Responses to the public questions asked at the recent Hertfordshire County Council Meeting.

Two members of the campaign have been asking questions regarding crossing the A505 at a recent Hertfordshire County Council Meeting. The questions and responses are:

3. PUBLIC QUESTIONS – STANDING ORDER 8 (10) 3A. 3.1 Mr S Czarnawski-Iliev, a resident of Royston, asked T L F Douris, Executive Member for Education, Libraries and Localism the following question:-

“Would the Councillor lend his support in principle to the provision of a safe pedestrian/cycle route to enable Royston teenagers to have safe, cheap and independent transport for accessing education, leisure, parttime employment, friends, family and all the things that make up normal life, but might happen to be a mile or two over the county border?

3.2 T L F Douris, Executive Member for Education, Libraries and Localism, replied:- “Thank you for your question which I note is similar in vein to that asked by Mr Nash to my colleague Councillor Derrick Ashley. I am also aware of questions posed by Mr Meadows and Mr Taylor at the November Council meeting. From an educational perspective, we would always encourage pupils of all ages to walk or cycle to school, where it is safe for them to do so. Indeed, we regularly review opportunities to create or enhance safe routes to schools within Hertfordshire recognising the health, environmental and financial benefits of walking and cycling in keeping with the Local Transport Plan4 ambitions. We want our young people to be able to engage in local leisure activities. I believe that we are all of a similar view that such a route would be of benefit and indeed I am aware that Councillor Ashley wrote on 19th June this year to the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Authority and to the Leader of the Combined Authority requesting their support for a cycle link over the A505 thus providing a continuous route and it is my understanding that we have had positive responses from Cambridgeshire. Indeed, North Hertfordshire District Council and Hertfordshire County Council have been working with the Local Parish Council and reviewing planning applications to secure developer contributions and other potential funding where appropriate. Hertfordshire County Council is also working on proposals as part of the North Central Growth and Transport Plan to help routes connect to the bridge and consider the wider cycle infrastructure in the town.

From this you will see that Hertfordshire County Council is working hard to achieve the required outcome, but this is a complex issue and it requires the support and commitment of all the relevant partners.”

3B. 3.4 Mr R Nash, a resident of Royston, asked D A Ashley, Executive Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy, the following question:-

“Could Councillor Ashley please give us an update on work within the Council on the planned pedestrian and cycle bridge over the A505 north of Royston – particularly with reference to the Council’s recent application to the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership for funding for the bridge and also engagement with officers from Cambridge County Council and the Greater Cambridge Partnership on their Melbourn Greenways proposal?”

3.5 D A Ashley, Executive Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy, replied:- “Thank you for your question. First of all I apologise if the answer overlaps some of the answer to the previous question because of course they are related to the same topic. Just to repeat my colleagues report, I did write to Mayor James Palmer (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority), Councillor Steve Count (Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, Combined Authority Board Member), and Councillor Lewis Herbert (Leader, Cambridge City Council, Greater Cambridge Partnership Board Chairman) who are the key decision makers in the Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority and indeed are Board members of that and also members of Cambridge County Council and City Council. Prior to the development of the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership there was an understanding between Hertfordshire County Council and Cambridgeshire County Council that the project to deliver the Cycle Link

and Bridge over the A505 completing the route from Cambridge via Melbourne to Royston would be developed jointly, to help link communities to key services and employment areas. As per the Melbourn Greenway Review Report which says ‘the Melbourn to Royston route is partly in Hertfordshire and is dependent for its success on a new bridge over the A505 on the edge of Royston’. This clearly recognises the need for co-operation between the authorities to bring forward the project. As part of this commitment Hertfordshire County Council took a lead role in producing the feasibility study for the bridge with a commitment to maintaining the bridge once constructed. It was agreed that the construction of the route connections and bridge itself should be the joint responsibility of both authorities to fund and deliver. It was understood that there was agreement in principal that the Local Enterprise Partnerships for both areas were supportive of the project. Hertfordshire County Council sought funding to support the scheme by submitting a Local Enterprise Partnership bid in the November 2018 Open Call which unfortunately was unsuccessful due to match funding not being secured and concerns over delivery timescales. North Hertfordshire District Council and Hertfordshire County Council have been working with the Local Parish Council and reviewing planning applications to secure developer contributions and other potential funding where appropriate. Hertfordshire County Council are also working on proposals as part of the North Central Growth and Transport Plan to help routes connect to the bridge and consider the wider cycle infrastructure in the town. Following an officers’ meeting towards the end of 2018, Hertfordshire County Council were informed that whilst the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership still have similar aspirations to Hertfordshire County Council in implementing the project, support from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority remained unclear and no decision had been made on committing funding to support the project. Hertfordshire remains keen to work with the Partnership to promote the project and I have asked officers to re-establish links with the Project leads in the Partnership as the bridge is a vital component of the overall Cambridge, Melbourn and Royston Route. Unfortunately, I understand that the last two meetings have been cancelled. However, a new date for July has been proposed and I hope that it can be achieved to help discussions recommence. We hope that Cambridgeshire County Council and the Combined Authority recognise the value to South Cambridgeshire residents of a sustainable link to the employment opportunities offered by Royston; people do travel in from that route. I have received correspondence back from Cambridgeshire and further to the officer meeting I intend to meet with them to discuss how we can work more closely to develop and enable the project to be delivered.”

