Daniel Zeichner supports An-Lac House

Cambridge’s MP Daniel Zeichner paid a visit to An-Lac House on Friday 12th April, accompanied by Romsey County Councillor Noel Kavanagh.

An-Lac is situated on Coldhams Lane in Romsey Town, Cambridge, and provides a unique service for vulnerable elderly people of Vietnamese heritage.  But as a result of the Tory County Council’s proposal to cut all funding, An-Lac’s future is now in doubt.  See this article for more on the history and purpose of An-Lac House.

Daniel spent time with both trustees and residents.  He gained a better understanding of the special place that is An-Lac House, and the valued and valuable service which it provides to its elderly residents.

The County Council Adults Committee meets on Wed 22nd May when it will decide An-Lac’s fate.  Councillors will review the proposed cuts during this meeting.   Following his visit, Daniel Zeichner has written to the Committee chair calling for councillors on the Committee to reject the cuts.  He has asked them to restore the relatively modest amount of funding needed to sustain An Lac House and the unique service which it delivers.

A demonstration in support of An-Lac will be held on Wed 22nd May, the day of the crucial meeting.  Can you come along for an hour or so to show your support?  It will start at 1pm outside Shire Hall, Castle St, Cambridge CB3 0AP.   You can register your interest in attending at https://www.facebook.com/events/595722390913631/.

The Trustees will also be delivering a petition to the Committee  on the day of the meeting.   You can sign it here.

Celebrate! Update

What’s been going on since the end of March Public Meeting?

Here’s a quick update on progress since we held our public meeting at Romsey Mill:

We’ve got volunteers working on both Arts and Music themes, and we’ve had a couple of meetings with County Council Officers re highways issues.  There’s some good news and bad news re Highways:

  • Good news: we’re working with CCC Highways to get permission to shut a short stretch of Mill Road near the Bridge to all traffic each weekend, giving us an outdoor venue for events, not a done deal yet but we’re persisting 🙂
  • Good news: Stagecoach will be running a shuttle service to and from the bridge on both sides
  • Bad news: there’s a gas utility that wants to take the opportunity of Mill Rd being quiet to replace the gas main over the entire length of Mill Road, a project that may take up the whole period of the closure.  We’re awaiting a meeting with them.  We’re going to tell them we want a rolling program which will allow us to continue with events and activities for most of the closure period

We’re also meeting with Govia Thameslink again shortly and will give you an update with anything of interest which comes out of that.

Meantime please contact us if you can offer us any time, whether a little or a lot.   Celebrate! can only be a success with your help.

Andy – Over Mill Road Bridge

Coldhams Lane Speeding Logs Are In

  • 92,336 vehicles were logged over 7 days, with 14,308 vehicles driving above the speed limit (= 15% of the total)
  • max speed recorded was 73 mph
  • 55 vehicles were clocked doing more than 50mph

Coldhams Lane in Romsey Town is a busy arterial route linking the many and varied pleasures of the Newmarket Road retail parks with the Cambridge inner ring road running down the eastern side of the City.

Late in 2018 a number of residents of Coldhams Lane and the adjacent streets raised concerns about speeding.  County Councillor Noel Kavanagh contacted our friends at Cambridgeshire Community Roadwatch to see whether they could help us get some data about vehicle speeds along that stretch of road.

We’re now seeking residents’ views about possible options for speed reduction measures.

How to celebrate a Mill Road summer?

Public Meeting Romsey Mill Fri 29th March 2019, 7.30pm

Mill Rd bridge will close to motor traffic in July and August 2019.  So we expect the traffic on Mill Rd to be substantially lower.  How can we make the most of it?

With the date for the planned closure of Mill Road bridge approaching fast, we want to encourage the Mill Road community to come together to prepare for a summer with a difference.

With the road closed to through traffic meaning much lower traffic volumes, we think we can recapture some of the spirit of the Mill Road Winter Fair, attracting visitors to Cambridge and residents from across the city to this unique destination and boost trade for our local businesses. We envisage a ‘Mill Road festival’ celebrating this diverse community and its historic connections to the railway with exciting events, areas to relax outside our shops and temporary landscaping and planters to enhance the welcoming feel of the road.

Everyone’s invited to a public meeting at 7.30pm on 29th March at Romsey Mill to discuss ideas – like the ones shown below.  Whether you’re a local resident, trader, parent or advocate for one of the many community groups in Romsey, please do get involved!

Please register your interest using the form at the bottom.  And could you download and display this poster at your home or work?

Could local schools get involved in Arts projects?
Where would we put areas to relax like this?
Would planters enhance the look of the street? Where could they go?
How about some streets stalls or a street market?

We also need to be sure that residents can still access their properties, businesses can receive deliveries and more cycle parking is made available for the increased numbers of visitors.

Yes, I’m interested in coming to the public meeting, please keep me informed

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!

Every Cloud… : Making the Most of the Bridge Closure

Could there be a silver lining to the closure of Mill Road Bridge to motor vehicles in 2019?

The idea of reducing the amount of motor vehicle traffic on Mill Road has been much discussed in recent years.  Benefits could include reduced pollution, safer cycling and walking, more reliable bus services and a more pleasant environment in which to live, work and shop.  But we’re all conscious of the potential downsides – eg the impact on traffic in surrounding roads, the inconvenience for private motorists in particular for disabled drivers and the elderly, and logistical problems for bulk deliveries to the shops and business on Mill Road.  The financial cost (or benefit) of reduced traffic on local shops and businesses is also unclear.

So given that the bridge has to be closed to vehicles for at least 8 weeks in 2019, there’s clearly an opportunity to better understand the impact of reducing traffic on this key Cambridge thoroughfare. For example

  • measuring the traffic volumes in surrounding roads
  • gathering information about the financial effect on Mill Road shops and businesses
  • surveying local residents on how they are coping with the restrictions in place

We’ll be starting conversations with Cambridge Cycling Campaign (Camcycle),  local councillors, Mill Road businesses and the Cambridge Area Bus Users Group to progress these ideas.

Camcycle have produced this vision of a Mill Road with fewer cars.  Improvements to the Mill Road streetscape that become practical with fewer cars around could be trialled during the closure.

But what do you think?  Please do contact us and let us know your views.

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.