The Glebe Way cycleway at the northern edge of Histon, connecting to Cottenham, is under threat from county planning application S/0101/18/CC for a new Primary School in Histon on Buxhall Farm land. The application has promised to rip open a new driveway through the cycleway, placing dropped kerbs and give-way markings to give priority to motorists entering or exiting the school grounds. It is also planning to add a pedestrian crossing near Garden Walk, which would not be such a bad thing except that pedestrian crossings need signal poles and those will be planted in the middle of the cycleway. That leaves less than 1.1m of clear width, to be shared between people waiting for the crossing as well as people cycling in both directions on the cycleway.
We are disappointed that nothing appears to have changed from the consultation plans. There’s been little consideration of families walking and cycling in the area. Our previous feedback and recommendations for improvement on the consulted plans have been ignored.
- The school entrance interrupts the well-used Histon/Cottenham cycleway with dropped kerbs and new give-way markings at a difficult location. These measures provide no assistance to people trying to cross the driveway on foot or cycle, they simply give the authorities license to blame the victim in case something goes wrong. That’s no way to treat families trying to do the right thing by walking or cycling to school. In fact, there is ample space for the path to be set back from the road and have a raised table over the school access. Examples of such crossings can be found at two nearby junctions (Ambrose Way, Orchard Road). With a blank slate, why is this much better design not being used?
- The proposed new pedestrian crossing of Glebe Way is stuck into a very cramped space. It will require new poles to be added in the shared-use pavement adjacent to the school, narrowing its effective width down to only 1.1m. Yet, there is plenty of room on the site plan to expand public space here to reduce conflict and create a respectable waiting area.
- A little bit of thoughtful design for landscaping along the frontage of the site could produce a much better result. The path could be widened alongside the school, they could add a planting zone / protective buffer from cars and just-for-a-moment parking. The path itself could be turned into a best-practice segregated design with separate cycleway and dedicated footway. These ideas would create a much nicer environment around the school, promote safe walking and cycling to the school, and leave a genuine legacy for the next generation of families.
- Unfortunately, the applicants have not proposed any measures to slow drivers at the massively oversized Cottenham Road junction. Drivers regularly sweep in here at high speed to avoid the queue on Glebe Way. To propose a uncontrolled crossing here is unsafe for children trying to reach the school, and therefore unacceptable in our opinion. The junction should be realigned and narrowed to reduce the turning speeds. And a signalised pedestrian crossing of Glebe Way should be provided up here, or if not that then a safe pavement along the west side of Glebe Way so that people can reach the other crossing.
Please write to the Histon district and county councillors, and respond to the planning application, and let them know that these plans need to be fixed.