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.

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“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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The ride from Trumpington park and ride:

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

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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.

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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.

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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.