3.6 Mr R Nash, asked D A Ashley, Executive Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy the following supplementary question:-

“I wondered if Councillor Ashley was aware of the latest accident on the A505/A10 roundabout, involving a cyclist a couple of weeks ago. Fire, ambulance and police were in attendance. Luckily, no serious injury; but just to underline the importance of trying to get this key bit of infrastructure in place.”

3.7 D A Ashley, Executive Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy replied:- “Thank you very much, I was aware of this accident and as I say, it just highlights the importance of trying to make progress and complete this project. As I said, I think it is very important that we keep up our dialogue with Cambridgeshire, and I think we are working closely with local Elected Members just across the border to try and bring this to fruition. So hopefully we can make some progress soon.”

 

Thank you to the members who took the time to attend this meeting.

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Melbourn Greenway closes soon – have you had your own response?

Every young person counts!

Consultation for the Melbourn Greenway closes at noon on August 5th. The link is here: https://bit.ly/2F5VjQI

Every person in a household is entitled to their own response. Most particularly it is hoped that children and young people will be encouraged to respond and be counted – because improvements to walking and cycling and getting around independently will be of particular benefit to them.

Funding for Greenway schemes comes not from councils but is earmarked Government funding for infrastructure development, passed down to our area via the Greater Cambridge Partnership, which is comprised of elected council representatives.

Indeed, it is thanks to Junior Travel Ambassadors at Meldreth Primary School and students at Melbourn Village College who have been along to make the case at meetings of the Greater Cambridge Partnership that the link to Royston is now being considered as part of the overall Cambridge-Royston scheme.

There are very few funding opportunities for infrastructure straddling a county border, and so this scheme holds special potential for a path on the eastern side of the A10 and a bridge over the A505 to Royston.

For children and young people, the route would feed into an existing Sustrans cycle network in Royston, leading to the Royston Leisure Centre, and to the amazing walk/cycle/scooter underpass at Coombes Hole that leads to the BMX track facility. For Melbourn Village College students coming from Royston, the two-mile link would mean the chance to travel independently to college. And of course, for mums and dads living and working on either side of the county border, a safe link to work.

Coombes Hole

Coombes Hole

The Melbourn Greenway scheme is one of 12 schemes radiating out from Cambridge and these will be prioritized at the Greater Cambridge Partnership meeting on December 12.
So if you haven’t responded please do so!

Cycle September is coming to Cambridge

We’ve had the following mail from Cycle September. A few of you may remember it from a few years ago, and it’s back:

Cycle September is coming to Cambridge and we’d like to invite you all to take part.

It’s a fun, free competition to see which workplace can get the most staff to try cycling. There are loads of prizes that you can win by riding and encouraging friends and colleagues to do the same.

Love to Ride is based on a proven model that has engaged over 400,000 participants with significant long-term increases in cycling participation. However, for the programme to be a success we need regular cyclists to spread the word and help enlist their workplaces.

By taking part, you can also generate useful data that makes things better for cyclists in Cambridge. Register your workplace and you will also have the bonus of being able to show your employers the number of cyclists, which is useful in getting better facilities for those that ride, such as storage and shower.  

Find out more and register here.

If you have any questions contact Emma on emma@lovetoridge.org

Melbourn-Royston Cycle Bridge & Melbourn Greenway Consultation now live

We’re delighted to let you know that the ‘Melbourn Greenway’ consultation is now open.

