Mid-summer newsletter

The sun is warm, the grass has been growing like mad and the weather is great for cycling. Here’s a quick update on what the campaign is doing, and how you can help.

Path maintenance (Melbourn – Harston)

Susan has managed to get the county maintenance team to mow the grass verges alongside the path – this has been done in the last few days. Our volunteer Community Sweeper team (Tim Stebbing, Richard Smith, Rod Taylor and Stuart Gibbs) will be out this weekend to remove the resulting debris from the path – thanks guys! AstraZeneca generously contribute to the path maintenance, but we have had difficulties with the contractors and so the work has not been done as often as it should have been. Susan is now keeping a very close eye on it all so that it does actually get done!

Trumpington Park and Ride

There is a planning application currently being considered for an extension to the Trumpington Park and Ride site. At the last meeting, we discussed how the extension presents the opportunity to create a nice direct route through the P&R site and new housing development for people walking and cycling. We intend to object to the existing application in order to get our proposal considered. We may ask for more campaign support later if this proves difficult! Contact Mike (mike@randominformation.co.uk) if you would like to know more.

Greenways – Barton and Haslingfield

Greenways is a scheme promoted by the Greater Cambridge Partnership to create high-quality rural routes for walking, cycling and horse-riding. The first two schemes are now open for a public consultation – these are routes around Barton and Haslingfield. The consultation is online here. https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/greenways

We recommend that you click through to the surveys and then download the consultation leaflet (link just above question 1 of the survey) and look at it closely to understand what is proposed. Please respond to the consultations, the more people respond, the better! This is a second-round consultation for this scheme, aimed at getting feedback before the council officers prepare a final design. There will be a third round of consultation after the final design has been prepared.

The Haslingfield proposal is particularly relevant to us because it includes a proposal to upgrade the existing rough-track bridleway between Haslingfield and the A10 by Rectory Farm in Hauxton to include both a hard surface for cycling and a soft (grass/soil) surface for horse riders. We think that this route will be an excellent addition to the local cycling network, since it will link Haslingfield into the A10 route via a route that is almost completely traffic-free. There is also a consultation question about installing solar stud lighting along this path – given our experience with the Trumpington Meadows country park path being extremely dark, we recommend that you respond in favour of the solar stud lights. There is a difficult compromise between the desire to avoid light pollution in the countryside and encouraging people to use rural roads and cycle paths after dark, especially in the winter.

Royston to Melbourn campaign – “Build Us a Bridge!”

We have arranged a meeting with the Mayor of Cambridgeshire, James Palmer, for early August. We are looking to build up supporting evidence to help convince him that he should, in his role as custodian of Local Enterprise Partnership funding, put his weight behind our plans for a safe route between Royston and Melbourn. If you would cycle to and from Royston via our proposed new bridge and path, please can you reply to this email giving your name, address and what journeys you would use it for? We’re looking to build a big portfolio of potential users to show the level of public support.

To help with this, we have two new Royston-related campaign plans:

The first is a new A4 “explainer” flyer – view or download here which is intended as something that you can give out to friends, colleagues or neighbours to ask for their support. Why not print off a few copies and leave them in the canteen at work, or give them out in the school playground? We’re trying to make as many people as possible aware of our proposals, and gather support.

Our second plan – with thanks to Charlotte van Bochoven from Melbourn Village College – is to have a fun competition called Build Us A Bridge during the school summer holidays. We’re asking children, youth groups and enthusiastic adults to build us a bridge – either a model, or something more substantial – and submit photos for a competition. There will be four age-related categories and a prize for the best bridge in each category. It’s intended to be creative, so unusual or downright wacky bridges are encouraged! We’re going to launch this in July, with the closing date being at the beginning of September. Stand by for more details in the next couple of weeks!

Best wishes – safe cycling!