Keeping the path free of brambles

Ron and Terry met in the rain with their secateurs at the brambles on the cycle path near Sagentia Harston. They cut back a big swathe, resulting in a wider path at that point – and exposed a lost solar stud.


Earlier, the vegetation maintenance group met to review the current state of play. Here are our notes:AstraZeneca’s temporary £5k maintenance grant comes to an end at the close of this calendar year, as expected. Recognizing that County Highways does no more routine maintenance than cut the verge twice per year, action is needed to ensure a decent level of path maintenance.Susan would inquire about attending the forthcoming Greater Cambridge Partnership meeting to raise the subject of a Greenway vegetation maintenance plan for the A10.Ron had created a list of maintenance jobs for Herts and Cambs Grounds Maintenance (our contractor for the duration of AZ grant funding) and would liaise with them to agree on details, timing and reporting back of any problems.

Meanwhile, please all do use these public reporting sites for ‘faults’:County Highways – For dangerously overhanging vegetation, obstructions to solar stud lights, and any other faults to the path please log at:https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/…/roadworks-and-faultsSouth Cambridgeshire District Council Street Care and Cleaning – For sweeping the path of cuttings and leaf fall – please follow instructions at:https://www.scambs.gov.uk/envir…/street-care-and-cleaning/

Meeting on the path with secateurs’:We would call for any volunteers willing to help cut back vegetation by hand. This should be an easy and effective activity to conduct on an occasional basis (and can be done one-legged as demonstrated by Ron!).

Melbourn Greenway Approved.

We’re delighted to report that the Melbourn Greenway scheme was approved by the Greater Cambridge Partnership Board meeting on 25 June. This is a big step forward in providing improvements right along our route, which we’ll explain in more detail below. Importantly, it means that the local authorities will start the detailed design and land acquisition process for these improvements, including a new path and bridge between Royston and Melbourn. Pleasingly, all three of the decision-makers spoke in favour of the Royston connection – there is real political support to make this happen, and is a real vindication of our long campaign to get it built!

You can see the report here https://bit.ly/31z1VDl (page 216 onwards) and watch the meeting decision discussion here: https://youtu.be/_TKHCWb28xU  (4 hours 4 minutes in).

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The scheme is currently specified only in outline, but includes the following improvements (starting at the Royston end):

–          A bridge from Royston over the A505 (in cooperation with Hertfordshire County Council)

–          A new path along the east side of the A10 (opposite side to the existing path) linking the new bridge with Melbourn village

–          Changes to Melbourn village centre including a 20mph speed limit, on-road cycle lanes and improvements to junctions

–          Improvements in Foxton and Shepreth, linking both villages to the existing A10 path, and reducing the speed limit in Foxton to 20mph.

–          Improvements at Foxton Level Crossing, with a new 30mph speed limit (reduced from the present 50mph), narrowing the road and providing a cycle lane over the main crossing as well as retaining the existing wicket gates

–          A new path through the fields around Harston, allowing cyclists to avoid the village centre – this will start from Church End and rejoin the existing path at Rectory Farm in Hauxton. A connection to Haslingfield is also planned as part of a later scheme.

–          The existing narrow path north of Harston will be widened to 3m

–          The route through the Trumpington Meadows Country park will be revised and straightened as part of plans to build a park-and-ride site (“Hauxton Travel Hub”) between the A10 and M11. This will include a new foot/cycle bridge over the M11 adjacent to the existing concrete farm bridge.

So, what happens now? Council officers will begin the process of getting to a detailed design, which will include appointing consultants to do the design work and briefing them on what is wanted. The design process is forecast to take about two years. There will then need to be a further authorisation by the Board to construct the scheme, and planning permission will be needed for several aspects. There is still campaign work for us to do to ensure that the scheme gets built in a way that gives maximum benefit to the local community. The scheme is due for completion before 2025, but we hope that at least some of it will be done before then!

The importance of the A505 bridge was highlighted by each member of the Board, and support and financial contributions from Royston and Melbourn businesses toward the bridge were specifically cited as evidence of the strong demand for cycle to work in a cross-county border setting.

