Question submitted to GCP on 4th June 2020 proposing point closure between Leys Road and the Cambridge North Academy on Arbury Road. Includes YouTube footage

Question submitted to Greater Cambridge Partnership Joint Assembly on 4th June 2020

Question regarding agenda item 10, ‘City Access Strategy, update and support for Covid-19 recovery’:

Arbury Road is a residential street with terraced homes close to narrow pavements in the easternmost section, and the 20mph speed limit is routinely flouted. It is an important link in the county cycle route network but the GCP installation of cycle lanes on the western part left a gap in cycle provision at the east end which remains dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists – especially acute when social distancing for Covid-19. The Histon Road project works are expected to flush additional cars down our street creating even more hazardous conditions and worsening air quality.

Agenda item 10 paras 3.5 and 3.6 says that the GCP is supporting work to identify measures to create more space for pedestrians and cyclists in response to Covid-19,  however Arbury Road does not appear on the list.

The Department for Transport expects councils to use pop-up and temporary interventions to create environments that are safe for walking and cycling. They expect measures like ‘point closures’ to be used to create low-traffic filtered neighbourhoods.

Our recent survey* shows that a large majority of those who live on the road are ready and willing to try experimental or temporary schemes that would stop rat-running, reduce air pollution and improve community health. A point closure between Leys Road and the Cambridge North Academy on Arbury Road would achieve that.

Will the Joint Assembly resolve to add Arbury Road, with description ‘prohibit through movements between Cambridge North Academy and Leys Road’, to the list of schemes prioritised for implementation to enable and encourage more walking and cycling between West and East Cambridge?

Here’s the video of the question being read out (the answer comes a bit later after all the questions are read out & the discussion occurs):

Arbury Road Poster Campaign

To support community aspirations for a safer and cleaner Arbury road, ARERA is launching a poster campaign to raise awareness of the traffic related issues that so many of you have highlighted to us via the survey and in person.

These could be placed in your windows, inside your parked cars and on fences and posts along Arbury road. (Next to your NHS rainbow for instance?)

We invite children to participate by drawing/painting pictures of how they envisage a clean and safe Arbury road – how we could better use the space for our community? They can be titled with simple 3-4 word slogans

Here are some examples:

Other slogans might be:

  • ‘A Greener Arbury Road’
  • Save us from the rat runners!
  • Road space for bikes!
  • No through road – give us our community back!
  • Slow down! Make Arbury Road Safe!
  • Communities not transport corridors!
  • ‘Clear Air for Arbury Road ‘
  • ‘Safer road for kids’

We have some materials available to create posters and we can help with printing so lets us know if we can help the creative process..

Please put up and send us a copy of your poster for us to print and distribute. Send to ‘’

There will be a prize for the best poster! 

Traffic speeding is getting worse on Arbury Road and we need visible community support for action!

Best wishes,


PS Remember to please sign the petition:

Use the files below to print posters and put them up in a visible place facing Arbury Road!!

Poster 1

Poster 2

Poster 3

Poster 4

Poster 5

Poster 6

Poster 7

Poster 8

Poster 9

COVID-19 virus measures: Supporting your neighbours

Dear Neighbour

We have been thinking about how we can support and care for each other should we need to stay indoors in the coming weeks and months.

Please contact us if you intend to self-isolate or have a neighbour who may need to and think we may be able to support you e.g. with collecting and delivering shopping or prescriptions, or a friendly front garden chat or telephone call.

Likewise, please contact us ( if you are someone who would like to offer help.

Events are changing fast and this is a worrying time for many people, but we believe we will be a stronger community if we all work together.

Local shops that are delivering has a full list of local shops that deliver.

Some of the local ones are:

Radmore farm shop

What: Fruit, veg, meat and other provisions like fuel

Victoria Avenue Cambridge
Tel: 01223 361 155
They usually have two deliveries a week but at the moment deliveries are booked up until the end of March

Les Ward

What: Greengrocers

Arbury Court
Tel: 01223 353 799 do deliveries

Cam Home & Garden

What: Gardening, cleaning, cookware, DIY

Milton Road
Call Robin on 07845 964 013 after 10am
To join the mailing list for stock and delivery please email

Priority deliveries are of food, vegetable plants and seeds, beer and jam making goods and essential cleaning and sanitising products
Other coronavirus-related services being offered by Cambridge shops, through

Cambridge Quality Meats

What: Butchers
1a Arbury Rd, Cambridge CB4 2JB
Monday: 6am -1pm
Tuesday 6am – 3pm
Wednesday 6am- 3pm
Thursday 6am- 3pm
Friday 6am- 3pm

Tel: 01223 352 853

All local shops

Again, please see has a full list of local shops that deliver.

