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.

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.

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.

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)