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/

Update about timing of Milestone/GCP meetings for local residents to raise issues about  the Milton Road improvement works

The GCP and Milestone have changed the date for their Drop-in meetings for local residents.

These will now be held on the first Monday of the month 11-12.30 at Milton Road Library.  

These meeting are an an easy opportunity for you to raise any issue you have about the Milton Road improvement works.

At the last meeting, Milestone agreed that they would:

  • provide some noticeboards to keep people informed about bus stops, road closures etc
  • improve the signage for pedestrians and cyclists on the Elizabeth Way access to Oak Tree Avenue

While vehicle access from Milton Road is limited by their works, please note that there is a passageway between Union Lane and Oak Tree Ave which joins the latter at the right-angle corner and enables safe pedestrian access to Milton Road via a safe crossing point.

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.

Announcement of Drop-in Sessions with Milestone about Milton Road Improvement Works

Are you interested in questioning/talking to Milestone, the contractors, about the Milton Road Improvement works?

They have just posted this announcement of the launch of their drop-in sessions at Milton Road library, see below.


Commencing public drop-in sessions at Milton Road library

We are pleased to announce the start of our public drop-in sessions. These are scheduled for the first Friday of every month from 11:00-12:30 in meeting room 2 at Milton Road library.

There will be no need to pre-book a time slot, but please be aware you may have to wait if the team are already discussing concerns or questions with another member of the public.

We will review the frequency of these meetings as we continue the project and may amend them if needed.

If you have any concerns during the construction, please do get in touch with Milestone’s project team on MiltonRoad@milestoneinfra.co.uk or telephone the 24 hour contact centre on 0800 023 4762

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 

GCP Making Connections Consultation

It’s not too late to make your response to the latest GCP consultation – the one which many people think is just about the congestion charge proposals, but is really about improving the way we all live and work together.

The deadline is midday on 23 December.

The attached link will take you to a guide to the consultation provided by the Cambridgeshire Sustainable Travel Alliance

https://cambstravelalliance.org/gcp-making-connections-consultation-guide/

Whatever you think about the proposals it is really important to have your say.  Alternative suggestions to the congestion charge will be welcomed, as will your views on buses, cycling, walking, pollution hot spots etc.  This really is your chance to make your views known!

To complete the survey click

https://tinyurl.com/STZ-survey

Please make sure that your voice gets heard.

ARERA Committee

Make sure your voice gets heard

There are two current developments in Cambridge that you might want to give the Greater Cambridge Partnership your views about:

1. locally, the improvement works on Milton Road, especially the closure of Union Lane.

2. across the city as a whole, the congestion charging and sustainable transport

Union Lane closure

If you are a cyclist or a pedestrian and you use Union Lane regularly, why not email the GCP to say how the recent/current closure of Union Lane to through motor traffic has affected your experience of using that road.  You can stress what an important part of the recommended cycle route from Orchard Park to Newmarket Road and Riverside both Union Lane and Arbury Road are. 

Contact the GCP on contactus@greatercambridge.org.uk

Congestion Charging and all that

You may be interested in the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s current consultation on sustainable travel.  Congestion charging is the big headline issue for the local press, but before that can be properly settled the GCP wants to know how people feel about the best ways to achieve sustainable travel in Cambridge which will enable the city to reduce pollution, improve our carbon footprint and encourage a more healthy lifestyle for all.  To participate in this consultation visit www.greatercambridge.org.uk/mc-2022.  The GCP is trying to future proof the city centre in light of the enormous expansion of the city which is currently under way.  We cannot continue as we are.  We need vastly improved public transport and streets that are pleasant to be in which will benefit commuters, residents and tourists alike!

Camcycle provides help and advice on how to fill in the consultation and press for improved cycling facilities.  https://www.camcycle.org.uk/blog/2022/08/what-is-the-cambridge-sustainable-travel-zone/

Consultation under the heading ‘Making Connections; a city access publication Consolation’ is open until midday 23 December on www.greatercambridge.org.uk/mc-2022.

If not now, then when?

The Cambridge Sustainable Alliance is also encouraging people to respond to the GCP consultation.

Cambridgeshire Sustainable Travel Alliance has been founded by three organisations – Cambridge Living Streets, Camcycle and Cambridge Area Bus Users – which campaign for better walking, cycling and public transport respectively.
It states that is aim is to ’unite and inspire people in Cambridgeshire working for a transport network that protects our future and offers genuine choice’, see https://cambstravelalliance.org/

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

ACT NOW!

GCP Plans to turn Arbury Road into an Urban Clearway!

Many residents and shopkeepers in Arbury Road east supported the idea of joining a residents’ parking scheme with the Milton Road, Hurst Park Ave and Leys Road areas when they were asked for their views by local councillors this summer.
It was therefore a shock to discover that the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s current proposals mean no parking at all in Arbury Road, not even for disabled drivers or customers of businesses at the Milton Road junction.

Instead Arbury Road residents will be expected to find a parking space amongst those allocated to the streets on the Hurst Park Estate. For details, see

https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/gcp-milton-road-parking

During the day there is already some pressure on spaces in Leys Road which is the nearest parking, so if Arbury Road residents lose all their parking those who need parking will find themselves paying £54 p.a. per car with no guarantee of a space anywhere near their home. If the scheme goes ahead the squeeze on spaces will only get worse.

The above plan prepared for the Greater Cambridge Partnership shows double yellow lines along the length of Arbury Road with an unprotected (dotted line) cycle lane going from Milton Road to join the one which starts at the Rec. There will be nothing for cyclists on the other side of the road going towards the junction. This change will turn the whole of Arbury Road into a de facto ‘urban clearway’ – “a stretch of road in an urban area on which motorists may stop only in an emergency”.

If this proposal goes ahead, not only will a significant number of residents lose their parking, but the road will become even more unsafe, as a straight unimpeded road is likely to encourage speeding. The 20 mph limit is already largely ignored, but such a road could become a speedway with no traffic calming measures – none are shown on the map above..

These proposals do not address the concerns that residents have already voiced about road safety and pollution but in fact are likely to make matters worse!

There is an opportunity to view the plans and discuss them with the consultants on Wednesday 19th October from 5-7 pm at Chesterton Community College Drama Studio, or online on Wednesday 2 November at 6 pm.

We recommend residents read the proposals in detail, attend one of the meetings if possible and fill in the survey.  Do share your concerns with your local councillors, the GCP and your local residents’ association – ARERA – we will do our best to represent your views.

Survey link:

https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/gcp-milton-road-parking/survey_tools/milton-road-area-resident-parking-scheme

If you would prefer not to complete the consultation survey online, please telephone 01223 699 906, a member of GCP Call Centre will add your responses to the survey for you.

You can also email your views to consultations@greatercambridge.org.uk