Pavement Parking along Mill Road

A hazard, a scandal, and hope for reform

For many years local residents have complained about cars, taxis, vans and lorries driving onto Mill Road’s pavements, creating a hazard for all pedestrians, but especially for wheelchair-users, people with vision disabilities and for parents with young children. Even when no vehicle is on the the pavement, paving-slabs had been compressed and cracked by irresponsible drivers, crating trip hazards.

Cambridgeshire County Council could deal with the problem, but have done nothing.

Cambridgeshire County Council – as highway authority – has powers to issue a traffic regulation order (TRO) to prohibit parking on Mill Road’s pavements, enforced by their civil parking enforcement officers (CEOs, aka ‘Traffic Wardens’) who could issue an immediate Penalty Charge Notice (PCN, ‘Parking Ticket’). The revenue from PCNs would pay for the cost of enforcement, so no increase in council tax would be needed.

Cambridgeshire County Council, along with all English Traffic Authorities with ‘civil parking enforcement powers’ were granted powers in February 2011 to prohibit, by means of a TRO, parking on footways and verges, wherever they consider it necessary.

Sadly, we have seen no action by Cambridgeshire County Council to tackle this menace.

To view the original letter from the then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Norman Baker, click the links below:

Nothing in a pavement parking TRO would inconvenience traders’ deliveries. The current Mill Road permitted loading/unloading times would be exactly the same.

Neither would it change anything about parking along Romsey’s side-streets, where pavement parking is permitted as the only way of accommodating residents’ cars.

Have your say

And it’s not just Mill Road which suffers, as this article – Cambridge driver finds alternative parking in the middle of a path – from Ella Pengelly shows.

Car parked on path in Coldhams Lane (Image: Will Peters)

Now, matters may be taken out of the County Council’s hands.

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee are looking into reform…

Have your say

Today, the Transport Committee launches an inquiry to explore the problems of pavement parking in England and consider possible solutions.  As pavement parking is devolved, the focus is on England only.

House of Commons Transport Select Committee, 02 April 2019

Purpose of the inquiry

Parking on pavements creates real problems. For those with visual difficulties, who use mobility aids, or need to navigate footpaths with children, unpredictable hazards such as cars represent a potential danger.

‘Pavement parking’ is when one or more wheels of a vehicle are on the footpath. As well as creating obstacles for people wanting to use footpaths, Councils face additional costs to repair damage to surfaces which are not designed to take the weight of motor vehicles.

A mix of criminal and civil sanctions are available to police and local councils to enforce restrictions on pavement parking on private or commercial drivers.  Parking on footways or pavements was banned in London in 1974*, and it’s prohibited for large goods vehicles across England. [ibid]

* The ban applies to all footways and verges, except where there are permitted parking bays laid out (as in some Romsey side-streets). [Our note]

Lack of progress in tackling pavement parking has led many groups to campaign on the issue and although it is regularly raised with MPs by their constituents, the Government has not taken any action on this issue in recent years. [ibid]

This is an area where some people’s actions cause real difficulties for others. Parking on pavements risks the safety of all groups of people from the littlest to the oldest, with differing needs. While we’re also inquiring into Active Travel – how we get more people to get into walking and cycling – we need to make sure it’s safe to take to the streets. We want to hear from the public about the difficulties this presents and the solutions on offer.

Lilian Greenwood (Chair) [ibid]

Call for written evidence

The Committee is calling for written evidence on the following:

  • the impact of pavement parking;
  • the enforcement of pavement parking offences; and 
  • enforcement and, if necessary, reform of traffic regulation orders need to deal with pavement parking. 

The closing date to submit written evidence is 14 May 2019.

More information
How to submit written evidence
  1. Think about how pavement parking affects you, your family, friends and neighbours. Can people in wheelchairs get by? How do parents with toddlers cope?
  2. Think about incidents where you have seen vehicles drive onto the pavement. Was your child frightened? Did a driver hoot at you, or someone, to move out of there way?
  3. Mention that, although Cambridgeshire County Council – as highway authority – have had powers to prevent pavement parking since February 2011, no action has been taken.
  4. Compose your submission in your word-processing software of choice.
  5. Convert it to a Word document.
  6. Click through to the Pavement parking – written submission form page (here).
  7. Fill in your own details and attach your submission.
The closing date to submit written evidence is 14 May 2019.