As county councillors, Fiona Hill and Steve Jarvis in Herts and Susan van de Ven in Cambs, together with their respective officers, are working closely together on vital cross-county collaboration for next steps.

At the same meeting, the Board also approved plans to construct a station car park for Foxton station (branded as “Foxton Travel Hub”). We will be liaising directly with GCP officers to try and get the best possible design – especially where the A10 cycle path meets access points for Foxton and Hauxton Travel Hubs.

Timescales may seem slow but we believe this to be a milestone decision for very significant improvements to the Royston-Cambridge cycle link.

Spaces to breathe with Camcycle

We are delighted to be supporting, and would love our members to support, Camcycles’ Spaces to breath campaign and for our members to sign their letter.

Taken from the Camcycle website: “During the coronavirus pandemic we would like to help people stay active while protecting themselves and others, by identifying areas where it is hard to keep at least 2m away from people when walking or cycling and proposing temporary measures to reallocate space away from motor traffic while the roads are quieter. This would help widen existing walking and cycling routes and provide alternatives to those that are busy or narrow. It would also help tackle the rise in speeding drivers which has been a sad side-effect of the wide, empty streets.”

To se the full article and to sign their letter, go to Camcycle Spaces to breath.

We hope you can support this. It’s been a delight to see so many bikes out and about. Let’s help create an environment where this can continue.

Royston Bridge. Hertfordshire taking action.

Plans are evolving for the Melbourn Greenway with Hertordshire including cycle facilities at Royson in their plans Read about the plalns in this Royson Crow article.

One of the key aims of our campaign is see the construction of a safe crossing, in the form of bridge, over the A505 at Rotston.

Herts is now consulting on this. It would be great if you could lend your support by replying to the consultation, especially Herts rersidents. The three page consultation can be found here. Click the have your say tab on the page that opens.

 

Responses to the public questions asked at the recent Hertfordshire County Council Meeting.

Two members of the campaign have been asking questions regarding crossing the A505 at a recent Hertfordshire County Council Meeting. The questions and responses are:

3. PUBLIC QUESTIONS – STANDING ORDER 8 (10) 3A. 3.1 Mr S Czarnawski-Iliev, a resident of Royston, asked T L F Douris, Executive Member for Education, Libraries and Localism the following question:-

“Would the Councillor lend his support in principle to the provision of a safe pedestrian/cycle route to enable Royston teenagers to have safe, cheap and independent transport for accessing education, leisure, parttime employment, friends, family and all the things that make up normal life, but might happen to be a mile or two over the county border?

3.2 T L F Douris, Executive Member for Education, Libraries and Localism, replied:- “Thank you for your question which I note is similar in vein to that asked by Mr Nash to my colleague Councillor Derrick Ashley. I am also aware of questions posed by Mr Meadows and Mr Taylor at the November Council meeting. From an educational perspective, we would always encourage pupils of all ages to walk or cycle to school, where it is safe for them to do so. Indeed, we regularly review opportunities to create or enhance safe routes to schools within Hertfordshire recognising the health, environmental and financial benefits of walking and cycling in keeping with the Local Transport Plan4 ambitions. We want our young people to be able to engage in local leisure activities. I believe that we are all of a similar view that such a route would be of benefit and indeed I am aware that Councillor Ashley wrote on 19th June this year to the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Authority and to the Leader of the Combined Authority requesting their support for a cycle link over the A505 thus providing a continuous route and it is my understanding that we have had positive responses from Cambridgeshire. Indeed, North Hertfordshire District Council and Hertfordshire County Council have been working with the Local Parish Council and reviewing planning applications to secure developer contributions and other potential funding where appropriate. Hertfordshire County Council is also working on proposals as part of the North Central Growth and Transport Plan to help routes connect to the bridge and consider the wider cycle infrastructure in the town.

From this you will see that Hertfordshire County Council is working hard to achieve the required outcome, but this is a complex issue and it requires the support and commitment of all the relevant partners.”

