Update 1st December 2022
Update 1st Dec, 2022
Last chance to comment on the Barton Greenway and the Barton Road trees and verges
The consultation on the Barton Greenway ends at midday 2nd December – please respond if you can.
The aim is to provide a safer and better route for people walking, cycling and, where appropriate, horse- riding, between Barton and Cambridge, with a spur to Grantchester, but people who attended the drop-in event to look at the plans in more detail have raised concerns about the environmental impact of the plans.
At present Barton Road is a green entrance to the city with verges and mature trees, but it seems they could disappear to make way for a 2.5m cycleway, which could be red tarmac like the harsh red for Mitchams Corner , and a 1.5m wide footpath – 4m in total. CamCycle are recommending.
The trees are important not just in aesthetic terms but for absorbing carbon emissions – it would take 20 years before the canopy of any replacements could fulfil the same function.
There Is considerable overlap between the Barton Greenway and that already consulted on from Haslingfield, and several people have commented that it is a waste of money and environmentally harmful to tarmac over the Baulk which is at present pleasantly rural, and much enjoyed by people walking when the proposal to make Grantchester Road a ‘quiet road’ would work for both these Greenways.
Cambridge‘s famously attractive rural character and natural aspect is admired all over the world. It is viewed as something special and unique to Cambridge, part of the character that makes the city a great visitor destination . See the New York Times report. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/15/world/europe/cambridge-england-cows.htm
Residents say that the Barton Road Cycleway appears to have been designed with no reference to that famously rural setting and character or the natural aspect of the Greenways that was promised by the then chair of the GCP, Francis Burkitt.
Barton Road with its verges and mature trees is a stunning green visitor entrance to Cambridge. Residents are concerned about the caveat that the trees will be retained only “where possible”. They say that retention of the attractive existing layout can be achieved by a bit of judicious and fair containment of the Greenway. A compromise would be to reduce the proposed width of the combined Greenway from 4m (2.5m for the cycleway and 1.5 m for the footpath) to 3m (2m and 1m respectively). This small compromise would enable the current width of the main grass verge between the cycleway and the carriageway to be as far as possible preserved.
Residents ask why the grassy wild strips which run along the outside/house/fence side of the footpaths ( in the built area) could not be retained and be respected as something really special and viewed as an opportunity for community planting – for example early flowering aconites, in the style of the Backs? They point out that Wolfson College regularly plants bulbs along their frontage. Other Cambridge colleges have cow parsley growing in their frontages. The grass strips could be reduced perhaps but not lost altogether. Small details like this can make all the difference to the overall green appearance of the cycleway.
Residents say shouldn’t the design for all the Greenways and city approaches reflect what makes Cambridge special and not just adopt a one size fits all approach.
The survey takes a few minutes and you have to answer only the Qs you want to.
To find out more and respond to the consultation please visit: https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/gcp-barton-greenway
For more information about the Greenways project and to view the designs visit https://www.greatercambridge.org.uk/greenways
GCP Making Connections Consultation – consultation closes midday 23rd Dec
The transport measures and charge continue to generate controversy
No-one who lives here can doubt that drastic action is needed to address the congestion and air pollution we are currently experiencing, and some degree of road charging is a key part of successful schemes in other parts of the country as well as London, but it’s essential to first ensure that there is frequent, reliable and affordable public transport so that people do have a choice.
That doesn’t seem certain at present from this scheme, and residents also question the priorities of the GCP – the £200 million set to be wasted on the Cambourne busway could fund quite a lot of buses!
The consultation ends at midday on Friday 23rd Dec.
Cambridge Living Streets AGM Tues Dec 18:30 – 19:30
Google Meet joining info
Video call link: https://meet.google.com/nfi-qwdu-geq
Chair’s report on Living Streets activities
Election of officers for 2022-2023: Nominations have been received for the following posts.- Chair: David Stoughton; Vice chair: Linda Jones; Secretary: Charles Jones
Elections to Committee
Expressions of interest in the post of Treasurer
Draft programme and priorities for upcoming year
Date of next meeting and Christmas gathering
Cambridge Living Streets say they are investigating forming a Community Interest Company with a view to raising funds to employ and pay a communications officer
Latest on Paradise Nature Reserve and Queens College and Owlstone Croft
Queens’ application to build in the garden of Owlstone Croft was due to go to the Planning Committee on 7th December, and we know some of you were planning to come to support Paradise, but it has now been postponed yet again.
This is because of the documents put on the Council’s planning site only last week, which did not give enough time for consultation. In addition to disputing the findings of our consultants on Bats/lighting and Flood Risk/drainage they also challenge the Wildlife Trust’s assessment of the Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) on the site as more like 10% than the 51% they had claimed.
There is also new bat data, and the Friends of Paradise Nature Reserve are very grateful for your donations which have enabled their consultant, Geoff Moxon from Bioscan, to respond to this. He considers the data inadequate for a site of high suitability for bats, the trees that are their flight path should not be removed, and that the lighting levels proposed for buildings on the boundary are far too high – see his report attached
Unfortunately the City Ecologist does not believe Ecology to be strong enough grounds for objection to the plans so has said they are acceptable, and proposed conditions to mitigate the harm they would cause.
The flood risk and drainage proposals would also impact on the Nature Reserve as well as the neighbouring Area, and Friends of Paradise Nature Reserve consultants, GWP, have agreed to respond to Queens’ on this.
The Planning Application will now be on the agenda for the next meeting on the 11th January and we will let you know as soon as we have more details.