Consultation Guide: Horningsea Greenway

Name of consultation: GCP Horningsea Greenway 

The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP)

Online survey OR download and print the Word version and send to Greater Cambridge Partnership, PO Box 1493, Mandela House, 4 Regent Street, Cambridge CB1 0YR

If you have any difficulty with the online survey, you can also email directly with your response.

Deadline: midday on Friday 16 December

The Horningsea Greenway is one of twelve proposed Greenways, which aim to make local walking, cycling and, where appropriate, horse-riding journeys easier – connecting villages along the route to each other and Cambridge.

Summary of Camcycle’s view:

We support the creation of the Greenways and believe they will help to deliver for local communities along the routes and benefit the wider Cambridge region.  When considering active travel infrastructure, we need to ensure that routes are: coherent, direct, safe, comfortable and attractive. At present we believe that a number of small issues, across the entire length of the scheme, are making the route fail against these fundamental principles.

There are simple, low-cost opportunities to resolve these issues, and the GCP must continue to work with stakeholders and local experts to ensure these remaining issues are resolved to ensure the Greenways deliver for local communities and the wider region.

Points to make in your response:

Q3. Do you have any comments and suggestions on the proposed design and different features for Section 1? (Clayhithe Road to High Street)

  • Current levels of traffic along Horningsea Road are too high to safely promote on-carriageway cycling, with a manual count in 2008 recording over 5,600 vehicle trips a day. LTN1/20 considers any street with over 4,000 vehicle trips unsuitable for cycling. This will only be exacerbated by the 10,000 new homes which form part of the Waterbeach New Town. As creating safe and high-quality segregated infrastructure through Horningsea is simply not possible, vehicular flow must be reduced. A modal filter at an appropriate point along Clayhithe Road would achieve this. A temporary traffic regulation order could be progressed to gain local support and help to show residents how a low-traffic village would feel.
  • There needs to be a consistent approach to Greenways through villages. Even within these proposals, there is an inconsistency of approach between the two villages of Horningsea and Fen Ditton. Painted bike markings on the road are not infrastructure and they do not guide people cycling or driving on how to proceed safely.

Q4. Do you have any comments and suggestions on the proposed design and different features for Section 2? (Horningsea Road) 

  • At various points along Horningsea Road, the existing route is proposed to be narrowed with no clear justification as to why. If a route alongside the existing path cannot meet the standards set out in LTN1/20, then an alternative route must be explored.
  • There is no verge between the shared route and the carriageway, meaning the route fails to meet the standards set out in LTN1/20. It is clear that only a non-compliant route is possible within the existing road corridor and therefore an alternative option must be explored.
  • It is concerning that no investigation has been undertaken regarding the existing pinch points at the traffic signals by the A14 slip roads. A number of known design challenges are still not being addressed. Failing to review and consider these situations now will lead to unacceptable compromises in the detailed design stages.
  • Horningsea Road is fairly straight and the scheme does not propose any road narrowing or speed reduction measures. Without further measures, the reduced speed limit will not result in a meaningful drop in vehicle speeds.
  • A design for appropriate lighting for the cycle route along Horningsea Road should be provided. Cycle routes should be illuminated appropriately to allow everyone to feel safe and allow people to travel throughout the winter months.
  • The proposals indicate areas of proposed narrowing from 3m to 2.5m by the entrance to the cemetery, creating an unacceptable effective width of 2m. The route must meet LTN1/20 design standards.
  • South of Biggin Lane the shared pavement width reduces to 2.4m. The highway corridor appears to be constrained by existing trees and therefore an alternative route behind the existing trees and outside the existing highway corridor should be explored.
  • GreenWave technology that automatically detects approaching pedestrians and cyclists should be installed on the traffic signals on the A14 slip road.
  • The proposals indicate the shared route will narrow from 3m to 2.4m by the farm access on the southern side of the A14. Carriageway narrowing at this point should be explored and the shared route should be 3m with a 0.5m verge.
  • There is currently white hatching in the carriageway on the approach to Fen Ditton. The carriageway should be narrowed to reduce speed and to allow for the effective width to remain 3m and a minimum 0.5m verge between the shared route and the carriageway,
  • South of the Byway the shared path reduces to 2.4m but no carriageway reduction has been proposed.
  • Public realm and localised widening should be considered outside Fen Ditton primary school.
  • As the shared route enters Fen Ditton, the route continues to be provided without a verge and therefore fails to meet LTN1/20.

Q5. Do you have any comments and suggestions on the proposed design and different features for Section 3? (High Street) 

  • It is completely unacceptable to promote cycling across High Street using a parallel crossing only to then require people cycling to cross Ditton Lane at the existing uncontrolled crossing. The Greenway must facilitate people crossing from the northwest corner of the junction onto the existing shared path on the southeast corner safely in one movement. A signalised junction with provision for those walking and cycling to cross in all directions as well as a diagonal crossing to facilitate the northwest-to-southeast movement would achieve this as well as improving safety at the junction.
  • There are two types of cycle street designs that are promoted in the Netherlands, one which promotes cyclists towards the edge of the carriageway and the other, as proposed here, where cyclists are in the middle. Dutch guidance recommends that putting cyclists in the middle is only recommended for one-way motorised traffic.
  • The area outside the church should become public space with bollards to allow for those walking and cycling to pass through. This would still allow any special vehicles to park safely outside the entrance to the church.
  • The priority route should be from the shared path to High Street. Vehicles coming from the west of Wadloes Path should be required to give way to cyclists joining High Street or Wadloes Path.

Q6. Do you have any other comments and suggestions on the proposed design and different features for Section 4? (The Wadloes Path)

  • Wadloes Path is already one of the busiest routes surrounding Cambridge. A 3.5m width would provide more capacity, creating greater headroom to accommodate future growth in active travel.
  • The arrangement where the paths from Howard Road, Wadloes Path and Ditton Meadow meet still requires significant improvement. Lessons must be learnt from the Chisholm Trail route which failed to understand the desire lines. Where the routes converge the width of the route should be increased to at least 4 metres and the alignment between Wadloes Path and Ditton Meadow needs to be smoothed out.
  • The scheme must be extended to tie safely into Howard Road.
  • The proposed 2.5m section onto Ditton Meadow must be widened.

Q7. Do you have any other comments, queries or concerns you’d like us to consider for the next stages of design? 

  • A complimentary route that follows a footpath on the eastern side of the river Cam should be reconsidered. It was previously identified in the Horningsea, Bottisham & Swaffham Cambridge Greenways report produced by 5th studio in March 2019. In the report, a small note stated that ‘After an initial review with the client it was agreed that the focus of the study should be on a route via the existing path alongside Horningsea Road’. It dismissed the river route because ‘a new cross-country route alongside the river would not justify the additional cost/land acquisition required and would have a detrimental effect on the character of this low-key river footpath’. These statements were supported by no evidence and therefore the opportunity for meaningful engagement was lost. It is clear that a compliant route cannot be delivered within the highway corridor and therefore a complimentary, compliant route must be considered. A sympathetic scheme that follows this existing footpath would, however, meet the needs of residents as well as opening up opportunities to access the countryside and create a new link to `Baits Bite Lock and onward links into Waterbeach. There are thousands of examples of shared routes through sensitive areas.  Just one local example is the cycle route through Wicken Fen which allows thousands of people to sustainably visit a protected heritage site, raising awareness of these rich areas of biodiversity and history whilst reducing the impact of tourism. Excluding a route on these unjustified and unsubstantiated claims is mistaken and based on the preliminary design work this alternative must be properly considered.

Complete the Horningsea Greenway survey on the GCP’s consultation website by noon on Friday 16 December.