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GUIDED BUSWAY report on structural faults and potential costs

An independent report published by Smarter Cambridge Transport can be found HERE.

'FINAL CONCEPT' for Milton Road

This REPORT and Appendices D, E and F,G,H will go to the Joint Assembly for debate on 19th July and the Executive Board for decision on 26th July 2017.

The appendices include cross-section diagrams and visualisations at various locations along the road.

Consultants' Modified Concept for Milton Road

Presentation given at the Local Liaison Forum on 13th June 2017 can be found HERE.

City Deal response to our Do-Optimum plan revealed

At the Milton Road Local Liaison Forum meeting on 9th May 2017, City Deal's new Interim Director of Transport delivered his response to our Do-Optimum plan, and an update on the progress of the project.  His presentation can be viewed HERE.

A video of the whole meeting can be viewed HERE.

Candidates' responses to our election questionnaire now published

Preparation for Milton Road Election Hustings 27th April 7.00pm at Chesterton Community College.

Questions focused primarily on issues raised by City Deal's proposals for Milton Road and the alternative 'Do-Optimum' scheme developed by residents' groups, along with other challenges affecting local services, the environment and streetscape.

Thirteen of the nineteen candidates across four electotal divisions completed the survey:

ARBURY        CASTLE        CHESTERTON        KINGS HEDGES

HPERA opinion survey on parking controls now published

A summary of results with individual comments from residents can be viewed HERE.

The Milton Road Alliance - Will Milton Road Set the Standard?

Following initial public consultation on the Milton Road project, City Deal set up a Local Liaison Forum (LLF) to enable local people and interest groups to give input on more detailed aspects of their 'Do-Something' design.
A series of six workshops took place last autumn, and feedback from these led to a collaboration between HPERA, MRRA and CamCycle that has resulted in an alternative design for Milton Road.
The Milton Road Alliance team published this as the 'Do-Optimum' Alternative which was subsequently adopted formally by the LLF as a resolution to be presented to the City Deal Executive Board in March 2017 - subsequently postponed to June 2017.

The team has also published a more wide-ranging paper asking the question

WILL MILTON ROAD SET THE STANDARD?

 

This sets the scene for the Assembly Meeting on 7th June and the Executive Board Meeting on 15th June.

City Deal governance and project mgmt - an extraordinarily frank review by external consultants

This document highlights shortcomings in procedures and resources that many of us have experienced during the last year.  As a result the City Deal team is to be strengthened by the appointment of an Interim Chief Executive and various other posts.

Milton Road LLF passes resolution in favour of new alternative design

09 Dec 2016 PRESS RELEASE

Milton Road Local Liaison Forum votes in favour of 'Do-Optimum' approach to road layout

The Local Liaison Forum for the Milton Road City Deal project passed a resolution* last night supporting the "Do-Optimum" design that has been developed by a working group from Milton Road Residents' Association (MRRA) and Hurst Park Estate Residents' Association (HPERA), working in collaboration with Camcycle.

The "Do-Optimum" alternative is a new proposal for the Milton Road scheme that shows how it is possible to incorporate priority for walking, cycling and public transport with an avenue of trees and green verges. The design includes features such as walking and cycling priority-crossings of minor side roads, cycle lanes separated from motor vehicles by trees within verges, a safe roundabout design that provides protection and priority for walking and cycling, comfortable bus stops that are designed to be fully accessible to persons with disabilities, and innovative bus "queue-jump" lanes that give buses a head-start at junctions.

This new proposal evolved out of the City Deal Local Liaison Forum workshops where groups of stakeholder residents and organisations were brought together by the officers to talk about the various elements of the City Deal scheme.

In their foreword to the resolution, the working group stated “This design offers a great opportunity for Cambridge to pioneer a welcoming, best-in-class, tree-lined gateway into the city that will transform the way people choose to travel, because it will provide a safe, calming and healthy environment for all modes of use.  From the evidence of the workshops it is very likely to attract majority support from local stakeholders and we believe that it meets the City Deal objectives to a greater degree than the Do-Something proposals.”

Matthew Danish from Camcycle (and a resident of Arbury living near Milton Road) attended the workshops and said that, "the most important thing was working together with residents and the various stakeholders to produce a shared vision for a better, greener, safer street for people of all ages and abilities. Together, and with the endorsement of the Local Liaison Forum, we offer the Do-Optimum proposal to the City Deal Board in the spirit of goodwill as a means towards achieving the goals of the City Deal."

