MRRA News

Next Week's MRRA Annual General Meeting

Cake and Update

6.45-8.30pm, Tuesday 23 April 2019

Parish Room, St Laurence’s Church, 91 Milton Road CB4 1XB

Cake!

Thank you to everyone who has helped us improve the original Greater Cambridge Partnership proposal for Milton Road. It was to have been hedge to hedge tarmac and is now a greener, pedestrian and cyclist friendly plan.

Come and find out more about where we are now over a piece of cake and a cup of tea at our AGM.


Agenda

  1. Apologies for absence

  2. Minutes of the AGM on 5 December 2017

  3. Matters arising

  4. Chairman’s report – the main part of the meeting

  5. Treasurer’s report

  6. Election of Committee and Officers



The meeting minutes from last year's AGM can be found here: https://www.miltonroadra.org/static/files/MRRA-minutes-05-12-17.pdf

Up to 18,000 People in a New Community at the End of Milton Road, on Our Doorstep?

There is a plan to relocate the sewage works at Milton and redevelop the whole area south of the A14.This had been called the Northern Fringe Project but it is now the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan. The idea is to have a dense urban development. This would use a new approach to have residences, workplaces and facilities mixed at a small scale of granularity all within walking/cycling distance. The authorities have produced an 8-page summary to explain the development which can be viewed here:

https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/media/7029/print-a5-nec-southcambs-booklet.pdf

There are just two more opportunities to see the exhibition and talk to one of the planning officers, on Tuesday 12th March at the Brown’s Field Youth and Community Centre CB4 1RU, 4pm-7pm and Thursday 14th March at Nun’s Way Pavilion CB4 2NR, 2pm-8pm:

Have your say at: www.cambridge.gov.uk/necaap Please note that opportunities to comment ends 5pm 25th March 2019

We urge you to send in your comments to the Council as it is a very significant development. There are a lot of complex issues, but here are some key ones to consider. As one of our local residents has put it:

The Proposed Development will be Very Big - The population will be similar to that of Ely so it is a lot bigger than, say, Orchard Park. It is also planned to include high rise development and no limit has yet been put on how high this will be.

Traffic Congestion - The top of Milton Road sometimes hits gridlock as it is, so the extra traffic does not bear thinking about. The planners have many worthy ideas to minimise car use on the development, but these are unproven.

No Mention of CAM Metro – One year ago the mayor’s consultants published indicative maps showing their proposed underground metro linking with Cambridge North/Science Park. Where is it in these plans?

Facilities - If insufficient facilities are developed there will be an impact locally. It has already been decided not to build a secondary school and to absorb the new pupils into existing schools.

The Edges of the Development - The development borders on to disadvantaged parts of the city and it is not clear that these areas will be upgraded to deal with the new demands.

Developers and Implementation - Developers in Cambridge have been consistent only in always failing to deliver all of the promised facilities. Where they have been provided it has often been too late and too incoherent. It is difficult to see why things will be any different this time as it will take place under the same legislation and even with some of the same developers. These include Brookgate whose CB1 development has been so controversial. If the developers fail to mitigate potential problems then the issues mentioned above could have considerable impacts. See this link for a new example locally: https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambridge-darwingreen-huntingdon-histon-barratt-15861830

Concept Map of the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan
Concept Map of the North East Cambridge Area Action Plan

Notes From the Milton Road LLF Workshop Following the October 2018 Consultation

MRRA are pleased to hear that after the consultation several positive changes have been made. The workshop highlighted some of these items for discussion before the public Local Liaison Forum on 18 February. The resulting plans will be passed to the Greater Cambridge Joint Assembly for discussion before the Executive Board makes the decision which will lead to the roadworks starting at the end of 2019.

Below are the main points that were raised.

  • There will be a new crossing north of Westbrook Drive.

  • The floating bus stop in Mitcham's Corner has been moved to avoid a driveway. The cycle lane now has a protective kerb leading up to Gilbert Road junction heading outbound. As a result they are now proposing a signal-protected cycle lane phase at Gilbert Road.

  • The inbound cycleway at Mitcham’s Corner appears to be fully protected and segregated. It is now between the path and parking areas and is protected by a buffer zone. Bays outside the shops will now be available for parking divided by landscaping including trees to be in keeping with the rest of Milton Road. There is also parking available behind the shops.

