As a result of the response received in our December survey, the ARERA’s committee has submitted the bid shown below to the Local Highways Improvement Programme. The bid, which has been supported by our local County Councillor Gerri Bird, is for funding for a zebra crossing on the eastern end of Arbury Road. Members of the committee of Arbury Road East Residents Association (ARERA) have worked closely with Camcycle to prepare this bid which meets our members’ call for increased safety measures on the eastern section of Arbury Road.
24/25 Local Highway Improvement Initiative Application Form
The proposal is for a new raised zebra crossing between Maio Rd and Leys Rd. This will provide a safe crossing of Arbury Road, linking up desire lines to Leys Road and nearby shops as well as helping to reduce vehicle speeds in an area that is a known speeding hotspot. This will help to improve cycle safety and route quality on a Cambridgeshire County Council principal signed cycle route.
How does your application address a known safety issue?
The proposed crossing sits between two existing crossings, one outside the North Cambridge Academy and the other at the junction of Milton Road. These crossings are separated by over 500 metres. The existing lack of safe crossing reduces permeability for people walking and fails to recognise the desire line to cross near Leys Road. Many people prefer to walk and cycle on Leys Road and Highworth Avenue to avoid the Milton Road junction with Arbury Road. There have been a number of collisions along this length of Arbury Road, often not associated with a junction and involving pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. 5 incidents, 4 slight and one minor have occurred in the last five years. Cambridgeshire County Council speed surveys conducted in August 2020 showed that 66% of vehicles exceed the speed limit and with maximum daily speeds regularly exceeding 50 miles an hour.
How will your application increase safety for highway users?
The proposal will provide a new intermediate crossing between the existing two discussed above. This will allow people to access Leys Road and cross in advance of Milton Road, which is a signalised crossing with long pedestrian wait times. This proposal will therefore help to reduce the number of informal crossings which are often unsafe, with parked cars reducing visibility for all users. The crossing would also provide a useful alternative for children and parents walking to the Cambridge North Academy and provide a valuable crossing for residents of Havenfield sheltered retirement homes, reducing the distance to local shops and nearby quiet routes. The raised table will also help to reduce vehicular speeds. The western end of Arbury Road provides seven crossings and five raised tables across 950 metres, this helps to create a safer, lower-speed environment. On the other hand, the eastern section discussed in this application has no crossing or speed control measure for 500 metres, which results in higher vehicle speeds and a lack of opportunity for people to cross. As noted above, Arbury Road is identified on Cambridgeshire County Council cycle maps as a principal signed route. The western section of Arbury Road provides dedicated cycle tracks, using the Cambridge Kerb. However, this stops close to the North Cambridge Academy. LTN1/20, the national design standards for cycling, states that speed reduction is vital for creating safe shared carriageways and speed reduction measures will benefit both cyclists and pedestrians. The cycling level of service tool within LTN1/20 discusses the importance of reducing speed differences where cyclists are sharing the carriageway. A safe environment for vehicles and cyclists to share the carriageway should ensure an 85th percentile speed below 20mph. A raised crossing will help Arbury Road move closer to this goal; however further interventions would be required to meet these standards. Arbury Road East Residents’ Association (ARERA) would welcome a wider discussion on additional speed reducing measures. It is commonly accepted that speed-reduction measures should be provided between 20m and 150m apart with an average being around 70m. Therefore, an additional measure either side of this crossing would align with national design standards and go further to improving safety.
How does your application contribute positively to sustainable transport, public transport, & health?
The proposal is focussed on providing more opportunity for safe crossings for pedestrians and to provide a safer environment for cycling. Increasing the safety and ease of active travel is vital to increasing the number of people choosing to travel sustainably. The proposals are not situated on a bus route and therefore will not negatively affect any bus services, but will provide better pedestrian access to nearby services on the western section of Arbury Road and on Milton Road. Therefore, the scheme would encourage further uptake in walking and cycling.
Does your application have demonstrable local support?
In December 2023 ARERA undertook a survey of Arbury Road East residents and businesses, asking 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. Two locations for a new crossing were offered: location A: crossing between No 15 and the footpath to Kirkby Close or Location B a crossing between Maio Rd and Leys Rd. 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. 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 supported installation of a new zebra crossing. Around two thirds of those who voted for a crossing preferred Location B which has been taken forward in this application. Those who had voted against a new zebra crossing were asked why they had done so. They had used three assessment criteria: o proximity to other crossing points o traffic blocking potential, and o loss of on-street parking To note, the loss of on-street parking and proximity to other crossings are comments directly associated with location A and not the proposed location B A resident in close proximity to location B does not support the proposals due to concerns over the Belisha beacon. ARERA understands that Belisha beacons are now light sensitive and light levels can be reduced in sensitive areas, as well as the beacon being installed with a collar to reduce light spill. ARERA welcomes support from Cambridgeshire County Council and will look to engage with the resident. We have also worked closely with Camcycle, who supported an ARERA workshop in which various possible LHI improvements were discussed. Camcycle fully supports this application This link takes you to the discussion and survey results on ARERA’s website https://arera.org.uk/
How will your requested changes result in localised environmental improvements?
The proposal will result in a positive reduction in vehicle speeds, creating a safer environment for those walking and cycling. This crossing will directly benefit the nearby school – North Cambridge Academy. This crossing will also help residents of Havenfield (the nearby sheltered accommodation) to maintain travel independence. We have discussed this application with Cllr Gerri Bird who represents the Chesterton Ward and kept her apprised of progress. Unfortunately to date she has not yet contacted us formally to give us her support. We will continue to urge her to support us formally and will update appropriately if she does so.
Have your requested improvements been shared with and approved by the respective County member(s) for the area?