(updated with responses Tuesday 7 July)
Monday 22 June should have seen the quarterly council South Area Committee meeting, where City and County councillors from across the three south wards – Trumpington, Queen Edith’s and Cherry Hinton – come together to take questions from the public. These meetings are also a chance for us to seek information from council officers and other public representatives; and to provide input on local priorities regarding policing and environment.
Unfortunately, the June meeting was cancelled, due to the Covid crisis, as December’s was also cancelled due to the General Election. This means there will be only have been one chance to question local councillors between September 2019 and September 2020 – and with everything that’s been going on in that time, we at the Queen Edith’s Community Forum thought it was important to find an alternative to the usual Open Forum session, where any member of the public can ask councillors about issues of concern.
We put out a call to local residents for the questions they would have asked, and forwarded these to our councillors. Thanks for your response!
Two city councillors from Cherry Hinton and Trumpington went out of their way to find answers for us, including helping to get some correspondence from council officers, for which we are very grateful. None of the three city councillors from Queen Edith’s replied.
Our Queen Edith’s county councillor, Amanda Taylor, sent us some links to her website and a Facebook group, which we’re happy to include below, and wrote: “We have been answering these and other questions in private correspondence with residents”. She also points to a recent newsletter from her political party which covers some of the issues.
The Queen Edith’s Community Forum provides the answers received below with no comment, although the questions which received no response must be seen as a disappointment.
1. Fendon Road roundabout
– raised by Ann, Rahee, Karen and Olga
- What is the new expected end date and why has the communication around this project been so poor?
- How will the planting on top of the new central bed be managed such that pedestrians, especially those who are disabled, will be able to see over the top of it?
As a “Matters arising” from the previous South Area committee meeting, Dorothy Higginson, Group Manager, Major Infrastructure Delivery at Cambridgeshire County Council wrote to a local resident who asked to see the cost-benefit analysis for the project. Ms Higginson wrote: “I have been looking back through the archives to locate a benefits realisation document or something outlining the benefits. At the time the South Cambridgeshire Cycle Improvement initiative was being progressed, local members were keen to have the initial S106 funding spent on safer walking and cycling on Queen Edith’s Way, Cherry Hinton Road and the Robin Hood junction and therefore the approach was to derive the benefits based on the consultations that took place and the general support received from the local residents. As such, therefore, a BCR (Benefit–Cost ratio) was not calculated and therefore I am unable to supply such details. The situation today has changed in that we do now calculate a BCR and develop a benefits realisation plan for our projects, however I am sure the benefits will become self-evident once the roundabout opens in the near future.”
2. Proposed traffic controls on Nightingale Avenue and Luard Road
– raised by Arthur, Gavin, Fiona, Ingrid, Ayesha, Vivien, Peter, Joanne, John, Josephine and Elizabeth. Note: we did also receive several statements in support of the proposals but as they were not expressed as questions we have not included them here.
- Why is the County Council doing these road closures?
- Why has it used a device (ETROs) that deny residents and other interested parties any opportunity to provide even comments until they have instituted the block? What public consultation is now going to take place?
- How will the success or failure of the trial be measured? What will determine whether the council will seek to make the road closure permanent?
- Has the Council considered limiting the closure to the morning and evening rush-hour, Monday-Friday?
- What assessment has been made of the impact of additional traffic on Hills Road and Fendon Road, specifically on ambulances and buses?
- Will any bollards or control points be accessible for emergency vehicles (fire engines, ambulances) or will they too have to route the long way round?
- How does the Council propose to block the road to cars while keeping it safe and accessible for bikes in both directions (also cargo bikes)?
- Will the restrictions apply to motorbikes and how would that be enforced?
- What assessment has been done of impacts on the network of side roads around Cavendish Ave, Blinco Grove etc, which are currently quiet feeder roads which are safe to cycle on especially for pupils at local schools?
- How can residents find out more about proposals for Nightingale Avenue?
- Will the current parking restrictions continue when the road is closed?
- Why does Nightingale Avenue have inadequate signage indicating that it is a 20mph zone and no speed limiting measures eg crossings, occasional islands, etc?
3. Red Cross Lane
– raised by Josephine and Steve
- Why has the Red Cross area not been included in the plan to close Nightingale Avenue as it is a direct feeder road into ours? This decision will impact on the dangers for road users, cyclists and pedestrians trying to safely access the Hospitals and residents trying to access their homes.
- The surface of Red Cross Lane is so badly degraded that I can no longer cycle along it, but have to push my bike. What can you do to get County Highways to prioritise resurfacing it?
4. Cambridge South Station
– raised by Andrew
- What is the up to date position re the proposed railway station and is it correct that there is no provision for car parking even though it will be used for commuting to London etc? If so, what parking restrictions will be put in place to stop our residential streets being further ruined by commuter car parking?
5. Nightingale Pavilion
– raised by Clare
- What is the reason behind the non-existent progress of the replacement Pavilion in Nightingale Park?
6. Shrub cutting
– raised by Fiona
- Why is there no council reminder to households that it isn’t OK to leave shrubs and trees overhanging/taking over grass verges and pavements? It is a hazard to eyes and faces, and a loss of public space, which is particularly important at the moment.
- Why is there no maintenance programme for cutting back ivy on trees in Nightingale Park?
7. Godwin Way
– raised by Ruth
- What are you going to do to improve the safety around the main entrance to Queen Edith school in Godwin Way made dangerous by parents driving and parking irresponsibly?
8. Queen Edith’s Way
– raised by Ruth and Paul
- Is there any chance of re-seeding the grass verges in Queen Edith’s Way and of making it illegal to park on them?
- When will we see action on the creation of cycleways along Queen Edith’s Way?
– raised by Rahee
- How do I raise issues with potholes in the pathway? I am particularly concerned about a pothole that is just on the entrance of the Mowbray Road cul-de-sac opposite Holbrook Road. As you are all probably aware, this pathway has a large amount of footfall on it due to the hospital with people going to and from work and could cause a potential safety hazard.
The Queen Edith’s Community Forum team would like to hear from residents as to whether they found this a useful substitute for the real meeting.