Arbury Road East Residents Association has, as two of its primary objectives, improving pedestrian and cyclist safety on the eastern end of Arbury Road (between Arbury Court play area and the Milton Road traffic lights).
As one way of achieving this, ARERA’s committee has explored local support for a new pedestrian crossing on Arbury Road East. This could be funded out of the County Council’s Local Highway Improvement Programme. This invites any group that represents the local community to apply for funding. The schemes are community driven and give local people the opportunity to put forward proposals for highway improvements in their area, https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/travel-roads-and-parking/roads-and-pathways/improving-the-local-highway/local-highway-improvement-funding
A new crossing could improve safety for children walking via Leys Road to local primary and secondary schools, those living in Maio Road, Havenfield, Twickeham and Marfield Courts using Arbury Road shops, as well as all those who live and work on our street.
Results of survey of Arbury Road East residents and businesses
In December 2023, we asked those who live and work on Arbury Road East and its tributaries whether they would support a new zebra crossing situated between Milton Road and the Arbury Court play area, potentially funded by the County Council’s Local Highway Improvement Programme.
Two locations for a new crossing were suggested.
The committee surveyed people by distributing a paper flyer to 156 households, 5 businesses and 1 church, delivered door to door. It asked them to vote online for or against the proposal and to tell us why they voted as they did. Paper survey forms were also delivered to the 62 residential flats in Havenfield.
The survey generated a large response. Here is what those who responded told us.
A large majority support a new crossing but a small minority don’t.
47 people replied using ARERA’s online survey. More than 8 out 10 (39) of them supported the installation of a new zebra crossing. Only 8 of them did not. 9 completed forms were returned by residents of Havenfield. All bar one se supported installation of a new zebra crossing.
About two thirds of those who voted for a crossing prefer Location B.
Given this level of support, the committee is applying to the Local Highway Improvement Programme requesting installation of a new zebra crossing at Location B.
Why did people vote as they did?
The largest number of responses to the survey were received from those who live in the narrowest and most frequently congested part of Arbury Road East – post code CB4 2JB
The second largest number came from those who live in retirement flats in Havenfield – post code CB4 2JY – who could be expected to benefit most from the installation of a new zebra crossing.
People who were in favour of a new crossing were asked why they preferred the location they had chosen. In answering this question, they revealed that they had used just four assessment criteria:
- proximity to destinations and/or other crossing points
- location in relation to number/range of potential users
- increased safety for pedestrians, and
- traffic calming potential.
Viewed against these criteria, Location B emerges as front runner.
|Table 2. The pros and cons of the two suggested locations
|Proximity to destinations: shops, church, vets and schools
|Too close to Milton Road traffic lights – so motorists might be tempted not to stop
|Closest location to Havenfield retirement housing
|Link to footpath to Kirby Close
|Serves least number of residents on Arbury Road
|Safe crossing avoiding traffic junction with Milton and Leys Road
|Good location to deter speeding to and from Milton Road traffic lights
|Closest location to Havenfield retirement housing
|Too close to Milton Road traffic lights with controlled pedestrian crossing
|Mid-point between Milton Road junction and zebra crossing at Arbury Court play area
|Reduces average distance anyone on Arbury Road East has to walk to reach a crossing
|Improved safety for school children crossing to go to Chesterton and NCA secondary schools
|Act as traffic calming measure to slow down vehicles on long straight stretch
|May stop vehicles exceeding 20 mph speed limit
|Good location to slow down traffic at dangerous junction with Leys Road and Havenfield
|Provide alternative to dangerous zebra crossing between North Cambridge Academy and Arbury Court play area
|Improved visibility (fewer parked cars) at this point for pedestrians trying to cross
Opposition to a new zebra crossing is not related to where people live on Arbury Road East. Most opposition came from those living in CB4 2JB – the narrowest and so least safe part of the road in terms of pedestrian and cyclist safety. But this is also the post code where most people voted for a new crossing.
|Table 1. Opposition to new cross and respondents’ locations
|Respondent’s post code
|Number of respondents
|Number opposed to new zebra crossing
Those who had voted against a new zebra crossing were asked why they had done so. They had used three assessment criteria:
- proximity to other crossing points
- traffic blocking potential, and
- loss of on-street parking
All those who replied to the survey were asked if they had any other comments to make. Their replies reveal that there are very divergent, unreconcilable, views held by those who live on Arbury Road East Road about the nature of the problems, if any, faced by pedestrians and cyclists using it. There are those who think there aren’t any, e,g.:
“I think Arbury Road East is already safe for pedestrians and cyclists.”
“Having lived on this road I think pedestrian and cycle safety is very good, with ample zebra crossings, 20mph speed limit, speed bumps and a cycle lane where it is needed near schools, shops and play areas.”
But these are outnumbered by those who think that extensive improvements need to be made. The called-for improvements include:
- adding dedicated cycle lanes
- making Arbury Road East one-way
- banning on-pavement parking
- banning on-pavement cycling and e-scooters
- banning heavy goods vehicles
- installing a speed camera and enforcing the 20mph speed limit
- traffic calming to deter speeding
- retaining on-street parking (to narrow road and slow down traffic), and
- introducing a modal filter to prevent commuter traffic.
Given these demands, the committee of ARERA will continue to press the County Council, its Highways and Transport Committee, and the Greater Cambridge Partnership, along with our local councillors, to take the requested actions required to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety on Arbury Road East.