This article was published in 2017, in Newsletter 135.
Cambridge North station, office, retail, public realm, 125-space car park
Camcycle is pleased that common sense has prevailed and that this proposal was unanimously rejected by the Joint Development Control Committee (JDCC) over concerns about cycling safety.
Brookgate proposed downgrading the existing, newly-built segregated cycleway to a shared-use pathway without any separation between it and the proposed building, thus creating unavoidable conflict betwen people walking and people cycling.
We were joined in our objection by County HIghways, the City Walking and Cycling officer, City Urban Design, Milton Parish Council, and yet the planning officer in charge still recommended approval.
We wrote to the members of the JDCC and urged that the cycle route be spaced away from the building and that the provision for the cycleway be at least as good as the existing provision: a segregated bi-directional cycleway of at least three metres width, not a shared path.
The JDCC’s decision shows the value of Camcycle’s campaigning in bringing cycling to the fore. Councillors’ comments included ‘this application is just not good enough’ and that ‘building across a cycleway is not something I can support’. See Cambridge News (www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cyclists-slam-cambridge-north-hotel-13887678) and tweets from Antony Carpen aka Puffles (https://twitter.com/Puffles2010).
Following this, Brookgate has reached out to Camcycle to consult on revised plans.
Oakington Road, Cottenham, 50 dwellings
Camcycle objected on a number of key grounds. The application failed to meet the minimum requirements for cycle parking in the Local Plan. It didn’t fully identify the locations for cycle parking, and where this was identified there was insufficient space and no provision for people with disabilities who wanted to cycle.
It failed to provide any sustainable transport link with the existing village and over-provided car parking for residents.
Clay Farm Trumpington, Cambridge construction of a new cycleway and footway adjacent to Busway route and Abode 1 residential development
We supported this application on condition that a number of concerns were addressed, such as the 90-degree bend which will prohibit easy movement of tricycles and other large-type cycles (also highlighted by Cambridgeshire Highways).
We asked for clarification on the proposed design: the drainage plan referred to a ‘3 metre wide shared Footway/Cycleway’, but the Design and Access statement showed a segregated pathway with a cycleway on one side and a footway on the other for which 3 metres is too narrow.
No survey or modelling information was provided to determine the potential future level of usage of this pathway. If the projected number of people cycling, or the number of people walking, along this pathway exceeds 150 per hour, then the design should be revisited with consultation from Camcycle and other stakeholders, with a view to increasing the safety of the pathway.
Cottenham, Outline application for 137 dwellings plus access
Camcycle objected to this as two new motor vehicle access points, which would not give priority to walking and cycling, are proposed to join the shared-use pathway on the north side of Rampton Road. We welcomed the offer by the applicant to fund improvement of the shared-use pathway and listed a number of design changes which would overcome our objection.
We also suggested that the extensive network of unsigned cycle routes in and around Cottenham should be considered as they are highly relevant to this application. We suggested two Camcycle reference materials, Making Space for Cycling (www.makingspaceforcycling.org) and Camcycle cycle parking design guide (www.camcycle.org.uk/resources/cycleparking/guide/)
Grafton Area of Major Change Masterplan and Framework Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) 2017
Camcycle, as a charity with over 1,200 members and a key stakeholder working for safer, better cycling in Cambridge, was very disappointed not to have been invited to a series of workshops run as part of the preparation of the SPD. The council states that these workshops allowed ‘input from local stakeholders, including residents groups, local Councillors and other interest groups.’ It was not just us however: the council’s consultation with the Cycling Stakeholders Group took place after the opening of the SPD consultation, too late to have any effect.
Department for Transport Accessibility Action Plan
Camcycle welcomed consultation on this initiative to improve independent mobility for all. Our response focused on ensuring that the needs of cyclists with disabilities are given full consideration, and that cycling infrastructure is designed following best practice to ensure that it is fully inclusive of all users, be they cycling, using mobility aids, or walking in the vicinity. Our input included sections on tactile paving, segregated cycleways, continuous footways, shared space, barriers on cycle routes, segregated footways and cycleways, cycle parking standards, mobility scooters, electrically-assisted cycles, pavement maintenance and unauthorised pavement parking.
Mill Road Depot development
We have previously reported on the proposed new housing estate off Mill Road next to the railway bridge (Newsletter 134).
We highlighted how the developer proposed to provide an amount of car parking roughly double the rate of the surrounding area: 0.87 cars per dwelling.
In response to our lobbying that this is excessive provision in an area with probably the best access to sustainable transport in all of Cambridge, the developer has reduced this to 0.65.
However, Camcycle believes that 0.65 is still too high. We believe the surrounding area has a level of 0.5, and for a new development (where many new residents will have the opportunity to consider their new transport choices), this is far too high for what ought to be more like a car-free development.
We estimate that the cost of providing car storage spaces is around £15,000 each. People living at the new station access road have to pay £25,000 for a car parking space – demonstrating the real cost of such provision.
The developer has a website at www.millroad-development.co.uk which provides a short overview of the proposal. Although the consultation has now closed, please e-mail your views to firstname.lastname@example.org
Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP)
The GCP executive board has approved the officers’ recommendations for Histon Road. The officers’ report agreed with almost every resolution put forward by the local liaison forum. These include: avoiding any ‘garden grabbing’, stressing the importance of junction design, and putting a greater emphasis on safe cycling. All the board members agreed that Histon Road is a key cycling route with very bad conditions at present. Camcycle worked closely with the residents’ associations to help produce the resolutions and draw up the ‘Do Everything’ alternative junction design to show how safe cycling provision could be included alongside all other objectives.
Green End Cross-City Cycleway
Phase 1 is near completion and Camcycle remains concerned over car parking in the cycle lanes. Preparation for Phase 2 has begun and main construction work is scheduled to begin in 2018. New designs for Phase 3 are to be consulted on locally in 2018 in response to concerns over the removal of the Mortlock estate wall on Nuffield Road.
Road closure at Regent Terrace.
Camcycle is pleased that its efforts to address inadequate provision for people wishing to travel along Regent Terrace have been successful. Building work adjacent to Regent Terrace means that the road will be closed at times, mostly during the working day, until early 2019.
We wrote to the construction firm Pentaco and the city council about the not-fit-for-purpose ‘temporary path’ and suggested that a surfaced path be installed, suitable for everyone including wheelchair users and designed to be removable once the building works finish.
The city council responded to us, agreed to liaise with the county council over the insufficient signage (this should form part of the conditions of closure) and the construction of a new path (and fence) is now complete.