- Cambridge Independent article, 17 January 2024
- Bid for new zebra crossing on Arbury Road
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?
Has an informal consultation been undertaken for your proposed scheme, and does it have the support of the local residents and stakeholders that would be directly affected by it?
Please confirm that you understand that your financial contribution should not be reliant on any subsequent requests by your (the applicant) to third parties to secure all of, or a proportion of the agreed funding allocation?
- 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 Pros Cons Proximity to destinations: shops, church, vets and schools Too close to Milton Road traffic lights – so motorists might be tempted not to stop Closest location to Havenfield retirement housing Too dangerous Link to footpath to Kirby Close Serves 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 Pros Cons Closest location to Havenfield retirement housing Too 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 Havenfield I 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 code Number of respondents Number opposed to new zebra crossing CB4 1FY 1 – CB4 2JB 16 5 CB4 2JD 11 1 CB4 2JE 10 1 CB4 2JY 13 – CB4 2GA 1 –
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.”
“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.
- Arbury and Kings Hedges Design Code Survey
Members of ARERA are encouraged to participate in this survey which is looking for residents’ views on a design code for our locality. This is intended to provide ideas and recognise the opinions of local people when new developments are proposed which will affect how we live and get about.
Inspired Living – A design code to enhance design in Northern Cambridge neighbourhoods
Phase 2: Articulating the vision and emerging principles of the design code
Our latest survey closes for submissions on Sunday 5 November.
We need your views on five proposed principles as we begin to develop the draft design code.
- Make space for nature
- Prioritise walking and cycling
- Thriving public spaces
- Enhance character
- Increase sustainability
The principles are explained in full detail on our phase 2 project page, where you can have your say by participating in our latest survey.
- ARERA AGM Invitation Reminder
Arbury Road East Residents Association
AGM, Wednesday, 5th July 2023
Arbury Baptist Church Hall, 7.00-8.30 pm
- Introduction and Welcome
- Approval of the Minutes of the 2022 AGM
- Chair’s Report
- Treasurer’s Report and accounts
- Election of Committee and Officers for 2023/4
- Proposed expenditure and collection
- Jim Smith’s illustrated local history talk
From Milton Road to Arbury Camp: The History of Hurst Park and Arbury Road
We will try to complete the formal business of the AGM in 30 minutes to allow plenty of time for Jim’s talk and any questions you may have for him.
If you do want to nominate yourself or someone else as a committee member, please use the contact link below.
And, if you have any issue you want to raise under AOB, please do so before the meeting
again using the contact below.
- Annual General Meeting – Wed, 5th July 2023
Arbury Road East Residents’ Association (ARERA) was set up in December 2019 to represent residents and businesses in Arbury Road (and its cul-de-sacs) between Arbury Play Area and North Cambridge Academy at the western end and the junction with Milton Road.
Its day-to-day business is managed by a small committee. Because of people moving away, there is space on the committee if you want to join us. Please email us if you’d like to or want to nominate someone else at email@example.com.
We hold a public Annual General Meeting (AGM) once a year to report on ARERA’s activities. Please come and hear what we have been doing on your behalf and let us know what you’d like us to do next.
This year, as an added attraction, our guest speaker will be Jim Smith who specialises in the local history of our area.
From Milton Road to Arbury Camp: The History of Hurst Park and Arbury Road
Jim will present an illustrated talk on the history of our road and its relationship to the development of the surrounding area.
In 1840, Chesterton’s open fields and common land were enclosed and development spread east from Huntingdon Road towards the old Chesterton village.
By 1914, Highworth Avenue and Leys Road were laid out and housing had spread round the corner from Newman’s Cottages in Milton Road towards Leys Road. Beginning in 1927, Cambridge Estates Ltd laid out four new avenues between Milton and Arbury Roads.
The area had a history of horticulture, farming, laundering, milling, coprolite digging, brick making and, from 1934, scientific instrument making. It was home to a nurseryman, a missionary, a grocer, a notable dentist, a bankrupt confectioner, and the couple who gave their name to Cherry’s Corner.
Jim’s talk will bring to life those activities and those characters who link Hurst Park to Arbury Road.
- Candidates of May 4th: their views on what should happen in West Chesterton and Arbury
To all members of ARERA.
The local elections happen on May 4th.
Camcycle have been asking our local candidates about local cycling
You can see what each of the candidates to represent West Chesterton on
the City Council have to say at:
And, although it isn’t our ward, those standing to represent Arbury on
the City Council also have interesting things to say about our area,
including whether Arbury Road should have a ‘bus gate’,
see Question 2 on
and for the County Council at
If pedestrian and cyclist safety and parking are issues for you, you may
find the candidates’ answers helpful in deciding who to vote for on May
- 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,
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.
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.
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.