3B. 3.4 Mr R Nash, a resident of Royston, asked D A Ashley, Executive Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy, the following question:-

“Could Councillor Ashley please give us an update on work within the Council on the planned pedestrian and cycle bridge over the A505 north of Royston – particularly with reference to the Council’s recent application to the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership for funding for the bridge and also engagement with officers from Cambridge County Council and the Greater Cambridge Partnership on their Melbourn Greenways proposal?”

3.5 D A Ashley, Executive Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy, replied:- “Thank you for your question. First of all I apologise if the answer overlaps some of the answer to the previous question because of course they are related to the same topic. Just to repeat my colleagues report, I did write to Mayor James Palmer (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority), Councillor Steve Count (Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, Combined Authority Board Member), and Councillor Lewis Herbert (Leader, Cambridge City Council, Greater Cambridge Partnership Board Chairman) who are the key decision makers in the Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority and indeed are Board members of that and also members of Cambridge County Council and City Council. Prior to the development of the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership there was an understanding between Hertfordshire County Council and Cambridgeshire County Council that the project to deliver the Cycle Link

and Bridge over the A505 completing the route from Cambridge via Melbourne to Royston would be developed jointly, to help link communities to key services and employment areas. As per the Melbourn Greenway Review Report which says ‘the Melbourn to Royston route is partly in Hertfordshire and is dependent for its success on a new bridge over the A505 on the edge of Royston’. This clearly recognises the need for co-operation between the authorities to bring forward the project. As part of this commitment Hertfordshire County Council took a lead role in producing the feasibility study for the bridge with a commitment to maintaining the bridge once constructed. It was agreed that the construction of the route connections and bridge itself should be the joint responsibility of both authorities to fund and deliver. It was understood that there was agreement in principal that the Local Enterprise Partnerships for both areas were supportive of the project. Hertfordshire County Council sought funding to support the scheme by submitting a Local Enterprise Partnership bid in the November 2018 Open Call which unfortunately was unsuccessful due to match funding not being secured and concerns over delivery timescales. North Hertfordshire District Council and Hertfordshire County Council have been working with the Local Parish Council and reviewing planning applications to secure developer contributions and other potential funding where appropriate. Hertfordshire County Council are also working on proposals as part of the North Central Growth and Transport Plan to help routes connect to the bridge and consider the wider cycle infrastructure in the town. Following an officers’ meeting towards the end of 2018, Hertfordshire County Council were informed that whilst the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership still have similar aspirations to Hertfordshire County Council in implementing the project, support from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority remained unclear and no decision had been made on committing funding to support the project. Hertfordshire remains keen to work with the Partnership to promote the project and I have asked officers to re-establish links with the Project leads in the Partnership as the bridge is a vital component of the overall Cambridge, Melbourn and Royston Route. Unfortunately, I understand that the last two meetings have been cancelled. However, a new date for July has been proposed and I hope that it can be achieved to help discussions recommence. We hope that Cambridgeshire County Council and the Combined Authority recognise the value to South Cambridgeshire residents of a sustainable link to the employment opportunities offered by Royston; people do travel in from that route. I have received correspondence back from Cambridgeshire and further to the officer meeting I intend to meet with them to discuss how we can work more closely to develop and enable the project to be delivered.”

3.6 Mr R Nash, asked D A Ashley, Executive Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy the following supplementary question:-

“I wondered if Councillor Ashley was aware of the latest accident on the A505/A10 roundabout, involving a cyclist a couple of weeks ago. Fire, ambulance and police were in attendance. Luckily, no serious injury; but just to underline the importance of trying to get this key bit of infrastructure in place.”

3.7 D A Ashley, Executive Member for Growth, Infrastructure, Planning and the Economy replied:- “Thank you very much, I was aware of this accident and as I say, it just highlights the importance of trying to make progress and complete this project. As I said, I think it is very important that we keep up our dialogue with Cambridgeshire, and I think we are working closely with local Elected Members just across the border to try and bring this to fruition. So hopefully we can make some progress soon.”