As you are no doubt aware, this is our best opportunity to achieve a Melbourn to Royston cycle link by means of a path along the A10 and a bridge over the A505 – something we’ve been campaigning for, for many years.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership Greenways project consists of 12 individual schemes of which the Melbourn Greenway is one.  All the other schemes have seen very high consultation response rates.   A GCP meeting in December will prioritize schemes for funding, so it’s very important that the Melbourn Greenway scheme sees the highest response rate of all: we’re aiming for 1000 responses. So we really need you to respond, and for you to persuade your friends, family and colleagues to respond as well.

The consultation closes on August 5th.

We’ve produced a document to link you to the Melbourn Greenway consultation, with some suggested responses: please find it to view or download here.

These events which may be of interest:

1.  Royston Market stall, for distributing the consultation leaflet, June 29, 8:00am to 3:30pm (please let us know ideally by Sunday evening if you’d like to help on the day).

2.  Melbourn Greenway consultation events:

·       July 11, Melbourn Hub, 6:30-8:30PM

·       July 25, Harston Village Hall, 6:00-8:00PM

3.  A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign meeting July 10, 7:30-9:00PM, upstairs at the Shepreth Plough – we’ll take stock and fine-tune plans for the remainder of the consultation period.

Awareness ride – Ride report

A10 Corridor Cycle Campaign – annual awareness ride June 9th and cycle improvements consultation launch

First, out aims ongoing.

We would like to be able to run two rides for our annual awareness ride,  but right now, we can only run the ride starting for Trumpington park and ride. The partner ride is just not possible or family friendly right now starting in Royston.

A few of us rode it a couple of weeks ago and combines with the regulars who know the area on a daily basis, came to the conclusions in the next section:

The Royston situation:

Local campaigners have condemned the poor state of the roadside path between Royston and Melbourn. The path, which runs beside the busy A10, is cracked, potholed and overgrown, but despite this is regularly used by many local residents. “It’s disgraceful, the state of this”, said Royston resident and A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign member John, “we need a proper path between Royston and Melbourn, and a bridge over the A505 – you take your life into your hands crossing at the roundabout”.

Jill reported the state of the path to Cambridgeshire County Council, and has been told that works are scheduled in the next few months to repair the path. Jill said “John and I are both keen cyclists, and use this route regularly. It’s good to finally be promised some repairs, as nothing’s been done to it for years. To be honest, we’ll only believe it when the work actually starts.” John added “even if the path is repaired, the A505 crossing is so dangerous – it really needs replacing with a safe path and bridge.”

“I travel to Melbourn every day to go to school”, said nother local campaigner. The Royston teenager currently relies on a bus to get to Melbourn Village College each day. “It’s only two miles, and yet I can’t travel there except by bus, as it’s too dangerous to cross the main roads”.

A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign chair Susan van de Ven encouraged Royston and South Cambs residents to make their voices heard. “This old path hasn’t been fit for purpose ever since the Royston bypass was built in the 1980s. We have done a lot of work behind the scenes to try and get a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists between Royston and Melbourn put onto the political agenda. We’ve got a vision for a safe new route along the A10, with a bridge over the A505. It will mean a lot – for people travelling for work, to school, to visit friends and for leisure – and we would like as many people as possible to express their support for it.” she said.

A consultation is due to be launched by the Greater Cambridge Partnership in early June into improvements to pedestrian and cycle routes all along the A10 between Cambridge and Royston.

A10 Corridor Cycle Campaign members  wait for a gap in the traffic in order to cross the A505 Royston bypass at the A10 roundabout.

crossing

“Taking your life into your hands” – pulling out to cross the busy road

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The surface of the path alongside the A10 towards Melbourn is badly damaged, with many large potholes. Damaged tarmac is breaking up, making the surface hazardous for cyclists.

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Some of the damaged areas are quite substantial – this one is over 80cm long. Repairs are badly needed, and have been promised by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Cycling along the narrow A10 path. There is no room for two people to pass. The proposed new path would be on the opposite side of the road, giving better connections to Melbourn village. It would connect to a bridge over the A505, leading into the Fieldfare Way area of Royston and giving easy access to the leisure centre and Meridian School.

This model (photographed looking west along the A505 towards Baldock) shows the location of the proposed bridge (not to scale!) and path. The white strip of paper is the new path, which will be terraced into the edge of the A505 cutting so that it stays broadly level, rather than having to go down and then up again.

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This drawing is taken from the bridge and path feasibility study carried out by Hertfordshire County Council in 2015, with our annotations.