If you would like your submission published on this page, copy and paste it into the box below, or email it to us, asking for it to be published with attribution or anonymously.

Community, or car park?

Should parking on our streets be for residents and visitors, or an unregulated car-park for commuters?

See our readers’ comments. And add your own.

Many of the streets of Coleridge ward, around Rustat Road and around Romsey’s Greville Road and Argyle Street, have recently joined those of South Petersfield in residents’ parking schemes.

Those streets have seen some advantages:

  • Commuters and occasional rail users who were unwilling to pay to park at the railway station, nor to take a bus or taxi, no longer clog the streets with their cars, for the whole day.
  • Similarly drivers who want to park for free and walk to the city centre can no longer use these local streets.
  • More road-space is available to local drivers and to cyclists.
  • There are fewer vehicle movements on these streets.

There are, however, a few problems.

  • Residents must now pay an annual fee to park in their street.
  • Permits are required for visitors.
  • As soon as one street has a residents’ parking scheme, the neighbouring street encounters the same problem.

This blog-post was triggered by an email to email our contact address.

Let’s have your views. There’s no character limit, unlike Twitter. So expound and expand, below. (Comments are pre-moderated.)

Romsey Labour Club

Planning Application

We have become aware of a planning application for the former Romsey Labour Club (19/0004/FUL) to be developed into serviced apartments.

The deadline for submitting comments is Friday 8th February 2019.

Reference19/0004/FUL
Application ReceivedThu 03 Jan 2019
Application ValidatedThu 03 Jan 2019
AddressRomsey Labour Club
Mill Road Cambridge
CB1 3NL

Proposal:

Serviced apartment (sui generis use class) scheme containing 39no self-contained 1xbed room units along with Cafe, gym and community space at ground floor with a vehicle drop-off zone, disabled car parking space, cycle parking and associated landscaping and retention of existing BLI frontage.


This proposal comes shortly after a very similar proposal for student apartments was refused planning consent…


Take a look through some of the drawings from the Cambridge City Council’s planning portal. You can view or download copies of these drawings – and all other documents in connection with this proposal by clicking on this planning reference link: 19/0004/FUL.

Important dates:
Application Validated DateThu 03 Jan 2019
Actual Committee DateNot Available
Neighbour Consultation ExpiryFri 08 Feb 2019
Standard ConsultationMon 07 Jan 2019
Standard Consultation ExpiryMon 04 Feb 2019
Last Advertised In PressFri 18 Jan 2019
Latest Advertisement ExpiryFri 08 Feb 2019
Last Site Notice PostedFri 25 Jan 2019
Latest Site Notice ExpiryFri 15 Feb 2019
Agreed Expiry DateNot Available
Decision Made DateNot Available
Permission Expiry DateNot Available
Determination DeadlineThu 04 Apr 2019
Temporary Permission Expiry DateNot Available

If you have a view on this application, click through on this link 19/0004/FUL, look at the details, register if need be, and submit your comments.

Sally Ann’s Grand Move

Sally Ann’s charity shop reopened in its new location on Tenison Road, on Monday 4th February 2019 at 1 pm.

The the Salvation Army Band played for the shop’s opening ceremony, performed by Cllr Gerri Bird (Deputy Mayor of Cambridge 2018-2019). Light refreshments and retail therapy were enjoyed by a large crowd of Mill Roaders.

More, from the Cambridge Independent:
Salvation Army charity shop on Mill Road closes after more than two decades

To mark the closure of the much-loved Mill Road shop on Saturday, 19th January 2019 the Salvation Army Band played in the shop and light refreshments were served.

Many thanks to Mil Road TV for supplying the video.

