Cambridge Community Arts

Being creative is good for you, it will improve your mental wellbeing and your confidence. Cambridge Community Arts have year-long accredited creative courses in Visual, Digital & Performing Arts starting in September 2020.

CCA’s classes offer a non-judgemental, stimulating, and friendly environment. They are run by experienced professional artists in local community centres and have a maximum of ten people per class. Our one-year, part-time courses in partnership with Cambridge Regional College, allow you to explore your chosen art form in depth and gain an AIM Awards Level 2 Certificate in Skills for Working in the Creative & Design Industries.

Courses are open to adults 19+. Priority is given to people with health conditions. Reduced cost for those on low income or means-tested benefit.

Please visit their website or view their CCA Programme 20-21 and find more information about each course, fees and how to apply.

  Contact details: admin@camcommarts.org.uk   or  07763 280029

 

 

SPC Position Statement on Cambridge South East Transport

The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) undertook the first public consultation on their proposals for a new public transport route between the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) and Granta Park in early 2018; a map of the proposed routes can be found here. This consultation presented options for one of the following:

  1. An off-road busway route;
  2. An inbound bus lane on the A1307 to the Babraham Park and Ride with a busway link into the Cambridge Biomedical Campus;
  3. An inbound bus lane on the A1307 all the way to Addenbrookes.

However:

  • The option of an alternative off-road busway route following the former railway line through the villages of Great Shelford and Stapleford was not included in the consultation. This option was screened out at an early stage on the basis that it was not feasible.
  • The report on the first consultation concluded that an almost equal number of respondents felt that the strategy would not encourage modal shift as supported the chosen route.

The GCP undertook a second public consultation on the proposals towards the end of 2019. However, this consultation was limited to the location of the Park and Ride near Granta Park and associated access-ways. As such, the GCP has not yet undertaken any public consultation on the option of an alternative off-road busway route following the former railway line through the villages of Great Shelford and Stapleford.

Errors / Omissions in Officer’s reports

Repeated representations over an extended period have been made to the GCP by Great Shelford and Stapleford Parish Councils expressing concerns about the lack of public consultation on the option of an alternative off-road route following the former railway line. These representations were summarised in the LLF report presented to the Joint Assembly on 03 June 2020: ‘the major part of the discussion was about the alternative railway alignment route…there had been no opportunity for any public consultation… challenged a number of the statements and argued that calculations were open to interpretation’.

Despite our representations, GCP officers reported to the Joint Assembly on 03 June 2020 that there were no outstanding consultation issues. This is factually incorrect, and may have unduly influenced the Joint Assembly in reaching their recommendations. We consider full public consultation to be of critical importance to the process, and because key aspects of the scheme have never been included for public consultation, we consider the Joint Assembly recommendations that relate to the route have not been made with full and proper access to the facts.

The alternative former railway route

Further to questions being raised by the public about the alternative route via the former railway line, the GCP commissioned consultants Mott MacDonald to make a more detailed assessment of the former railway route than had previously been undertaken at screening stage. Mott Macdonald issued the report ‘CSET Phase 2 Shelford Railway Alignment: Design Development & Feasibility Assessment’ in May 2020, two years after the first consultation. This report appeared only days before the LLF meeting of 03 June 2020, allowing little time for detailed examination.

The Mott Macdonald report concluded that the former railway alignment option is technically feasible, although this option would incur additional costs and potential loss of several additional structures along the route.  In addition, the report based its conclusions on an option that designated a short section of Chaston Road as road space to be shared with local traffic, preventing the route from being fully segregated and therefore influencing the final scores attributed in their analysis.

Moreover, the report made no analysis of:

  • The value of lost landscape and amenity, and how these costs compare against the identified additional construction costs;
  • Economic benefits to the villages of Great Shelford and Stapleford, including additional employment benefits, by connecting the villages more directly into the public transport network;
  • Amenity benefits to local residents through more effective connections to local and regional community assets, services and employment sites along the former railway alignment route, including the important health care facilities at Addenbrookes;
  • Full segregation for the short section of Chaston Road that was designated for shared road use, although this was identified as feasible.

