Pavement Survey – Update

In December Living Streets Cambridge piloted a survey on the state of the pavements using nextdoor.co.uk for the Petersfield ward. This was also posted, here, on this website. In January 2021 the group has produced a pilot stage report (PDF), a brief snapshot of responses taken from 98 returns.

A second report exploring the findings from Phase 1 and 2 dated 11/03/2021 has now been released. It can be read/downloaded here.

The most striking finding is that only a very tiny minority of respondents responded positively to the question: Are you generally happy with your experience as a pedestrian in Cambridge?

Are you generally happy with your experience as a pedestrian in Cambridge?
Overall YES n= 14 (5.78%)
Overall NO n=153 (63.22%)
It depends n=76 (31.40%)

This clearly highlights pedestrians’ experience that many pavements are in a bad state of repair and frequently blocked for one reason or another.

Mill Road was reported for its narrow sections of pavement which made wheelchair and pushchair access dangerous and for the numbers of parked vehicles obstructing the pavement.

The survey is still open, until the end of March 2021. If you haven’t already taken part, you can do so through this link.

With the current focus on active travel, this state of neglect has come into sharper focus and suggests that continued targeting of limited funds on improving the city centre may not be the best way to address the needs of many of Cambridge’s residents.  This point has been made to the planners in respect of Making Spaces for People which, whilst it has an admirable focus on reducing pollution, concentrates almost entirely on the city centre. Living Streets Cambridge will continue to seek to represent pedestrians on other City and County Council fora relevant to their needs.

The intention, now, is to extend the survey to wider areas of the city and if anyone can help with doing that, through residents associations, social media or posting on notice boards like nextdoor.co.uk for other wards, Living Streets Cambridge would be very grateful for the help. For the present this is limited to City Council wards ( and County divisions within the city boundaries) as far as possible, though at a later stage it might be extended to surrounding areas.

Please email the Living Streets Cambridge group by clicking this link if you feel able to assist in any way.

It’s early days for the revived Living Streets Cambridge group and help of all kinds is needed. I hope this small start enables us to gain some momentum and work to stimulate improvement.

David Stoughton,
For Living Streets Cambridge


In many residential areas of the city the environment for pedestrians remains challenging due to a combination of high traffic levels, narrow pavements and poor maintenance.

As investment in road maintenance has fallen away, footways have become increasingly dilapidated and dangerous.  It will take a significant, concerted effort to get this put right. 

The Living Streets Cambridge group is determined to provide a voice and a campaigning platform for pedestrians in the city, an imperative that has increased in importance since the pandemic struck and ‘active travel’ has become a greater focus of policy.

Living Streets Cambridge

You can email the Living Streets Cambridge group by clicking this link, and/or sign up for local group news, here.


Living Streets is a UK Charity – Registered Charity Nº 1108448 (England & Wales) SC039808 (Scotland) – “for everyday walking”.

Pavement Survey – Living Streets

Mill Road and its surrounding streets – like much of Cambridge – suffer from pavements which offer a poor environment for pedestrians, particularly parents with toddlers, and people with disabilities.

The Living Streets Cambridge group was set up to tackle Cambridge’s poorly-maintained pavements – pavements which are cracked and rutted, causing trip hazards and puddles to form, with poorly-sited street furniture adding to the pedestrian obstacle-course…

Rainwater conduit with eroded screed covering, uneven, subsided brick and flag paving, highway signage obstructions, 91 Mill Road CB1 2AW

Overgrown hedges create further obstacles as do wheelie-bins left permanently on the pavement. Living Streets Cambridge believe that these obstacles should be tackled, too.

Black, green and blue wheelie-bins and ‘side waste’ block a narrow pavement, off Mill Road. Photo taken two days before blue bin collection, nine days ahead of black bin collection and 15 days before green bin collection.

Too little action has been taken to address these issues, in part because no register exists to identify all of the problems and bring them to the attention of the highway authority (Cambridgeshire County Council) and City Council (responsible for refuse and recycling collections).