Shape the future of local policing

Police event Monday 21 Jan 2019 at 19:00 to 21:00, Wesley Methodist Church, Christ Pieces, Cambridge CB1 1LG

There are a number of issues affecting our neighbourhood, including:

  • the lack of pro-active neighbourhood policing;
  • open drug-dealing;
  • the lack of police enforcement of, or even education of motorists about, our 20mph limits;
  • the lack of any action to stop vehicles obstructing the footways (Highway Code rule 244);
  • the lack of police enforcement of, or even education of motorists about, Highway Code Rule 163give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car. [my emphasis]

Some Mill Roaders will have other priorities. The more people who turn up to the meeting, the better our voices will be heard.

Hooper Street chestnut trees – Result!

A planning application was submitted for the pruning of two horse-chestnut trees in Hooper Street – and the felling of a third.

The deadline for comments on this application was Monday 17 December 2018.

Jubilee House 3 Hooper Street Cambridge CB1 2NZ
T 1 & T2: Chestnut – Reduce height by 4/5m and shorten lateral branches by 2/3m to rebalance crowns. T3: Chestnut – Fell.

Jubilee House 3 Hooper Street Cambridge CB1 2NZ showing horse-chestnut trees (Google Maps)

Many local residents submitted objections on the Cambridge City Council planning portal. Many thanks to those who took the time and trouble to do so.

  • Comments Received:57
  • Objections: 57

Other trees in Hooper Street have already been lost; each of the remaining trees are therefore more precious, in an otherwise heavily built up area of the city. They are an essential green ‘lung’ for the area, in countering air pollution.


Result for a community that stands together…

Date: 8 January 2019

Reference: 18/584/TTPO
Application: T 1 & T2: Chestnut – Reduce height by 4/5m and shorten lateral branches by 2/3m to rebalance crowns.
T3: Chestnut – Fell.
Jubilee House 3 Hooper Street Cambridge CB1 2NZ  

Dear Sir/Madam

Decision on Tree Works Application 

Thank you for your letter about the above application.  Your views were taken into account in coming to a decision.  The application was Tree Refused Permission  by senior officers, under delegated powers.

Valid applications including plans, supporting documents, consultation comments and the decision notice are available to view online.  Please go to www.cambridge.gov.uk/planningpublicaccess to open the online planning register and enter 18/584/TTPO in the search field.

Yours faithfully

Joanna Davies

Interim Arboricultural Officer


Mill Road Depôt Development – Phase 2


Go to latest updates

See our readers’ comments. And add your own.


PHASE 2 OF THE MILL ROAD DEPOT REDEVELOPMENT

You can also submit feedback directly to: info@IP-Cambridge.co.uk.


Update from Petersfield Area Community Trust

At the Mill Road Depot consultation in December 2018, PACT learnt that their design requests for the Gatehouse Community Centre on the depot site had been heard, and we feel the design now being submitted for planning approval is excellent and will serve the community well now, and into the future.

PACT would now like to invite you to a meeting to bring you up to date and discuss any ideas you might have, as the location of the community centre will not only benefit the whole of Petersfield, but also the wider community.

To this end, there will be a meeting at The Salvation Army Community Centre, 104 Mill Road CB1 2BD (next to St Barnabas Church) on Tuesday 26th March at 7.30pm.

We hope to see you there!


Fund your community project

Fund your community project with an Area Committee grant

Are you involved with planning a neighbourhood activity taking place between April 2019 and March 2020 which will benefit people who are disadvantaged through social or economic exclusion?

This activity may be eligible for one of our Area Committee grants, covering North, South, East or West Central areas of the city.

Grants can be awarded to non-profit, voluntary and community organisations or groups of local residents.  They can be for items which enable an activity to happen e.g. venue hire for local community, arts or sports activities, transport for trips for younger/older residents, materials for art projects, equipment for local sports sessions and much more.

We want these grants to make a difference to the lives of City residents with the highest needs.

The application process will be launched in early January 2019. Contact the Grants Team from December onwards for further information and to discuss your ideas (email: grants@cambridge.gov.uk  or telephone: T: 01223 457857 ).The deadlines for each Area, plus application guidelines and other information will be available from the City Council’s Area Funding webpage  in early January.  

