Coronavirus Update 5

This is the fifth of our regular updates on local issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Car park charges restarting 1st September

Parking charges and enforcement for vehicles using council-owned surface-level car parks will be recommencing. This includes Adam and Eve Street car park, which had been free to use until this point.

Traffic management schemes

The local authorities are still progressing their programme of traffic and public realm schemes in the city. Because experimental traffic orders are being used, there is no prior public consultation and no formal role for councillors, but we are making every effort to ensure that local residents’ views are heard before decisions are made. This is the current state of play in our area:

  • Victoria Avenue/Maid’s Causeway – the plan for a camera-enforced ‘bus gate’ closure against private vehicles has been postponed for further consideration. We know from contacts with you that there are views on both sides about this and, if the plan is revived, we will continue to feed these into the people in charge.
  • St Andrew’s Street – likewise this prohibition to private vehicles has been deferred for more detailed consideration. There are pros and cons to the proposal and we will try to ensure all views are considered if the plan resurfaces.
  • Benet Street area – a trial is planned to restrict traffic in Corn Exchange Street and thus cut vehicle numbers in Benet Street and Trumpington Street. Streets in this area generally have narrow footways and are busy with pedestrians and cyclists, with various food and beverage providers looking for opportunities for outside seating space. Timeslots would be maintained for deliveries to businesses and for other essential needs. We understand this plan may happen soon and will run for a couple of months initially.
  • Silver Street – the camera-enforced bus gate in Silver Street is now operating 24/7 in both directions, with the aim of improving conditions for cycling and walking.

The schemes will be introduced on a temporary basis and there will be a public consultation before a decision is taken on whether they should become permanent.

Café/restaurant trading on the public highway

The government has introduced a short-cut procedure aimed at helping the economy and the vitality of urban centres, and many businesses are taking advantage of this to create more space outside on pavements and in some cases within the carriageway, e.g. at Green Street. We are giving our views on the safety and feasibility of each of these applications.

Mutual Aid groups

Market Ward Mutual Aid groups are still up and running and available to help any Market residents who are self-isolating, either as a result of a positive test for COVID-19 or as a result of advice from the Test, Track and Isolate system or your medical practitioner. Volunteers can help with shopping for food or other items, picking up prescriptions, walking dogs, or having a chat by phone or online for anyone who would find this helpful (even if you are not self-isolating). Volunteers can also make referrals to more specialist services for care and support where appropriate via our community hubs at the city and county councils and they can help residents access our free food hubs and food banks across the city. If you need any help, or if you wish to volunteer, please contact the group at [email protected] or you can email Katie, who is the lead councillor for Mutual Aid in our ward at [email protected].

We wanted to pass our thanks to the Mutual Aid coordinators in Market Ward, Gina, Sophia and Catherine as well as to the Wesley Church, who have kindly acted as treasurer for our funds since the pandemic began. It has been such a valuable and useful resource and we are very grateful to all of you who have played a part in this since March and who are continuing to do this as we move to a new stage in the management of the pandemic. It makes us all very proud to be representing you in Market.

Have your say!

As many of you will be aware, Market Ward is part of the West Central Area Committee (WCAC), a council group which meets several times a year to discuss issues affecting our ward (along with Newnham and Castle) and our residents.  As a result of the pandemic, this will be our first online WCAC and we'd welcome your involvement.  It will take place in the evening on Thursday 10th September (time TBC) and you can submit questions in advance of the meeting, attend (virtually) to speak if you notify the council in advance or you can follow it on the live stream.  More details of how to submit questions and the live link to the meeting will appear a week before the meeting here. We hope to have a report from the local police team, an update on environmental schemes in our ward and officers from the city and county councils speaking on areas of interest.

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