Petition and other updates
See also updates on the Over Mill Road Bridge petition website, set up by Romsey & Petersfield Labour Party.
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.
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?
Drop in meeting – Earl of Beaconsfield Tuesday 27th November 13:00 – 20:00
Diane Rowe, Customer Relationship Manager of Spencer Group – who are Govia Thameslink Railways contractors – has arranged a drop-in meeting at the Earl of Beaconsfield, 133 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3AA on Tuesday 27th November 13:00 – 20:00.
As this is in the week leading up to Mill Road Winter Fair on Saturday 1st December 2018, this is probably the wort time for Mill Road’s Traders.
Presumably this will be in the Library/Bar-billiards room across the courtyard at the rear. If this meeting does go ahead (see copy correspondence, below) we will ask if access can be made through the gate in Great Eastern Street, so that anyone uncomfortable entering premises licensed too sell alcoholic beverages, will not need to walk through the pub.
On 9 Nov 2018, Diane Rowe wrote to Piero d’Angelico of Mill Road Traders:
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.
Customer Relationship Manager
One Humber Quays
Wellington Street West
Shapour Meftah replied:
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.
Chair of Mill Road Traders’ Association
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 rallies 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?
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:
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.
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.
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.