Bridge Closure – Update #1

This is the first of a series of information posts about the Mill Road Bridge closure this summer.  We’ll use these to give Romsey & Petersfield residents and businesses as much detail as we can about the closure arrangements.

Please use the comments box below if you have concerns or questions.  We’ll respond to those as quickly as we can.

Also, please help us and your fellow residents by sharing this as widely as possible.  If you are on Facebook or Twitter there are sharing buttons for those services below.

Contents:

Bus Services during the Closure

The original proposed routes by Stagecoach / Govia are as below:

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Concerns raised with Stagecoach and Govia include:

  • The difficulties less able people will experience in getting from one side of the bridge to the other.  For example, a Romsey resident who has a GP appointment in Petersfield.   If you can’t manage the walk from one shuttle bus to the other across the bridge, then with these plans you would have to take three different buses (one shuttle, the diverted 2 service, then the other shuttle)
  • There is no single service for Romsey or Petersfield residents to get them to Addenbrookes.  This would require changing buses at least once.

We continue to argue for better bus service provision over the closure period, working alongside Cambridge Area Bus Users to try to achieve this.

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Provision for less able residents

We have been in discussion with Cambridge Dial-A-Ride about the possibliity that their service could help to plug the gaps in the Stagecoach provision.  This is an appointment only door-to-door service that would be available to residents who will have particular problems using the modified bus services described above.

We are meeting with Govia on Monday and will be asking for their support including funding of this service.

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Pollution and Traffic Monitoring

Romsey and Petersfield councillors have asked the Greater Cambridge Partnership to ensure that devices capable of measuring traffic and pollution levels will be in place for the duration of the closure and beyond.

This will allow us to understand the impact of the bridge closure on traffic volumes and pollution levels in Mill Road.  In addition other major routes that are likely to be affected by changes in traffic volumes during the closure will be monitored.  This will include Coldhams Lane, East Road, Brooks / Perne / Mowbray Roads and Hills Road.

The traffic monitoring will be able to distinguish between / measure cars, lorries / vans, pedestrians and cyclists, which should provide some interesting statistics.

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Gas Main Work – Triio

Gas Main contractors Triio will be renewing the gas main along the entire length of Mill Road while the bridge is closed.  This is a 6-8 week project and doing it at this time minimises disruption while traffic volumes are low.  The age of the existing main is such that it must be replaced.

Where practical the work will be completed by inserting new plastic main through the existing iron main, with excavation only necessary and the start and end of the sections and to connect up service pipes to the individual premises.

Triio will start work on 1st July with two teams working on both sides of the bridge.  The teams will move outwards in 100m stretches from there.

The Triio project  manager has been involved in our meetings, and we are working closely with him to coordinate both timings and locations of planned Celebrate! events.

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Bridge Closure Dates, Bus Routes and More

Over Mill Road Bridge were at the Public Meeting Govia Thameslink (GTR) held Monday at the Salvation Army Hall on Mill Road.  Many people attended the meeting, despite short notice.

GTR Slides are linked here

We noted a few key points / actions:

  • dates of bridge closure will be 1st July to 25th August
  • GTR will need to shut the bridge completely including to pedestrians for about a week, around the middle / end of July for safety reasons
    • St Matthews and St Phillips school summer term ends on 23rd July
    • we will ask GTR to keep the pedestrian access available until after that date
  • residents concerns about the proposed Shuttle Bus service commissioned by GTR and run by Stagecoach (see page 11 of the slides attached below)
    • proposed turning streets may not be suitable
    • the service on the Romsey side only goes to and from Sainsburys Brooks Road, but lots residents make lots of Addenbrookes appointments by bus
    • we’ve arranged a meeting Tuesday 7th May with GTR and County Council Highways officers to find answers
  • GTR need to engage better with the Romsey and Petersfield communities
    • e.g. provide financial support to help with the planned Celebrate! festival
    • clarity on who’s got the chequebook at GTR
    • better communications are a must
    • OMRB will follow up all these points

Are GTR Serious?

Meeting with Councillors pulled at last minute…

Today at 2pm your Romsey and Petersfield councillors were due to meet with GTR to firm up on the detail of the bridge closure.  Yesterday GTR cancelled this meeting.  Now the question is: are Govia Thameslink serious about working with Romsey and Petersfield residents over the bridge closure?

Avoiding Term Time

Since 29th January we’ve been asking GTR to change the planned dates of closure to avoid term time at St Matthews, and despite two chasing emails, we’re still waiting for a reply.

Provision of Parklets during the Closure

On the 12th February, we wrote to ask GTR for a meeting to include Camcycle to discuss provision of temporary parklets during the bridge closure.  They replied to this yesterday, but only after a reminder was sent.

Do you have a view about where parklets could go?  Contact us!

GTR promises temporary footbridge during bridge closure

***See press release today 18 December from Govia Thameslink (GTR)***

GTR is responsible for the work on Mill Road Bridge next year.  They will need to close Mill Road Bridge to motor vehicles to allow the work to be carried out.

We’ll continue to work with Mill Road traders, residents, the Cambridge Area Bus Users group, GTR, Spencer Group, and local councillors to make sure that the impacts of Bridge closure are minimised.

We’re getting there 🙂

Councillors meet with Govia: Update

Govia Thameslink met with Romsey and Petersfield councillors on 5th December to hear their views on the closure.  Govia’s have now provided their write-up of that session, which is linked here.

As our previous post, we still await more detail.  In particular, we know that pedestrian access across the Bridge will only be available for some of the closure period.  But for how long and when will the Bridge be completely closed?

Govia confirm that they are the lead contractor for the work, with the Spencer Engineering group reporting in to them.

A follow-up meeting with councillors has been promised for February 2019.  Meantime please sign and share the petition!

Mixed messages…

Our supporters have provided more feedback on the drop-in on Tuesday.  The Spencer Group need to be clearer on two points:

  • Can Spencer Group change the timing of the closure to July / August 2019? There should be less impact at this time both to residents (eg school runs) and businesses.  We understand that “yes”, and “not sure” were both given as answers to that question.
  • Spencer Group are considering two possible temporary bridge designs.  Does either provide 24×7 pedestrian access over the duration of the work?  We heard “no”, and “yes” for one of the designs.

Spencer Group need to work to find a way to make 24×7 pedestrian access possible during a bridge closure that happens in July / August 2019.

Progress.. but we’re not there yet!

OMRB is just back from the Govia / Spencer Engineering’s drop-in at the Earl of Beaconsfield.

Good news: they’re talking about maintaining pedestrian access for the majority of the period of the works, and changing the timing to the summer holidays when any periods of complete closure will have less impact, eg on school runs.

But we don’t have anything definitive on the periods when the bridge will be completely closed, and need confirmation on the rescheduling of the works to summer 2019.

There will be a further public briefing in January 2019 at which Over Mill Road Bridge will be expecting clarity on these outstanding questions.  In the meantime, if you haven’t done so then please sign the petition!

 

Govia’s Drop-In re the Closure

Govia Thameslink have organised 3 public drop in sessions on Tuesday the 27th November at the Earl of Beaconsfield 133 Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 3AA.

Please do come along to ensure Govia understand the strength of local feeling.

The sessions will run from 11:00 – 13:00, 14:00-16:00, and 17:00-19:00.  Go through the pub to the Billiard Room / Swap Library at the rear. Step free access is available through the side gate on Gt Eastern Street, and the landlady will open that on request.

See poster from Govia Thameslink, they may be listening, but it is unclear what “planned periods of pedestrian access” will mean in practice…