County Council answers to questions about how proposed Residents’ Parking Scheme will affect Arbury Road east.

On March 18th, the County Council published a Traffic Regulation Order. This reveals how the County’s Residents’ proposed Residents’ Parking Scheme will affect those who live, work and travel to school along Arbury Road east.

The ARERA committee submitted more than 20 questions to the County Council asking for clarification about what it is planning to do.

Implementation of the scheme is being managed by the Greater Cambridge Partnership. The County’s Policy and Regulation team asked the Greater Cambridge Partnership to provide the additional information requested. The GCP’s project manager for the scheme has done so, leaving one question unanswered, see below.

The answers that have been given make clear that what is being done is the result, not of mistakes or oversights, but of deliberate policy decisions. These decisions will advantage some and disadvantage others. Which of these two groups will you find yourself in?

Are you personally going to be disadvantaged? Or can you see that others will be – including children going to school, pedestrians, cyclists and car owners, those shopping or working on Arbury Road east?

If so, you only have a short opportunity to make objections to, or comment on, what is being proposed.

Comments and objections have to be submitted by April 12th.

You can do this, quoting reference PR0998,

online using https://consultation.appyway.com/cambridge

or by email to Policy.andRegulation@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

or by writing to Gary Baldwin at the County’s Policy and Regulation Team*

* Box No. DBE, Huntingdon Highways Depot, Stanton Way, Huntingdon, PE29 6PY>

Here is the additional information provided by the County Council.

Important news about the Residents Parking Scheme for Arbury Road East 

Residents and businesses on Arbury Road East – and its tributaries – need to be aware of what is imminently about to happen in the implementation of permit-based ‘Residents Parking’ on our road.

Adoption of this has been progressing very slowly through a very bureaucratic process. This process is about to reach a critical point – the issuing of a Traffic Regulation Order. This will offer you a short, time-limited, last chance to object, if you want to, to what is being proposed.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership has finished its consultations on Residents Parking Scheme for the Milton Road Area which includes Arbury Road East as part of the Hurst Park area. The GCP has passed its scheme to the Cambridgeshire County Council which has to make the final decision about whether it should be implemented, as the statutory highways authority. Before the scheme can go ahead, a Traffic Regulation Order must be issued. 

As Lynne Miles, the City Access Director for the GCP, advises in the information she has provided to the Residents Associations concerned, this TRO could be issued “in the next few weeks”, see attached pdf.

The County Council explains the legal basis and purpose of TROs on its website, https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/travel-roads-and-parking/roads-and-pathways/traffic-regulation-orders

The relevant information in our case would appear to be that:

“Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) are legal documents that enable us as the local highway authority to prohibit, restrict or reduce the use of a road by traffic. This includes motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. We implement TROs in line with:

·       The Road Traffic R

·       egulations Act 1984

·       The Local Authorities’ Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996

Measures we can bring in using TROs include:

·       Road or public right of way closures

·       Speed limits

·       On-street parking

·       Waiting, loading and unloading areas and time limits

·       Single and double yellow lines

·       One-way streets

·       Access and turning

·       Prohibition of certain types of vehicles

·       Width, height and weight restrictions

·       Bus and cycle lanes

·       Taxi ranks.”

Once you have seen the scheme set out in the TRO, if you want to, you can object to what it contains.

“Any person may object to a TRO. The traffic authority is obliged to consider such objections (and, if a public inquiry is held, the Inspector’s recommendations) before deciding whether or not to make the order”, see https://www.highwayengineer.co.uk/downloads/traffic-regulation-orders.pdf

You can find out more about TROs by contacting the County Council’s Policy and Regulation Team by email at policyandregulation@cambridgeshire.gov.uk 

As yet, it is unclear how the imposition of permits for residents parking might impact on our Local Highways Improvement bid for another zebra crossing on Arbury Road East. We have requested further information on this and will keep members posted.

A new zebra crossing for Arbury Road East?

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
Location A
ProsCons
Proximity to destinations: shops, church, vets and schoolsToo close to Milton Road traffic lights – so motorists might be tempted not to stop
Closest location to Havenfield retirement housingToo dangerous
Link to footpath to Kirby CloseServes 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 
 
Location B
ProsCons
Closest location to Havenfield retirement housingToo 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 HavenfieldI
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 codeNumber of respondentsNumber opposed to new zebra crossing
CB4 1FY1
CB4 2JB165
CB4 2JD111
CB4 2JE101
CB4 2JY13
CB4 2GA1

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.”

and

“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.

