New residents’ associations

This article was published in 2016, in Newsletter 124.

The City Deal proposals for Milton Road have had one undeniably positive effect for participatory democracy with the creation of two highly motivated and articulate new residents’ associations, Milton Road Residents’ Association (MRRA) and Hurst Park Estate Residents’ Association (HPERA)

Milton Road walkabout.
Image as described adjacent

Over 200 people attended the Milton Road Residents’ Association meeting on 17 December. There was widespread concern that their local road would become simply a through route with no neighbourhood atmosphere, greenery or quality pedestrian routes. The consultation proposals for Milton Road were explained and Tania Elliot, secretary of the Federation of Campaign Residents’ Associations, spoke on ‘Effective Opposition’.

On 6 January more than 150 people attended HPERA’s inaugural meeting. The association was set up to act as a forum for residents of Hurst Park Avenue, Orchard Avenue, Highfield Avenue, Leys Avenue, Leys Road, and Highworth Avenue to respond to the consultation amid fears that the proposed closure of side streets and restricted turns off Milton Road would mean that residential roads would become rat-runs. Edward Leigh of Smarter Cambridge Transport presented proposals for an alternative way of improving traffic flow for buses during peak periods by using modern signaling technology to avoid creation of bus lanes. Such bus lanes would lead to the loss of trees and verges along Milton Road and add road capacity which would simply be filled by more cars.

Richard Taylor took videos of both these meetings and these can be found here:

MRRA meeting

HPERA meeting

On 7 January members of MRRA and HPERA joined representatives from the Campaign and from Smarter Cambridge Transport for a walk along almost the entire length of the proposed improvements, consulting maps and discussing implications for each junction in detail. This was to help formulate recommendations which the two associations will then present to residents with the aim of encouraging as many individual responses to the consultation as possible.

Sarah Rodger