Sambor’s Thoughts on the Greater Cambridge Partnership Meeting

Melbourn Village College student and Royston resident Sambor Czarnawski-Iliev attended a meeting of the Greater Cambridge Partnership Board, to help make the case for a walk/cycle link between Melbourn and Royston. He had conducted a survey of Year 9 classmates, which indicated support for the link, and handed out copies of the results to the Board.

Also speaking in favour of the link were Mike Prior-Jones, who works at Melbourn Science Park, and A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign Chair Susan van de Ven.

All three of us would like to thank the Board for truly listening to what we had to say, and for agreeing to ask officers to produce a business case for the scheme, so that it can be properly considered. We look forward to listening to that consideration at the Board’s next meeting on February 8.

Here are Sambor’s reflections about the value of taking part in the meeting – and playing a small part in the Board’s decision-making process.

True progress- an amazing achievement 

Having myself and Mike was truly helpful, I remind the board that this is all about the people, and the future of the people, I also show how this is so important to the people, as I myself have gotten involved. 

Susan also, during the miserable time in which we waited, noted down whatever there was of importance, which could be mentioned to the board. And, as it turned out, there were quite a lot of subjects of importance. It turned out that we were basically addressing multiple problems of the South Cambridgeshire City Council. And we’re asking for much less money than other projects as well; while we’re asking for 1 million, another project was asking for between 75 to 146 million. 

Michael Prior-Jones’s list of companies, businesses and people who have funded our project also showed how much support there is for the campaign, furthering how worthwhile it is to support our project. The fact that within the survey results I kept the unfavorable singular result, which I concluded within my summary to be a troll, proved to the board that this was definitely a genuine piece pf work, completed by the normal public. It also further made our case stuck in their heads, as it truly stood out. 

Due to all this we truly made an impact on the board, and they began having a discussion not seen before. They agreed to fully actually do something, and this whole shenanigan will definitely stick within their minds, and not be forgotten or replaced by another project.

 

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Campaign updates

1.  A505 Bridge funding:  We’ve set up a new crowd-funding link, with a target of £1000.  Please feel free to share this link:
Thanks to all in Royston who are working very hard on key sources of bridge funding.
2.  A Melbourn Village College student living in Royston has conducted a cycling survey of fellow students, which he will present to the Greater Cambridge Partnership Board meeting Nov 22.  Two employees of Melbourn Science Park will also be attending to ask the Board to support funding of a path from Melbourn-Royston.  The survey will be published on our website shortly.
3.  The existing A10 path north of Melbourn has had a hedge and verge cut, and will be sided out and swept once the leaves have dropped – thanks to the grant from AstraZeneca.  There should have been a hedge and verge cut in August, which is why things got so badly overgrown – we are on the case to make sure things are done properly in future.
4.  Would you like to drive a mechanical sweeper on the A10 path?  South Cambs District Council has asked local councillors if we would help initiate and oversee a ‘community volunteer sweeping scheme’. This is not an ideal situation, but it’s where we are.  Training would take place next month.  If you are interested, please could you let me know.
5.  Our Campaign Committee meets Nov 22, 8PM, at the Shepreth Plough, Spitfire Table.  Anyone who’d like to come along would be very welcome. We’ll be catching up on funding progress and planning the AGM.

Royston section update

The Greater Cambridge Partnership Assembly considered this question from Melbourn County Councillor Susan van de Ven on November 2nd. 

Greater Cambridge Partnership Assembly 2 November 2017

With a relatively modest investment, the Cambridge-Royston cycle scheme could be quickly completed, within the Greater Cambridge Partnership Tranche 1 timeframe.

I am not here to set out the detailed case for the scheme – that has already been done many times over, and the fact that it is near completion, thanks to GCP support, speaks for itself.

The question now is how to tackle the remaining Melbourn-Royston two-mile stretch, given that this geography straddles a county border. The route consists of a pedestrian/cycle path in Cambridgeshire and a pedestrian/cycle bridge beginning in Cambridgeshire and landing in Hertfordshire.

This is a shovel ready project that would deliver significant economic benefits, and make a substantial contribution to reducing reliance on the private car for travel to key areas of employment in Cambridge and along the A10 corridor. It will maximise the benefits of the investments in this route already made by GCP and others – indeed the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts. Because it has the potential to be delivered within the existing GCP funding period, it can demonstrate real progress on innovative, economically led schemes to Government.

Ideally the Melbourn-Royston link should be delivered in one go. However, the overall Cambridge-Royston scheme has been delivered in segments as funding has become available, and this pragmatic approach has produced results. Nevertheless, any cross-border scheme demands a collaborative approach, as the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough LEP indicated last December when it pledged financial support for the project. Royston sits within the LEP’s remit, unsurprisingly given Royston’s Cambridge-facing business orientation.