Charles Nisbet, Chair of MRRA, welcomed  the decision to support this ground-breaking alternative design.  He said: "This is in so many ways an improvement on what the City Deal was proposing this time last year, which would have resulted in the destruction of Milton Road as we know it.  The Do-Optimum design will meet the City Deal's objectives of giving priority to bus travel and improving provision for walking and cycling in safety while providing visitors to our historic city with a beautiful, tree-lined entry. This proposal will go to the City Deal Assembly and Executive Board in March next year and we must keep up the pressure to ensure that the right decision is reached there."

Michael Page, Chair of HPERA stated “The ‘Do-Optimum Alternative’ has been the result of an amazing team effort from a disparate group of local residents brought together with one goal in mind – to produce a lasting legacy for Milton Road and the city of which we can all be proud.  The City Deal team have now been offered a great opportunity to take forward a plan that will win majority public support and set the tone for other projects around the city.”

For drawings or more information go to:  milton_road_do_optimum.pdf

Contact: Michael Page  Tel: 01223-365985
Chair, Hurst Park Estate Residents’ Association (HPERA)

Contact: Roxanne De Beaux Email: contact@camcycle.org.uk
Officer, Cambridge Cycling Campaign

* The resolution requested that the City Deal Board directs officers to develop the 'Do-Optimum' proposal in parallel with, or as an alternative to, the 'Do-Something' plans.

Decision Time for the M/Rd Local Liaison Forum Thurs 8th Dec 6.30pm Shire Hall

A public meeting in the Kreis Viersen room at 6.30pm when the Forum will have to decide its response to the officers' reports on the Milton Road workshops and will vote on resolutions to put to the City Deal Assembly and Executive Board. This will be an important opportunity for the Forum to try and influence the decisions that the Board will take in the new year on the future plans for Milton Road.

See our new design submission HERE.

 

City Deal Executive Board Thurs 10th Nov 4.00pm South Cambs Hall Cambourne

A meeting open to the public covering a wide-ranging agenda on City Deal matters and including petitions from members of the public and business community on the city-centre congestion proposals.

The agenda papers can be accessed HERE.

Local Liaison Form public meeting Tues 8th Nov at 6.00pm Chesterton Comm College

Officers and consultants will present a summary of the six Milton Road workshops held over the last two months. Residents and interested parties will then be able to study the documents produced and give feedback for a meeting on 22nd November which will decide on resolutions to be put to the City Deal Assembly and Executive Board.
An initial draft of the proceedings of the first four workshops can be found HERE

Yellow Lines Plan revealed

There is now a brief consultation period for double yellow lines proposed by the County Council around the junction of Hurst Park Avenue with Milton Road, and various other junctions in the area.  The distances referred to are measured from where the lines currently terminate on Milton Road at the corners with the avenue. Comments or objections should be sent to policyandregulation@cambridgeshire.gov.uk  no later than 31st August 2016.

See this extract from the announcement in the Cambridge News.

Update at 05/11/16 - we are still waiting for the results of the consultation.

Outcome of Milton Rd Local Liaison Forum (LLF) Tues 9th August held at Chesterton Community College

A Briefing Document from local residents' associations was presented.  City Deal information on LLFs can be found HERE.

The main outcomes were:

  • The statement from the residents’ associations was read out and will appear in the minutes.
  • The terms of reference for the LLF will be amended as we had requested.
  • The two resolutions were voted on and passed unanimously.
  • Our proposals for Key Scheme Workshops were voted on and agreed except that they will be reduced in number by combining two of them.  They will be as follows:
  1. Union Lane junction, its proposed closure, and the requirements of traders local to that junction
  2. Elizabeth Way junction including roundabout re-design as an option
  3. Requirements of traders located at the southern end of Milton Road

Future Events

Design Workshops:  September 6th, 13th and 20th - details to be confirmed

Local Forum Feedback and Review: September 27th

Key Scheme Review Workshops:  October 11th and 12th

Local Forum Feedback and Review: October 25th

Mitigation Measures Workshops: November 8th and 14th

Local Forum Feedback and Review: November 22nd

City Deal meeting Thursday 9 June 2016 at 2.30pm

On Thursday 9th June at 2.30pm the Executive Board Meeting will be at Meadows Community Centre, St Catharines Road/Arbury Road. It is open to the public.


