West Chesterton

Your West Chesterton Lib Dem Team

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Find out what your West Chesterton Lib Dem team have been doing for you in our blog below!wardmapicon-westchesterton

Fast trains from Cambridge North to Cambridge South - how to make the North Cambridge Development more sustainable

Read on for detail of our plan to:

  • Make the new Cambridge Development more sustainable
  • Stop communities being trapped behind the Fen Road level crossing for longer and longer each day
  • Reduce traffic through Chesterton and stop more traffic through Cambridge

And why Labour’s approach, while laudable, will likely achieve none of the above, and unfairly impact communities on one side of the crossing.


The Goals

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 since September 2019: 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 (as it is planned to still(, the level crossing downtimes will increase - stopping those in Fen Road beyond the level crossing 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. Train trips are planned to increase, meaning the level crossing will be closed more often and longer each day.

However 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 want to keep the crossing open: 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/fast_trains_from_cambridge_north_to_cambridge_south

Selected Local Highways bids for Chesterton 2020

As detailed in https://www.cambridgelibdems.org.uk/chestert_local_highways_bids_longlist I (as the County Councillor for the area) have to select five bids to go forward to the next stage of the Local Highways Improvements process.


Chosen bids

The post above outlines the criteria I used, so I will simply list out the bids I've chosen here:

Replacement streetlighting - 1 in Fallowfield, 1 at the Lent's Way/May's Way junction, 2 on Orchard Avenue.
Hurst Park estate - extension of double yellow lines at multiple junctions.
Traffic calming on Fallowfield.
Double yellow lines at Chestnut Grove.
Make Herbert Street - Ferry Path route safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Making a choice from the large number of ideas was not easy. The ones I've chosen are spread across the Division geographically, are a mix of different types of improvements and represent the sort of projects that have got funding in the past.

Next steps

These five bids are now assessed and costed in more detail by the County Council. Depending on the feasibility after that, they go forward to a scoring panel in Jan/Feb 2021, and those that get the highest scores at that get funded, up to the limit of the overall budget.

Chesterton Local highways bids longlist of ideas

An update on https://www.cambridgelibdems.org.uk/chesterton_local_highways_bids_2020 : read on for the long list of suggested ideas, along with my criteria for deciding which five will go forward to the next stage.



Principles I use in decided which five bids to go forward

There are no formal rules, so I use three overarching principles in deciding which five bids go forward:

Likelihood of getting funding: based on previous years bids, which tend to bias towards recurrent problems and clear safety issues.

Variety of types of schemes: ie I'd like a mix of walking, cycling and driving improvements.

Geographical spread: ie I don't want one area of Chesterton Division getting all the bids, taking into account the previous two.

As you can see below there are more suggestions that I am allowed to go through - and there are many others that would be no where near the budget - so I'm very conscious I will have to disappoint some people who have put things forward - hence trying to be as open as possible about the process.

The longlist suggested this year

Location/Idea Comments
Double yellow lines, Frank's Lane cut-through Will help discourage problem parking blocking this well used cut through.
Enforcement will not be constant in this area.
Herbert Street reconfiguration of double yellows Removal of some and increase in others so no net loss of parking.
End of road very narrow, residents cars constantly damaged by delivery vehicles.
Herbert Street to Ferry Path crossing Tidy up of cycle path and extension of double yellows to prevent parking in cycle lane. Narrowing of Chesterton Road to slow traffic down or traffic island in the middle to make crossing easier.
Can be linked with previous bid?
Fallowfield traffic calming

Various ideas like narrowing road or possibly blocking the road at another point.
Little consensus on what needs doing, and low response to recent survey.

Narrow Scotland Road/Union Lane junction

Intention to slow traffic down here.
Potentially could be funded from Active Travel funding rather than LHI.

Strong bollards on pavement, Fen Road - parking area to Izaak Walton Way

Budget would not stretch to the whole of Fen Road so there is a question as to which bits would have bollards added. Pavement probably too narrow to install in most places.

A sinusoidal speed bump, Fen Road

DfT analysis in areas these have been installed (eg Lambeth) shows minimal benefit over standard speed bumps, and a higher cost.

Would only be able to add one extra one with the budget.

Chestnut Grove entrance, double yellow lines

Visitors to local shops regularly block the road here blocking in residents.
These would eventually be added in a planned residents parking scheme.

Extending of double yellow lines at junctions in Hurst Park estate

These were put in recently so if a mistake could be corrected under a maintenance budget rather than an LHI - will follow up outside the LHI programme.

Edinburgh Road traffic calming

No identified consensus solution

From previous years which didn't get funding:

Location/Idea  Comment  
Street light replacements:2 on Orchard park, 1 in Lent's Way, 1 in Fallowfield   Bid wasn't successful last year.  
 Reduce cycle/pedestrian conflict, Moss Bank superseded by bollard Cllr Manning had installed?   
Riverside bridge conflict reduction

Bid wasn't successful last year. 