Romsey Lakes

At the most easterly end of Mill Road, through Brookfields, across Perne Road are three large lakes. They are not currently open to the general public.

That may change before too long.

The Land South of Coldhams Lane, including the lakes south of the railway and land parcels to the north of the railway, is identified as an “Area of Major Change” in the new Local Plan. As well as built development, ideas include the ecological enhancement of the area, outdoor recreational uses and a new urban country park.

Anderson Group, who own part of the site, is holding a community planning process through the Autumn and has appointed architects and master planners JTP, and other consultants, to work with the local community to create a new Vision for the “Area” including an illustrative masterplan and other matters required by Local Plan Policy 16.

Keep up to date and get involved at the Land South of Coldhams Lane website.


COMMUNITY PLANNING WEEKEND
Friday 23 Nov 1.45pm – 6.30pm
Sunday 25 Nov 1.30pm – 4.30pm

VENUE: HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS, COLDHAMS BUSINESS PARK, 15-17 NORMAN WAY, CB1 3LH

Download Community Planning Weekend Event Flyer


LAKES OPEN DAY
Sunday 25 Nov 10.30am – 3.30pm

ENTRANCE VIA THE GATE OFF BURSIDE, CAMBRIDGE CB1 3PA


 REPORT BACK PRESENTATION
Tuesday 27 Nov 6.45 – 8.30pm

VENUE: HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS, COLDHAMS BUSINESS PARK, 15-17 NORMAN WAY, CB1 3LH

Closure of Mill Road Bridge for Railway Works – Update

Latest Public Meeting

A public meeting was held on
MONDAY 29TH APRIL 2019 at 18:30

We only learned about this public meeting on Friday 26th April 2019. There was nothing on-line. No email alerts. Just a few leaflets through some letterboxes. GTR’s communications were dreadful. Despite this – or possibly because of some energetic emailing and tweeting there was a decent turn-out.

Total closure to vehicles is scheduled for 1st July to 25th August 2019

There was considerable anger expressed about the poor publicity, and the fact that the many local residents and groups who had signed up for email updates at the meeting held at the Earl of Beaconsfield in November 2018 had never received any communications whatsoever.

There were, however updates in a powerpoint display which you can download as a PDF above.

A good report on the meeting can be found on the Over Mill Road Bridge website.

There are severe deficiencies in the proposed shuttle bus services (see p11 of the GTR/Spencer slideshow). This will need to be addressed.

We understand that slide 11 is an ‘indicative’ map. Detailed examination suggests that it is ‘indicative’ of poor research.

The indicative citi2 diversionary route – via Coldham’s Lane is reasonably accurate, although no account is taken of the ‘short turns’ at Brooks Road Sainsbury’s.

The indicative shuttle bus route 2A in Petersfield shows wrong-way running in Kingston Street, ignoring the one-way system. Even a Gwydir-Hooper-Kingston loop would be difficult given the tight junction at Hoper St / Kingston St and the narrowness of Kingston Street.

The only practical Petersfield solution is a Tenison Road – St Barnabas Road loop with a temporary stop by St Barnabas church.

Even then, Stagecoach would need to use a shorter vehicle, such as an Optare Solo midibus.

A stand-alone shuttle might be acceptable, as Petersfield passengers could change to the citi 1 or 7 for Addenbrooke’s, in Emanuel Street. There is, however, a big question mark over the proposed frequency of this service.

Indicative shuttle bus route 2B in Romsey shows wrong-way running in Cockburn St, ignoring the one-way system, and the vehicle somehow travelling through the physical barrier at the Argyle St / Charles St junction.

The only practical Romsey solution is a Hope Street – Argyle Street – Cockburn Street loop with a temporary stop by Tesco.

Even then, Stagecoach would need to use a shorter vehicle, such as an Optare Solo midibus.

The unacceptable feature of this indicative service is that it would appear to propose that Romsey residents are to be provided with only a shuttle link to Brooks Road Sainsbury’s, where they would be required to change buses for the city centre or for Addenbrooke’s. Guaranteeing connections would be well-nigh impossible.