The Joint Assembly voted to endorse the ‘Do Something’ proposals for Milton Road and amongst the recommendations are:
* Replacement of the Elizabeth Way/Highworth Ave roundabout with traffic lights
* 4 lanes (ie 2 bus lanes) between Hurst Park Avenue and Oak Tree Avenue
* Union Lane closed off for access in and out of East Chesterton and the Union Lane Emergency Medical Centre
* Loss of 105 trees
and   
* A no right-turn into Elizabeth Way from Milton Road is going to be considered
* The closure of Highworth Avenue is to be reconsidered

And all this for a TWO minute saving on a bus journey time using a bus lane...

If you would like to raise a question by email to democratic.services@scambs.gov.uk no later than 10am on Wednesday 8th and then ask it in person or nominate someone to read it for you.

The agenda for the meeting is here:

Joint Assembly of the Cambridge City Deal

This important meeting is taking place on the 2nd June. A packed agenda means that a lot will probably not get much scrutiny.

Both HPERA, MRRA and other residents' associations plan to ask questions at this meeting. Look for the video of this event, which will be done by Richard Taylor.

A New Vision for Milton Road

A thought-provoking article about the opportunities for place-making and innovative design along Milton Road has appeared in the Cambridge Association of Architects Gazette -  "The value of this project can and must exceed that of simply speeding up bus journeys".  Read more here on pages 14 and 15.

Minutes of HPERA's First AGM

The minutes of the first HPERA AGM have been published here.

 

Local Election Hustings

Here is a video taken during the hustings for the local political parties held at Chesteron School on the 28th April, 2016.

 

 

Cambridge Connect

 Cambridge-Connect - The HPERA committee encourage you to visit this website: www.cambridge-connect.uk where you will see an innovative and connected approach to a 21st century solution to Cambridge’s transport problems. Let us know your views - committee@hpera.co.uk


 

Newsletter No 3 is now available

We have now submitted the official HPERA response to the Cambridge City Deal Milton Road Proposal, so it's time to think beyond this single issue.

Also take note of the date for the HPERA AGM evening.

Read it all here.

Western Orbital consultation ends 21 March 2016.

The consultation period for the Western Orbital Plans ends on 21st March 2016. 

Details of the plans and a list of times for drop-in meetings with the planners can be found here.

 

Milton Road 'Save the Trees' petition

The Milton Road 'Save the Trees' petition is well under way.

The Cambridge News ran an article about the petition - you can read about it here.

The link to sign and support the petition is here.

 

 

Milton Road Library Redevelopment Proposal

WIth looming deadline of the comments on the Milton Rd poroposal, we can forget that there are other developments being planned.

Here  is the redevelopment proposal for the Miton Rd Library site and Have Your Say questionnaire. The plans will be displayed in the Milton Road Library till 8th March and the attached documents will be available on the Cambridgeshire County Council Library website till 8th March.

A summary of the HPERA response to the proposed 'City Deal' - deadline is 15 February 2016.

Extracts from the HPERA submission to Cambridge City Deal Executive Summary (pages 5-6)

 

There are major concerns from residents that the City Deal proposals will compromise safety, health and quality of life for residents, and lead to environmental degradation and pollution. Alternative proposals to achieve the City Deal's aims are suggested.

Detail

Hurst Park Estate Residents' Association (HPERA), which represents around 450 households/1000 residents, has considered the City Deal Proposals carefully and has the following comments.

We support the broad aims of the proposals, and agree that residents and commuters should be encouraged to use public transport and bicycles instead of cars. However, we think the specific actions outlined in the proposals would have undesirable consequences for the local population, and that some of the underpinning assumptions are incorrect. We propose some alternative measures.

Specifically:

  • Residents are extremely concerned that the proposed changes to routing around Milton Road will: increase traffic flow through the Hurst Park Estate, create rat-runs, and force detours for residents of one road (Highworth Avenue), compromising safety of residents and quality of life in the Estate, and causing environmental degradation; create rat-runs in other neighbourhoods (Ramsden Square, Lovell Road, Campkin Road), with similar consequences; increase the danger to children and parents on school runs on and around Milton Road as more vehicles access Hurst Park Avenue, Ascham Road and Gurney Way.