  • It is still not clear what will happen at Mitcham's Corner junction where the scheme ends in a big question mark.

  • There will be a new layout at the Gilbert Road junction which had not been finalised at the workshop.

  • There will be a new landscaped area near Ascham Road with different road surfaces to encourage drivers to be careful. Part of the bus lane will be removed to allow for segregated cycling and walking. The large tree at Chesterton Hall crescent will be kept and properly landscaped. There will be seating and public art.

  • There will be a bus lane outbound from just before Hurst Park avenue to Highworth Roundabout

  • The plans include a shared stretch for walking and cycling between Highworth Avenue and Ascham Road to ensure schoolchildren at Milton Road primary school do not have to cross the road twice in quick succession.

  • There was a lot of negative response in the consultation to the design of Highworth Avenue roundabout to accommodate two HGVs side by side, leaving little room for cyclists and pedestrians. The width of the roadway has now been reduced leaving more room for segregated walking and cycling.

  • The bus stops between Highworth Avenue and Arbury Road have been relocated. The private forecourts of the shops there will be re-dressed and there will be some soft landscaping.

  • The design for the Arbury Road junction has still not been finalised. The ‘scramble’ that is present now and has worked for many years apparently does not fit in with modern traffic regulations. The engineers are still trying to solve the problem and their final ideas should be available at the Milton Road Local Liaison meeting on 18 February at the Meadows Community Centre.

  • A segregated Toucan crossing has been added near Downham's Lane.

  • An outbound bus lane has been added to start before Woodhead Drive leading to the King’s Hedges junction.

  • An informal uncontrolled crossing with 2.5m-deep central refuge has been added near Woodhead Drive. This will be nearer to Downham’s Lane due to the new bus lane. It looks as if the stretch between the crossing and Woodhead Drive will be used for unofficial 2 way cycling.

  • There are two options offered for the Kings Hedges junction. The aim is to enable diagonal crossings but as the junction is quite wide the engineers are not sure whether this is possible.

MRRA Response to the 2018 Consultation

Milton Road Brochure

The process for re-modelling Milton Road has now reached the point where plans have been sent out for public consultation. If you live on or near Milton Road you should have received a leaflet and questionnaire, but you may not have one because the distribution was patchy. However, you can also complete the questionnaire online at https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/milton-road/survey_tools/MiltonRoadSurvey2018.

Please do look at the plans and complete the questionnaire to make your views known.

MRRA Committee has examined the plans and questionnaire in detail and their opinion is that the plans are a great improvement on those originally proposed over two years ago, but that there are still some areas which could be improved. The following is the Milton Road Residents Association response to the questionnaire:

Question 1: Individual Elements

We support or strongly support all elements of Question 1 except:

11. New outbound bus lane approaching Elizabeth Way roundabout: strongly oppose

12. Elizabeth Way roundabout redesign: oppose

18. Retain inbound bus lane approaching Arbury Road junction: strongly oppose

Our reasons are given in Question 2.

Question 2: Further Comments on Individual Elements

11. We strongly oppose the new outbound bus lane because it takes away space that can be used for safe, protected inbound and outbound cycleways and better verges which will allow school traffic in the morning to cycle legally between Highworth Ave and Ascham Road, the most intensely used part of the school route.

12. We feel obliged to oppose the Elizabeth Way roundabout redesign because of the very narrow and unsafe shared-use pinch-points for people walking and cycling. These problems could be fixed by retaining the present single traffic lane on Milton Road outbound at the approach to the roundabout and segregating the cycleway from the footway.

18. We believe that the inbound bus lane approaching Arbury Road junction is too long and that space would be better used for improved verges and footways.

There should be no illuminated advertisements on floating bus stops and the panel on the approach side should be kept clear so that bus drivers can see if anyone is waiting.

Question 3: Segregated Cycleways and Copenhagen Crossings

We strongly support the design of the new segregated cycleways and Copenhagen-style priority crossings.

Question 4: Tree Planting Scheme

We strongly support the proposed concept for tree planting along Milton Road.

