Consultation guide: Cambourne to Cambridge Environmental Impact Assessment

Cambourne to Cambridge EIA consultation brochure coverName of consultation: Cambourne to Cambridge Better Public Transport and Active Travel Environmental Impact Assessment
From: The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP)
Format: Online survey OR print out the consultation brochure and write on the form in the back pages OR email comments to consultations@greatercambridge.org.uk OR call 01223 699906
Deadline: midday on Monday 11 July

The GCP is undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the preferred route for the Cambourne to Cambridge busway and adjacent active travel path. They are seeking views on how best to manage and mitigate the scheme’s impacts on the landscape and environment.

Summary of Camcycle’s view:

If this scheme proceeds, the detailed design of the active travel route must be guided by LTN 1/20, the government’s standards for cycle infrastructure (but current documents do not give enough detail to evaluate the project). Particular care should be given in regards to safety, including separation from fast-moving bus traffic, suitable lighting, visibility splays and natural surveillance. There should be frequent, well-designed connections to surrounding paths.

Points to make in your response:

Question 2: Do you have any comments on the proposed Active Travel route for cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians? 

CYCLING: Local Transport Note (LTN) 1/20 must be used to guide those detailed designs on any infrastructure in the vicinity of routes where people will be cycling.
WALKING: A separate and dedicated footway should be provided where pedestrian flows are expected to be strong. We believe this is most likely to be the case in the following areas: within Cambourne, within Bourn Airfield, within Hardwick and in the vicinity of the West Cambridge site.
EQUESTRIANS: There should be verges alongside the active travel path suitable for equestrian use, and providing good visibility where the path joins with other paths and roads, as well as a spacious, more inviting, open and better-feeling environment for people.

LIGHTING:

LED lighting on a path in Cambridge

  • Our experience with the existing Busway informs us that the lack of lighting is a problem for many people, especially those who are concerned about personal security at night.
  • We also note that unlit shared-use pathways are more dangerous at night because pedestrians do not tend to carry lights and even bright cycle headlights do not necessarily provide enough illumination to see unlit pedestrians with sufficient warning, not to mention any dogs being walked. Therefore, stronger lighting options should be provided along the active travel path, especially where it is reasonable to expect significant pedestrian flows.
  • Within the built-up area there should be street lighting. Outside the built-up area you should consider options such as motion-sensitive lighting that comes on when there is human activity in the area. We agree with the need for permanent street lighting at all junctions, crossings and bus stops, for safety reasons.

PERSONAL SECURITY: The active travel path should not be fenced off from the surroundings and in general you should seek to enable as much natural surveillance as possible of the active travel path from surrounding buildings, for personal security reasons. Again, the purpose is to maximise feelings of personal security along the active travel path at night by making it feel more connected to the surrounding neighbourhood. The more it is used, the safer it will feel.
ACTIVE TRAVEL LINKS: Connections between the active travel path and other nearby paths should be made as easily and as frequently as reasonably possible, provided they are designed with the geometry, visibility splay and access control specifications found in LTN 1/20. The more opportunities there are for access to and from the active travel path, the safer and more usable it will feel.
MADINGLEY ROAD CYCLING AND WALKING ROUTE: The Madingley Road cycling and walking route must meet LTN 1/20 specifications for cycling regarding design, geometry and surfacing, and it should segregate cyclists from pedestrians at least along the length of the route that lies within the city of Cambridge.

Question 8 (Cambourne): Do you have any comments and suggestions about the proposals for the route from Broadway to Sterling Way? 

  • Lampost Alley at the junction with Sterling Way

    This is an urban section and it must take into account lighting and personal security concerns outlined above, as well as having frequent access points and cyclist/pedestrian segregation due to high numbers of expected users.

  • The route is currently shown to terminate at Sterling Way. However, the active travel portion should continue straight across Sterling Way and through to Eastgate, via the unhighlighted route on the map also known as ‘Lamppost Alley’. This path does not currently meet LTN 1/20 specifications because it has dangerous and exclusionary barriers, as well as lamp posts mounted within the surface of the path, and no dedicated footway. These are problems that can be easily corrected by the Cambourne to Cambridge project as part of creating the direct and cohesive active travel route connecting Cambourne, Cambridge and the villages in between.