  • The proposed road restrictions in the vicinity of the Hurst Park Estate and the rat-runs that will be created will lead to significant pollution and health hazards. In particular, the annual mass of greenhouse gas emissions will be of the order of 50 tonnes CO2e which is equivalent to the emissions attributed to 30 seats on trans-atlantic air journeys.

  • The proposal to replace the Highworth Roundabout is flawed. Traffic on the roundabout currently runs smoothly for much of the day and it is attractive with a "country" feel, enjoyed not just by local residents. The proposed replacement traffic lights would delay traffic flow on Milton Road at all times of day, increase noise, pollution and energy use, and be unattractive. The argument that the roundabout is more dangerous for cyclists than traffic lights is not, in our view, sufficiently compelling. Accident statistics show clearly that this roundabout is not an “accident black-spot” and its removal is unwarranted on such grounds. Residents are strongly opposed to its removal, and suggest that modifications to the roundabout will meet safety concerns.

  • The current proposal to widen the road to make a four-lane highway involves the removal of most of the trees, bushes and grass verges from Milton Road. This is not an acceptable state of affairs. We believe that cities should be planting more trees not destroying them.

• The lack of information about how an increase in bus traffic will be dealt with at Mitcham’s Corner and the City Centre leaves the impression that Milton Road could become a bus-lane corridor without a destination.

We suggest the following alternative measures to keep traffic moving:

  • Retain the Highworth roundabout, and make modifications to address safety concerns and improve traffic flow further (described in 5.2 p.21 and Appendix G).

  • Abandon the no-right-turn into Arbury Rd measure and, instead, improve the safety of the existing junction by: moving the bus stops- one to north side of the junction along Milton Rd, the other to lay-by further south; implementing a right filter and improve the signal phasing.

  • Extend the left filter on Milton Road approaching the Arbury Road lights to divert vehicles from the central lane earlier and reduce tailbacks.

  • Abandon the no-right-turn measure for Milton Road south-bound at Gilbert Road and, instead, re-configure the junction slightly to north-west and re-implement a right-filter.

    To address the congestion problem generally we recommend:

  • Incentivise commuters to use existing and new P&R sites which are properly sheltered, free (or low cost) and are destinations in themselves offering franchises for Car-Wash, mini- mart, collect+ parcel pick-up and so on.

  • Incentivise bus use by implementing off-bus or cashless ticketing with extended service times to/from P&R sites.

  • Press ahead with orbital bus routes and the idea for a new Addenbrookes rail station to connect with Cambridge North.

    Some dis-incentive strategies for consideration:

  • Mandatory pre-pay and booking for city-centre car parks drivers on essential journeys are then guaranteed a space and others will no longer be cruising around and forming queues.

  • Extension of parking restrictions into residential streets 1-2 miles out from the centre.

  • Road charging at peak times for all road users (also to help subsidise P&R running costs)

    HPERA stands ready to discuss these ideas, provide further evidence as required to support our arguments, and elaborate on our alternative suggestions.

    Conclusions and Recommendations (pages 28-29)

    Specific to the Hurst Park Estate

Arbury Road and Gilbert Road contain important destinations needing vehicular access including a Primary School, Castle School, Care Home, Community College, Academy School,

Dentist, Veterinary Practice etc. The proposed traffic turn restrictions and road closures will result in significant delays for cross-corridor traffic around Milton Road, significant inconvenience to residents and commuters needing to navigate local streets by car, and an increase in danger to pedestrians, noise, pollution and energy usage. Additional greenhouse gas emissions are conservatively calculated at 50 tonnes CO2e per year which will be exacerbated by loss of trees and greenery.

Recommendation:

Proceed on the basis of ‘doing least harm’. Make intelligent incremental changes at critical pinch points in the system as outlined in this report and measure the results, rather than embarking on major and irreversible road widening.

  •   The rationale for the removal of the ‘Highworth roundabout’ and its replacement with a traffic light system is twofold: i) a perception that roundabouts are more dangerous for cyclists than traffic light systems, and ii) that a traffic light system will better regulate the flow of buses through City environs, avoiding the delays at roundabouts. In both cases, we believe that these justifications are flawed, and that the proposal flies in the face of trends in other countries.

