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Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) - Update on Histon Road and Milton Road Projects

Meeting: 02/09/2021 - North Area Committee (Item 24)

Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) - Update on Histon Road and Milton Road Projects

Minutes:

The Committee received a verbal update regarding Histon Road and Milton Road Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) Projects.

 

The Histon Road update outlined:

i.  For phase A: Footpath surfacing had finally been completed around the Victoria Road junction. Loops had been cut for the signals. They were waiting for the contractor to fully commission the signals on the junction so that it all worked properly.

ii.  For phase B: Resurfacing had been completed up to Gilbert Road and this had been completed. The sub-contractor needed to return (for half a night) to complete remedial work. The road had been open two ways between Gilbert Road and Victoria Road. 

iii.  Phase C was the junction at Gilbert Road; two of the islands were virtually complete. A few islands needed to be completed on the south western corner of the junction. Surfacing was planned for the 13 September and was estimated to take 4-5 nights to complete. The junction would then be finished.

iv.  Phase D: Civils work should be finished which would then allow them to move onto the surfacing work between Gilbert Road and Brownlow Road. Hoped this would be completed by the end of September.

v.  There was a slight delay around the works to the Rosewood Road junction as this was where most services converged and BT had experienced problems sourcing a cabinet. Hoped works would be completed by the end of September.

vi.  Had pushed hard for Darwin Green works to be done at the same time as the GCP works but it was likely these would need to be done separately.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

i.  Residents had raised concerns about the planting near Akeman Street and the maintenance of trees. It was noted that a tree had died already.

ii.  Expressed concerns regarding the works which had been undertaken near Murketts garage.

iii.  Noted no loading restrictions on Histon Road, asked for a new Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to introduce loading restrictions on Histon Road.

iv.  Supported 20mph speed limit on Histon Road.

 

The GCP Project Officer said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.  Was disappointed that the tree was planted when it was, as it was during the hottest part of the summer. A tree would need to be replanted. A maintenance schedule was in place. 

ii.  Confirmed the sub-contractor would be undertaking remedial works to the asphalt laid around Murketts garage.

iii.  Noted at the southern end of Histon Road some residents only had access through the front of their properties so had concerns about taking away their ability to load and unload outside their house. This could be revisited in the future.

 

Action: Paul Van de Bulk to investigate the issue of enforcement in relation to obstructing pavements on Histon Road and issues of parking on Milton Road and to update Councillors Sargeant, Dalzell and Chair of HRARA.

 

Members of the public raised the following questions:

1.  Bus Services on Histon Road and Victoria Road:

a.  Referred to Paul Van de Bulk’s response to action 21/15/NAC Q2. He stated that ‘This was outside of the scope which is delivering infrastructure to allow better bus service.

b.  The 8H bus was withdrawn from 29 August and the Citi8 bus was to continue via Arbury Road into the city. The following reply was posted on Twitter after HRARA questioned the delay in coming back to Histon Road since the Inbound lane was now opened from Gilbert Road to Victoria Junction. ‘The dates were given for the road works to finish. All buses were licensed and unlicensed according to the dates given. Then guess what, Histon Road will not be finished. We have done what needs to be done and a diversion was the only option’.

c.  Stagecoach had added new bus stop signs in the inbound lane showing Citi8 and Guided Bus A stopping at Akeman Street.

d.  HRARA and residents were surprised and suggested that the Citi8 would turn towards Histon Road on Gilbert Road and then the Victoria Junction and Victoria Road which had no inbound service. No response had been provided.

e.  Asked when the road works on Histon Road would be finished so the residents in the area would have public transport available.

f.  In the latest report from GCP dated 25 August it stated that work was continuing in the northern section between Gilbert Junction and Brownlow Road, it was expected that the entire road would be re-opened later this summer.”  But that was now.