 

Thank you to the members who took the time to attend this meeting.

Melbourn Greenway closes soon – have you had your own response?

Every young person counts!

Consultation for the Melbourn Greenway closes at noon on August 5th. The link is here: https://bit.ly/2F5VjQI

Every person in a household is entitled to their own response. Most particularly it is hoped that children and young people will be encouraged to respond and be counted – because improvements to walking and cycling and getting around independently will be of particular benefit to them.

Funding for Greenway schemes comes not from councils but is earmarked Government funding for infrastructure development, passed down to our area via the Greater Cambridge Partnership, which is comprised of elected council representatives.

Indeed, it is thanks to Junior Travel Ambassadors at Meldreth Primary School and students at Melbourn Village College who have been along to make the case at meetings of the Greater Cambridge Partnership that the link to Royston is now being considered as part of the overall Cambridge-Royston scheme.

There are very few funding opportunities for infrastructure straddling a county border, and so this scheme holds special potential for a path on the eastern side of the A10 and a bridge over the A505 to Royston.

For children and young people, the route would feed into an existing Sustrans cycle network in Royston, leading to the Royston Leisure Centre, and to the amazing walk/cycle/scooter underpass at Coombes Hole that leads to the BMX track facility. For Melbourn Village College students coming from Royston, the two-mile link would mean the chance to travel independently to college. And of course, for mums and dads living and working on either side of the county border, a safe link to work.

Coombes Hole

Coombes Hole

The Melbourn Greenway scheme is one of 12 schemes radiating out from Cambridge and these will be prioritized at the Greater Cambridge Partnership meeting on December 12.
So if you haven’t responded please do so!

Cycle September is coming to Cambridge

We’ve had the following mail from Cycle September. A few of you may remember it from a few years ago, and it’s back:

Cycle September is coming to Cambridge and we’d like to invite you all to take part.

It’s a fun, free competition to see which workplace can get the most staff to try cycling. There are loads of prizes that you can win by riding and encouraging friends and colleagues to do the same.

Love to Ride is based on a proven model that has engaged over 400,000 participants with significant long-term increases in cycling participation. However, for the programme to be a success we need regular cyclists to spread the word and help enlist their workplaces.

By taking part, you can also generate useful data that makes things better for cyclists in Cambridge. Register your workplace and you will also have the bonus of being able to show your employers the number of cyclists, which is useful in getting better facilities for those that ride, such as storage and shower.  

Find out more and register here.

If you have any questions contact Emma on emma@lovetoridge.org

Melbourn-Royston Cycle Bridge & Melbourn Greenway Consultation now live

We’re delighted to let you know that the ‘Melbourn Greenway’ consultation is now open.

As you are no doubt aware, this is our best opportunity to achieve a Melbourn to Royston cycle link by means of a path along the A10 and a bridge over the A505 – something we’ve been campaigning for, for many years.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership Greenways project consists of 12 individual schemes of which the Melbourn Greenway is one.  All the other schemes have seen very high consultation response rates.   A GCP meeting in December will prioritize schemes for funding, so it’s very important that the Melbourn Greenway scheme sees the highest response rate of all: we’re aiming for 1000 responses. So we really need you to respond, and for you to persuade your friends, family and colleagues to respond as well.

The consultation closes on August 5th.

We’ve produced a document to link you to the Melbourn Greenway consultation, with some suggested responses: please find it to view or download here.

These events which may be of interest:

1.  Royston Market stall, for distributing the consultation leaflet, June 29, 8:00am to 3:30pm (please let us know ideally by Sunday evening if you’d like to help on the day).

2.  Melbourn Greenway consultation events:

·       July 11, Melbourn Hub, 6:30-8:30PM

·       July 25, Harston Village Hall, 6:00-8:00PM

3.  A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign meeting July 10, 7:30-9:00PM, upstairs at the Shepreth Plough – we’ll take stock and fine-tune plans for the remainder of the consultation period.