Hurst park avenue/Milton Road box junction

Wasn't successful last year, will be dealt with by the Milton Road project



Chesterton Local highways bids 2020

Local Highways bids - invitation for ideas.
Every year the County Council has a scheme for small scale improvements/changes in the Highway (roads/pavements). As County Councillors we are charged with coming up with a maximum of five bids for consideration per division.
The programme was delayed this year due to Covid-19, but now has a deadline for those 5 bids of *****27th September.*****
This is one of many places where I'm inviting ideas - so I cannot promise everything here will reach those final five, or that any of them will.
Of those put forward any number of them (or none) may get past a further panel stage.
I am also running a virtual drop in meeting Tuesday 22nd, 7pm, link here.
Thus far I've three proposals that have come out of suggestions late for last year, or over the last few months:
Double Yellows, Franks Lane Cut-through
Extend Double yellows, Herbert Street
Fallowfield traffic calming.
There are also four from last year which DIDN'T receive funding:
Street light replacements (2 orchard road, 1 in lents way, 1 in fallowfield)
Reduce cycle/pedestrian conflictt, Moss Bank
Riverside bridge conflict reduction
Hurst Park Avenue box junction
The mini round about bid did receive funding and is currently being programmed in.
I should note that I'm responsible for the Chesterton *Division* which covers parts of the East Chesterton and West Chesterton City Council wards - I'll attempt to redirect people as appropriate.

West Chesterton Resident Parking situation: reminder/update

I've been asked about the resident parking situation in West Chesterton a few times recently, so this post just serves as a reminder of the current situation, after the Conservatives on the County council blocked all progress.

The latest point we got to with the parking is still this, and then all work was then blocked by the Conservative Group on the County, for a year from 10th March 2020: https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/residents-parking-roll-out-suspended-17923433
I'm sure you're aware how many hours I spent working towards the compromise option, so you can imagine how furious I was, but I can't do anything about it now as we were outvoted at the committee meeting.

Chisholm trail update 2020-09-20

I met with the project team recently; they will be updating the official page soon, but until then read on for updates...

Jetty will be open by 'autumn 2020' (ie now) with a deadline of 21st December.
The Newmarket Road underpass is aimed to be done Spring 2021.
The whole of Phase 1 ( up to Coldham's Lane) is planned to open Autumn 2021.
The bridge will be finished and hoisted in soon; the reason it won't be open until a year later is that there are various works on the banks and the approaches/steps that will still need finishing before it is accessible.
Fen Road access is still planned to be via the existing cut through, with a small build out to improve visibility - I'm awaiting more detail on the design, and am meeting the project team to discuss linking up with the 71-73 fen road developments.

Funding available for open spaces and community facilities

key_piggy-bank-2889042_640.jpgFunding opportunity! "S106 funding" (the name comes from the section of the act it refers to) is available for public open spaces and parks in (or near) the Chesterton wards, and for community spaces (eg places like Brownsfield Youth Centre).

This funding has to be for projects within the city of Cambridge and need to be about providing additional benefit to mitigate the impact (increased demands on local facilities and amenities) arising from development in Cambridge. It cannot be used for repairs, maintenance, like-for-like replacements or running costs.
Examples of previous things funded this way include *new* play equipment, the skate park at Brownsfields.
Very interested in ideas anyone might have. The amounts of funding are:
Community Facilities: £24k east chesterton, £41k west chesterton
Open spaces: east chesterton £7k, west chesterton £23k
Full detail link is here:


Some good news - Drain repairs, Speed hump repairs and making the High Street mini round about safer

key_miniroundabout.pngI’m pleased to give you three pieces of good news; I’ve secured funding for some local improvements in Chesterton.

After I was successful in bidding for funds last year, the centre of the mini roundabout linking High Street, Green End Road & Water Lane will be raised to try and combat speeding and dangerous driving at that location - particularity with cars cutting through the centre.

The speed humps on the High Street will all be repaired in sequence, with the easily-damaged brick designs being replaced with standard ashphalt (concrete). I did a limited consultation (limited by it being during the pandemic) on this online - this is the option that would see this and drainage works come in within maintenance budgets

Finally, the number of blocked drains will be properly worked on, hopefully fixing the drainage issues that happen ever year.

City Fibre work across Cambridge



Read on for details of when the works will happen, and an FAQ on the works.

The latest schedule, which will be refreshed regularly: timetable

(we had a Public meeting at The Waterman pub, rear shed, 1800-2000 on 2020-01-30 (6pm-8pm on the 30th January) with representatives from City Fibre present, and potentially could organise another if needed). 