Accuracy in statistical reporting

  • The analysis of data put forward in the Mott MacDonald report depends on the underlying assumptions made and their interpretation. There are small differences in the demand estimates well within a margin of error.
  • The chosen route score is 50% more in terms of transport benefits but with a different assessment based on CAM compliance the rankings are likely to change materially.

Environmental impacts

  • Whilst the Macdonald Report (May 2020) gives a detailed assessment of the railway route, the environmental impact report for the chosen route has yet to be commissioned.
  • The busway is a 14 metre wide strip of tarmacadam skirting the Magog downland. The impact will result in the loss of unique chalk downland landscape, irreparable damage to the open countryside and loss of biodiversity. Most significantly, there will be harm to important views and the landscape setting of Cambridge.
  • The statement in support reads: ‘We would ensure it is integrated into the existing landscape as much as possible’; this is an inadequate response, and there is an acknowledgement that the planned busway stops will make a significant intrusion on the landscape.
  • It is recognised that open countryside is important to mental health as this location is key to accessibility for the general public.

Loss of greenbelt

  • The proposed route will destroy greenbelt which is designated to protect the rural setting and landscapes of the villages in South Cambridgeshire.
  • Despite assurances to the contrary the proposed busway will inevitably redefine the curtilage of these villages with potentially irresistible pressure from speculative housing developers to develop the enclosed fields in a new Local Plan.

Induced congestion

  • The scheme adds two new road crossings for the busway with resultant traffic congestion and extra pollution in the village. The proposed stations will attract intrusive and antisocial commuter parking on unsuitable country roads.

 Integrated transport plan

  • The scheme as currently conceived does not provide a transformational multi-modal transport system for the region.
  • The scheme fails to integrate with the opportunity for a grade-separated junction as envisaged by East West Rail and in the wider context to take into account a rapid transport link to Haverhill.
  • The scheme is designed for buses to run on from Cambridge Biomedical Campus into the city centre on the existing busway. Any introduction of trams at a future date would require construction of the CAM tunnels.

 Economic context

  • The scheme fails to link the commercial heart of Great Shelford and neither links Sawston and the several campus developments along the A1301 and A1307 such as Huawei, Babraham and Genome. It misses the opportunity for significant economic benefit and sustainability to our villages.
  • The stations are uphill a kilometre out of the village. Given the literally handful of houses in proximity, the claim that significant populations will make use of the route appear difficult to justify unless many houses are built, which appears to be the implication from the projections.
  • Furthermore with buses full of commuters generated by over 2,000 cars at the Park and Ride it is doubtful there will be the capacity at peak times to carry them.

 

 

GCPs Proposed Busway

Did you know that a Busway is planned to cross our beautiful countryside with construction to start in just 2 YEAR’S time?

A 14 metre wide swathe will be cut across the fields adjoining the Magog downland damaging the unique landscape and destroying the greenbelt with buses running each way every eight minutes.

ACT NOW to support the alternative route along the old Cambridge-Haverhill railway line. Email your objection to: cllr.vandeweyer@scambs.gov.ukroger.hickford@cambridgeshire.gov.uk; and lewis.herbert@cambridge.gov.uk today.

DO Not Wait – on the 25th of June the scheme moves to the next stage.

Find out more at https://www.cambridgeppf.org/south-east-cambridge-busway

Planning Application for the A1307 junction at Gog Magog

A planning application has been submitted for the construction of a new staggered junction, footway / cycleway; an at grade unsignalised crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists at the A1307 / Haverhill Road / Gog Farm shop junction; a new right turn filter lane and upgraded crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists at the Gog Farm Shop entrance, including associated engineering and landscape works.

Comments on this planning application should be submitted by 8 July 2020. Copies of all the application documentation can be viewed online at http://planning.cambridgeshire.gov.uk by entering the relevant application reference number (CCC/20/033/FUL) and registering to submit your comments online. Alternatively, you can send an email to planningdc@cambridgeshire.gov.uk or comments can be sent in writing.

If your comment is not received by 8 July 2020 the assumption will be that you do not wish to make any comments on this application.