Question 9: Do you have any comments and suggestions about the proposals for the route through Bourn Airfield?

This is an urban section and it must take into account lighting and personal security concerns outlined above, as well as having frequent access points and cyclist/pedestrian segregation due to high numbers of expected users.

Question 10: Do you have any comments and suggestions about the proposals for the route through the Childerley Lodge area?

  • This section is very isolated with the active travel path up on a retaining structure alongside the busway and the A428. It is also a longer and less direct route than the existing St Neots Road.
  • Instead of putting the active travel route on the retaining structure it would be more direct and coherent and would feel safer to provide an LTN 1/20-compliant active travel route alongside the existing St Neots Road.

Question 14: Do you have any comments and suggestions about the proposals for an active travel path between the [Scotland Road] Travel Hub and Dry Drayton?

  • We support the provision of an active travel route between Dry Drayton and Hardwick (whether as part of this project or provided separately).
  • The travel hub diagram shows the existing circuitous approaches to the bridge over the A428. More direct approaches should be considered, for example by creating a more gentle ramp from the travel hub up to the existing bridge deck, and a similar approach for the other side.

Question 19: Do you have any comments and suggestions about the proposals for the route through Hardwick?

A dedicated and separate footway should be provided as part of the active travel route within Hardwick. This will also help with visibility at the numerous driveways along St Neots Road, if the footway is located adjacent to the highway boundary.

Question 23: Do you have any comments on North of Coton proposals?

Opportunities for connections between the active travel route and the village should be pursued as much as possible in order to make the route more useable. In particular, there should be a connection to the primary school, and another connection point on the east side of Coton is also highly desirable for residents in that area to access the route.

Question 24: Do you have any comments and suggestions about the route over the M11 and through West Cambridge?

    • There should be a connection between the street known as The Footpath and the proposed active travel route to enable easier use of the proposed M11 bridge from the east side of Coton.
    • The Charles Babbage Road cross-section shows minimal separation between carriageway and cycleway. While this is a low-speed section of route, we note that there will be a very busy and important bus stop on this road. That will require much more space than is currently shown in the cross-section. The bus stop itself will require a substantial platform and shelter on each side of the road. The cycleway will need to pass behind the bus shelter while maintaining intervisibility between bus passengers and cyclists, as well as full accessibility for both bus passengers crossing the cycleway and disabled cyclists using the cycleway. It will be important to carefully follow LTN 1/20 guidance in the design of these bus stops.

Charles Babbage cross-section

  • The busway turns south at what is currently a service road junction with Charles Babbage Road. That junction will need to be very carefully designed in order to make sure that it is both safe and convenient for people cycling along Charles Babbage Road.
  • The busway will cross what is currently called the Southern Ecological corridor but is also currently a major cycle route within the West Cambridge site as well as being part of the future Comberton Greenway. This cycle route is currently continuous and uninterrupted at the point where the service road meets it. We are concerned that the Cambourne to Cambridge proposals would see this cycle route severed by a dangerous and difficult junction. The residential building at this junction creates a blind corner that is not compatible with heavy vehicular usage. Given that this is an existing important cycle route on the West Cambridge site, as well as the wider region, this junction should be designed to maintain walking and cycling priority with buses stopping, giving way, and bus drivers checking both directions before proceeding.
  • Coton Path for cyclists and pedestriansThe Coton Path is an existing heavily-used cycle route between West Cambridge and Adams Road, although it is starting to show its age. The Cambourne to Cambridge project proposes to overlay its active travel route on a section of the Coton Path. At the very least, this section must be improved up to LTN 1/20 standards.

Question 25: Do you have any comments and suggestions about the route over the M11 and through West Cambridge?

Where the Cambourne to Cambridge active travel route diverges from the Coton Path / Comberton Greenway, sufficient space must be provided for good visibility between all path users, and a proper LTN 1/20 compliant junction of active travel routes designed.

Question 26: Do you have any comments about the junction with Grange Road?

The indicative design for the junction at Grange Road shows absolutely no recognition of the presence of cycling traffic. It appears to be a junction with some pedestrian crossings of the usual style. If this junction is meant to be the beginning of a route that includes significant cycle traffic, the Cambourne to Cambridge active travel route, then it should have smooth, coherent and accessible transitions designed for cycling to and from Grange Road, fully integrated with the traffic signals.