|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
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
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
Please make sure that 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 email@example.com
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/
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.
Secretary, Arbury Road East Residents’ Association (arera.org.uk)
The Greater Cambridge Partnership project has called the project the “GCP Resident Parking Scheme”.
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.
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
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Pin your own comments to the online map of Cambridge roads- See below for more details
Fill in the 18 question survey – it’s very straightforward- click here for what to do
The Cambridgeshire Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) forms part of the Government’s aim to make walking and cycling the natural choice for all short journeys or as part of a longer journey. The Department for Transport recommended that all local authorities should develop LCWIPs and have advised that those authorities with plans will be well placed to bid for future funding
Pin your own comments to the online map – click the link below:
You can read what other people have said and add your own comment as a ‘pin’
Describe your own experience of the ‘safety’ of Arbury Road as a cyclist or a pedestrian
Support Arbury Road to get extra funding under the Cambridgeshire Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan consultation (LCWIP)
You can help Arbury Road get the attention it so desperately needs by filling in the online questionnaire
Here’s what to do – fill in and submit the survey by 13 July
The survey has 18 questions. But you don’t have to fill them all in to submit your views. You only need to complete the ones that matter to you.
The survey can be found here:
Take a look at the accompanying materials especially at the Cycle Map (in Appendix 1) and the walking map (in Appendix 4) of the LCWI Plan. You can find the Plan here. If you don’t have time, the main thing to know is that Arbury Road East is identified as a walking and cycling route for improvement under the LCWIP scheme. But for this improvement to be given priority, it is important to show our support.
If you want any guidance on what to say, our position is as follows:
Q1 ‘strongly support’ as Arbury Road is identified as a joint walking and cycling route
Q2 ‘strongly agree’ on the Cambridge line- no need to fill in all lines eg for other areas
Q3 use the box provided to emphasise that Arbury Road is an important cycle link down to the river and up to Arbury, Kings Hedges and Histon in the other direction and also for students and children going school by active travel
Q4 ‘strongly agree’ as Arbury Road is identified as a walking route
Q5 use the box provided to emphasise that Arbury Road is an important walking link to local amenities (shops, vet,church,school, library, doctors, dentist, community centre) as well as a walking link to town and the river, Arbury and Kings Hedges
Q6 use the box provided to describe how you think the current situation on Arbury Road discriminates against the elderly, the disabled, pregnant women and parents with young children. For example, the effect of a dangerous road forcing cyclists onto the pavement. Also difficulty in crossing the road and pollution due to congested traffic having a disproportionate effect on vulnerable groups.
Q7 voice your support for improvements to Arbury Road again highlighting the current dangers
Q8 Please feel free to upload any photos you have as evidence of the dangers of Arbury Road
Q9- Q18 Please complete as appropriate to your individual circumstances
Please continue to push for improvements to our road!
Encourage friends and family to respond to the survey too!!
Cars being forced off the road by articulated lorries unable to turn safely at the Milton Road junction
Speeding lorries and the poor condition of Arbury Road has resulted in many of you experiencing disturbing structural vibrations in your homes, particularly in the early hours of the morning. Have you experienced this? Are you worried by structural problems?
We believe a 7.5 ton restriction should be put in place to prevent large lorries from using the eastern end of Arbury Road where it is narrow and the pavements offer little protection to pedestrians. These lorries also endanger cyclists and obstruct cars travelling in the opposite direction. Such a restriction would match that on Union Lane and force large lorries to use wider and safer routes into Cambridge – as intended by the A14 signage. Currently cyclists are routinely forced off the road.
Please let us know if you have experienced shaking and please report it to the Council using this link:
Earlier this month, Cambridge 105 Radio hosted an interview programme with several members of the local community expressing views both for and against a modal filter. In the programme, Councillor Scutt (representative for Arbury) stated her “number one” solution for Arbury Road (and climate change) would be to apply for more trees (but strangely not to reduce emissions?). Even if this made sense – where would these trees go and what effect would a few saplings have? Our cycling officer wrote to her asking her these questions…
A rough calculation shows that as a minimum, 5000 fully mature oak trees would be required between the North Academy and Milton Road to absorb the carbon dioxide emitted by the level of Co2e emitted in this 600m stretch.
See calculation and Councillor Scutt’s response here.