COVID-19 Update from Cambridgeshire County Council

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough communities urged to support NHS Test and Trace – From today people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are being urged to support a new NHS Test and Trace programme which will aim to track every single case of coronavirus in our communities to stop the infection spreading.

In a briefing last night, Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, urged everyone to support the programme, which aims to gradually replace the national lockdown with individual isolation for those who have been in contact with the virus and local action where it is necessary to respond to a flare up of coronavirus cases.

As we move out of the national lockdown, we are asking those who have been in contact with anyone who might have the virus to isolate themselves.

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council will also be able to take robust action where a number of people have or are suspected of having caught the virus.

From now on, everyone is being asked to follow this three-step plan: 

Step 1 – If you have one or more of the symptoms of coronavirus – a fever, a new continuous cough or a loss of taste or smell – you and the people you live with must immediately self-isolate.

 Step 2 – You then must book a test on the NHS Coronavirus website and if you don’t have internet access dial 119. Do not leave home for any other reason. If you test positive, you will then be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service within 24 hours.

 Step 3 – If you do test positive, NHS Test and Trace will help you establish who you have been in contact with and might have infected. This could be members of your own household already isolating or someone you have been within 2 metres of for more than 15 minutes. You will also be given clinical advice and support for dealing with the virus. NHS Test and Trace will then contact those contacts anonymously. If you are one of those contacts, you will be advised to isolate for 14 days, even if you don’t have symptoms or feel perfectly well. If you developed symptoms, you would be required to get a test.

Councillor Steve Count, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “The Government has made it very clear that if you get symptoms you must isolate immediately and get a test. If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, instructing you to isolate, you must do so.

“If the lockdown measures are to be lifted further we all need to follow these instructions to slow the spread of the virus even further, keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, along with protecting the NHS and all key workers.

“The more people who correctly use Test and Trace, the greater impact it will have on the spread of the virus and the quicker we will be able to return to seeing the people we love and doing the things we all enjoy.

“We know that people who are required to self-isolate might need help and support if they don’t have friends, family or neighbours to call upon, and we will make sure that support is available through the network of local hubs.”

A network of COVID-19 hubs is working across the county to help people who need support at this time and don’t have family, friends or neighbours they can ask for help.

People who need help whilst isolating should visit www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk or call 0345 045 5219.

test and trace

SPC Chairman writes in the local press

South East Transport: Parish Councils accuse GCP of maladministration over controversial southern busway

Stapleford and Great Shelford Parish Councils have combined forces to oppose a scheme through the greenbelt of little economic advantage to them that will dissect the fields adjoining Magog Down, a unique and valuable landscape rich in biodiversity.

They are suggesting that the GCP have failed to go through proper public consultation by omitting to include the realistic alternative route of following the railway line in any of their public consultations. Furthermore, no actual evidence has been publicly presented to influence the choice of route, nor to demonstrate that appropriate evidence-based decisions have been made. The general public have therefore not been given the opportunity to consider the options of an off-road route and the process is therefore invalid.

Now, just published in the GCP Joint Assembly papers, is the GCP’s first public statement on the alternative (railway) route; the feasibility study can be found here.

· In it they state that the additional cost would be £29.1m (is this material in the overall context of the scheme and therefore unaffordable?) Where is the environmental and economic cost/benefit argument for this?

· They suggest that there are environmental costs but we how can these be taken into account when they haven’t assessed the environmental costs of their preferred route?

· In terms of overall travel time they state that villagers would walk a kilometre uphill to the busway station rather than the short distance to the existing railway station. Perhaps that could be explained?

· They reject any proposals to make the existing railway station safer, with its current not fit-for-purpose access via the level crossing.

· They want to introduce two additional road crossings for the busway, arguing that the alternative route would create unsafe queuing at the existing level crossing.

· They argue there are pinch-points along the route to navigate due to the risky and unproven bus system being proposed rather than the more compact and high capacity Light Rail System.

The two Councils fundamentally oppose the GCP’s chosen route through the unique and valuable landscape around the Magog Hills and chalk downlands and instead favour the railway alignment through the two villages. Other more detailed reasons include:

· The scheme involves loss of greenbelt and creates a new demarcation line for infill development, effectively creating a developer’s charter. Over time there will be no restraint for development of the green fields between the villages and the busway.