Question 5: Shared-use Pavement or Pedestrian Only

We believe that the pavements should be pedestrian only and that cycleways should always be segregated from footways. Not only would a shared-use pavement be unsafe and intimidating for vulnerable pedestrians, it would also encourage people to cycle in close proximity with the many driveways on the north-west side of Milton Road leading to an increased risk of collision with vehicles exiting from driveways. Frequent crossing points over Milton Road are therefore needed.

Question 6: Parking on Grass Verges

We strongly support the implementation of a Traffic Regulation Order to prevent parking on grass verges. Some form of physical barrier is needed to protect these verges.

Short term parking for carers, delivery vehicles, etc, can be provided by:

a. Using driveways; or where none is available

b. Accepting that they will use the existing exemption which allows deliverers to park on double yellow lines for up to 10 minutes; a special rule analogous to the disabled parking system might have to be created for carers and doctors; or

c. Enforcing the rule that requires those needing longer periods of parking to apply for prior authorisation.

Question 8: Crossing Near Westbrook Drive

We believe there should be a crossing near Westbrook Drive (Option 4A).

Question 9: Crossings at Downham’s Lane and Fraser Road

We believe there should be crossings at both Downham’s Lane (Option 19A) and Fraser Road (Option 19B). This is to help people from the large estates on either side of Milton Road to cross the road and access bus stops and the unidirectional cycleway on the other side of the road.

Question 10: Duties Under the Equality Act

  • The proposed shared-use pavements are dangerous and intimidating for people with disabilities who are walking or using a mobility device. We oppose shared-use pavements. Instead, cycleways should always be separate from footways.

  • Segregated footways and cycleways are much safer, easier to navigate and comfortable for all users. Where a footway has to cross a cycleway, such as at a bus stop, Zebra markings on a raised platform should be used, preceded by rumble strips on the cycleway and tactile paving on the pedestrian approaches.

  • Additional controlled crossings of Milton Road will help all people to be able to cross the road safely, regardless of ability.

Milton Road Consultation 2018

Today the Greater Cambridge Partnership has announced the next phase of the Milton Road consultation. The following is an excerpt from their message:

The consultation runs from Monday 17 September to Monday 29 October 2018. Brochures will be distributed throughout the Milton Road area including the village of Milton, and the consultation is being widely advertised with the use of bus stop adverts, A5 flyers, posters and press releases to the local media. This also includes a social media campaign via Facebook and Twitter.

Information about what is being proposed, both the need for the scheme and benefits, as well as further information and how to have your say, can be found on our website at: www.greatercambridge.org.uk/MiltonRoadConsultation.

You can download the consultation brochure here:

Download Consultation Brochure

You can view the Milton Road Consultation website here: https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/milton-road

And you can view the original announcement here: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKGCP/bulletins/20dcfbf

Public Consultations

At the end of the consultation brochure are the dates and locations for three public consultations:

Location: Arbury Road Baptist Church
Date: Wednesday 26 September 2018
Time: 4pm – 7pm
Address: Arbury Road Baptist Church, 20 Arbury Road, Cambridge, CB4 2JE

Location: All Saints Church
Date: Tuesday 9 October 2018
Time: 4pm – 7pm
Address: All Saints Church, Church Lane, Milton, Cambridge, CB24 6AB

Location: St George’s Church
Date: Tuesday 23 October 2018
Time: 5pm – 8pm
Address: St George’s Church, Chesterfield Road, Chesterton, Cambridge, CB4 1LN

This is the best chance that you will get to influence the future shape of our road and it is important that the planners have your input: after all, you know more than anyone else about the place where you live and the journeys you undertake.

Milton Road Trees Mini Bus Tour

Mini bus tour of 8 sites in respect to possible tree selection for the Milton Road scheme under the city deal - 24th April 2018

You can download the original PDF version of this report written by Anne Hamill here: trees_report.pdf

Participants: Paul van de Bulk, 2 tree officers (Kenny McGregor, Dinah Foley-Norman), Landscape Architect (Henry Casement), Cllr Joceylnne Scutt and 5 local residents [Dorcas Fowler, Anne Hamill, Maureen Mace, Rowland Thomas, Richard Swift].

