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.
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.
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.
“Taking your life into your hands” – pulling out to cross the busy road
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.
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.
This drawing is taken from the bridge and path feasibility study carried out by Hertfordshire County Council in 2015, with our annotations.
The ride from Trumpington park and ride:
We had fine weather and a good turnout once again for our annual ride.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s time to tell Government: Show us the money for cycling!
The Government has asked councils throughout England to come up with Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs), to help make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys and to make our streets and towns safer, healthier and better places to travel through, visit, work and shop. Places where we’d all rather be.
However, while many councils are now developing these plans, the Government haven’t put forward any specific funding to help cash-strapped authorities make these plans a reality.
Without this financial support, there’s every chance your council will spend valuable time and money developing detailed cycling and walking plans which will just sit on a shelf gathering dust.
Given that the Government has already admitted that it’s failing to meet its objective to double cycling by 2025, we need your MP and council leader to demand that Government show us the money for cycling.
Over a hundred MPs have already written to demand this vital funding, but you can help usramp up the pressure by emailing your MP and council leader.
Just two minutes of your time to take action could help transform where you live, shop, walk and work.
Head of Campaigns