Unregulated pavement parking adds to the problem, blocking pavements and contributing to further cracking, rutting and subsidence, despite Cambridgeshire County Council being granted powers to tackle this nearly a decade ago. Read more about those powers here.

Little room for pedestrians, when this delivery-driver prioritises vehicular traffic. Note, too, the damage to the kerbs and paving-stones.

As a first step towards tackling these issues, Living Streets are conducting a short survey to identify where problems exist and catalogue them by type. The survey can be found here.

Readers can help Living Streets Cambridge by taking the time to complete the survey, giving as much detail about problems and locations as possible.

And please let friends, neighbours, and others who may be interested, know about the survey, by forwarding the link to the survey, or this blogpost to them.


Living Streets is a UK Charity – Registered Charity Nº 1108448 (England & Wales) SC039808 (Scotland) – “for everyday walking”.

We want a nation where walking is the natural choice for everyday local journeys.

Our mission is to achieve a better walking environment and inspire people to walk more.

Progress starts here: one street, one school, one step at a time. Read our three year strategy to find out more about our vision, mission and values.

Living Streets > About Us > Our organisation

Living Streets Cambridge add…

In many residential areas of the city the environment for pedestrians remains challenging due to a combination of high traffic levels, narrow pavements and poor maintenance.

As investment in road maintenance has fallen away, footways have become increasingly dilapidated and dangerous.  It will take a significant, concerted effort to get this put right. 

The Living Streets Cambridge group is determined to provide a voice and a campaigning platform for pedestrians in the city, an imperative that has increased in importance since the pandemic struck and ‘active travel’ has become a greater focus of policy.

Living Streets Cambridge

You can email the Living Streets Cambridge group by clicking this link, and/or sign up for local group news, here.

Covid-related poems from E.L.Jenkins

VIRUS

(4th March 2020)

Here’s a tongue in cheek, somewhat poetic-licensed view of our current situation and what it may be like when we emerge from it at the ‘other end’.

ELJ 

We can have ‘Corona’ today,
The ‘Corona Man’ is on his way.
Lime’s my fave, but Raspberry’s ok,
And ‘Cream Soda’ though extra to pay!

Now ‘Corona’ when it’s heard
Has become a feared word!
Deadly, spreading across the World,
Millions to die! But surely absurd?

Stocks and shares to collapse,
‘Advanced Capitalism’ too, perhaps!
Community then will mean a lot,
Bartering to live, using one’s stock.

Whoever survives will be immune,
A New World System can emerge.
People will matter, everyone the same,
No elitism, no meritocracy, certainly no fame!

The old and young will have died,
Middle-aged will try to stem the tide
They’ll strive to procreate once more,
To help overcome whatever’s in store!

No need then for a warning,
Climate’ll be no longer warming.
No more temperatures extreme,
Earth green, deserts further between.

Man’s ingenuity will win through
However much there’ll need to do,
Yes, we’ll be here for eons to come,
Until Earth’s gobbled up by the Sun!

The Laws of Physics and the Universe,
Outside of our immediate world,
Will determine when mankind’s gone,
It’ll be when time and times are done!

E.L.JENKINS 4th March 2020


VIRUS-SEQUEL

(3rd May 2020)

We are hopefully going to have an opportunity to contemplate what kind of future we’d like when this pandemic is eventually overcome. A number of possibilities may occur and indeed from news editorial and newsletters, together with discussions on tv and radio, it appears that more people are beginning to realise and contemplate our (and the World’s)  future, in ways that would have seemed bizarre speculation only a short time ago.

Some, of course, are contemplating a swift return to a similar economic situation to that prevailing before the virus took hold!

Thinking this and possible outcomes, I felt it worthwhile to write a follow-up poem to ‘VIRUS’ – ‘VIRUS-SEQUEL’. The content is intended to be both controversial and contentious (somewhat ‘Brave New World’), but nevertheless thought-provoking! I truly believe poetry can be a fine medium for this approach.

Again it’s a ‘tongue in cheek’, somewhat poetic-licensed view of our current situation and what it may be like when we emerge from it at the ‘other end’ (present/future).  I hope you like it.

