Agenda item

Histon Road: Bus, Cycling and Walking Improvements Final Concept


The Executive Board AGREED unanimously to:


(1)  Support the “Preliminary Concept” design shown in Plans 1-6 as a basis for public consultation and further detailed design work, including preparation of the business case.


(2)  Approve the revised budget that includes a new estimate of £6M in capital costs for delivery of this scheme.


The Chairperson invited public questions from Anna Crutchley, Secretary of the Benson Road Residents’ Association (BenRa) and Lilian Rundblad, Vice Chair of Histon Road Local Liaison Forum. The questions and a summary of the answers are provided as an appendix to the minutes.


In relation to the public questions, Councillor Bates pointed out that air pollution was often caused by standing vehicles, therefore if vehicles were able to keep moving, air pollution would be reduced and air quality improved. In relation to public questions from the Histon Road LLF, Councillor Bates advised that he would be happy to meet with residents to discuss their concerns. Regarding night time restrictions to HGVs, Councillor Bates advised that his experience of trying to bring in such restrictions was that this was an extremely complex and long process. He would be happy to look at this from a County Council perspective but advised that it was not a simple solution.


In relation to the public questions and 20mph speed limit zones raised by the Histon Road LLF, the Transport Director added that the environment in which 20mph zones were situated needed to be self-enforcing. If it was not then traffic would move at an appropriate pace, which was 30mph in a traditional residential area.


Councillor Mike Todd-Jones, Chairman of the Histon Road Local Liaison Forum was invited to address the Executive Board. He summarized the key outcomes of the last LLF meeting:

·         The LLF recognized that the 5 way junction at Histon Rd, Victoria Rd, Huntingdon Rd, Castle Hill and Mount Pleasant was a difficult junction. The LLF acknowledged the attempts that had been made to improve safety, particularly in relation to cycling. The LLF wanted full access to be maintained to Victoria Road at the junction.

·         The LLF endorsed the GCP’s proposed solution at the Gilbert Road/Warwick Road junction, particularly with regards to pedestrian and cyclists’ movements.

·         Regarding the bus lane, the LLF acknowledged that improving bus journey time was key.

·         The LLF endorsed the Darwin Green spy road, Kings Hedges junction and taking the scheme up to just south of Carisbrooke Road.

·         Compulsory land purchase had been a real concern for the LLF, which was pleased that the commitment had been maintained to there being no compulsory land purchase.

·         The LLF was pleased about the work to mitigate verge loss due to the bus lane.

·         The LLF welcomed the retention of the line of trees.

·         The green environmental aspect of Histon Road was very important and it was critical that this was maintained.

·         The LLF was pleased that capacity had been found to accommodate the loss of resident parking bays on Histon Road.

·         For local businesses the LLF thought that parking options at Cranwell Court should be maintained, and asked that the GCP consider this.

·         The LLF appreciated the commitment from Highways to work with them regarding rat running mitigations.


Councillor Bates had attended the LLF meeting and confirmed that this was a fair reflection of what had taken place at the meeting. The Vice Chairperson was keen to follow up on the detail with Councillor Todd-Jones and the LLF.


The Transport Director added that the scheme balanced a series of priorities along the corridor and that the proposed solution was optimal. Extensive engagement had taken place and it was acknowledged that different parts of the community had different priorities, which the GCP was trying to pull together into a single scheme. On street parking was highlighted as an issue and mitigation to accommodate the 42 spaces that would be lost, would continue to be looked at. The next stage of the process was public consultation.


Executive Board members made the following points:


·         Executive Board members expressed their general support for the reconfigured scheme.

·         The Board welcomed the direction of travel and consultation and engagement that had taken place to date.

·         Executive Board members highlighted the importance of making cycling and pedestrian movements as safe as possible, as there were so many schools in the area.

·         All schools in the area needed to be made aware of the proposed scheme and needed to be consulted.

·         Executive Board members expressed support for schemes such as this, which encouraged modal shift. It was pointed out that some people would still need to drive down Histon Road and the scheme would make little difference to them.

·         Executive Board members expressed support for this scheme, however it was felt by some that something more radical may need to be done in future.

·         Board members felt that there were details that needed to be worked through, particularly with regards to businesses and the scheme also needed to consider the junctions.

·         A significant number of cyclists used the route, therefore there was a particular need at Histon Road for through cycling.

·         Executive Board members paid tribute to Paul Van de Bulk for all his work on the scheme, which had been transformed due to his and the LLF’s work.


The Transport Director explained the next steps, clarifying that public consultation would take place following which an Executive Board decision would be sought to proceed to detailed design. This would consider all the detailed design, including the procurement and delivery arrangements for the scheme. Engagement would continue following the public consultation, the importance of which the Chairperson highlighted.


Councillor Todd-Jones proposed that at the start of the public consultation, a Local Liaison Forum stakeholder workshop take place. The Transport Director would take this forward with the LLF.


The Executive Board AGREED unanimously to:


(1)  Support the “Preliminary Concept” design shown in Plans 1-6 as a basis for public consultation and further detailed design work, including preparation of the business case.


(2)  Approve the revised budget that includes a new estimate of £6M in capital costs for delivery of this scheme.

Supporting documents: