The GCP Transport Director presented the report which set out the final design for Histon Road. He explained that following the public consultation, changes had been made to the scheme to ensure that all aspects of it conformed with regulations, were considered safe and provided a good balance of functionality for all road users. The Joint Assembly was informed that given the contentious issues that remained regarding the Histon Road/Gilbert Road/Warwick Road junction, a further Histon Road LLF meeting would be held on 26 November 2018.
Public questions from Anna Williams, the Windsor Road Residents’ Association and Lilian Rundblad were invited. The questions and a summary of the responses are provided at Appendix A of the minutes.
The Joint Assembly acknowledged written representations received from Nick Flynn, Roxanne de Beaux and Daniel Thomas, which had been circulated to members before the meeting.
Councillor Massey expressed concern at the number of public representations that had been received by Joint Assembly members, which expressed a feeling of betrayal by the GCP. She highlighted the need for cyclists to feel safe and pointed out that Hills Road had demonstrated that segregated cycle routes worked as an increase in cyclists had been seen here.
Councillor Wilson was pleased that the GCP was going back to the LLF to discuss the changes to the proposals. She was concerned that local people had taken a lot of time contributing to the public consultation and did not feel included in the subsequent changes to the scheme. The safety of cyclists was a concern and if they did not feel safe in a shared environment with pedestrians, they would cycle on the road which led to conflict between cyclists and drivers.
Members expressed concern at the changes to the proposals, which it was felt disadvantaged cyclists. It was pointed out that if cyclists did not feel safe and were discouraged from cycling, congestion would get worse. Members were disappointed that following the changes, the scheme would deliver little change for cyclists and pedestrians. Members felt that segregation at the Gilbert Road junction was needed.
Heather Richards pointed out that in order to achieve mode-shift to cycling, Histon Road needed to be looked at as a whole as a cyclist’s entire journey needed to be safe in order to achieve mode-shift from bicycles to cars.
Some members considered that doing nothing about the junction at Kings Hedges Road, was a major safety concern for cyclists and pedestrians. There was significant concern that there had been a complete failure in the public consultation process regarding this project.
Councillor Topping commented that in comparison, the A1307 public consultation had gone exceptionally well.
Some members felt that this issue should come back to the Joint Assembly following the LLF meeting, before proposals went to the Executive Board. A vote was taken on this with six members voting in favour of this. As the majority of members did not consider this necessary, it was agreed that the proposals would go straight to the Executive Board following the LLF meeting. Feedback from the LLF meeting would be presented to the Executive Board and the Joint Assembly Chairman would report the Joint Assembly’s concerns.
In response to the concerns raised regarding the public consultation, the GCP Transport Director made the following points:
· The GCP recognised the concern about the Gilbert Road junction and pointed out that the proposals balanced a number of key priorities. The key concern was the safety of all road users. Officers would look at what could be done to resolve the issue and would discuss this with the LLF.
· All junctions in all schemes would be looked at in their own right.
· He explained that there was a safety concern on Histon Road due to the conflict between walkers and cyclists. Safety Officers considered that a segregated cycle system potentially allowed cyclists to come into conflict with pedestrians too quickly, whereas shared space would continue to slow cyclists down. Officers would continue to look at this to find a mutually agreeable solution.
Officers clarified that no changes were proposed to the Kings Hedges Road junction. This had been looked at in detail however it had been decided that the junction was out of scope of the scheme. Officers considered it prudent to leave this junction until it was known how the Darwin Green junction would look and how the area would function. Councillor Bick requested the GCP look at this junction when the appropriate time came.
The GCP Transport Portfolio Holder asked the GCP Transport Director to liaise with County Council officers regarding Darwin Green. He also requested that the County Council’s Safety Officers be asked to attend the Histon Road LLF meeting.