    Recommendation:

    Leave the roundabout in place but make modifications as outlined in this report to improve traffic flow further. In particular, install new cycleways and footpaths to accommodate the particular needs of cyclists and pedestrians. Allow the grass to remain and the flowers to blossom. Modifications at pinch-points up-stream and down-stream in the system should help to improve the passage of buses in this section.

  •   Current options for Milton Road will be to the detriment of the public realm and environment. Cities should be planting more trees, not getting rid of existing ones. They are the lungs of our community, provide an attractive environment and assist in cleaning up air pollution. Grass verges assist by providing natural drainage.

    Recommendation:

    Abandon ideas for a four-lane motorised highway. If smart, incremental modifications to the network fail to deliver the improvements required then consider a three-lane tidal flow arrangement.

    Not Specific to the Hurst Park Estate:

Radial routes need to be upgraded but full-length dedicated bus lanes are not the answer. There is insufficient road width and some bus lanes are rarely occupied by buses. What is needed is priority when approaching and leaving junctions at peak times. Recommendations:

Consider bus gating through smart signalling during peak hours. Outside peak times, road space should be shared by public and private vehicles.

  •   New cycle lanes should be segregated from traffic and pedestrians where possible and positioning of bus stops should take account of passenger’s needs. Recommendations:

    Use the experience of Huntingdon Road where some cyclists prefer to travel in the ‘wrong’ direction on both sides of the highway rather than try to cross traffic lanes, risking collision with other traffic. There is anecdotal evidence of motor cyclists under-taking buses on Huntingdon Road by using the cycle lane. This should be banned and enforced by the police. The floating bus stops have not proved popular with passengers, can cause queueing and should not be implemented generally.

  •   More ambitious plans are needed to encourage commuters from outside the City to use public transport.

    Recommendations:

    Provide more P&R hubs further out from the city in convenient locations which are properly sheltered, low-cost and are destinations in themselves offering franchises for Car-Wash, mini- mart, collect+ parcel pick-up and so on. Ticketing should be off-bus or cashless and service hours should be extended to cater for user needs. Note: the implementation of charges at the existing P&R sites resulted in 500,000 less passenger journeys per annum (-14%).

    Provide better signage when drivers approach P&R sites to enable them to make a sustainable journey choice before embarking on a city-centre commute.
    Press ahead with the idea for a rail station at Addenbrookes to link up with Cambridge North.

  •   More ambitious plans are needed to dis-incentivise drivers from entering the city. Recommendations:
    Encourage sixth- form colleges and private schools to start their day at 10.00am. Introduce mandatory pre-pay and booking for city-centre car parks drivers on essential journeys will then be guaranteed a space and others will no longer be cruising around and forming queues.

    Extend parking restrictions into residential streets 1-2 miles out from the centre.
    Consider road charging at peak times for all road users (would also generate income to subsidise P&R running costs).

Need help with your consultation response?

The Milton Rd RA has conveniently shared with us some useful advice on what you might want to include in your response to the Milton Rd plan.


 

The consultation ends on Monday 15 February 2016.

Please let the City Deal know your views by filling in the Questionnaire but remember you don’t need to answer all the questions.

 

We have been assured that general comments will be read and analysed. However, in practice, this means that the reader will pick out key points and then total them. If you agree with any of the following, please do mention them in either the comments box on the questionnaire or in any sheet you attach.

Here are some of the points you can raise

  • Preserve trees and verges and improve the environment
  • Keep the Milton Road/Elizabeth Way roundabout
  • Do not restrict vehicular access to and from Union Lane or Highworth Avenue
  • Do not ban left turn onto Kings Hedges Road
  • Do not ban right turn into Gilbert Road or Arbury Road
  • Keep two-directional cycle path on north side of Milton Road
  • Reduce congestion by re-siting bus stops
  • Have local buses that serve the residents
  • Ensure effective drainage on roads
  • Ensure safe passage to all schools by foot or cycle
  • No commuter parking
  • Consider the Alternative Ideas raised at the meeting on 21 January.

 

You can also write a letter to

City Deal Team, SH1311, Shire Hall Castle Hill, Cambridge CB3 0AP

or send an email to

city.deal@cambridgeshire.gov.uk