The County Council has appointed Peterborough Environment City Trust to oversee the design competition for the planned new river bridge at Riverside. See Newsletter 45 for the background. Construction is due to start in November 2004.
The process for planning applications has been changed recently. The Government says the changes are to speed up the process, though it is hard to see they will change very much. While the views of ‘statutory consultees’ can now be taken as read in some situations, Regional Development agencies have a complicating formal role. If planning permission is refused, the applicant has less time to appeal. Councils now have to give reasons for approving plans (previously they only had to do so to reject them) – though this is only of any use, of course, if there are then the means to challenge the decision.
The County Council is putting the final touches to the latest edition of the Cambridge Cycle Route Map. The new edition should be available by the end of September in time for the new intake of University students. The map was originally compiled by a Cycling Campaign subgroup and we have continued to be involved in updating it since. Unfortunately later editions show an increasing number of poor quality pavement cycleways. As well as correcting errors and omissions, the revised map reflects changes on the ground. For example, we have an entirely new route this time in the Jubilee path across Ditton Meadows.
The Government says it has put an extra £3.6 million into research about potholes. The money is to adapt a vehicle for local authority use which is already used on motorways and main roads to measure surface condition while moving. They say that this allows road condition to be assessed safely, efficiently and without disruption to traffic. Minister David Jamieson said: ‘potholes – the scourge of drivers and cyclists alike – could be filled much more efficiently on local roads, thanks to new technology.’