Closure of the A10 gate at Foxton – Your help needed

Network Rail is persisting with its proposal to close the self-locking pedestrian gate on the Barrington side of Foxton Level Crossing.

This would sever the brand-new A10 pedestrian/cycleway, forcing people to cross the A10 twice – once over and once back to re-join, after traversing the level crossing through the station-side gate.  Not only would this hugely increase risk to the individual user but it would dis-incentivise use of the new path.  The A10 cycleway is funded by the Department for Transport and the biggest risk point challenges, as you know, are crossings of the A10.

Respond directly to Network Rail by Thursday 29 September.  Go to this website for an overview of the wider proposals:

http://www.networkrail.co.uk/anglialevelcrossings/ and choose ‘Information for Cambridge.’ Then, ‘C06 Barrington Road.’

or a direct link to the online survey can be found here is you are familiar with the proposals:

 https://consultations.networkrail.co.uk/anglia-level-crossing-closures/phase-2

Further consultation on the A10 path closure a Foxton announced

Leaflets have been arriving at houses along the A10 path detailing further consultation of the Barrington Road crossing that forms an integral part of the A10 path (see our previous post on the issue here https://a10corridorcycle.com/2016/06/16/permanent-closure-of-the-a10-path-at-level-crossing/)

Consultation on the Cambridge area crossings will be on Thursday 8th of September (2.00PM to  7PM) at:

Hughes Hall

University of Cambridge

Wollaston Road

Cambridge

CB1 2EW the 29th

Sadly there are no details of a local consultation despite none of the proposed closures being in the city itself.

An online consultation will be live from 8th of September to the 29th of September at www.networkrail.co.uk/anglialevelcrossings 

We will provide any detail that we can closer to the time.

 

Bikes versus Cars film coming to Cambridge

The film ‘Bikes versus Cars’ is to be screened at The Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge. For full details please have a click around the film’s own excellent website: http://www.bikes-vs-cars.com/videos

The screening is scheduled for 9.00pm on Monday 12th. September 2016. 25 tickets at £10.50 each will need to be pre-booked by 4th September for this showing to go ahead. If you are able to come along, please book now.

The Arts Picturehouse is an excellent cinema, food and drinks from their bar are available and they also allow you to take your bar drinks into the cinema.
If you wish to pre-book tickets please go to and click on ‘reserve tickets now at £10.50’.
https://www.ourscreen.com/screening/42174?transactionId=21831

Permanent closure of the A10 path at level crossing

Foxton Level Crossing gate closure

A sign has gone up at Foxton indicating that Network rail propose to permanently close the gate that forms part of the path and cycle byway along the course of the A10 to the west side of the A10.

Yes, this one:

IMG_0345

Some members attended a recent local Rail Users Group meeting where this subject was addressed with a member of Network Rail staff present and it appears, to our astonishment, that they are serious. The alarming aspect is the proposal to mitigate the risk to users of the path, is to simply put a couple of islands in the middle of the A10 either side of the crossing, expecting you to cross over then back again to continue your journey.

This stretch of road sees 5 figure vehicle movements a day. Anyone who uses the A10 knows crossing twice is not an option, even with islands. We know from the lengthy period that the old broken gate was locked, that you have little choice but to take your chances on the A10, against the traffic if travelling south. When asked to provide a genuinely workable solution, we are told that there are not the funds available. They really do intend to blow a hole in the path that will prevent many users from being able to make journeys beside the A10.

Network Rail are proposing to close hundreds of gate crossings nationally, most in areas they class as rural (this is 7 miles from Kings College!). They claim this is on safety grounds. In many cases, they may well have a point but:

This gate though is not your typical out in the sticks uncontrolled gate.

This gate is:

  • Fully controlled, meaning it locks as a train approaches at the same time as the road barriers.

  • It is right below the signal box giving the signalman an excellent view of the crossing (the best view of the different crossings here).

  • The only viable option for some users such as people riding with their children etc.