Romsey residents are already annoyed at the service reduction (from a 10- to 20-minute frequency) to Addenbrooke’s. Similarly, whilst Birdwood Area Residents’ Association will retain the (already reduced) frequency to Addenbrooke’s and to the city centre, they will loose all links to Mill Road Broadway’s independent shops and cafés and to the new mosque.

An acceptable service would be for the diverted citi2 ‘short turns’ to continue from Brooks Road Sainsbury’s to Mill Road Broadway and for alternate buses from Mill Road Broadway to travel to Addenbrooke’s via the usual route.

Stagecoach, as a commercial bus operator, cannot be expected to fund the additional services – including the hiring-in of extra vehicles, and the additional driver duties – needed because of the closure of Mill Road Bridge. These costs should be met by GTR at whose behest Mill Road Bridge will be closed.


Earlier posts


Update – Footbridge agreed

We are indebted to the  Over Mill Road Bridge website for this update: GTR promises temporary footbridge during bridge closure.


Also this article in the Cambridge Independent…

Mill Road Bridge to stay open to pedestrians during rail works

By Alex Spencer, 20/12/2018

Mill Rd Traders Association members against the closure of Mill Rd, from left Shapour Meftah, Piero D’angelico, Pamela Wesson and Abdul Arain. Picture: Keith Heppell. (6148942)

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has promised to instal the footbridge to allow pedestrian access between the areas of Romsey and Petersfield when Mill Road Bridge is closed for railway works beneath it in 2019.

And following weeks of protest from traders on Mill Road worried the closure would discourage shoppers, GTR has agreed to move the works from springtime to July and August, when many residents are on holiday, to lessen the impact on businesses. Read more…


A comment from a local resident

To The Editor.

I welcome the recent news that ‘Govia Thameslink Railway and Network Rail’ have agreed a temporary footbridge during the Mill Road Bridge closure. The seeds for this agreement were sown at their initial public meeting in the ‘Double Tree by Hilton Hotel’ in Granta Place on 1st November last year, where the proposal was put cogently and sensibly by representatives of the ‘Mill Road Traders’ Association’ and ‘Camcycle’, together with several residents of the Mill Road Area.

The ‘Thames Govia’ Managing Director, accompanied by a Chief Engineer for the project, listened attentively and recorded the contributions; and at subsequent open meetings in Mill Road the Company took on board further ideas for the construction, positioning and design of a temporary bridge in that location.

It is good to know that a balanced democratic approach has worked so well and, in my opinion, would have probably achieved this welcome result without making it into a Local Party Political Issue!

Sincerely,

Edward L. Jenkins

Received by email at our contact email address, 11/01/2019.


Making the Most of the Bridge Closure

Could there be a silver lining to the closure of Mill Road Bridge to motor vehicles in 2019?

The idea of reducing the amount of motor vehicle traffic on Mill Road has been much discussed in recent years.  Benefits could include reduced pollution, safer cycling and walking, more reliable bus services and a more pleasant environment in which to live, work and shop.  But we’re all conscious of the potential downsides – eg the impact on traffic in surrounding roads, the inconvenience for private motorists in particular for disabled drivers and the elderly, and logistical problems for bulk deliveries to the shops and business on Mill Road.  The financial cost (or benefit) of reduced traffic on local shops and businesses is also unclear.

So given that the bridge has to be closed to vehicles for at least 8 weeks in 2019, there’s clearly an opportunity to better understand the impact of reducing traffic on this key Cambridge thoroughfare.

Add your own comments (pre-moderated) below. Or below the A traffic-free Mill Road? post.


Petition and other updates

See also updates on the  Over Mill Road Bridge petition website, set up by Romsey & Petersfield Labour Parties.

Mill Road Bridges is non-political and non-aligned but we welcome people of any political party (or none) and any religion (or none) who are sticking up for Mill Road.  And do sign the petition.

They report:

Sophie Barnett one of our Romsey City Councillors has invited Network Rail to a meeting with Romsey and Petersfield Councillors. She is waiting for a response. The Councillors will want to ask how Network Rail and Govia Thameslink can address resident and business concerns about the impact of the Bridge closure.

