Read on for detail of our plan to:
- Make the new Cambridge Development more sustainable
- Stop communities being trapped behind the level crossing for longer and longer each day
- Reduce traffic through Chesterton
And why Labour’s approach, while laudable, will likely achieve none of the above, and unfairly impact communities on one side of the crossing.
What we all want to achieve:
• A sustainable development at the sewage works - we need to ensure the new development of around 8000 homes planned for the Milton Sewage Works site is as sustainable as possible.
• Stop any increase in train frequency trapping people in Milton Detached - residents on the Milton Detached side of the Fen Road Level Crossing are effectively being trapped behind the level crossing for large periods of the day, which will only get worse as more journeys are on the railway.
This is all in the context that Network Rail themselves want to close the level crossing: https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/fen-road-level-crossing-bridge-16891580
How We Meet These Goals
Being trapped behind the level crossing
One of our activists did a detailed study of the problem at the level crossing:
We followed this with a visit to Network Rail’s control room:
We propose to shut the level crossing, and to provide alternative access for cars, bikes and pedestrians: www.cambridgelibdems.org.uk/close_the_chesterton_level_crossing
As train capacity increases, the level crossing downtimes will increase - stopping those in Milton Detached from exiting by car for much of the day.
Making the sewage works development sustainable
Many of those who move to the new development will not have jobs in the Science Park, but will work elsewhere in Cambridge, at Addenbrooke’s, and beyond. Some will be able to walk and cycle across town - but not all will.
To stop excessive traffic congestion blighting East Chesterton and the whole city we propose providing a fast train service, shuttling between Cambridge North, Cambridge, and the new Cambridge South stations. This would provide a convenient and cost-effective means for residents to quickly get to work further away, without them having to rely on the car.
This would, however, create extra train traffic.
How does this relate to the level crossing?
If the level crossing is left as it is then things will get significantly worse for everyone in Milton Detached.
This would mean that technically there would still be car access out of Milton Detached, via Fen Road; it would also mean the level crossing barriers would not be down quite often enough to allow for extra trains to shuttle between the stations. This would mean the chances of getting a road bridge as part of the development would effectively be zero - there would no immediate need for it.
The ONLY way of achieving the best result for all residents - not trapping those in Milton Detached, avoiding cars clogging up our streets and Cambridge, AND providing road, cycle and walking access for Milton Detached to the new development is to close the level crossing.
Labour Councillors locally have put forward the idea that the level crossing should not be closed: their proposal will scupper the whole plan.
Their ideas must be opposed as it will result in trapped residents, and unsustainable development and traffic levels in Chesterton staying the same as they are now or even getting worse!
To support our proposals please sign our petition: https://www.cambridgelibdems.org.uk/close_the_chesterton_level_crossing