Area Schedule

The schedule for works covers the following areas on the map lower down a "PN"is a "Primary Node" which covers about 400 properties.

PN Start Finish
PN 50 Dec 2019 Mar 2020
PN 118 Jan 2020 Mar 2020
PN 29 Jan 2020 Apr 2020
PN 42 Jan 2020 Apr 2020
PN 47 Jan 2020 May 2020
PN 133 Feb 2020 May 2020
PN 144 Feb 2020 June 2020

These map onto the areas shown below:


Detailed schedule

This will be regularly updated as we have information from City Fibre: works schedule 


FAQ notes

These are not exhaustive but are examples of what is and isn't allowed.

They are not permitted to leave any more that 40m of trench open and barriered overnight in any one street.

There should be work people available to facilitate access to houses at all times.

Replanting of eg verge damage is scheduled for March onwards. Under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 they work is subject to the standard two year guarantee; with a minimum of the statutory two reinstatement inspections by the County Council being made during this period; 3-6 months after completion and at 21 months from completion, just before the two year guarantee period.  

The category of work is defined as 3 days for minor works, 10 days for standard works, then anything over 10 days become  major


  • Dedicated enforcement officer for works, paid for by City Fibre, employed by County

West Chesterton Parking update - 2019-11-28

I'm very aware that I've not provided an update recently on the potential introduction of a residents parking scheme in West Chesterton.  This blog attempts to address this.
Due to numerous issues, including general workloads, and some other consultations that have overrun, the next formal step will be the County Council writing to residents in the Ascham Parking Area asking for their consent to expand their scheme to include the Chesterton Triangle and the Hurst Park Estate (inc those parts of Arbury road that are in the Chesterton County Division).
The area this scheme would encompass is shown approximately here.
At the moment, the best information I have is that this will not happen until early January.  Read on for some questions that I've been asked about this recently with answers.

What is the timescale?

Very approximately: 

  • Ask Ascham in mid January
  • Ascham say "yes"
  • The Triangle, Hurst Park estate and Arbury Road are formally consulted 
  • This stage is likely to end before March, when the City Council election purdah period starts
  • Decision to go ahead taken at the next CJAC meeting after May, which is 9th June 2020 (the one before this is 25th February, so there is no realistic chance of hitting this date)
  • If the scheme is voted through the implementation should then happen within 6 months.

Has there been a calculation of parking capacity?

Working with different sets of residents, there are some estimates, but these aren't formal ones.  Overall there should be enough capacity in the whole area, but this doesn't take into account that the area isn't a 'regular' shape - ie capacity in Gurney Way isn't of uch use to someone in Arbury Road.

Are there charges?

Yes - I don't know the price of permits in the scheme yet, but other schemes vary from aorund £60-100 for permits.  You can find a list at the bottom of this page

A direct link to the Ascham scheme details. 

Can visitor permits be rolled over from one year to another


Plans for Arbury Road and impact on scheme

This refers to the incomplete cycleways at the North end of Arbury Road.  There are ongoing discussions about how, or if, to finish these off.  Whilst changes here could impact parking, we will finalise a decision about the parking controls well before anything is decided about Arbury Road.

It may be that at a later point changes are proposed again, but that will be a seperate, later, decision.

How will it work? -one scheme?

If Ascham consent, and the scheme makes it through the two formal stages, then the area will be one scheme for the whole area and that will have the same hours of operation and max permits as the Ascham scheme.

Can some streets veto?

I always struggle with this question.  The basic answer is no - but that I've alwways worked hard to make sure that nothing gets to that point.  The results of my most recent survey show support in each street for going ahead.

Why has it taken so long?

Essentially there hasn't been a consensus to go ahead, and I spent a lot of time attempting to resolve issues that come from the Triangle area in terms of 'lost' parking spaces.

There is now a consensus at this stage.

Why would ascham say yes or no?

I'd hope that residents would see the issues faced by their fellow citizens and consent.  Ascham is far from at capacity.  I'll be organising for all of us to contact residents in that area once I have a clearer picture of the timeline.

Business provision?

The types of permits can be seen on this page:  https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/travel-roads-and-parking/parking-permits-and-fines/parking/

What if Ascham says no?

My survey showed support to still go ahead with a scheme joining The Triangle, Hurst Park estate and Arbury Road.  This scheme could have different settings (times of operation and max permits) than other schemes.

I don't yet know what the timescales for that will be, but will update residents if it comes to that. 

What about the Hurst Park Estate going on its own?

I am firmly against this, as it would be manifestly unfair on the Triangle area and Abury Road.

Back in 2017, there was a clear consensus from the Hurst Park to not bring in restrictions right away.  That view has clearly changed since Ascham has gone ahead, due to overspill from there;  to then allow Hurst Park to go ahead on its own, and create overspill for Arbury Road and the Triangle, would be to repeat such a mistake.


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