  ELJ

When a vaccine’s been manufactured
All will flock to its Standard,
Virulence will have been quashed,
The Corona Virus’ll be squashed!

There will be some silver lining spun
With battle won, Man will Soldier on.
Many of the old will have gone
Our Health Service could be second to none!

And Youth will need to play it’s part,
To treat life more seriously,
Over indulgence a thing of the past,
Weekend revelling, much more modestly!

A&E will then easily cope,
Hospitals tranquil and calm no doubt,
Fewer ‘Oldies’ to block their beds,
Hopefully less disease to spread.

Costs of course will be much less,
Fewer hierarchical ladders perhaps to climb?
More altruism, more sublime.

Would people be ready to go at a certain age?!
Or ‘Coldly Preserved’ for eternity!
Wisdom archived by electronics,
No one ever old enough to be a sage.

Teaching performed through holograms,
Research advanced by linked-in Apps,
Robotic technicians, always agreeable,
Equipment everlasting but biodegradable.

As the Young will still be here
Man’s future could be more clear,
Time to consider how to progress
To try to prevent another mess!

Permanent synthetic production halted,
Only degradable plastics moulded,
Doors and sills made from Nature’s Bounty,
No bursting landfills spoiling country.

Science and Art to be paramount,
No ‘tribal’ politics in between,
Bureaucracy to be minor
And very rarely seen.

Then with less people, maybe,
We can give the Earth a chance.
To let Nature mend itself,
And finally restore the balance.

The Planet and Mankind in accord
Each benefiting from the other,
Symbiosis on a Worldwide Front,
Abundance for all; we can afford!

There could be a turn away
From Global based economies,
Back to Countries on their own,
Running their markets alone.

Enjoying cultures unique
Eating and living differently,
Respecting everyone’s ways,
Without any uniformity.

For a long time to come
This thought should prevail,
Less travel for pleasure,
And mainly by rail!

As has been said before,
We’ll be here for evermore.
Eternal hope resides, at least
Until a greater force decides!

E.L.JENKINS 3rd May 2020

Cam Valley Forum Update

Our friends at Cam Valley Forum inform us…

Although our working parties, events and face-face meetings have had to be curtailed due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus, we are still actively monitoring, campaigning and working to improve the environment of the River Cam. Our coronavirus policy is available here.

Cam Valley Forum website

Our Web Editor notes that the section of Cherry Hinton Brook at Burnside and alongside Snakey Path looks more healthy than when Antony Carpen reported on it in summer 2019. See our earlier post Save our local chalk stream!

There have also been reports on Twitter of a grass snake seen swimming in Cherry Hinton brook. However, vigilance…

Download the latest Cam Valley Forum newsletter here.

Read and download The River Cam Manifesto here.

It Takes A City

A Cambridge Homelessness Partnership

By Hema Tasker

Statistics indicate that there are 160 homeless people in the city centre, of which 130 are in temporary accommodation. This means that one would expect there only to be 30 homeless people with nowhere to go at night. Walking down Mill Road one questions this statistic. Some street people shy away from Jimmy’s as they need to hand over “details” – while others are fiercely independent in their response to welfare cuts, job loss and possibly addiction.

I had the pleasure to chat to Lee outside the church who explained how he wanted to change his life and liked to say “I’m homeless but not phoneless”.

Lee has, with the help of the people around him, managed to set up his own business: It Takes A City – A Cambridge Homelessness Partnership. He patiently explained why he advocates for It Takes a City. Looking at this website I can finally  answer the question how can I help? Well click on It Takes a City and find out who you can donate tampons, socks and furniture to. Or how you can cater for an event, or get your garden cleaned, while developing skills for homeless people in Cambridge through various social enterprises.

Hema Tasker
ehcpservices
STEAM and SEND specialist tutoring and consultancy services

This post is an edited version of an article in Mill Road News Nº25 Early Spring 2020.

Projector screen

Thanks to the Trash Nothing site and app – and the generosity of a donor in Shelford, Mill Road Bridges now has a small projector screen.

So Mill Road Bridges can be generous, too.

