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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Rex Freeman Hall Chesterton Community College Gilbert Road Cambridge

Contact: Toni Birkin  Committee Manager

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillor Gawthrope.


Welcome and Introduction (including Declarations of Interest)


The Chair welcomed the County Council and City Deal Officers present and was pleased to see such a high turn-out of members of the public.


No interests were declared.


City Deal - Histon Road and Milton Road Proposals

6.00pm      Welcome & Introductions


6.05pm      General principles behind the City Deal / emerging                             issues from the initial consultation to date

                     (City Deal          Officers)


6.15pm      Next steps in project development / further   consultation / timeline

                   (City Deal Officers)


6.25pm      Opportunities for Public Realm and Green Landscaping enhancement within City Deal Delivery

                   (Urban Design and Conservation Manager)


6.40pm      Public Question & Answer Session: Principles behind the City Deal 


7.10pm      Public Question & Answer Session: Milton Road proposals


7.30pm      Public Question & Answer Session: Histon Road proposals


7.50pm      Public Question & Answer Session: Mitcham’s Corner Master Plan & Victoria Road



Bob Menzies: Service Director: Strategy and Development

Cambridgeshire County Council


Bob Menzies presentation included the following:


          City Deal and Growth

      Commitment to Growth: Government, County, City and District

      Emerging Local Plans:

      Sustainable growth: city fringe developments and satellite sites

      Demand for travel was expected to increase by 30% in fifteen years

      ‘Do nothing’ not considered a viable option

      Failure to act would result in ever increasing congestion

      The City Deal Prioritised



      Public Transport

      Invest in high quality infrastructure

      Reallocate road space from private vehicles


City Deal Funding

      500 million over three 5-year tranches

      Tranche One (2015-2020) £100 million

      Tranche Two (2020-2015) £200 million

      Tranche Three (2025-2030) £200million

      Supplemented by private sector funding

      Tranches 2 and 3 conditional on delivery of results from tranche one.

      A huge opportunity


Brian Stinton: Team Leader, Highway Projects, Cambridgeshire County Council


Brian Stinton’s presentation included the following:


          Milton Road and Histon Road Objectives

      Comprehensive priority for buses in both directions wherever practicable

      Additional capacity for sustainable trips to employment/education sites

      Increased bus patronage and new services

      Safer and more convenient routes for cycling and walking, segregated where practical and possible

      Maintain or reduce general traffic levels

      Enhance the environment, streetscape and air quality



·        Prior warning notification had been delivered to local properties and sent to stakeholder groups

·        Local councillor and stakeholder briefing sessions held prior to formal consultation period 

·        Provision of project material on City Deal website

·        Information leaflet/questionnaire sent to local properties and stakeholder groups and available online

·        Exhibitions: staffed events to facilitate 1 to 1 engagement with stakeholders/the public (Now completed)


          Next Steps

      Analysis of all feedback from all responses [February / March]

      Further technical work to assess the best combination of ideas to form a ‘preferred option or options’ for both routes including the need for any mitigation measures [March / April / May]

      Recommendations on further scheme development for both schemes to Executive Board in June

      Preferred option(s) consultation: by early 2016


Glen Richardson: Urban Design and Conservation Manager

Cambridge City Council


Precedents elsewhere show that it is possible to achieve the

infrastructure to support more sustainable modes of travel and deliver a high quality of public realm. However:

      Ultimately there would be choices to be made in order to strike the right balance of infrastructure and the amount and type of public realm (soft and hard landscape)

      Detailed investigation of constraints (services etc.) and the development of design options to integrate soft and hard landscaping would be an important stage of future work

      Options need as much as possible to respond to their context (urban, historic, residential, suburban, etc.)

City Deal offers a great opportunity to improve mobility along key routes and in city centre locations for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users.


This must be balanced with the need to create attractive places and streets that will enhance the experience for residents and visitors in Cambridge.


Question and answer sections on the principles behind the City Deal on Milton Road, Histon Road and Mitcham’s Corner followed. Overall themes were as follows.


Members of the public stated the following (Officers responses in bold):


     i.        Queried how much of the present congestion was caused by present traffic management plans.


    ii.        Asked what could be done to improve traffic flow.


A. There has to be a trade-off to solve the congestion problem but needed to get the package right.


   iii.        Enquired what was the projected number of people who would travel into the centre of Cambridge in the future as mentioned in the presentations?


  iv.        Queried where the raw data had been taken from shown in the tables presented in the report.


A. There were more jobs in Cambridge than housing and traffic was a major problem which needed to be resolved.


   v.        There seemed to be a desperate urge to spend the first £100 million instead of going back to Central Government to advise that the money could not be spent sensibly within the time frame given. 


A. Unable to change the funding sequence, the Government would take the money back.  For this reason there had been early public consultation.


  vi.        Asked if the buses could be regulated.


 vii.        Questioned how qualified the Service Director Strategy and Development, Cambridgeshire County Council was.


viii.        Stated it seemed that the University of Cambridge had been given the freedom to build student accommodation throughout the City when housing needed to be addressed.


  ix.        Asked if the emergency services had been consulted and what would be the impact on the emergency vehicles of the proposed road layouts.


   x.        The proposal to close junctions could create additional rat runs which would eventually ruin properties.


A. The suggestion for closing junctions was at an early stage and all junctions were subject to further consideration. The fewer movements that took place at junctions the more efficiently they can operate. Accessibility was an issue which needed to be addressed.


  xi.        Requested to know what would be the jobs that that had been forecasted for the City Centre, what was the evidence of job growth in the City Centre.


 xii.        The impact to local residents needed to be taken into consideration.