· The scheme fails to take into account the significant opportunities for multi-modal transport offered through other planned infrastructure initiatives such as East West Rail and the opportunity to upgrade Shelford Station and make it accessible. The ambition to meet Cambridge’s 21st century needs is underwhelming.

· The preferred route does not serve Gt Shelford or Stapleford since the proposed stations are remote, a kilometre walk up the hill into the countryside. The scheme misses the opportunity for significant economic benefit and sustainability to our villages.

· The stations positioned as they are in the greenbelt will attract commuting by car and the proposed car parks (albeit limited to disabled parking) intrude into the countryside.

· It compounds congestion by adding two more road crossings to an already congested road system and further adding to pollution.

· Finally, in a post Covid world, what will be the impact on travel and transport? I assume new modelling will be required based on the evidence, with new strategies / modes developed.

The two Councils are calling on the GCP to halt its undemocratic preferred choice of off-road route and to consider the alternative off-road solution of the railway route.

GCP – Cambridge South East Transport Project Update

The Cambridge South East Transport project is a priority for the Greater Cambridge Partnership, creating a vital link to ease congestion, offer sustainable travel choices, connect communities and support growth. It would form part of the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro, providing high-quality, frequent and affordable public transport.

The Cambridge South East Transport project aims to provide better public transport, walking and cycling options for those who travel in the A1307 and A1301 area, improving journey times and linking communities and employment sites in the area south east of Cambridge.

Project Update

Greater Cambridge Partnership conducted a public consultation in late 2019 on a new travel hub near the A11/A1307/A505, a new public transport route between the A11 and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, and new walking, cycling and equestrian links. The findings of the public consultation have now been analysed and can be viewed on the 2019 consultation page. The key findings include:

Over half of respondents (56%) indicated they support the more detailed proposals presented for consultation.

The response for each of the three travel hub locations was as follows:

  • 46% of respondents supported ‘Site B’ with 30% opposing it
  • 37% supported ‘Site A’ with 37% opposing it
  • 44% opposed ‘Site C’ and 30 % supported it

There was no majority of support for any of the five routes for accessing the Travel Hub sites:

  • Respondents were not clear on their support for the ‘Purple route (Site A)’, ‘Pink route (Site B)’, or ‘Brown route (Site B)’
  • Respondents were opposed to both ‘Site C’ routes (‘Black’ and ‘Blue’ routes)

After reviewing the consultation feedback and assessing the scheme further, Travel Hub site B and the Brown route are being recommended as the preferred option to the Greater Cambridge Partnership Joint Assembly and Executive Board. Travel Hub site B is closest to the A11 and A1307 junction, and avoids the need to bridge over the A11. Consequently it is significantly less costly than Site C. Site A, while less costly, has poorer connectivity to the A11 and is less convenient for Babraham Research Campus.

Since the public consultation, the scheme details have been developed and the project’s Outline Business Case can now be viewed on the project’s background pages. The Outline Business Case makes the case for securing City Deal funding for the delivery of this project.

The findings from the public consultation, recommendations on the preferred route and the project’s Outline Business Case will be presented to the Greater Cambridge Partnership Joint Assembly meeting on 4 June and the Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board meeting on 25 June for their consideration. The Executive Board will then decide whether the proposals will go ahead and which travel hub site would be the preferred option. More information and papers on these meetings can be found on the Joint Assembly meeting page and the Executive Board meeting page.

Further detail on the project can be found on the GCP project website.

Reporting Local Crime or Suspicious Incidents

Recently there have been a spate of incidents on the DNA path, and the local area, where teenagers have been targeted for their electronic devices, money and bicycles; often with criminal damage occurring. The Parish Council has no authority to do anything in response to these incidents, aside from being a supportive ear.

If you do need to report assault, anti-social behaviour, damage, fraud, harassment or theft, as well as reporting suspicious activity, you can do so online on the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website or by ringing 101.

If it is an emergency, you should ring 999.