At a recent Hertfordshire County Council Meeting Rod Taylor and John Meadows of Royston recently asked Hertfordshire County Councillors the following Public Questions regarding the provision of a safe Cycle and Pedestrian bridge over the A505 at Royston. They also asked questions regarding future Cycle Route provision in and around Royston.
They were both pleased to receive positive and supportive answers from both Councillor D. A. Ashley and Councillor P.Bibby.
The draft of these question and respective answers were as follows:
Extracted from the Minutes of the Meeting of the County Council held at County Hall, Hertford on Tuesday 27 November 2018. There were 71 Hertfordshire County Councillors present at the meeting.
HERTFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL PUBLIC QUESTIONS – STANDING ORDER 8 (10)
QUESTION FROM MR J MEADOWS
Mr J Meadows, a resident of Royston, asked D A Ashley, Executive Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy, the following question:-
“I hope that Councillor Ashley is aware of proposals from Cambridgeshire County Council and the Greater Cambridge Partnership to construct a safe cycle route between Royston in Hertfordshire and Melbourn in Cambridgeshire, which includes a bridge over the A505 Royston bypass into Hertfordshire for cyclists, pedestrians and mobility scooters. Could he please indicate what commitments have been made to this project by Hertfordshire County Council in terms of officer time for feasibility studies and design work, and future funding for construction and maintenance of this bridge?”
D A Ashley, Executive Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy replied:-
“Before I answer the question, can I thank Mr Meadows for actually asking the question which I think is quite timely and can I also thank Councillor Fiona Hill who’s spoken to me on several occasions since I took over this portfolio and her efforts behind the scenes to try and bring this project to fruition. The A10/A505 Royston cycle and pedestrian bridge is a project that both Hertfordshire County Council and Cambridgeshire County Council would like to see delivered. It is hoped the proposed cycle bridge project over the A505 will act as a catalyst for further works in the town, particularly in relation to improved links to the industrial area. A detailed feasibility study by Hertfordshire County Council has been undertaken but further design work and public consultation would need to be carried out before this scheme could be put in a programme for delivery. Hertfordshire County Council has agreed in principle to maintain the bridge once it’s been built; however, Hertfordshire would also want to ensure that the bridge be connected into a network which would mean construction of the A10 path at least between Melbourn and the A505 Royston and improvements to the network in Royston itself. A bid is to be submitted to Herts LEP [Local Enterprise Partnership] by Hertfordshire County Council with a commitment of £625,000 from future LTP [Local Transport Plan] funding allocations and existing section 106 contributions, seeking match funding from the LEP towards the project development and delivery stages. It was originally expected that Cambridgeshire would then commit funding to a level to enable delivery, however, recent discussions in the last few weeks with Cambridgeshire combined authority, have raised doubts over their commitment of funding support for the project in its entirety. Although the bridge element is critical to Cambridgeshire’s Melbourn to Royston greenway project being realised, further discussions are to take place in the near future to see if an agreement can be reached in respect to fund delivery arrangements and, just to say, the project does remain an aspiration for us and continued funding will be sought via developer contributions and other funding opportunities as they may arise. Now having said all of that, Councillor Hill has asked me to arrange a meeting between myself and opposite numbers in Cambridge County Council and Officers from this County Council to see if we can actually jump start this and find a way forward so we have got some idea and some commitment from all parties involved here to see if we can move this forward. I’m very happy to organise that meeting.”
Mr J Meadows thanked D A Ashley, Executive Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy, for his comprehensive answer and the commitment given to progressing the project and confirmed that he did not have a supplementary question.
QUESTION FROM MR R TAYLOR
Mr R Taylor, a resident from Royston, asked P Bibby, Executive Member for Highways and Environment, the following question:- “Is Councillor Bibby aware of the 2010 Royston Urban Transport Plan and if he is, now that the town has a underpass for pedestrians and cyclists under the railway, can he please indicate what plans there are to develop a cycle network within the town as indicated in Section 6.0 Local Targets and Improvements, and specifically in Section 6.2 Table 6.1 ref 3 and Section 7.8 Table 7.3 CM05 which appertains to cyclists?”.
P Bibby, Executive Member for Highways and Environment replied:-
“Thank you for your question Mr Taylor, delighted to answer.
Yes, I am aware of the Plan and yes, works have already been carried out on the cycle network in Royston including improvements to the cycle route along Burns Road and the introduction of a Toucan crossing on Old North Road. The County Council’s major product group working with funding partners Sustrans through a national lottery Connect Two funding package has provided several network links including the Royston Rail Crossing referred to. Many of the connecting cycle links were delivered through partnership working with North Herts District Council and Settle. This plan obviously compliments our revised local transport plan [LTP4 for short] so it’s very timely and there are other emerging plans from around the County of a similar nature. I would encourage continued dialogue from all districts to the County Council or between the County Council, all districts and developers to improve the network. It’s important that developers are made aware of our infrastructure requirements so that developments are designed properly and section 106 contributions are sought as an important source of funding.”
Mr R Taylor asked P Bibby, Executive Member for Highways and Environment, the following supplementary question:- “As 2018 is Hertfordshire’s year of physical activity, is he aware of the work of Sustrans, who are responsible for building the National Cycle Network and, as such, this will mean that once the bridge is in place at Royston, it will lead the way for a dedicated London to Cambridge bike route which will go via Hertford and Royston?”
P Bibby, Executive Member for Highways and Environment replied:-
“I must confess, I wasn’t aware of that particular issue in 2018 with Sustrans but I will suggest that’s good news and it shows that we are all moving forwards to actually look at your plan and try and develop it as much as we can. My colleague in front of me is all about Prevention and Health and Wellbeing so I’m sure he will be very interested in that project. Thank you.”