Noel Kavanagh, Cambs County Councillor for Romsey, has asked about the process Network Rail will follow to get permission to close the Bridge. They will need to apply for a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO). Cambs County Council will publicise the Order, but there is no public consultation. So there is no direct consideration of public objections to the closure. We’ve asked Noel if he can find out how Cambs County Council will assess the TTRO application. We’re assuming the application will need to meet some criteria – what are they?

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Drop in meetings – Earl of Beaconsfield Tuesday 27th November 13:00 – 20:00 – Report-back.

Mill Road Bridges Treasurer, Richard Wood, attended one of these sessions, at which he was able to speak to GTR’s Kevin Parker, Head of RailPlan2020, a representative of Network Rail and of the contractors, Spencer Group.

Closure to motor-traffic

Reference was made to the rebuilding of Mill Road Bridge as part of the 1980s electrification programme, to accommodate the overhead electric line equipment.

During that rebuilding, from May to November 1980, the bridge was open to (signalled) motor traffic, whilst pedestrian/cycle access was maintained on a temporary bridge, adjacent to the north. [Source: Capturing Cambridge – Mill Road Bridge]

The bridge from Great Eastern Street looking towards Petersfield. Courtesy of John Hullock and the Suzy Oakes Collection.

The concerns of traders were raised. All of Mill Road’s independent traders have considerable custom arriving by foot and cycle, however some sell £100s of their speciality goods to customers using motor vehicles.

The point was made that ‘This is Mill Road, Cambridge’ – we’re all only a couple of degrees of separation from somebody with engineering expertise. If Mill Road bridge is to be closed to motor traffic – disrupting all deliveries and some trade to shops, and severing our bus service – GTR and Spencer Group will need to show us precisely why the bridge cannot be kept open through the works, in a way that can be closely scrutinised by those in the community with the relevant skills. Otherwise Mill Roaders will assume that the wool is being pulled over our eyes.

Things do appear to have moved on since the meeting on Thursday 1st November, in – ahem – Mill Lane.

Time of the Works

GTR are now looking to do the works later in the year July/August 2019, taking account of the feeling amongst traders that this would have less effect on trade than May/June. Local parents pointed out that July/August would be less disruptive to parents/pupils of (particularly) St Mathew’s and St Philip’s primary schools, and to pupils/staff of Cambridge Academic Partnership – responsible for secondary schools at Parkside, Coleridge and Trumpington. Our understanding is that GTR promised to consult local schools and to take account of school term/holiday dates.

Foot and cycle access

In the leaflet (reproduced above) GTR say, “We are looking to provide planned periods of pedestrian access throughout the period,” which implies a lack of commitment to continuous pedestrian access and makes no mention of cycle access.

Our understanding is that GTR and Spencer Group are currently planning the design and installation of a pedestrian bridge. It is not clear, at this stage, if cyclists will need to dismount. It appears to be the case that such a bridge will be open through any closure of the bridge to motor-traffic, save for short periods where it cannot remain open for reasons of engineering and public safety.

Public Realm Enhancements

Cambridge Cycling Campaign would like to see temporary enhancements to the public realm, during any closure to motor-traffic. In particular, hiring and installing pre-assembled ‘parklets’. See their vision for Mill Road with no through-traffic. Our understanding is that GTR will be meeting with Cambridge Cycling Campaign to discuss there ideas and their concerns.

Bus services

Mill Road Bridges Treasurer, Richard Wood, joined with Cambridge Area Bus Users Secretary, Richard Wood, in stressing the importance of providing substitute bus links in the event of closure of Mill Road bridge to motor-traffic. We were assured that GTR are in discussions with Stagecoach East over providing a substitute service. Our understanding is that any proposed timetable will be open to public consultation.

The usual diversionary route for citi2, when Mill Road is closed (eg for Mill Road Winter Fair) is via East Road, Newmarket Road , Coldhams Lane and Brooks Road, resuming its normal route to Addenbrooke’s Hospital via Perne Road and Birdwood Road.

Below are personal suggestions, please add your own comments, below the line.