g.  In the same report it said - The last remaining resurfacing works between Gilbert Road junction and Brownlow Road were due to take place in September.  Signs on the road stated that there would be closures from 21 September for 13 nights, which would be to around 4 October. It did not say that the road would then be open for bus services. 

h.  After the recent rounds of overnight closures, the resurfacing from Brownlow Road to Kings Hedges was now complete.  But that is not correct because the resurfacing ends by the city limits.  The remaining road works to Kings Hedges Road depended on the Developers of Darwin Green. 

i.  HRARA asked the GCP if the road works on the entire Histon Road would be finished by the first week of October and if it would be suitable for Stagecoach to start bus services along the full length of Histon Road to Kings Hedges Road as well as Victoria Road.

 

The GCP Project Officer (Histon Road and Milton Road) responded:

i.  There was a miscommunication with Stagecoach. They thought that the GCP would be re-opening all of Histon Road and they submitted their licence applications to modify their bus service which they weren’t able to change. The solution round this was to divert buses so that they could still service the route.

 

The reason that 13 nights for phase D had been applied for was to give them sufficient time to complete the works. It was anticipated that the works would be completed earlier but it was easier to apply for a longer period than expected rather than to try and extend a night closure if you hadn’t applied for sufficient time. 

 

Action: Paul Van de Bulk to follow up with Stagecoach to see whether they have been running the diversion route.

 

2.  Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) 20mph Histon Road Southern area, Road Safety and Policing 

a.  HRARA and residents were very happy earlier this year when the temporary 20mph was introduced to safeguard the workforce on the road and people walking or cycling in a very stressful situation traversing between both sides and in-between. 

b.  Some 500 offenders were caught and fined, but the solar panelled equipment was no longer available to monitor the traffic. HRARA requested the local police to arrange speed watch observations along the road.  In the spring there was no kit available, repeated requests were made but there had been no action. The Cambridge City Police had started a new communication Group “Working together to understand local issues” and at that meeting the Road Safety issues were a major topic. The Speed Watch kit was also requested from other residents.  No reply had been provided as to when this action could be carried out on Histon Road.

c.  With the temporary 20mph speed limits lifted between Victoria Junction and Gilbert Road Junction when the two-way traffic started on 27 August and the school opening today (2 September) the traffic would increase.

d.  HRARA asked if and when the GCP officers would proceed with the permanent 20mph speed limit TRO between Akeman Street and Victoria Junction as earlier promised and strongly supported both by the North Area and West-Central Area Committees.

 

The GCP Project Officer (Histon Road and Milton Road) responded:

i.  Suggested HRARA continued to follow up the issue of the temporary speed camera with the police.

i.  Had emailed the County Council Team who managed TRO processes to try and start a TRO for this issue. Would follow this up. 

ii.  Had contacted the County Council’s Enforcement Team and asked them to start enforcing the TRO.

 

The Milton Road update:

i.  Covid had had an impact due to individuals needing to self-isolate.

ii.  Was hoping to go out to tender for the full works package later in September, this would include final designs.

iii.  Was still aiming for a spring 2022 start for the works.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the Milton Road update:

i.  Asked when the next Milton Road Local Liaison Forum would be.

ii.  Asked when consideration would be given to parking restrictions on Milton Road.

 

The GCP Project Officer said the following in response to Members’ questions:

i.  Asked the Councillor to speak with the GCP Communications Team regarding the Local Liaison Forums.

ii.Discussions needed to take place regarding parking and the integration with residents parking schemes.

 

A Member of the public asked the following question:

3.  The last set of drawings in the public domain known as the Final 2D Design was updated and published in June 2020.  When and how will the latest set of drawings be made publicly available?

 

The GCP Project Officer said the following in response:

i.  The 2D drawings were published on the website and the 3D drawing would be with officers in the next couple of weeks. It would take a little time to review the drawings and they would then need to be taken via the GCP Assembly and GCP Board for approval. Timings were still to be agreed. Would speak with the Communications Team to see whether the drawings could be published earlier.