Consultation meeting announcement

Milestone / GCP monthly consultation on Milton Road Improvements

The next meeting has been confirmed as on Monday 6th March. Again from 11am to 12.30pm at Milton Library meeting room

———————————————————————————————————-

Here is a summary of the first meeting, held on Friday 3rd February from 11am to 12.30pm.

Last minute reschedule

Present up to 10 local residents

3 members of Milestone contractors include Jake and Naomi

These sessions were planned for their site at Woodhead Drive but they ended up restricted on office space so last minute changes to Library and on the Friday 3rd.

Tom Porter (who took over as Project Manager from Paul van de Bulk) from GCP couldn’t make!!!

So lots of questions for Tom next time.

This meeting was advertised as a drop in session but more of a discussion round a table, so worth being there from the start really.

More regular updates of work being done and closures etc were asked for on public noticeboards – they promised to get back on this to help with finding suitable sites.

The issue was raised about the closure of the pedestrian/cycle route through Oak Tree Ave – they will try and improve the signage at the Elizabeth Way pedestrian crossing.

They were also asked if they could have some “live” information about the buses -it seems unlikely this will happen, but the timetable is still “live” on the old Union Lane bus stop – though it was hard to get across the road to read it!

They have been informed that a lot of people want the modal filter on Union Lane to remain.  They already knew this! 

They were asked about the future for Arbury Road – it will have a similar system as Union Lane when the work is done on the northern side of Milton Road. Official diversion will be via Kings Hedges Road – but there will be nothing to stop locals using Hurst Park Ave rat run, as at present.

Pothole filling still responsibility of highways dept. Even within roadworks like outside library. Milestone say they are reporting them daily too. There has been filling in subsequently but poor standard. 

Much discussion about the status of GCP and its undemocratic set up.

Also about who is liable when accidents occur, as there have been, particularly cycling related.

Your experience of the temporary road closure

Results of Union Lane survey

In January, we surveyed residents of Union Lane. We asked you about your experience of having the road closed to through traffic due to the Milton Road improvement works. We distributed 100 survey forms to residents whose front doors open directly on to Union Lane. We got 21 replies.
Here Is what you told us.

The results show consistently divided opinion about whether specific conditions imposed by the closure have been an improvement or not. Despite this, two thirds of you would like to see the closure made permanent.

Almost all of you (6 out of 7) think that Union Lane has been quieter than usual and more pleasant to live on during the road closure. Nearly two-thirds you of told us that traffic using Union Lane has been going more slowly than usual. Less than a third you said that it hadn’t. Almost all of you suggested that the number of cars and other vehicles using Union Lane has been reduced during the construction work.

Almost all of you reported that the road closure has made it more difficult to access your homes on foot. Three quarters of you didn’t know whether it has made it more difficult for those using mobility scooters, with none one suggesting that it has. Almost all of you (again out of 7) said that the road closure has not made it more difficult access your home by bicycle. Nearly two thirds of you reported that it has made it more difficult to access your home by car. But nearly a third said it hasn’t. More than a third of you said that the road closure hasn’t made it more difficult for delivery vehicles to access your homes. But a third said it has. The rest of you don’t know whether it has or not.

Nearly three quarters of you said that you have found using Union Lane safer during the closure for construction work. Only two of you reported that it was more dangerous. Almost a fifth of you don’t know. Almost two-thirds of you reported that you have found it easier and more pleasant to walk and cycle to Milton and Chesterton Roads. Only a minority reported that it isn’t. You were almost equally divided about whether arrangements put in place for crossing Milton Road have been satisfactory. Just over half of you suggested that they have: slightly less than half that they haven’t.

About three-fifths of you suggested that the modal filter closing Union Lane has had an effect on your regular car journeys, making them longer: just under two-fifths reported that it hasn’t. But over two-thirds of you told us you have been able to find a reasonable alternative route for you regular car journey while just under a third said you haven’t.

Just over half of you reported that you haven’t walked or used a bike more frequently while the modal filter has been in place, with just over a third saying you have. Just over three-fifths of you judged that the modal filter has had a positive effect on parking on Union Lane but a third of you disagree.

Despite the differences reported above, two thirds of you would like the modal filter at the Milton Road end of Union Lane to become permanent. A third of you wouldn’t.
If you feel strongly about whether the modal filter should stay or not, let your local councillors know,
see
https://arera.org.uk/local-democracy/      for contact details

If you want to contact us, go to https://arera.org.uk/contact-arera/

The Greater Cambridge Partnership has just released a set of FAQs about the residents’ parking schemes that it is introducing.

