You may be aware that a number of road closures are being trialled around the city following the government instruction to councils to limit car traffic and allow more space for pedestrians and cyclists.
A second tranche of funding has now been proposed by the government, to allow the Council to deliver a new round of schemes beginning in September. All of these schemes will be experimental: they will be installed at first for a maximum of 18 months during which we will take feedback from residents before a decision is made about removing or keeping the scheme.
We know that residents at the corner of Canterbury Street have experienced many issues with lorries cutting through Benson Street to Histon Road to avoid the traffic lights on Huntingdon Road. We were alerted yesterday that another house was hit and that there is rat running along Benson Street. This has brought to mind a possible opportunity, on which we would like your feedback.
The County Council have recently asked us for suggestions for further experimental schemes which re-allocate road space for pedestrians and cyclists. We know that historically there are split views in this area about closing the cut through from Histon Road to Canterbury Street. As we have this unique opportunity to trial a scheme for a limited time period, we are therefore writing to ask your views on whether you would like us to propose a trial closure of access from Histon Road to Canterbury Street.
We are aware that previous consultations have produced a mixed response on this, and if a majority of residents are not in favour, we will not suggest this to officers or progress it further: we do not propose this with a view ourselves but very genuinely seeking your views. Given the unique opportunity to trial a closure for up to 18 months, we recognise this is a different decision to asking you about closing it permanently. Consultation would run for the first 6 months of implementation, and if there is strong feedback that the closure does not work, it can be removed very quickly. If it is very successful, then the officers will consider leaving making it permanent in the future.
We will need to make our suggestions to the officers for consideration by Monday 27th July, and offer our apologies for such a tight deadline for your feedback – the government is making its decisions quickly so have not provided us with a long window. It is worth adding that the officers will also need to agree to the scheme, so our putting it forward is not a guarantee it will be trialled.