A. The impact on local residents would be considered and was important, all options would be considered. The needs opf the environment would be addressed.


xiii.        Need to promote modern methods of working with business such as flexible working or working from home.


xiv.        Stated that adding another bus lane would not make a difference to the congestion.


A. There was no current scheme which was seen as favourite; all options needed to be considered in the first instance.


xv.        Questioned if there was sufficient resources in terms of staff and money to consider all options for Histon and Milton Road.


A. The consultation had been produced by a specialist research team at the County Council. Additional staff had been employed as part of the City Deal Scheme.


xvi.        Asked what was the evidence to show that guided bus ways worked and were this information could this be viewed.


A. The Guided Bus Services from St Ives to Cambridge had proved to be a success, with a service first being offered every 10 minutes and now every 5 minutes to meet demand.


xvii.        Stated that the consultation was regurgitating proposals that had previously been rejected.


xviii.        Needed to see evidence of where people from traveling from and where they were going to.


A. People were moving out of Cambridge due to the high cost of living but still worked in the City and many used their cars to commute each day.


xix.        Stated that the needs of locals were given less consideration than those of commuters.


     i.        A. Needed to remember that Milton road was a former trunk road and was a main road into the City. However, it was recognised that this remained a residential road. Future improvements to the A14 would have an impact on the flow of traffic into the City.


xx.        Enquired what was being done to encourage people to change their habits and needed to be given a cheaper option than the car.


A. The new train station in the North of the City would help to reduce congestion but would not be used by everyone.


xxi.        Stated that bus companies seemed to be absence during the consultation process.


xxii.        Noted that Drummer Street was unable to cope with the current number of buses that come into the City, how would the infrastructure be able to support an increase in the number of buses.


A. Not all buses had to stop in the City Centre; there could be proposed routes which bypassed Drummer Street Station. There could also be orbital bus routes around the City


xxiii.        Stated that people should be made to put their personal details on the consultation forms.


A. Legal considerations regarding confidentiality precluded any requirement regarding personal details on the consultation paperwork. However, the consultation was open to everyone who had used Histon and Milton Road whether on a daily basis or just once a year. It was not just for local residents.


xxiv.        Considered that if additional bus lanes were to be established, the extra buses would result in heavier road usage. Houses were already shaking from the buses that go past. This would further damage the properties.


A. Studies had been undertaken by the Transport Road Research Laboratory on the impact of large vehicles passing properties and these showed that vibrations from traffic did not did not generally cause structural damage to property.  Officers undertook to make these studies available on the City Deal website. (See link below.) http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/citydeal/info/2/transport/1/transport/8


xxv.        Stated that current buses do not stop for Milton Road residents.


xxvi.        Said that Stage Coach would be the main company who would benefit financially from the proposals.


xxvii.        Stated that Stage Coach should have been invited to the meeting and an invitation be extended to attend a future meeting.


A. Stage Coach had bid for Government funding as part of its plan to overhaul its existing double decker fleet with new low-emission, hybrid buses which would see a reduction in emissions.


xxviii.        Advised that a Park and Ride should be considered to serve Histon Road.


A. Agreed that it was important that the Park and Ride Options on Histon Road would be looked at.


xxix.        Reiterated that local residents needed to be listened to and their concerns considered.


xxx.        Closure from Victoria Road to Histon Road is not satisfactory.


A. Aware that Histon Road was narrower in places and reiterated that options would have to be different for Histon Road.


xxxi.        Histon Road and Miton Road are linked up and there should be a joined up approached in considering options.


A. Histon and Milton Road had to be considered separately as they were two different roads.

There would be a further scheme development report, taking into account this consultation, in June for both Histon and Milton Road


xxxii.        Advised that only the Citi 8 stops on Histon Road not numerous buses as quoted in the consultation.


A. Bus schedules would be looked at throughout the City.


xxxiii.        Noted that the consultation was not online and that paper copies were difficult to find.


xxxiv.        Asked if was possible to use trams instead of buses.


A. Trams would need to use their own dedicated space which would cost additional money and more expensive than buses; guided bus way had cost £5 million per km and trams elsewhere had cost £25 million per Km. 


xxxv.        Stated that the Schemes on Mitcham’s Corner were poorly thought out; the main beneficiaries would be car users.


xxxvi.        Stated that more input from Landscape Designers was required on the Mitcham’s Corner design.


xxxvii.        Mitcham’s Corner should remain a gyratory road system.


xxxviii.        Proposals for Mitcham’s Corner were a narrow approach to a major problem.


xxxix.        Car parking at and around the Chesterton Road Co-op was dangerous and needed to be addressed.


  xl.        Crossing the road at Chesterton Road was dangerous.


 xli.        The traffic light system on around Mitcham’s Corners did not allow an efficient flow of traffic.

A. The city and county councils were working together to look at an innovative scheme which attempted to undo the gyratory but that further design development and modelling was necessary.  The city council was keen to see if both the Mitcham’s Corner master plan work and the City Deal work for Milton Road could be brought together to mutually benefit both.


Closing remarks from the Chair of the Greater Cambridge City Deal Executive Board.


     i.        Welcomed the engagement of local residents and thanked them for their feedback.

    ii.        Acknowledged the need to address the Park and Ride issues.

   iii.        Suggested that peak and off-peak traffic might need different treatment.

  iv.        Agreed that Histon Road and Milton Road, whilst linked, were very different in character and road layout.

   v.        Confirmed that there was no intention to increase car use.

  vi.        Welcomed the involvement of Resident Associations.

 vii.        Confirmed that consultation results would be published.