With best wishes
ARERA team

UK Councils to enforce temporary road closures

UK Councils to enforce temporary road closures:

We haven’t seen or heard anything about this here in Cambridge, but Arbury Road is the perfect candidate with two schools on the road

Sign our petition for safer walking and cycling on Arbury Road East during the COVID-19 lockdown and into the future 

Sign our petition for safer walking and cycling on Arbury Road East during the COVID-19 and into the future

Our recent survey demonstrated how much our community was concerned with levels of traffic on Arbury Road East and particularly the consequent safety concerns due to traffic volume, speeding traffic, and pollution.

* 95% of you wanted action now due to serious safety concerns and pollution.

* 87% of you supported filtering the road to prevent through commuter traffic (whilst still allowing access for residents, taxis, deliveries, emergency vehicles and business users).

Now, since the current COVID-19 crisis began, the speeding problem has got much worse and made it even riskier for people walking and cycling here. We are trying to do our part to protect the NHS and keep a safe 2m physical distance from each other while walking to the shops or for daily exercise, but this is becoming increasingly difficult.

The pavements are too narrow and the road is often too dangerous because of the high-speed motor traffic passing through.

Our community needs more space to walk and cycle safely, while respecting physical distancing guidelines. Filtering is a solution that will open up more community space, stop the speeding through-traffic and protect key workers who are cycling on Arbury Road, all while ensuring that everyone’s essential services are accessible by any transport mode.

Many other parts of the country are working on ways to make their streets safer to help people who are making essential journeys on foot or bike. It makes a lot of sense and we need to get started before the problem gets any worse.

Let’s work together to ensure safe walking and cycling on Arbury Road East during the COVID-19 lock down and into the future.

Please support our proposal to filter Arbury Road by signing this petition 

Please share this with your neighbours

Thank you!


ARERA Satisfaction Survey Results Summary

Results from the Make Arbury Road better! ARERA Survey.


The Arbury Road East Residents Association (ARERA) was officially inaugurated on 9 December 2019. ARERA aims to provide a forum for discussion of issues affecting residents and business owners on Arbury road, and its side streets, from the North Cambridge Academy school to the junction at Milton Road.

Residents/business operators have come together to discuss options as it is felt that the use of Arbury Road as a through-route/cut through is not keeping with its designated status – e.g. 20mph designation, its narrow width, multiple schools, shops, popular cyclist route, and a pedestrian zone accessing homes/schools/shops/businesses etc.

Issues discussed at the meeting included:

  • views on whether cars should be actively discouraged in an era of climate emergency
  • views about lorries not being restricted by weight
  • views about bus services
  • views about safety and usage of pavements for cycling and parking
  • views about whether Arbury road, as currently configured, actually splits the community in two
  • views about the safety of Arbury Road junction with Milton Road specifically
  • whether people (perhaps older) avoid cycling and walking because they consider it too dangerous
  • views on pollution, vibration, and noise
  • impact of the Histon Road one-way development and the Milton Road development plans

In this survey, we want to collect your views concerning traffic and road usage from both residents and businesses on/just off Arbury Road, with the aim of trying to develop and present ideas for improvements to the County Council and the Greater Cambridge Partnership.


Inaugural meeting minutes 9th Dec 2019

Inaugural meeting of the Arbury Road East Residents’ Association

Monday, 9th December, 2019 – Arbury Road Baptist Church Hall – 7.00p.m.

Welcome and Introduction

Vincent Poole welcomed everyone and introduced the purposes of the evening:

  • A need to be an official constituted body to deal with pressing issues
  • The probable introduction of a Resident Parking scheme
  • A pre-consultation meeting to be held in the next month or two
  • How changes in Histon Road and Milton Road will affect Arbury Road


A constitution has been prepared for examination by the people attending the meeting.
Committee roles need to be filled.

Background and need for ARERA

Lucy Edgeley introduced the background to setting up the official ARERA.

Some years ago, ARETA had been a small group of residents raising awareness of increase of fast traffic and the dangers that posed in the south-eastern end of Arbury Road.

Arbury Road could be divided into three sections:

  1. The north-western end where cycle lanes have now been built
  2. From Campkin Road to where the road narrows
  3. From the narrowing to the Milton Road traffic lights

Each section has quite a different character.


Two years ago, we received the plan for forthcoming changes to Milton Road and this caused the setting up of several Residents’ Associations in the area because residents wanted those plans to be changed.

ARERA was set up and registered with FECRA although we were not a constituted body.

It is important for us now to become one, in order to pursue changes to make Arbury Road safer for residents and those who travel along it to schools, doctor and dental surgeries, retirement homes, vet surgery.

We also take account of the needs of the shops at the Milton Road corner and of those attending Arbury Road Baptist Church, who kindly allow us the use of the hall for no charge.

Ian Cooper spoke about why we need to become official now.

Extensive road works are due to begin in Histon Road and Milton Road and this is bound to affect traffic on Arbury Road.

The north-western end of Arbury Road to North Cambridge Academy has new cycle lanes but nothing has been done at the south-eastern end to make cyclists and pedestrians safer.

There should be ‘phase three’ money available in the future but not now. We need to get ourselves organised for when money becomes available.

