This circular covers two matters regarding traffic and roads.
- Small local highway improvements.
- Undemocratic changes to decision making and public participation on traffic issues.
Local Highway Improvements
Every year the County Council in partnership with the City Council funds a number of small highway improvements. These must be fairly small items that reduce hazards or improve safety.
Any resident can suggest a scheme but it is best if it is channelled via our County Councillor Linda Jones firstname.lastname@example.org
or the Residents Association. If you would like the Residents Association to progress a suggestion please forward it to email@example.com
Below are listed schemes agreed for this year, which are good examples:-
About 4 years ago the County Council agreed a financial deal with Balfour Beatty. The company installed new energy efficient brighter street lighting columns free of charge and the County agreed to pay an annual rental. (The cost of the rental would be offset it was claimed by the reduction in the Councils electricity bill.) The problem was that there were fewer columns and many people perceived the lighting was worse!
This year Councillor Jones has arranged that £12,000 will be spent on 4 new street lights on roads that are particularly badly lit. (one each in St Barnabas Road, Mawson Road, Mill Street and Tenison Ave)
The problem of vehicles racing along Tenison Road and mounting the pavement still persists. I has been agreed to spend £3,000 installing 5 bollards along the street between number 57 and 65.
Deliveries blocking residents access
I has been agreed to advertise no loading regulations for the top of Perowne Street which will strengthen the existing double yellow lines and prevent delivery lorries blocking the road.
Changes to decision making on traffic issues in our City
The Chair of the Residents Association, Edward Leigh (in his capacity as chair of Smarter Cambridge Transport) has launched the petition below regarding access to local accountable democracy.
Cambridgeshire County Council is proposing to abolish the Cambridge Joint Area Committee (CJAC) by July 2020. This will mean that Cambridge residents’ interests in local transport matters will no longer be represented by local Councillors.
Further our Councillors and members of the public will find it very much more difficult to attend and observe meetings where decisions about their neighbourhoods are made as the County Council is moving next year to Alconbury, 24 miles from Cambridge. A location with no public transport links.
This current Joint Committee has a central role in deciding on many local transport matters, such as
- cycling schemes;
- pedestrian crossings;
- parking, waiting and loading restrictions;
- traffic calming;
- residents’ parking schemes and charges;
- vehicle access and weight restrictions;
- dockless bikes; and electric vehicle charging points.
The joint committee comprises councillors from Cambridge City Council as well as the County Council. It has existed for over 20 years, and its meetings are well attended by local residents who can raise their concerns and speak at the meetings.
Under the new proposals, local transport matters will in future be decided by County Council officers or a new Highways and Transport committee. Decisions will be made by a majority of Councillors who do not live in Cambridge, and may have little experience or understanding of the city.
In other parts of the county, town and parish councils provide a forum for detailed consideration of Local Highway Improvement proposals, Traffic Regulation Orders and other local transport schemes. Without CJAC, there will be no equivalent forum in Cambridge. This is not about special favours for Cambridge; it’s about ensuring that local matters are decided locally.
There is also a proposal for the County Council to withdraw from the Joint Development Control Committee for Cambridge Fringes (JDCC). This town planning committee plays a critically important role in ensuring that building and transport planning decisions about new developments on the edge of Cambridge are made in a co-ordinated way.
This is especially true given the huge challenges ahead to build more homes and support more jobs much more sustainably than now.
Sign the petition and share the link with family, friends, neighbours and colleagues.
Consider writing to the leader of the county council, Cllr Steve Count (firstname.lastname@example.org) about why CJAC and JDCC are important for local democracy and decision-making.