From Cambridge City Council
Initial engagement period on ideas to improve Cambridge's streets and open spaces extended until 3 August
News release from 19 July 2018, 4:10pm
‘MAKING Space for People’ – a project to make Cambridge easier and more pleasant for people to get around – has extended its first stage of engagement until 3 August to allow more people to comment.
Residents, visitors and people who work in Cambridge now have an additional period to register their comments and ideas for potential improvements to walkways, cycleways, roads and open spaces, in order to ensure people are put at the heart of city life.
So far the project has had a good response, with more than 800 comments and more than 300 completed surveys. The first stage of engagement was scheduled to close on 16 July, but has now been extended due to requests from some local stakeholder groups.
People can now continue to make comments online via http://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/making-space-for-peopleuntil 5pm on Friday 3 August, before having further opportunities to comment on the emerging vision at a later date.
The project’s engagement website, ConsultCambs, gives people the opportunity to view a map and comment in detail about specific locations that they feel could be improved, and how, including suggestions for how parts of Cambridge could be used differently.
‘Making Space for People’ is being developed by Cambridge City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, and is funded by the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP).
The project will lead to the creation of a new Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to help guide improvements to the city, which will put people first when identifying future opportunities to improve public spaces and movement flows into and around the city.
All of the ideas and comments the council receives from these initial exercises will help shape the council’s strategy, and will feed into a draft document to be discussed by councillors, before a full public consultation on the proposed Making Space for People SPD, which is due to take place in early 2019.
A range of organisations with an interest in Cambridge’s future are also being invited to attend meetings and workshops to give their ideas for the future and discuss some of the challenges and opportunities for improving the city.
The project is funded by the Greater Cambridge Partnership and is part of the City Access scheme to improve travel within Cambridge by public transport, cycling and walking, along with tackling congestion and improving air quality and the public realm.
Cllr Kevin Blencowe, Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, said: “We have been very pleased with the response so far, but are aware that not everyone wishing to contribute ideas has been able to do so. That is why we are extending this initial engagement period until 3 August, while reminding people that they will still have further chances to contribute to the project in the weeks and months ahead.”
Peter Blake, Transport Director at Greater Cambridge Partnership said: “ConsultCambs is a new digital tool that enables people to comment on infrastructure projects quickly and easily, from the comfort of their own home.
“Making Space for People is one of our first projects to use the tool, so please let us know of any comments or suggestions on how to improve it for its future use.”
Romsey Labour often discuss the possibility of how Mill Road can be made safer and this was raised again at the last meeting. At that time opinion was balanced in favour but this is a moving feast and it was decided to have it as an agenda item at the next ward meeting.
What follows is a view in favour
This action follows a very positive response to the unexpected blockage of Mill Road by a road collapse 27th-28th June - thi has reopened the debate about if we could have a trial stoppage of through traffic. A trial closure at Mill Road Bridge monitored by CCTV could mean
- all private vehicles would be stopped from crossing the bridge
- all of Mill Road would still be accessible
- deliveries could be 24/7 and this would help traders.
- it would be much safer space for pedestrians/cyclists (see the amount of collisions)
- massively reduce pollution
- buses could have a traffic free route and be on time
Of course there remain people who are against this because it will interfere with their car journeys - there are also concerns about pushing traffic onto other roads. The traders have also indicated that they remain opposed.
Cambridge Cycling Campaign on the other hand are enthused and they have raised the potential of introducing 'parklets'. Seen below these would be used to widen the pavement and allow shops to extend their frontages - to allow 'pop up cafes' for example. They believe that trade would be increased for traders if the road was closed to through traffic and with parklets there would be further gains.
These 'parklets' would be relatively cheap to construct and make so much difference to the narrow parts of pavement on Mill Road.
Nothing that has been suggested would remove access from any part of Mill Road. Deliveries could continue as before and because there was no through traffic the lorries would be unlikely to frustrate drivers, cyclist and pedestrians. This has got to be a way forward and people should contact their councillors to make their views (for or against).
It may even be that the Greater Cambridge Partnership could be approached to fund this trial.
Cambridge Cycling Campaign
Greater Cambridge Partnership
My election campaign on Mill Road
During my recent successful campaign for re-election as a City Councillor, one of my pledges said:
"I would like to Mill Road closed at the area around the swimming pool. This could be controlled by CCTV and only allow bikes, buses and emergency vehicles would be allowed to pass the CCTV without a penalty".
Having seen the unplanned stopping of through traffic outside the Coop I now realise that the top end of the road may not be the best place. Potentially stopping through traffic on Mill Road Bridge may be a better place. In particular choosing the bridge to stop most through traffic will reduce the hazard to cyclists at what are the 2nd and 3rd most dangerous spots for road collisions in Cambridge - Mill Rd junction with Argyle Street, and Mill Road junction with Kingston Street and Devonshire Road.