On the Petersfield side, a previous bridge closure has seen a link bus service routed city centre – Mill Road – Tenison Road – St Barnabas Road and return, with Gwydir Street inbound and outbound stops suspended. With the bridge closed, a temporary stop on Mill Road outside St Barnabas Church (city-bound) would be feasible.

Both Tenison Road and St Barnabas Road are, technically, wide enough to take any standard HGV or bus, although a smaller vehicle (eg Optare Solo) might be more manageable. Because of congestion in Emmanuel Street, it is a moot point whether such a service should terminate in the city centre, or continue on the remainder of the route to Cambridge North Station via Chesterton.

On the Romsey side of Mill Road a Hope Street – Argyle Street – Cockburn Street loop might be possible. Again, a smaller bus might be advisable, and some parking suspensions might be required in those side streets. Mill Road Broadway inbound and outbound stops would need to be suspended and replaced with a temporary stop outside Mill Road Tesco.

A 20-min frequency Romsey Town – Perne Road – Birdwood Road – Addenbrooke’s, service would match the existing service to Addenbrooke’s. This might be supplemented with a 20-min frequency Romsey Town – Brooks Road Sainsbury’s – Coldhams Lane – Newmarket Road  – East Road – city centre – Chesterton – Cambridge North Station.

The schedule might be completed with a  a 20-min frequency Addenbrooke’s – Birdwood Road – Brooks Road Sainsbury’s- Coldhams Lane – city centre – Chesterton – Cambridge North service.

For updates from GTR, register on the Thameslink Programme website, or you can raise issues directly with GTR at contact@thameslinkprogramme.co.uk.


The timing of the meeting had been controversial with Mill Road’s traders, as it was in the week leading up to Mill Road Winter Fair on Saturday 1st December 2018 – probably the worst time for Mill Road’s Traders.

On 9 Nov 2018, Diane Rowe wrote to Piero d’Angelico of Mill Road Traders:

Dear Piero,

I hope you are well.

We have managed to secure a room at the Beaconsfield Arms on the 27th November. Many apologies – I know you said it was too close to the Christmas Fair but the room had been sourced and it was the only day that everyone could do. It will be in the form of a drop-in from 13:00 through until 20:00, which hopefully will mean people will be able to pop in at a time convenient to them.

I wonder if you have a list of the members of the traders association? We will try as much as possible spend local and it would be useful to know who the local suppliers are and who to contact.

Many thanks,

Diane Rowe
Customer Relationship Manager
Spencer Group
One Humber Quays
Wellington Street West
HULL
HU1 2BN

Shapour Meftah replied:

Dear Diane,

Thank you for your email which was sent to Piero, I am very glad that we are working on some sort of solution. As you may not be aware, we are at this moment in time in the run up to preparations for the Mill Road Winter Fair which is a very important event on our annual calendar and for our local community.  As discussed on previous occasions the date initially suggested of the 21/22 of November was suitable but that has now been changed by you and after discussing this with a number of traders the suggested date of the 27th by you is not convenient for the traders, we would prefer to postpone the meeting until after the Mill Road Winter Fair and if possible at a more appropriate venue.

I’d like to suggest either St. Barnabas Church or The Salvation Army on Mill Road as an alternative venue.

Whilst we accept that you have the right to hold the meeting whenever you want,  we would rather you don’t include the traders in the programme or literature of the drop-in session.

Kind Regards,

Shapour Meftah
Chair of Mill Road Traders’ Association

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CamCycle’s drop-in public consultations about a vision for Mill Road

Monday November 26 from 4-7pm at St Barnabas Church
Tuesday December 4 from 4-7pm at St Philips Church

Liz Irvin, Camcycle Volunteer, writes…

Dear Mill Road Bridges,
I’m a CamCycle volunteer helping out with our Mill Road campaign.
I am pleased to see that you have published Martin Lucas-Smith’s article about our vision for Mill Road with no through-traffic, which would allow more room for pedestrians, cyclists and delivery vans, reduce congestion, improve air quality and make the street a more pleasant destination. We think the closure of the bridge next summer is a great opportunity to trial elements of our vision. We would love the Mill Road community’s input, and would appreciate Mill Road Bridges being involved in this process.
We are holding two drop-in public consultations over the coming weeks to gather the views of residents, traders and visitors to Mill Road.
Kind regards,
Liz Irvin
Camcycle Volunteer
We say:
It would be great if these two events were to attract a large attendance by a lively crowd to further the debate.