Introduction

KM explained the role of the tree officers and their team. With regard to maintenance, a tour of all the trees in Cambridge was carried out every 3 years to inspect health. It was important to choose new trees which would withstand the site conditions, be species with best resistance to known pathogens, and those which would enhance the streetscape. There had been mistakes in some of the tree plantings in Cambridge in the past and he reassured participants that learning had taken place as a result of these failures.

PvB informed the group that approx. £23million was earmarked for the Milton Road scheme, but no specific allocation for planting as yet.

During the course of the tour KM explained that, due to the increasing number of pathogens (possibly as a result of climate change), it was wise to have, say, two species of trees comprising an avenue as a form of protection, these varying on the three different sections of Milton Road. Milton Road was wider in some parts than others and this would affect choice. However, there were possible planting areas suitable for a group of trees, not all of the same species, e.g. by the Golden Hind, which could accommodate larger specimens.

Map of visited sites
Map showing all sites to be visited

Site 1 - Metcalfe Road

Species Viewed: Early Mature Birch

Birches grew well, enriched the soil by fixing nitrogen, were durable (i.e. 80 – max. 120 years), and had low water demand.

Site 2 - Drive-Through Site - Queens' Road

Species viewed from minibus, Lime trees (not clear whether these were the non-sap producing variety). Some Council-planted, some on University land; an example of how mature, medium canopy trees can be planted on a major thoroughfare without causing issues for vehicles.

Site 3 - Sidgwick Avenue

Species Viewed: Mature London Plane

Species Viewed: Tulip Tree

London Plane trees were “bombproof”. Long lasting, surviving pathogens (although some early warning recently reported in Europe), could be pollarded (although this was dangerous to tree surgeons in narrow areas close to roads). In Sidgwick Avenue, roots broke up pavements making problems for push chairs/wheelchairs.

Tulip trees were a suitable choice for larger spaces. Lower branches could be pruned. Robust, pollutant- and heat- resistant. No known pathogens. Less flare at base of trunk than London planes. Quick growing.

Site 4 - Brooklands Avenue

Species Viewed: Mature Hornbeam and Dawyck Beech

There were some problems with the hornbeams (rust), possibly caused by salting roads in winter. Viewed in tight area i.e. narrow verges. An example of how two different species worked well together. [Together, these two species formed a very dense canopy, which was OK on Brooklands Avenue as properties set far back from trees, but would occlude light from adjacent houses where front gardens are small or absent.]

Site 5 - Aura Development in Great Kneighton

Species Viewed: Semi-Mature Lime Trees - Small-Leaved Variety

Very costly with regular maintenance in expensive development area. Survival in other areas would be high risk (KM).

NB. There are varieties of lime trees which do not produce sticky sap, as they have hairy leaves which aphids avoid. [Think these are that variety.]

Site 6 - Brampton Road

Species Viewed: Pears (Chanticleer), Crab Apples, Whitebeam

Flowering pears conical shape, have flowers and autumn colour, grow in poor sites. Suitable for narrower stretches of Milton Road. Crab apples – problem with mushy fruit on the ground (objections from residents). Whitebeam – tough trees, light coloured leaves, get broad but would be suitable for “break out points” along the road.

Site 7 - Wadloes Road

Species Viewed: Mature Cherries and Field Maples

Cherries – upright Y-shaped conical, quite tough, fit in narrow sites. Could use bigger cherry (e.g prunus avium) on corner, say, of a group of larger trees.

NB Horsechestnuts being devastated by pathogen, will soon become rare.

Site 8 - Riverside

Species Viewed: Semi-Mature Italian Alders in Rootcell System (i.e. No Verge for Planting)

Commonly used in urban sites in Europe. Well-behaved trees. Rootcell system effective for providing water needed. Slender with heart shaped leaves. Yellow autumn colour.

Milton Road Local Liaison Forum 30th January 2018 Meeting Summary

Summary of Meeting

There was an excellent turn out of approximately 100 people.

Introduction

Jocelynne Scutt, chair of the LLF, introduced the councillors for the area, the chairs of Milton Road Residents Association (RA), Hurst Park Estates RA and Old Chesterton RA and gave the audience a summary of the original plans and how the residents and councillors had made them more acceptable. The plans described at this meeting are based on the Final Concept passed by the Greater Cambridge Partnership Board last July.