The FAQs appear to be generic.

And so it is likely that the answers given will also apply to us if/when we get included in the Hurst Park Estate residents’ parking scheme.

The questions are worth reading in full.

You can find them at: https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/gcp-york-area-parking/widgets/61706/faqs#question16711

Some are particularly pertinent to us on Arbury Road East – for instance, about on pavement parking and front garden parking if you don’t already have a dropped kerb.

You can see these below, and visit link above for all.

Please let us know if you have any issues, comments or queries that any of this raises for you.

Ian Cooper

Secretary, ARERA

What about parking on the footway alongside the road?

The Council receives a lot of complaints about parked cars blocking footways for pedestrians, pushchairs and wheelchairs. We cannot introduce a parking scheme that allows parking on the footway and forces vulnerable road users to walk in the road. The exception to this is in streets where such an arrangement is already in place and spaces have been formally marked as such.

Will we have to have signs and road markings in the street?

It is essential that drivers are aware of where they can and cannot park. Generally speaking, where parking is permitted, the areas will be marked out as white boxes with upright signs alongside. Where parking is not allowed, yellow lines are used. In some schemes it is not practical to mark out bays on the road. In such areas, there will be zone entry signs and repeater signs but no bay markings. These schemes are known as Permit Parking Areas (PPA).

How will the scheme affect the use of my private driveway?

You do not need a permit to park on your driveway or any other private areas of land.

If you have a constructed access with dropped kerbs, we will not mark a bay across it.

However, if you use your garden to park on and do not have dropped kerbs this is an unauthorised vehicular access, and we may allow parking across your frontage. In this situation, you may wish to consider applying for dropped kerbs. You can obtain more information here: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk and enter Dropped Kerbs in the search bar.

Consultation by Cambridge City Council on what you think it should cut in its budget

In case you haven’t seen it, here is a ’new year’ notice circulated to us by the local Lib Dems …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

1st of January 2023
As Christmas turns to New Year, Cambridge City Council is approaching some controversial decisions in its budget.  
At risk of disturbing your festivities, I wanted to alert you to some of these – as there is an opportunity for residents to express their point of view before decisions are taken.   Three items we have singled out are:  

Closing Public Toilets   These are an essential, if not glamorous aspect of what a council provides – because no-one else will! Labour councillors want to close the conveniences on Quayside (the only ones on the west side of the city centre), Chesterton Road (without any plan to improve the inadequate block on Jesus Green nearby) and Mill Road (where there are no nearby alternatives). They also want to limit opening to weekends on the recreation grounds at Chesterton, Coleridge, Romsey and Midsummer Common. In a city which thrives from its shoppers and visitors, how come public loos are such a low priority that when cutbacks are in the air, they come to the fore? Apart from their use to everyone on occasion, public loos are especially important to the elderly, pregnant mothers, those with disabilities, parents of small children and those making full use of public open spaces. 

Reducing the Environmental Enforcement Team   Where there are rules for the benefit of the community, there needs to be an effort to enforce them – or they don’t get taken seriously. This applies to dropping litter, fly tipping, controlling dogs in public places, lighting BBQs on the grass, punt touting and commercial ‘A’ Boards on pavements. Few could claim these are all well under control, but Labour’s proposal is to reduce the officers from 7 to 6 and have those remaining only patrolling in pairs. When you take account of the size of the city and the need for weekend and summer evening patrols, we can expect only negligible attention anywhere – including where we need it locally and across the rest of the city! This is another core council responsibility: cutting it back is sure to result in lower standards.  

Discontinuing the ‘Big Weekend’   This free annual summer event on Parker’s Piece brings the whole city together in a way little else does. The way it integrates and celebrates the city’s Asian community through the ‘Mela’ is especially valuable. It is natural for the cost of the event to come under scrutiny in times like these, but it seems shortsighted simply to abandon it, without a serious attempt to seek sponsorship for it, or failing that, to commercialise it whilst avoiding high cost entry.   