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Objection to Planning application 18/1372/CAP18

As Friday 2 November 2018 appears to be the deadline for submission of objections to the Govia Thameslink Railway and Network Rail planning application, our treasurer submitted an objection Mill Road bridge works 18:1372:CAP18 objection (PDF 49 KB) asking that conditions be imposed on the applicants to ensure maximum access from the Romsey ward to the east of the railway bridge to the Petersfield ward to the west at the bridge location. Easy access for pedestrians and cyclists is the most essential for the viability of the independent traders for which Mill Road, Cambridge, is justifiably famous, and of which the community is justifiably proud. The greatest volume of sales from Mill Road’s shops is to customers who arrive on foot or by pedal-cycle.


Public meeting at the Double Tree Hilton at 6pm on 1 November

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), Network Rail and its contractors hosted a public meeting at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Granta Place, Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RT at 6pm on Thursday 1 November 2018 to discuss the proposed eight-week closure of Mill Road bridge in Cambridge from May 2019.

Why it was not held at a venue on Mill Road we do not know. Was it to make things difficult? Or did no-one at GTR realise that Mill Lane and Mill Road are not adjacent locations?

The meeting was announced in Rail Business Daily, on-line.

We are indebted to Cllr Dave Baigent, City Councillor for Romsey, to alerting the Mill Road community to this meeting, on Twitter.

Our treasurer raised his frustrations at the poor responses from Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway to our request (see below) to be kept informed. Whilst Network Rail did contact him, he had no response from Govia Thameslink Railway.

Neither they nor Network Rail informed him of this meeting.

An apology was forthcoming but how did this occur?
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Will the bridge remain open for pedestrians and cyclists? What linking bus services can be provided along the two sections of Mill Road? What will be the impact on Mill Road’s independent traders?

From Cambridgeshire Live (Image: David Johnson)

From Cambridgeshire Live:

The bridge will have to close for two months to allow work to expand the railway below, which will require modification of one of the bridge’s arches.

The work will allow an additional railway line to run beneath the bridge, but will make the bridge unsafe for traffic while this is taking place.

A GTR spokesperson said: “We are planning a £30 million extension of the Cambridge railway depot to help increase the number of Thameslink services to and from the City.

Read the full report here.

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We have contacted Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway asking to be included in all consultations.

The text submitted on the various web contact forms is as follows:

We understand that Mill Road bridge in Cambridge is scheduled to be closed to all motor traffic from May to July 2019, in connection with installing an additional rail line beneath the bridge for access to an expanded maintenance depot for GTR trains.

Please ensure that our community organisation – Mill Road Bridges – is included in all consultations. Our main concern is that the bridge will remain open for pedestrians and cyclists between the two sections of Mill Road in Petersfield ward to the west of the railway and in Romsey ward to the east.

Failure to ensure pedestrian and cycle access at all times will impact severely on the independent traders for which Mill Road, Cambridge is justifiably famous, and of which the community is justifiably proud.

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Throughout the closure, we would like to see the Greater Cambridge Partnership fund impact studies:

  • Traffic counts on other routes to the city centre and Grafton Quarter to measure the actual (rather than projected) traffic displacement
  • Surveys of traders on the impact on their takings and on deliveries
  • Surveys of pedestrians, cyclists, bus users and local residents using Mill Road on how their journeys have been affected

This will be essential data for planning a positive outcome for more permanent traffic reduction along Mill Road, a reduction of congestion, an improvement in air quality on the Mill Road corridor, safer cycling, amore pedestrian-friendly environment, bus service reliability, whilst minimising disruption to traders and residents.


Add your own comments (pre-moderated) below. Or below the A traffic-free Mill Road? post.

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