Engineers Paul van de Bulk, officer for the GCP and Neil Poulton from WSP consultants gave the presentation and questions were asked following this.

Assessment of cycling design

We were told there was not enough room for two segregated cycle lanes on the outbound NW side, an inbound cycle lane on the SE side, trees and verges and a bus lane. The engineers had discussed removing the inbound cycleway but this meant cyclists would use the bus lane and paths.

They had listened to the residents who knew that unless there were Copenhagen crossings over the side roads, cycling would take place on the road. However there was a safety problem with two cycleways on the NW side as it restricted the view of car drivers coming out of the side roads.

Therefore their decision was to have an single inbound and outbound cycleway protected from the road by trees and verges and separated from pedestrians. On the NW side next to the outbound 2m cycleway, they would make a wide path of 3m so it would become shared use for pedestrians and cyclists riding inbound. This happens now, close to Ascham Road, because of the school. Widening the cycle ways and making them segregated along the whole of Milton Road would make them far safer and could encourage cycling rather than using cars.

There were a lot of questions concerning the safety of a shared area. More work will need to be done on this.

Bus Stops and Crossings

Most bus stops and crossings will stay similar to where they are now with the exception of the stops by Union Lane, which holds up the traffic lights, and outside the Co-op where lorries unload. There will be more work on this.

At the workshops residents were given an option of 6 kinds of bus stops. At the time there was disappointment in what we were offered because of the conflict between cyclists and pedestrians and exits from driveways in four of the options which did not give those at the workshops a safe option choice for all users. At the present time there are floating bus stops but Cllr Gerri Bird and other bus users were concerned for those who are disabled as the new plans would make cycling faster.

Trees and Landscaping

There had been a workshop about trees and landscaping but the specimens offered did not include much choice. The officers envisage large trees such as limes and tulip trees between the Busway and Elizabeth Way with smaller birches and flowering trees from Elizabeth Way to Mitcham’s Corner. An external landscape architect will be advising shortly so the road has a green feel about it. This requires more work and Cllr Scutt has this in hand.

Elizabeth Way roundabout

The area will stay a roundabout and will be controlled by traffic lights. Safety is a big issue here especially on the inbound road where cars usually turn into Elizabeth Way and cyclists tend to go straight over.

There are concerns too over the entrances to a few houses leading directly onto the roundabout.

Mitcham’s Corner

It is intended that the future design of this area should integrate with that of Milton Road.
The inbound cycle path will be next to the path outside the shops here with short term parking in bays for 3 cars with areas for trees between the bays to keep the feel of an avenue of trees.

Bus Lanes

Neil said he had listened to the residents about reducing the bus lanes as they are not used the majority of time.

There will be Smart Traffic Lights that will give priority to buses.
Bus patronage is falling in Cambridge and the use of the P & R at Milton has dropped by 15%. If a metro is introduced for Cambridge it is envisaged more people will travel by public transport so MRRA believe that there will be less need for bus lanes.

Discussions with shop keepers near Arbury Road

Paul had talked to the shops owners near Arbury Road. The majority wanted parking for customers outside their shops. The exception was 121 café which encouraged cyclists. The area in front of the shops is owned by the shops whereas the path is owned by the county council. There will be a problem with dropped curbs for cyclists, making it a very bumpy ride, as well as having to give way to cars trying to park.

The officers were aiming to make a safer and better environment but to do this some parking spaces may be lost.

Parking

There will be no parking anywhere on Milton Road. Those with no off road parking would park in side streets. An audit would be carried out to see how many households were affected. Also free dropped curbs, where appropriate would be offered free of charge. To keep cars off the verges there may be deep curbs and trees close together. At the moment some cars from Herbert Road and George Street park on Milton Road as well as some parking there instead of in their drives plus several houses do not have a dropped kerb and park on the verges.

It is up to residents on neighbouring streets whether they want to introduce residents’ parking

Next steps

There will be another LLF before for next designs go to the GCP Executive Board for approval next July and this will be followed by a wider public consultation.

A video by Richard Taylor is available here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfdbmB7XlFE

The Milton Road Project Manager is Paul van de Bulk, so please email him direct if you have any particular concerns:

Paul.vandeBulk@cambridgeshire.gov.uk