VIE Estate lighting

Although all properties on the VIE estate were sold over a year ago, still the County Council have failed to complete the adoption of the land. Cllr Manning, who lives on the estate, explains: “I’ve been chasing this for a while now, and whilst we finally have a timescale of end of May, I’m very unclear as to why it has taken so long to get to this point.

In order to escalate this and get some reassurance that there aren’t problems of some kind, I’ve submitted a written question to full Council.”

The question reads:

On adoption of roads by County highways for new developments:

Could the cabinet member give some detail on the speed of adoption of roads marked for such on new developments and what he thinks an acceptable timescale for adoptions to happen are?

Can he further give some statistics on the speed of completion of adoptions over the last 10 years, or a close acceptable reporting period?

In terms of both parts of the question, I would be interested in such detail as:

How often remedial works from the developer(s) are required, and some indication of why developers are allowed to put in sub standard works
Time scales for completing any remedial works and how these timescales are enforced
Should residents have already moved in before road adoption is complete, and how often does this happen in practise?
How are residents kept informed about the state of the roads of their development?
How often lighting columns on adopted land are completed to County standards, and working before residents move in to new developments

North Area Fen Road steering group – first meeting

Tonight was the first meeting secured by Cllr Manning and the East Chesterton Liberal Democrats as a result of their campaign to get the new Station to benefit the area.

That campaign got a public meeting attended by over 100 people –

The meeting was well attended by residents and Liberal Democrat Councillors.

Officers from the County Council Highways and City Council Planning presented various information to us about the desire for an access road:

  • From a planning perspective, Patsy Dell from the City Council explained that the Cambridge local plan will have a bearing on the overal situation and there are Governance agreements between the City, County and South Cambs.
  • Jeremy Smith, from highways stated again that the project will not prevent anything from being built.
  • Brain Stinton talked about what could be done down Fen Road itself to prevent speeding.

Cllr Manning pressed the point that many residents echoed: “No matter the complexities from the point of view of planning and integration between the different authorities, we absolutely must push and help officers to get the best result for local residents. I asked that there is a clear report back to the steering group on the vaiability or not of the two steering road options (onto the A14 and onto Cowley Road).”

There were also suggestions for underpasses and on Fen Road itself, it cost is a problem, to simply remove the current speed cushions. Cllr Znajek explained “It doesn’t matter how this is funded or who is doing it, we must get a benefit to locals from the area.

Cllr Manning also raised the issue of parking on Fen Road / satellite streets that might happen to avoid getting charged for using the station car park: “Officers have this in hand with their plans and we wait to see what they come back with.”

Cllr Manning is also concerned about possible plans to spend up to £1 million on a cycle bridge (either the Green Dragon or a new one) which he believes should be used in preference on Fen Road. He will be following this up with officers from highways.

Officers have taken away actions to draw up some high levels options for us to consider at the next meeting in a month’s time.

Fen Road to be discussed at North Area Community Forum

Before Christmas, Councillor Manning and campaigner Clare Blair produced a paper documenting the many problems for residents in the Fen Road area of East Chesterton.

They secured a special slot at this weeks North Area Community Forum in order to get together all the relevant parties to try and find solutions.

The meeting will be at the Shirley School, Nuffield Road, starting at 1930.

The paper Clare and Ian wrote can be read here: 20111121FenRoad Proposals.

Cllr Manning urges residents to come to the meeting so they can put all their concerns directly to those in power, including the County Council’s cabinet member Cllr Ian Bates: “I’m very pleased Cllr Bates, who is new to the job, has agreed to come to this meeting to listen to residents’ concerns. I’m sure he’ll learn a lot and I hope we can agree some proposed solutions which he’ll be able to support.”

Clare Blair said the new station provided an exciting opportunity: “If we, as a community, can impress on officers and the ruling group at the County Council the need to act on the issues in this area, the new Station in Chesterton may well provide the means to enact change.”

The City’s MP Julian Huppert supports the pair in their efforts: “I applaud Ian and Clare on the work that has gone into this document. I hope residents will take this opportunity to make their views known so that a solution can be found quickly.”

Whippet Guided Buses to stop on Milton Road

Milton Road will get a new bus service once the Guided Bus starts running – scheduled to start on 7th August.

Whippet bus timetable

Whippet coaches have agreed that their hourly service along Milton Road will stop at the Arbury Road/Union Lane junction.

The Monday to Saturday services will start at 0816 and run until 1816 southbound taking 10 minutes to get to the city centre and a further 9 to the railway station where they will stop. Northbound, the buses will stop every hour from 1003 until 1903 taking 5 minutes to get to the Science Park and a further 20 to get to St Ives via Histon, Oakington, Longstanton and Swavesey. On Sundays, services are very 2-3 hours starting after 10am and finishing before 7pm.

Click here for the whippet timetable.

On Tuesday, Cllr Kevin Wilkins, County Councillor for West Chesterton, met Peter Lee, the Director of Whippet Coaches to welcome the news and discuss details.

Mr Lee agreed that Whippet buses would stop at any stop along Milton Road not just Union Lane. This is very welcome news – but County Council officials are believed to be unhappy about this!

All the buses (with green, euro 5 engines) will have the widget that means they show up on the real-time information signs at the busstops and on various mobile phone apps.

Cross-company tickets will be available so that passengers wishing to transfer to a Stagecoach bus for example in the city centre will be able to do so.

Despite repeated requests, Stagecoach have no plans to follow suit with stops on Milton Road.

Well done, Whippet: if you think this is a good decision please contact Peter Lee on to let him know!

Elizabeth Way pelican near Montague Road

We have received the following email from the County Council:

On Tuesday morning it was reported to the County’s Traffic Signal Team that the crossing on Elizabeth Way was not operating. Our contractor has tried fitting a number of spare parts but has had much difficulty in sourcing a working circuit board for this now obsolete equipment. As some background the control equipment was replaced in 2002 after a fault with the previous controller but most of the current street equipment was installed in the 1980s, now being well beyond its 15 year design life.
I’m pleased to report that a further visit has been made this morning and the crossing is now on and working.

If these lights fail again, let us know.