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.

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Build Us A Bridge Summer Competition

We want you to build us a bridge!
Big or small, realistic or fantastical – be creative!
See the full detail at Build us a Bridge. It would really help us to raise awareness of the need for a bridge at Royston.

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!

 

Awareness Ride 2018

Today (May 6th) was the day of our 6th Annual Awareness Ride. Every year we hold this ride to raise awareness of what is now available for non motorised users and to highlight how poor other sections still are.

Once again we had no ride from Royston. The situation for cycling and walking has only worsened over the last few years. The A10 has seen no improvements for decades in this section, despite traffic increases. The section between Royston and Melbourn is so poor that once again, no one felt a ride was a safe or sensible option. With the ever changing political climate, such as LEP restructuring, and the cross county nature of the section, this remains a very tough area to get any improvements made to. We shall persevere with this as our main focus in the future.

The section between Melbourn and the M11 has seen improvements. Every year we have generally seen a small section improved. About 40 riders of all ages gathered at Trumpington park and Ride.

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Riders gathering at the start

We cycled (with one roller blader) through Trumpington Meadows on a gloriously sunny spring day.

TrumpoingtonMeadows

Exit of Trumpington Meadows

We continued along the old path through Hauxton and continued to Harston. This is the section that has been greatly improved this year. It was noted how easy it was to pass pedestrians now. Also it was a joy to see parents can now cycle besides small children. We had riders as young as 5 with their parents out with us today. The youngest were only just learning to ride bikes independently.

Hartson

New Harston section

The section is not perfect with some poor sight lines over driveways etc. But the Cambs CC officers have done the best they can and the improvements are greatly appreciated.

After Harston we continued onto Foxton and the only small road section to the back of Foxton level crossing.

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Small road section at Barrington Road, Foxton

We continued on to cross the A10 at Shepreth, with the small island in the middle of the road providing some refuge, allowing you to at least deal with one carriageway of traffic at a time.

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Crossing the A10

We then continued onto Phillimore Garden Centre (thank you once again for allowing us to use your field ) for the finish of the ride where cake and bananas etc. were served. Many thanks to all who attended and to everyone who has supported us over the last year.

GroupFinish

The awareness ride is soon :-)

A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign invites you to the 6th Annual A10 Awareness Ride 
Family Friendly, for all ages and abilities on Sunday May 6th, for a 10AM start, Trumpington Park and Ride
Cycle along the sections of new A10 path connecting to Philimore Garden Centre, Melbourn 
 
Following refreshments, a tour for those who’d like to see the Melbourn-Royston stretch that is now the campaign’s main focus. Nothing has been done to the Royston section for decades. It is in a truly unusable state.
If you wish to put up a poster for the ride, you can view or download one here or a flyer here.
AwarenessRide.png

A10 Shepreth-Foxton Litter Pick

Extra pairs of hands to help litter pick along the A10 path would be hugely appreciated – a few of us from Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton will be meeting on April 22, 2PM, armed with litter picking devices and SCDC coming to collect the bags the next day.
 
Meet at the A10 layby just south of Foxton Bottom – so between Shepreth Rd Foxton turn and Fowlmere Rd Shepreth turn. 

The A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign has managed to get some extra support from AstraZeneca to help cut the grass, and volunteers to start driving the South Cambs street cleaning vehicle along this path – so pulling out all the stops to keep things looking good.  Litter picking now will prevent litter from being sliced up into thousands of pieces.
 
For more information please write to us at contacta10cycle@gmail.com – or just come along on the day.  Many thanks.

Latest news and we could do with some help.

·       As you will have seen, the Harston path is now complete.  The April meeting will offer a chance to hear any feedback.

·       Efforts continue for funding for the Royston-Melbourn link. While much progress has been made in terms of securing financial pledges from various parties on both sides of the border, the critical and much anticipated support from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership has been set back due to the recent migration of the LEP to the new mayoralty layer of local government.

·       An approach has been made for support from the Herts LEP.

·       The Greater Cambridge Partnership is currently undertaking a business case review of the Melbourn-Royston link, and a report will be considered by the GCP Board this summer.  Meanwhile, the GCP ‘Greenways’ project identifies the Melbourn-Royston link as an integral component.

·       Councillors are working together cross-border, all-party, and together with our MPs, on the Melbourn-Royston link.

·       Thanks to those who’ve supported the Community Sweeper pilot by volunteering to drive the South Cambs street sweeping vehicle along the completed sections of the A10 cycle path.  Following extensive training, a first test run is due to take place this Friday, heading out from Wyevale Garden Centre who’ve kindly offered to host the vehicle.

·       A couple of admin jobs could use some extra input – if you are available or would like to know more, we’d love to hear from you.  These mainly involve small pieces of writing for Royston bridge grant applications.

Situations Vacant for A Communication with Outside Media Person. Minimal hours, Salary £0.00 but there could be an enormous level job satisfaction if and when we ever get this bridge over the A505 and path from Royston-Melbourn…!

Imagine a school leaver or 6th form student from Melbourn or Royston going for his first job interview and the interviewer says: “Is there anything else you could tell me about yourself Bloggs”? 
 
Bloggs replies…”Well, Mr Potential Employer, I’m pleased you asked me that because actually yes there is. A local pressure group that is campaigning for a bridge and cycle path was needing a A Communication with Outside Media Person, so I volunteered my services. 
 
I have regular contact with various campaigners, these include local County Councillors and Council Officers as well as local campaigners that come from all walks of life. I also have contact with reporters from the Cambridge News and Royston Crow local newspapers. 
 
It can be very frustrating but overall I like the challenge that this all brings. I haven’t earned any money but I have learned a lot whilst doing this work and it has been a very worthwhile experience.’
 
People like Bloggs can get offered jobs – people like us can help provide Bloggs with these opportunities