  • Recently replaced with a reliable locking gate by Network Rail

Without the gate:

  • The crossing becomes so difficult that many people will cease to use the path

  • Force people to cross against the traffic on the West side

  • Need any person attempting to cross running at gaps in high speed traffic
  • The west side is largely out of view of the signalman and is a lot further to travel between the gates

  • Leave the area ill equipped to cope with the huge expansion in housing and employment that the area is seeing

Network Rail’s own statistics report that there were no incidents at this crossing at its last survey

What you can do:

  • Read the PDF details of the proposals here
  • Fill in the online survey here (you need to click on ‘Cambridge’ and its crossing ‘C06 Barrington Road’)
  • Write to anglialevelcrossings@networkrail.co.uk  asking that they delay the decision until the whole crossing can be dealt with. It is known that in coming years the whole crossing will need to be shut and a solution for the road and path will need to be found

We can not stress how important this is. The rail users meeting quickly became heated. It was apparent very early on the Network Rail simply did not understand the situation. It was claimed on as couple of occasions that at a Cambridge based consultation that the proposal was supported by some cyclists. A member at the meeting says this is not the case and general feeling was the proposal was crazy. Everyone at the Rail Users meeting thought it was crazy. Please stand up for this vital link. The County Council has gone to great effort and expense to make this route a viable transport option. A major aim of the campaign is to mitigate the risks of using the A10. This proposal is simply a disaster.

Latest news

Frog End to Melbourn funded

The City Deal Board has approved funding to construct an off-road cycle path between the Frog End Shepreth A10 junction and the entrance to Melbourn Science Park in Cambridge Road, Melbourn. This means that the overall Cambridge-Royston link is ever closer to realization.

We’ve asked if we could meet the officers – perhaps at the Green Man pub in Dunsbridge Turnpike Shepreth – to go over the plans and ensure that we understand the detail, particularly with regard to the crossing point: the path will actually run emerging out of Dunsbridge Turnpike, just near the Frog End junction, and run along the western side of Cambridge Road along the line of the existing narrow path. If you’d like to come along to such a meeting please let me know, and I will keep you posted.

It is very heartening to know that the owner of Melbourn Science Park is intending to create a new dedicated cyclist entrance to the site, to contribute to the encouragement of cycling to work now that a new safe link is being created along Cambridge Road Melbourn.

Grass cutting by the A10

As you will no doubt have noticed, the grass is growing tall alongside the stretches of new path. Cambs County Highways has budgeted for only TWO verge cuts per year, clearly inadequate. I did my best as a councillor to argue against a reduction from what was already a poor programme – three cuts per year – but not enough other councillors on the Highways committee saw things the same way. This aspect of maintenance is not costly.

Over the past few months we have had some good conversations with AstraZeneca, who need to encourage their workforce to take up cycling or other sustainable transport to work, in preparation for the move from Melbourn to their new Cambridge Biomedical Campus site, where there will be very limited parking. They have very kindly agreed to help pilot a sponsored maintenance programme, providing supplementary verge cuts, sweeping, siding out, etc, for two years. We need to figure out the nuts and bolts so apologies if things don’t happen instantly, but we’ll get there.

Foxton to Shepreth Path

Work to apply the final surface to the new Foxton-Shepreth path will take place soon, in conjunction with work around Foxton Level Crossing itself.

Progress on the Royston bid

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership is making a bid to central government for funding to connect Melbourn and Royston via path and bridge.

A10 footway improvement wins national environmental award

Innovative shared use footway improvement scheme wins Green Apple Award for environmental endeavour.

A Cambridgeshire Highways project to improve the footway on the A10 between Harston and Shepreth has been awarded a Green Apple Award for environmental best practice. Cambridgeshire County Council’s partners, Skanska and Manit Contractors, recently carried out the innovative construction work utilising existing surface material in the new footway, significantly reducing the environmental impact of the project.

Local residents and road users benefited from minimised disruption thanks to fewer lorry journeys to and from the construction site.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Susan van de Ven, Chair of the A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign, said: “We are thrilled to hear that this improvement scheme has been recognised for its environmental credentials. Already the path has become a favourite for walkers, scooter riders and cyclists, notably including young families who previously would not have enjoyed a safe off-road link between villages. With so many cycling and pedestrian improvements being delivered across Cambridgeshire we are seeing a fundamental shift in the way people can choose to get around.”

The new 2.5 metre shared cycle and pedestrian footway is due to fully open in the coming weeks and was funded by a Cycle City Ambition Grant, obtained through the Department for Transport.