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Screenshot 2019-06-08 at 8.35.30 PM

The ride from Trumpington park and ride:

We had fine weather and a good turnout once again for our annual ride.

path9

This section of the route has been greatly improved over the last few years and is not an easy cycle from Trumpington park and ride. Weset off shortly after 10 along our ususal route. Trumpington meadows was looking good on a bright sunny day, the group was able to relay and chat on the fully segregated section, away from the road. The park is now maturing and a host of wildlife can be see.

We joined the path by the A10 and quietly passed through Harston on the wide path that is only a couple of years old.

harston

People heading North through Harston on the way to the start

From Harston, we proceeded to Foxton then on to Melbourn where we stopped for refreshments. A huge thank you to Phillimore Garden Centre for allowing us to use their field again.

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Refreshments and a social

Officers from the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) were on hand to explain the greenways consultation that is just launching, with maps and consultation forms for people to take away.

cosukt

GCP showing us plans.

Our campaign vice-chair explained: “This consultation is a great opportunity for people in Royston and South Cambs to show the local authorities that better facilities for walking and cycling between Royston and neighbouring villages are urgently needed. There’s a substantial budget for walking and cycling improvements held by the GCP, and we really want to seize the moment and make sure we can link Royston into the improvements that are already happening in Cambridgeshire. It’s been quite frustrating to go back and forth between two different county councils – Cambs and Herts – trying to build support for this project, because the new bridge would sit right across the county boundary. Both councils need to give their support, and Cambridgeshire currently has the money to make it happen through the GCP. We’ve had some pushback from some councillors in Cambridgeshire saying “well, Hertfordshire needs to contribute” – but this is petty squabbling, as Herts have already paid for the feasibility study and agreed to fund the maintenance of the bridge once it’s built. Cambs are fortunate to have been selected to receive City Deal money from the government, and they should see that connections to Royston are important for the whole region, and not deny this vital link to residents over something so trivial as the fact it’s on a county boundary.”

A massive thank you to everyone who came and has supported us over the year.

 

Annual Awareness Ride

The time for our annual social and campaign meetup is almost here.

This year’s family-friendly Annual Awareness Ride takes place on June 9th, setting off from Trumpington Park and Ride at 10AM and riding along the evolving A10 cycleway to the front field at Phillimore Garden Centre for refreshments.

Marshals will be stationed at junctions and the A10 road crossing at Shepreth to help guide the way.

Once again, due to safety concerns we’ve decided against a Royston-Melbourn segment of the Awareness Ride.  However, we’re pleased to announce that the Greater Cambridge Partnership consultation on the ‘Melbourn Greenways’ project, which is about improving the A10 and other cycle corridors fanning out from Cambridge, will be launched on the same day.  A team of cycling officers will be on hand at Phillimore with a map of A10 route and consultation forms to fill out – we need to demonstrate strong support in order to gain the improvements we want.

In particular, this is an important opportunity to achieve a safe Melbourn-Royston cycle link. 

Please help us to publicise the ride via the poster and flyers below.

If you can’t make the ride, please do come along to Philimore anyway to enjoy refreshments and learn more about improving cycling conditions along the A10 corridor.

View or download a poster here or a smaller flyer here

Tell the Government what you think

Cycling UK has been circulated their latest campaign to it’s members. As we understand it, you don’t have to be a member to support their campaign. Some members have been modifying the response along the following lines:
I have in mind, could this available money help fund a bridge over the A505 Royston bypass into Hertfordshire for cyclists, pedestrians and mobility scooters?
 
Could we suggest that members of the A10 CCC, in their own words, to do the same.
The email is as follows (clicking show us the money for cycling takes you to their response page)

It’s time to tell Government: Show us the money for cycling!

 

The Government has asked councils throughout England to come up with Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs), to help make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys and to make our streets and towns safer, healthier and better places to travel through, visit, work and shop. Places where we’d all rather be.

However, while many councils are now developing these plans, the Government haven’t put forward any specific funding to help cash-strapped authorities make these plans a reality.

Without this financial support, there’s every chance your council will spend valuable time and money developing detailed cycling and walking plans which will just sit on a shelf gathering dust.

Given that the Government has already admitted that it’s failing to meet its objective to double cycling by 2025, we need your MP and council leader to demand that Government show us the money for cycling.

Over a hundred MPs have already written to demand this vital funding, but you can help usramp up the pressure by emailing your MP and council leader.

Just two minutes of your time to take action could help transform where you live, shop, walk and work.

Yours sincerely,

Duncan Dollimore

Head of Campaigns

Cycling UK