However, Mike Davies, who has been responsible for the development of cycle routes in the city, has said there is money for a pre-consultation workshop which could be held in January. Grant Weller would oversee it.

At this meeting, professional facilitators would come with plans of the road and we would make our suggestions for making it safer and more pleasant for those who live here. It is a residential road.

Suggestions have been:

  • Make Arbury Road one way – consider the pros and cons of either way
  • Close Arbury Road – where?
    • At the shops
    • At North Cambridge Academy
    • At Leys Road

Councillor Ian Manning had suggested trials of road closure using temporary bollards.

Question from the floor:

  • What does ‘close the road’ mean?
  • Make it a ‘no through road’.

‘No parking’ on Arbury Road has been considered as a possibility by the Council.

If the workshop is to be held in January, there is not much time to make suggestions.

Looking ahead, within ten years the government will prohibit combustion engines and there will be a need for electrical charging points to be widely available.

Suggestion from the floor:

  • Limit vehicles over 7.5cwt from using the road?
  • But what about emergency service vehicles?
  • Ian understands that Arbury Road is no longer a principal route for emergency vehicles.

Ian Cooper said that Hurst Park estate is concerned at becoming more of a ‘rat run’ if we close the road.

Comments from the floor:

  • Was ARERA too concerned about cyclists and not thinking enough about residents who have had front gardens made into parking spaces and find it difficult getting from there onto the road.
  • It was great that so many had come to the meeting. Arbury Road does not work for residents and road users now but there was a will to improve things.
  • There are now four crossings for pedestrians within a very short distance between the playground and Campkin road, which can be challenging for traffic.
  • New broadband cable is being installed in the near future. This will mean roadworks.

Question from the floor:

  • Q: What is the process for allocating money?
  • A: Ian Cooper answered that it is complicated as we have to deal with both the City Council and the County Council and the City Deal Partnership. However Councillor Jocelyn Scutt has been a great advocate for the Residents Associations.

Proposed Parking Scheme

Vincent Poole spoke about the proposed Residents’ Parking Scheme.

Ascham Road and Gurney Way now have Resident Parking.

Commuter parking has moved from Gurney Way and Ascham Road to the Hurst Park Estate and it is now dangerous trying to drive along Hurst Park Avenue.

In the area referred to as ‘the Triangle’, which includes Herbert Street and George Street, commuters have added to the limited parking available to residents.

Councillor Ian Manning is keen to push through a scheme that would include ‘the Triangle’, Hurst Park Estate and Arbury Road, with same conditions applying in all those roads.

Where do commuters go next?


Comments from the floor:

  • Should there be designated parking spaces for the shops? At the moment, vans and Lorries parked all over the pavement make things dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • What happens with Homes of Multiple Occupation where several residents have cars?
  • Would all these areas have the same conditions of Resident Parking?
  • If the aim is to stop commuters leaving a car all day, no parking between 12 and 2 is a possibility.
  • Surely the Council should think holistically, for the whole of Cambridge and not just push commuter parking further and further out.
  • There are no yellow lines on the Arbury Baptist Church side of the road. What is to stop parking on that side?
    • This has been tried a few years ago but police arrived within a very short space of time to ask the owner of the car to move it.

Graham Edgeley said that the plan to make Histon Road one way going out of town, would probably be for at least a year while work was done and that he has heard that this would start in March 2020. Commuters would be directed along Madingley Road and King’s Hedges Road. But he feared that many would come along Arbury Road.

Limiting the weight of vehicles along Arbury Road is a good idea.

We must be ready with other suggestions.


The Constitution of Arbury Road East Residents’ Association

ARERA Constitution 

  • Members may choose not to have their personal details shared with the Council
  • Suggested membership fee is £5.00 (per person or per household? Committee to sort)
  • Committee members in post for how long? 3years, when they may be re-elected
  • Best practice is to hold an AGM and one open meeting a year
    Agreement to use a bank

The Constitution was accepted by a vote of all present on 9/12/2019


11 of those present were willing to be committee members.

  1. George Vardulakis
  2. Jonathan Gorrie
  3. Vincent Poole
  4. Tracey Poole
  5. Maggie Fernie
  6. Ian Cooper
  7. James Westley
  8. Lucy Edgele
  9. Marilyn Smith
  10. Ros Lund
  11. Simon Crisp


Chair: Marilyn Smith
Vice chair: Lucy Edgeley
Secretaries: Ian Cooper, Maggie Fernie. Vincent Poole
Treasurers: Rosalind Lund and Simon Crisp
Newsletter: Jane Kroese
Website: John Barker and Vincent Poole
Cycling Schemes: George Vardulakis and Matthew Danish
Social events: James Westley
Representative for local businesses: (John at the butchers would be asked by his wife who was
present at the meeting)
Liaison with the Council: Vincent Poole and Ian Cooper
Liaison with Histon Road: Matthew Danish

Ros Lund thanked those who had been involved up till now and said how important it was to share everyone’s ideas.

The meeting concluded.

Minutes recorded by Maggie Fernie