuffield Road, so we propose:
- opening the section of the busway between Milton Road and Nuffield Close to traffic to serve the Trinity Hall Farm estate and Ridgeons.
- closing Nuffield Road off to motor vehicles on the corner, past the entrance to the allotments
Any planning permission granted to Ridgeons to expand their Nuffield Road site should have a condition that they contribute to this scheme.
If unsuccessful, we demand that the City Deal fund this as a measure to reduce the congestion caused by delivery traffic to the industrial estate.
Sign our Petition!
Residents will be aware that criminal incidents are still happening along Fen Road, though thankfully there has been no repetition of the smashed windows from before the new year.
Read the latest...
Supporting by me (Cllr Ian Manning) a local resident has set up a new, non-political, community group. This is to improve links in the area, share information, and hopefully both reduce problem behaviour but also run some social events, too.
I'm very keen to organise a Jo Cox lunch this summer ( https://www.greatgettogether.org/ ).
The group is running via facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/chestertonchat/ please do join!
We're trying to collate a spreadsheet of incident, so please let us know about those.
The County Council produce a "members newsletter" once a month, and you can read it here:
This is written by officers (staff), so will present one side of any story, but I hope it is of some interest.
Residents have been complaining about the barriers on the Fen Road level crossing being down more than they should be, and more than they were before Cambridge North opened. Working with Cllr Manning and Milton's Cllr Anna Bradnam, I (Owen Dunn) have been investigating how much of a problem this is. The short answer is that in the hour I picked one December morning the barriers were down for 45 minutes.
Like many Chesterton residents I've been looking forward to Cambridge North for a long time and supported local Lib Dems in their campaign to get the station opened. I'll continue to campaign for more and better services at the station, but I believe we need to ensure that the communities on the far side of the railway don't suffer as the train service improves.
Many were reassured when Network Rail promised that the level crossing barriers would be down after Cambridge North's opening no more than they were before. However, the publicly accessible timetable data tells a different story. Here is a visualisation of the timetable on 21st November 2016, before Cambridge North opened.
Every diagonal line is a train timetabled to pass, and if they go between the Cambridge and Cambridge North horizontals on the diagram they will cross the level crossing. I make that eight trains between 07:00 and 08:00.
Now look at this visualisation of the timetable on 20th November 2017, after the opening of Cambridge North.
That's eleven trains between 07:00 and 08:00 with the period around the top of the hour being particularly congested.
So that's how many trains. But are the barriers down any more than they need to be? Some tell me they've been waiting for up to twenty minutes and others that they've been able to phone the signaller to get the barriers raised. I spent a slightly chilly hour one morning in December to observe the level crossing to find out. Here are the results; the crossing is closed in the blocked-out times.
Totting that up, the level crossing was closed for 45 minutes in the hour 6:50-7:50. There are some periods where the barriers are lifted for a minute or less, but waits of about 5 minutes are usual and there can be much longer closures. It's not surprising that some feel the railway excludes them.
Cllr Bradnam and I are seeking to meet Network Rail to discuss changes in timetabling or signalling operations to improve the situation. However in the long term it's clear we need to provide a better route to the areas east of the railway line so that residents and businesses aren't shut out.
The Chisholm Trail and new cycle bridge access should be adjusted to provide cyclists and pedestrians with routes to avoid the level crossing.
The Cambridge Northern Fringe development (on the sewage works site) is an ideal opportunity to improve car and lorry access to the Fen Road area and I will be pressing for this to be included in the plans.
Highways works planned until the end of the year affecting the wards in the north of the City include Green End Road and Highworth Avenue...
HIGHWORTH AVENUE CAMBRIDGE SOME C/W INCURSION 18-Dec-2017 20-Dec-2017 Vehicle Access Mead Construction
GREEN END ROAD CAMBRIDGE STOP/GO BOARDS 18-Dec-2017 19-Dec-2017 Installation of x6 speed cusions and Double yellow lines.
I've asked for more detail about the second planned work.
Stagecoach have announced a number of changes to bus services across Cambridgeshire - table attached.
One of the rights Councillors have is to submit written questions to full Council requiring an answer.
I've (Cllr Manning) submitted two to the next full Council on topical matters.
How many legal cases has the County Council lost in the last three years against families claiming it should fund SEN when the County Council contested this? What has been the total cost of legal bills in each year?
This is based on a specific bit of casework I've assisted a constituent with. I need to find out if this a major issue or an isolated one.
As of writing how many minor highways schemes (ie those funded in whole or part by the Local Highways Initiative or Third Party Funded) has CCC not received payment for yet? How many have been completed? Please break this down by the year of submission of the scheme and include data for at least the last three years.
I'm aware of several schemes that haven't been invoiced for several years. I want to know how widespread this is.
I wanted to add another update on the recent issues around Fen Road, including plans to start a new community group I'm supporting.
I met with interested residents (those who have responded to previous blog posts, have emailed me, or responded on twitter) and one of our local PCSOs last Monday.
- Police have taken a number of extra actions in the area, supported by British Transport Police, the Road Policing Unit and Special Constables
- As a North Area Panel priority, it is discussed every week at a regular meeting
- We confirmed that multiple reports made to Police have reached them, and in some cases action was taken
- It was highlighted that it's worth reporting non-urgent crime even after it has happened, either via 101 (which can take a while!) or via the force website http://bit.ly/reportcrimes
- In relation to CCTV: this has been of limited use - either individuals have not been identifiable, it has not been possible to trace vehicles or prove who was driving them at the time
Apart from increased Policing, I believe we need to improve the community ties across the whole area, including both sides of the level crossing. Those few people causing the serious problems need to feel like they are on the outside of acceptable behaviour.
To that effect I'm supporting residents in setting up a new community group for the area - with a view to doing a Jo Cox Great Get Together event ( https://www.greatgettogether.org/about/ ) in summer 2018.
Please get involved - I'll help residents organise the first meetings soon.