If you feel more thought is needed before these measures are agreed, please say so in the council’s consultation survey – focusing on Question 10. But do act now, as the opportunity closes on January 10th at noon. Go to:  https://cambridge.citizenlab.co/en-GB/projects/draft-budget-2023-24 

Letter in the Cambridge Independent : A ‘pre-emptive GCP strike’ on parking review

A ‘pre-emptive GCP strike’ on parking review

The Arbury Road East Residents’ Association has expressed concern about the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s (GCP) use of the consultations on the Milton Road parking schemes to launch a pre-emptive strike to strip Arbury Road East of its parking and turn the whole of Arbury Road into a de facto ‘urban clearway’ – even though consultation on the GCP’s Review of Road Classifications has yet to take place.


We know that this concern is shared by looking at the responses left in the comments book at the ‘consultation’ meeting held recently by the GCP at Chesterton Community College.

We have been warned that the GCP may seek to solve this ‘problem’ (of its own making) by removing Arbury Road East from the proposed Hurst Park Estate parking scheme.

We here put on record that the residents and businesses on Arbury Road East:

  • have not voted for Arbury Road East to be removed from this parking scheme
  • have not voted for the status of Arbury Road East, which is very narrow, to be changed from a residential street to a de facto ‘urban clearway’ by the addition of double yellow lines along both sides of the road
  • have not voted for all parking on Arbury Road East to be removed
  • have not voted for Arbury Road to lose its previously allocated status, as shown on maps issued by both the county council and the GCP, as a ‘designated priority cycle route’ along its whole length.


What the GCP is currently proposing will not improve the safety of those who live, work, shop and go to the schools located directly on Arbury Road or to the schools in the near vicinity.

The single painted advisory cycle lane shown on one side Arbury Road East in the GCP proposals is not compliant with the government’s 2020 requirements as set out in Local Transport Note 1/20. No provision at all is made for cyclists travelling in the opposite direction.

The GCP’s current proposals for Arbury Road will not help it achieve the 15 per cent reduction in motorised traffic in Cambridge that it has set as its objective.

We urge our elected representatives – Cambridge’s MP and the leaders of the county and city councils – to use their oversight to ensure that the GCP will not be allowed to use its Milton Road Parking Scheme, its Road Hierarchy Review, or any other mechanisms at disposal, to make undemocratic decisions about the fate of those who live on or use this road, as well as the neighbouring roads adjoining it.

Ian Cooper
Secretary, Arbury Road East Residents’ Association (arera.org.uk)

 

Cambridge News:Residents fear Arbury Road to turn into ‘urban clearway’ as street parking to be scrappedCambridge News:

The Greater Cambridge Partnership project has called the project the “GCP Resident Parking Scheme”.

 

There are plans to put double yellow lines along the length of Arbury Road
There are plans to put double yellow lines along the length of Arbury Road

Plans to remove current free on-street parking spaces have incensed some residents on Arbury Road, who argue that under current proposals, residents would face a long walk to get to their cars. In the attached plan for the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s project, double yellow lines are visible along the length of Arbury Road, with a dotted line indicating a cycle lane going from Milton Road to the Recreation ground.

This change, critics have warned, will transform Arbury Road into an “urban clearway”, which is defined as “a stretch of road in an urban area on which motorists may only stop in an emergency”.

A call to action entitled: ‘ACT Now – GCP Plans to turn Arbury Road into an Urban Clearway’ was posted by the campaign on social media two days ago, and has already received dozens of reactions. The purported intention of the GCP’s “Resident Parking Scheme” is to give residents in the Milton Road area parking priority within their area.

Under these plans, Arbury road residents also fear they may have to find a parking space on those allocated to the Hurst Park Estate – quite some distance from Arbury Road. They also have criticised the fact that they would be obliged to spend £54 on a permit for their car, which could potentially be on a road miles away from home.

Map 1 – Arbury Road, Highfield Avenue, Leys Avenue, Leys Road, Orchard Avenue

On the scheme’s official webpage the GCP insist the new plans will make it easier for residents to park: “The introduction of a residents’ parking scheme ring fences available parking spaces to those people who live in the area. It should enable those who regularly find it difficult to park within a reasonable distance of their home due to other competing parking demands, to find a space”.

One user commented that the area is already underserved by public transport: “There are no buses up Arbury Road and installing a “modal filter” would make that even less likely. “

“In addition, as well as forcing local traffic to take a considerably extended route in order to reach Histon or Chesterton High St, adding greatly to overall pollution, it could also direct escaping vehicles into Leys Rd and around the Hurst Park estate at cost to their local environment. Not everybody can cycle”.

Another user commented said: “The Arbury Road saga continues…”

By Fareid Atta

https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/residents-fear-arbury-road-turn-25320379