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City Access Consultation by GCP - NAC

Meeting: 18/11/2021 - North Area Committee (Item 30)

City Access Consultation by Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) - NAC

Minutes:

The Chair of HRARA tabled the following questions which related to GCP projects. 

1.  Referred to agenda item 3 Notes of meeting, minute reference 21/24/NAC on pages 11-12 of the agenda.

a.  At the HRARA AGM on 12 October discussions were held with County Councillor Hilary Cox-Condron who agreed she would contact relevant staff to get a confirmation that the Speed Camera was in force and working

b.  Regarding Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) 20 mph, this issue was subsequently raised at the West Central Area committee meeting on 9 September page 5 point i in the minutes. The reply from the GCP representative was that a dialogue had begun.

c.  On 4 November 2021, an e-mail was sent to Paul van de Bulk, regarding  the Highways and Transport Committee meeting which was copied to County Councillor Cox-Condron and Councillors Nethsingha and Scutt.  The reply from Paul van de Bulk stated that ‘We first have to consult on the TRO and I think we will take it to the GCP Board along with a couple of other TROs we need to finalise for Histon Road. My Project Assistant is working with the Highways Team to finalise all the wording and I am pushing them to publish as soon as possible.  I will ask him to give me a time line’.

d.  HRARA has not received any time line.  Asked when the TRO would be ready and when the consultation would start.

2.  Referred to agenda item 3, Notes of meeting, minute reference 21/24/NAC on pages 8 of the agenda.

a.  The fully commissioned signalling system had now been installed and several trial tests had been made.  The last trial had improved the queueing on Histon Road before turning into the lanes for Castle Street and Huntingdon Road. However, there was still substantial queues during morning rush hours.

b.  Asked if there were further trials planned to improve the Histon/Victoria/Huntingdon Roads signalling system.

c.  Gilbert Road Junction - the new cyclop junction was opened at the same time as the Histon Road opening ceremony although it was left with many details incomplete including:

i.  The bypass cycle lane in the road was luring people/children to use the road crossing and in the middle of the road turning into Warwick Road. 

ii.  A temporary sign for ‘No right turn’ had been necessary to post in the cycle lanes to prevent crossing into the pedestrian lanes and the road. 

iii.  One of the pedestrian lanes had the push button too far away from the walkway. This was particularly difficult for people who were partially sighted since the signals were using the rotating cone tactile equipment and not a sound system. 

iv.  Asked if there had been any monitoring of the cyclops junction as criss-crossing and cycling in the wrong direction was quite frequent.

3.  Referred to agenda item 8, the Open Forum

a.  HRARA had its first AGM in two years on 12 October 2021, at Mayfield School.  County Councillor Cox-Condron was invited and attended the meeting.  Even though the aim was to focus on the future after all construction work, most of the questions from the public concentrated on roadworks and the impact on the community. Some of the concerns had been mentioned in previous points.  The return of the buses was welcome especially as these went to the train station and Addenbrooke’s on one bus. The temporary 20mph speed limit which slowed down the traffic was appreciated.  The worst part had been when road construction took during place during both night-time and daytime, the constant criss-crossing from one side of the road to the other because work was being undertaken on both sides of the road raised safety issues for pedestrians in walking on the gravel, clicking utility covers every time a car passes, fence with climbers where the climbers have died and bindweed taking over, etc and the constant noise. Asked when the road would finally be finished. The GCP Project Manager had been made aware of all the details that needed fixing before construction finished.

b.  In the GCP Joint Assembly Agenda 18-11-2021 it stated that Construction of the project is now complete (as of November 2021) therefore all of the 2021/22 budget has now been committed. It was not anticipated that additional GCP funding would be required.

c.  Noted that construction and final preparation of the road had not been finished. Asked if there would be any mitigation funds available, if not from GCP then from the Cambridge County Council.

4.  Referred to agenda item 9, Committee Action Sheetpoint 4 21/24/NAC GCP Update on Histon Road and Milton Road’, where the GCP Officer requested the County Council “run some enhanced enforcement following completion of the project”.

a.  Noted that the latest sign on the road for night works stated that these would take place on Roseford Road on 12 November for 3 nights. This date had passed and nothing had been done. Asked when the official inspection would take place. Asked if there would still be room and funds for any mitigation if needed after the inspection.

b.  Residents were grateful for the present public bus service however the 8H bus signs in the outbound lane needed to be taken away so as not to cause confusion.

Response from GCP representative:

i.  The speed camera needed to be recommissioned and potentially relocated as a result of the construction works and the layout of the road changing.

ii.  The TRO was currently being drafted and it was hoped that it would be tabled for approval by the GCP Board at their March 2022 meeting.

iii.  Had asked the signalling contractor to look at the signalling system at Histon / Victoria / Huntingdon Roads and this would be done over the coming weeks. It was normal once a traffic system was installed for there to be a couple of tweaks once the system was being bedded in.

iv.  A temporary sign ‘for no right turn’ was necessary at the Gilbert Road junction as the traffic lights which needed to be put on the cycle post were not available. These were on order and would be installed once received. The cyclops junction would be monitored in the coming months.   

v.  Following construction works on Histon Road, confirmed that an ‘as built survey’ would be completed, and a final road safety inspection would be carried out.

vi.  Works were meant to be carried out on 12 November unfortunately due to a delay with materials the works had to be deferred until 26 November.

vii.  Confirmed they had asked the contractor to remove the H8 bus signs.

The Committee received a presentation from officers at the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) regarding the City Access Consultation which was now known as ‘Making Connections: Have your say on Greener Travel in Greater Cambridgeshire’. Further information regarding the consultation could be found via: Making Connections - have your say on greener travel in Greater Cambridge | Consult Cambridgeshire (engagementhq.com)

 

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

  i.  As part of the consultation, officers at the GCP were carrying out an integrated impact assessment which meant that consideration would be given as to whether any of the proposed actions would result in a perverse outcome ie: it was cheaper for families to drive into Cambridge rather than using the bus, this wasn’t right as the outcome wanted to encourage the use of public transport so this issue needed to be looked at.

  ii.  Agreed disabled bus pass conditions needed to be looked at if this deterred people from travelling by public transport during certain times.

  iii.  Stated that cleaner electric and accessible buses needed to be provided.

  iv.  Agreed that the benefits of the proposals needed to be articulated both to Cambridge residents as well as residents travelling into Cambridge.

  v.  Would speak with their Communication Team about ensuring that the consultation was provided in alternative formats so that people were not put off from responding or being unable to respond.

  vi.  The cost of any proposed scheme would depend on the proposals made (i.e.: what was charged and when).

 vii.  Noted the comment about having a front entrance to the bus and a separate exit at the back of the bus.

 

Action: GCP Officer to confirm what alternative consultation methods were available for those who did not have English as their first language or were not digitally enabled.