That collaborative approach is now taking shape: four global companies that jointly employ thousands of workers in Royton and Melbourn have pledged financial support or made indicative pledges, totalling £120K. Hertfordshire County Council funded and completed the bridge feasibility study and have formally committed lifetime maintenance costs for the bridge, estimated at £580K. Last month, Royston Town Council voted unanimously to commit £30K toward bridge costs, matching the commitment made by AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca has also provided a £10K grant for vegetation maintenance along the whole of the Cambridge-Royston cycle route. The A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign, with many of its members cycling to work, has raised £1.5K in small donations toward bridge costs.

As the owner of Melbourn Science Park said to the City Deal Board last year, the A10 Cambridge-Royston cycle scheme will not only alleviate pressures on Science Park parking, which is at capacity, but it will allow the Science Park to create more jobs. This is precisely down to a significantly greater take-up of cycling, not driving, to work.

Job creation and sustainable transport links are the key drivers for GCP investment, and partnership is the defining approach. Therefore, I would like to ask for the Assembly’s support in proposing that the GPC commit necessary funds to complete the Cambridgeshire portion of this scheme, which amounts to approximately £2 million, and works with the LEP to ensure release of their pledged funds to deliver the whole scheme within the timescales I have noted here.

This would be great win:win for residents, businesses, the GCP and the LEP.

 The Assembly is an advisory, not decision-making body, but indicated that funding for the Melbourn-Royston path could be considered in Tranche 2 GPC funding (from 2020).  Meanwhile, the GPC Board meets on November 21 and a representation will be made.  Councillors from both sides of the county border continue to work together on a variety of funding prospects for the A505 bridge.

Melbourn Royston Link

Update:

Many thanks to Royston Town Council for their strong support toward this project.  They join the business community and Hertfordshire County Council in pledging financial support to a collaborative funding package for a pedestrian/cyclist bridge over the A505 – to be met by a new path along the eastern side of the A10, running all the way to Melbourn.  It is widely recognized that this link would be transformative for people moving about on foot, in mobility scooters and on bicycles.  There is still more work to be done – please contact us if you’d like to be involved.

Original post:

A Melbourn-Royston walk and cycle link would complete the overall Cambridge-Royston scheme first envisioned by the Greater Cambridge City Deal – transforming home to work commutes within this compact area characterised by employment centres, house building and traffic congestion.  Royston Town Council meets this evening to consider a request to support the link. More information on our Melbourn Royston page.

Signs

Royston Town Council to consider the Royston-Melbourn cycle link.

Our letter to Royston Town Council’s Finance Committee, requesting financial support for the bridge over the A505, will be discussed by the Finance Committee on Monday evening 25 September.  The agenda is here:

http://www.roystontowncouncil.gov.uk/Royston-TC/UserFiles/Files/Agendas/Agenda%20Finance.pdf

This will be an important meeting, and it is open to the public.  Please show your support by attending, if you can.  Any questions, please feel free to get in touch: contacta10cycle@gmail.com.

For on overview of the letter and the ongoing Royston work, please see our dedicated Royston page.

Harston Works – latest information

We have received confirmation that the Harston path works will require temporary traffic signals to be in place until the 1st September end of the school holidays between 8AM and 5PM. After September 1st, the temporary lights will be in operation between 9.30AM and 3.30PM.

The work is expected to take 18 weeks, NOT 18 months as recently reported. We appreciate this is still a long time for many and thank you for your patience. With the surrounding country lanes having becoming extremely busy and fast at commuting times, this path is rapidly becoming the only serious option for many who want or need to cycle.

Harson Works commencing soon

We have received communication from Cambs CC about the Harston works. As we understand it, the work will  not happen during the rush hour, so both carriageways should be open as usual at those times to motor vehicles. The schedule, which may still be subject to change,  is detailed in following correspondence:

“Improvements to the shared use footway on the west side of High Street are planned to start on Monday 7th August 2017 with a planned duration of 20 weeks. The extent of work is between Harston Mill and London Road. Work will start at the southern end of the village and then proceed north to London Road.

During work we will need to use traffic management in the carriageway via two way temporary traffic lights. We are expecting there to be delays in the area so please seek alternative routes or plan ahead for your journey. The footway will need to be closed in sections to allow for construction. Pedestrians and cyclists will be diverted to the footway on the opposite side via signal controlled crossings. We would ask that all users follow signage as required.

We will be placing ‘Business Open As Usual’ signs ahead of the road works. If you can think of anything else we can do to assist please let us know.

There will be a Pre-Construction Event on Tuesday 1st August at 4pm in The Village Hall. This will include a presentation of the scheme and will give you the chance to ask any questions you may have.”