A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign: August 2018 Update

Here’s an update for you on what the Campaign has been doing in the last few weeks. There’s plenty going on at the moment, and there are a few areas that we’d like some help with, so do read on:

Melbourn-to-Royston path and bridge

We are continuing to work “behind the scenes” to secure funding for a new path between Melbourn and Royston, to include a bridge over the A505. This project will cost around £2.5m and we are putting together a package of funding with contributions from lots of different agencies. So far we already have money committed by Royston Town Council and AstraZeneca, and we’re pleased to announce that North Hertfordshire District Council have confirmed a contribution of £55,686. That brings the total committed so far to just over £115,000 out of the £2.5m required for the construction. We also have a longstanding commitment from Hertfordshire County Council to pay for the maintenance of the bridge once it has been built.

However, we are still working on persuading various local authorities to fund the majority of the cost of the path and bridge, and have been talking to several of them:

Firstly, we learned this week that funding for the project will be discussed at the next round of Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) meetings in the autumn. GCP consists of three local authorities (Cambridgeshire County Council, South Cambs District Council and Cambridge City Council) working together to decide how best to spend a large grant from central government. They have previously funded the A10 path from Melbourn to Shepreth, and we have high hopes for them contributing a substantial proportion of the cost of the Melbourn-to-Royston project. In order to help make our case at their Assembly and Executive Board meetings, staff and pupils from Melbourn Village College and Meldreth Primary School will be coming to the meetings to explain why this project is so important for young people in the area. We’re really grateful for their support.

Secondly, Mike (vice-chair) and Lloyd Anderson from AstraZeneca held a meeting with the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer, in Ely last week. The Mayor has a lot of influence over local transport planning, and so we’re very pleased to report that he endorsed the Melbourn-to-Royston scheme as a good idea and made some suggestions as to how it could be funded. This included applying for funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership – another regional agency with a budget to fund projects that promote economic growth. If you work in a business that could expand its operations if the cycle route was built – for example, if that allowed new buildings to be built on land currently used for car parking – please reply to this email and let us know. This sort of information will help us make the case for the project in terms of business growth, which is a very persuasive argument with all the local authorities.

Build Us a Bridge competition

A reminder about our Build Us A Bridge Competition – a bit of fun for the summer holidays. Build a bridge (large or small) and send us a picture, and you might win a prize! Full details are on the website here: https://a10corridorcycle.com/build-us-a-bridge/

We have sent details of the competition to a number of Royston schools and businesses. Charlotte Van Bochoven also presented it to a Foxton Primary School assembly – thank you Charlotte!

If you are involved in a youth group of any age that will meet during the summer holidays, please could you send them details of our competition? Thank you!

Cutting back the vegetation

As we mentioned in the last update, difficulties with the contractor who was supposed to be maintaining the path have led to the path becoming overgrown with vegetation. We’re pleased to say that a new contractor has been appointed, who is very keen and clued-up, and works should begin soon. Their first priority will be to cut back the hedges and overhanging branches, and the works will include sweeping up the resulting debris so that people don’t get punctures.

AstraZeneca are kindly funding this maintenance, since Cambridgeshire County Council’s funding extends to only cutting the grass verge twice a year. Susan is coordinating the maintenance teams so that works are done at sensible times of the year.

In the meantime, our dedicated Community Sweeper volunteers have been giving up their weekends to drive the sweeper trucks and have swept up the path up through Harston. Their plans for autumn include post-hedge cut sweeps to ensure thorns are removed from the path, as the wind always disperses cuttings. Once again a big thanks to Rod, Tim, Richard and Stuart for doing this.

A few minor path improvements are coming

At the north end of Harston, Cambridgeshire’s Highways team are going to “side out” the path: this means removing debris and vegetation that has grown over the edges of the path. The works should restore the path to its full usable width. This is going to be done on the section from the London Road junction in Harston (by the former Vujon restaurant) up to Hauxton Mill. This is a section that is very narrow and so every extra centimetre of width helps.

In the same area, a small pot of funding has been found (£30k) to resurface the existing narrow path between Hauxton Mill and the M11 roundabout. As much work will be done as the funding allows – so they may not be able to do the whole path.

We’re in conversation with Cambridgeshire County Highways about the possibility of siding out the existing Royston-Melbourn path and hope that this may be done soon. No doubt this would reveal more pot holes, shining the spotlight ever more acutely on the need for a new path.

Trumpington Park and Ride

Following on from Mike’s presentation at the July campaign meeting, Mike and Susan met with GCP and planning officers to discuss options for providing a sensible cycle route through the Park and Ride site once an extension to the car park is completed. Unfortunately, the plans are now too far advanced for any significant changes at this stage, although the project officer did take a number of minor changes on board.

Royston councillors

A campaign committee meeting was held earlier this week together with a large number of Royston Town, District and County Councillors, demonstrating very strong support for Royston, across all parties and neighbourhoods.

Haslingfield Greenway consultation

Just a reminder that the Haslingfield Greenway consultation is still open for contributions and closes on Monday 20th August. Of particular interest to us is the proposal to upgrade an existing bridleway between Haslingfield and the A10 at Hauxton to be suitable for ordinary bikes (rather than mountain bikes). Camcycle have written a detailed response to the Greenway consultations here, which is well worth reading. https://www.camcycle.org.uk/blog/2018/08/barton-and-haslingfield-greenway-consultations/ The consultation itself is online here. https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/greenways

Next meeting date

Our next meeting takes place on October 17th, at a venue to be announced.