We can lend this to non-profit community groups in and around Mill Road.

It would be suitable for small meetings, of up to 20 people (maybe 30 at a pinch). See the image and dimensions, below.

Dimensions

Screen width: 95 cm
Screen height: 98 cm
Height from floor to top of screen: 166 cm
Extended leg radius: 43 cm

Could be positioned on a table-top for extra height (if you’re careful).

Terms & conditions

Email us, using this link, as far in advance as you can.
You/your group is responsible for collection and return.
There is no fee.
If you damage the screen, you/your group are responsible for finding a replacement of similar standard (2nd-hand, not perfect, but passable).

Greater Cambridge Local Plan

Open meeting, in the Mill Road, Wednesday 19th February 2020 7:30pm

And see, further down, about another meeting on the previous evening.

This public meeting was be led by Katie Thornburrow, Executive City Councillor for Planning.

Were you there? Please send us a report?

This plan will affect the way we live, work, travel and play in Cambridge over the next 20 years and beyond.

The shared planning department are committed to growing our economy, and planning for new homes and jobs which meet the needs of all our community, and meeting the challenges we face.

But it’s not just about the economy or development: the Local Plan is an important tool to help us become a net zero carbon society, and to meeting our target of doubling biodiversity in the area.

Click for more information about Greater Cambridge Shared Planning
An introductory video from Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

The big themes: biodiversity, climate change, wellbeing, homes, jobs, infrastructure…

Where to build?

Greater Cambridge Local Plan – The Big Debate

An evening of quickfire presentations from local groups and lively debate about the future of Greater Cambridge.

Tuesday 18th February 2020 18:30 – 21:00 GMT
Cambridge Corn Exchange, 2 Wheeler Street, Cambridge CB2 3QB

As part of the ‘First Conversation’ consultation on the new Greater Cambridge Local Plan, local groups were invited to share their ideas about the future of the Greater Cambridge Area. Eight local groups presented and debate their ideas.


If you attended either event, please send us a report using this link to email us, and we’ll add your report to the post.


Shorter comments are also welcome, below, but should be polite.


Reduce, reuse, repair, recycle – what does it mean in practice?


We thought it would further our subscribers’ understanding to take a look at a recent blogpost from Antony Carpen, aka A Dragon’s Best Friend.

Summary:
Responding to world record consumption of resources and materials
Click to view.

If you’re not already a subscriber to Antony’s excellent, thoughtful blog scroll down to the foot of his homepage and enter your email address.

You could also investigate his ‘Donate’ button…


You could also take a look at our Tread Lightly On The Earth page, and even add your own comments.


VE Day 75th Anniversary in Cambridge

Grants available for community commemorations

May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day – the official end of World War II in Europe.

Image on iwm.org.uk website

The Early May Bank Holiday will move from Monday 4th to Friday 8th May. Events will take place around the country throughout the three-day weekend, to commemorate everybody who contributed to the war effort.

Locally, grants of up to £500 are available to help pay for events to celebrate the VE anniversary. Cambridge community groups, voluntary organisations and groups of local residents can apply.

Many people in Britain didn’t wait for the official day of celebration and began the festivities as soon as they heard the news on 7th May.

But it was not the end of the conflict, nor was it an end to the impact the war had on people. The war against Japan did not end until August 1945, and the political, social and economic repercussions of the Second World War were felt long after Germany and Japan surrendered.

Click the image to download the guidelines in PDF format.

We are pleased to let you know that small grants of up to £500 are available for community groups, voluntary organisations and groupings of local residents organising events and activities celebrating the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on 8th-10th May 2020.

Click through for the guidelines, monitoring form* and application form. The deadline for applications is 20th April 2020. We would be very grateful if you could share this information with your networks and anyone who may be interested.

For further information and to discuss an application please email Melanie and the grants team or phone them on 01223 457875

Melanie Baker, Grants Officer, Cambridge City Council [amended]
Note: The *monitoring form is essential to ensure that public money (yours, your friends and your neighbours’) is not mis-spent, particularly in any partisan, party-political way.