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.

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

Annual Awareness Ride

The time for our annual social and campaign meetup is almost here.

This year’s family-friendly Annual Awareness Ride takes place on June 9th, setting off from Trumpington Park and Ride at 10AM and riding along the evolving A10 cycleway to the front field at Phillimore Garden Centre for refreshments.

Marshals will be stationed at junctions and the A10 road crossing at Shepreth to help guide the way.

Once again, due to safety concerns we’ve decided against a Royston-Melbourn segment of the Awareness Ride.  However, we’re pleased to announce that the Greater Cambridge Partnership consultation on the ‘Melbourn Greenways’ project, which is about improving the A10 and other cycle corridors fanning out from Cambridge, will be launched on the same day.  A team of cycling officers will be on hand at Phillimore with a map of A10 route and consultation forms to fill out – we need to demonstrate strong support in order to gain the improvements we want.

In particular, this is an important opportunity to achieve a safe Melbourn-Royston cycle link. 

Please help us to publicise the ride via the poster and flyers below.

If you can’t make the ride, please do come along to Philimore anyway to enjoy refreshments and learn more about improving cycling conditions along the A10 corridor.

View or download a poster here or a smaller flyer here

Build us a Bridge competition winner and a huge thank you to our young ambassadors.

The winner of the Build Us A Bridge competition is Iris Bostanci, aged 7, and a pupil at Meldreth Primary School.

We particularly enjoyed the use of socks to represent the path and animals to represent users.

Our young ambassadors have really been doing a great job for us, with three attending a Greater Cambridge Partnership Board meeting recently, fielding questions. Read about their involvement in the meeting, published by The Royston Crow here.

 

Awareness ride report

On Sunday May the 7th, the A10 Corridor Cycle campaign held its annual awareness ride.

This year there was only one ride from Trumpington Park & Ride. There has been great progress on this section of the path, but no-one felt able to organise a ride from the Royston end. The situation is so dire south of Melbourn with traffic, that no one feels confident enough to organise an open ride at this end. When you travel the entire route, the South end feels abandoned, effectively generations apart compared to the new infrastructure that is place in areas to the North.

Efforts have been made by some members recently to improve the situation, but there is only so much individuals can do with a problem on an industrial scale.

Having said that some good infrastructure has been put in to the north. With this infrastructure, people of all ages can travel along most of the route in peace.

A large group of riders left Trumpington at about 10.15 and travelled through Trumpington Meadows, which is maturing and looking delightful on a sunny day. People do remark that on a dark night in the winter, they simple won’t use such an isolated route, but on a nice sunny day it makes a good leisure route with a roughly 50-50 split between people using it and choosing to stay on the path next to the A10.

The next section is down through Harston. This section is set to see improvement works beginning in the summer, which we welcome.

The awareness ride was covered by ITV. Some of those tiny children cycled all the way, if you think it’s too far for a grown adult to cycle. Read their article here.

The ride was also covered by the Cambridge News. Read the article here.

Once south of Harston, you are now on the new paths all the way to Melbourn, which are a joy to use, especially on a dark and windy night, which when you find out how good infrastructure really is. The group managed to progress at a steady pace. We used the new crossing islands in the A10 to cross and settled in for a social an cake at Phillimore Garden Centre. Many thanks to them for hosting us. A group travelled on an unofficial ride to explore further through Melbourn. Hopefully more of that will appear later.

Hear our campaign views on BBC radio

The campaign was featured on the Dotty McLeod Breakfast Show There is some argument against the proposed schemes then our argument for from about an hour in. Listen to the show here.

Also a big thank you to CTC Cambridge for publicising our campaign and ride on their website which can be seen here.

Do feel free to join us for our awareness ride this Sunday. We love to see anybody on a bike.

AwarenessPoster