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.

SPC Councillor Vacancy

Stapleford Parish Council currently has one vacancy for a new councillor. We are keen to receive applications from anyone who wants to get involved in supporting the local community. We are particularly keen on hearing from the younger parishioners to ensure their voice is heard and to develop a range of views and opinions. The requirement is to attend the monthly Parish Council meeting, of which there are 10 annually as we do not meet in August or December, and these usually take approximately two hours. We would also like councillors to get involved in their personal area of expertise which could be the environment, youth, facilities, planning matters, community spirit, or anything else which needs addressing in the parish; the amount of time outside the meeting you invest is up to you and it may be worth attending a Parish Council meeting for an insight into how business is conducted and what we do.

Please do consider being a Councillor and supporting your community. To stand for election as a Parish Councillor, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old on the day of your nomination, and
  • A British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any other member state of the European Union.

You must also meet at least one of the following four qualifications:

  • You are, and will continue to be, registered as a local government elector for the parish in which you wish to stand from the day of your nomination onwards.
  • You have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish area during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.
  • Your main or only place of work during the 12 months prior to the day of your nomination and the day of election has been in the parish area.
  • You have lived in the parish area of within three miles of it during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination and the day of election.

If you are interested, please contact either Howard Kettel for an initial conversation or any of the other councillors for an informal conversation as to what being a councillor in Stapleford entails. More information is available from Belinda Irons, the Parish Clerk, also.

Cambridgeshire Recycling Centres

The county’s Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) will be open from Monday 11 May for residents who have essential waste that cannot be stored safely at home.

The recycling centres will open their doors for their usual summer opening hours.

Think before you visit

  • Only visit if it is essential – Residents should only visit a Household Recycling Centre if essential and if you cannot minimise your waste, store it at home safely, or use alternative kerbside or bulky waste collections. Further Government advice is here (paragraph 1.1).
  • Covid-19 infected waste – You must not bring any waste which could be infected with Covid-19. This includes disposed of PPE waste or general household waste if you have been suffering from Covid-19 symptoms. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being disposed of in your kerbside collection.
  • Do not attend if you or your household are suffering from Covid-19 symptoms – If you or anyone in your home have related symptoms or are suffering from Covid-19 you must not visit any of the Household Recycling Centres under any circumstances.
  • Vans/trailers/permit holders – There will be a delay before we are able to accept vans and trailers that require a permit, this includes current permit holders. This is in place to stop large loads from coming in and slowing down the operations. It will be reviewed after two weeks. Please don’t use the Household Recycling Centres until you are advised to do so.
  • Are you a Cambridgeshire resident? – Please note that the Household Recycling Centres are for the use of Cambridgeshire residents only. If you need to visit the site, please bring proof of your address (utility bill, council tax bill, driving licence or similar) in case you are asked to provide it.
  • Please avoid peak times – Our traffic management is unable to allow excessive queuing, so you may be turned away and asked to return later if it is busy. To try and avoid this, we ask residents to plan their journeys away from the anticipated peak times of 9am to 10am, noon until 1pm and 5pm to 6pm.

For further information, please see our Household Recycling Centres page.

Motorists warned to be vigilant

The South Cambridgeshire Neighbourhood Team is warning Motorists to be vigilant:

We are urging motorists across South Cambridge to be vigilant following a number of handbag thefts from vehicles over the past month.

A total of 22 vehicles were broken into between 19 April and 12 May including incidents in Stapleford, Sawston, Duxford, Great Shelford, Haslingfield, Grantchester, Swavesey, Milton, Oakington and Fen Drayton.

In the majority of cases purses, wallets and handbags have been targeted and in some instances the thieves have gone on to use the victims’ bank cards in shops.

We’re focusing our patrols in these areas but would urge all motorists to make sure their cars are locked and double checked when left unattended as we’re seeing incidents when windows are left open and doors unlocked.

Also ensure all valuables, such as handbags, wallets, mobile phones and tools are removed from the vehicle.

Call 101 or go online to report any suspicious behaviour in your area.

Message from the Chief Constable

Over the weekend we saw the county bathed in warm weather and are expecting it to continue over the coming week. Normally this would be a cause for celebration and would see family and friends spending time outside in the many beauty spots which Cambridgeshire boasts.

However, in these unprecedented times we are issuing a reminder that travel should only be undertaken if absolutely essential and people should try to complete their daily exercise walking from where they live rather than driving to hot spots.

Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “We haven’t issued any fines and that I think is a real positive story and a thank you to the communities in Cambridgeshire who have been adhering to the new legislation.”

Mr. Dean implored people to have a clean conscience and said: “Most people know an elderly person, a vulnerable person and before they think about breaching the rules just have a look and think, what can I do to make a difference today? And that is about staying home where possible and not undertaking unnecessary travel.

“Enforcement as we’ve always said throughout this is our last option, our position as a force is to support the NHS, to save lives and prevent the spread of the virus. That’s our main aim and the main aim of many agencies across this county.

“My clear expectation of my officers and staff is to talk to people, to explain the legislation and the guidance which has been issued by the government and really encourage people to adhere to that guidance.

“At the end of the day the clear message is that this is about saving lives and protecting our fantastic NHS.”

Kind regards,

Nick Dean

Chief Constable

Message Sent By
Lauren Alexander (Police, Senior Communications Officer, Cambridgeshire Constabulary)

Stapleford and Shelfords local businesses Coronavirus update

This is the list of Stapleford and Shelford businesses that are still open as at April 7 and their revised opening times.
The Three Horseshoes is offering meal deliveries. If people call in (01223 503 402) from 17:00, Wednesday ~ Saturday and place an order, pay over the phone we will deliver. Sunday’s the phone line will be open from 11:00. The kitchen will be closed at 15:00.

The Spar shop is now offering a door drop home delivery service (see details below)
Gog Magog Farmshop open as usual (with distancing), stay in car shopping available, online delivery service being created, cafe closed
Tesco in Great Shelford is currently open 7am – 10pm
Zara Indian restaurant is currently doing takeaway collection service for as long as they are allowed to by the government, to encourage social distancing they are encouraging everyone to pre order early so when they come to collect there is no wait and no crowd.
Forum House Chinese restaurant in Great Shelford is currently offering contact free delivery as well as pick up takeaways
Shelford Deli is opening the Deli shop for essential goods service only during this government lock down. No takeaway pizzas or coffees will be available

The Square and Compass pub is offering takeaways, Tuesday to Sunday 12-3pm, Tuesday to Saturday 6-9pm
To place an order call 01223 843273. Orders taken from 11.30am to 1.30pm and 5.30pm to 8.30pm on applicable days. Please order Sunday lunch by 8pm Saturday

Days of Ashwell in Great Shelford is open, but only from 8am to 2pm.

Noel Young wines is open 10am-7pm Monday to Saturday on a two in, two out basis, free deliveries to CB postcodes with orders over £50 and if in Great Shelford happy to drop in a couple of bottles especially if self-isolating

Barkers Butchers is open and also offering a delivery service. Now closed 1-2pm and also closed Mondays.
Great Shelford Dry Cleaners is open Monday to Thursday 9am to 1pm but closed Friday and Saturday. They are running a free collection and delivery service on Monday afternoons – phone 844344 or email greatshelforddrycleaning@gmail.com
Davies Solicitors in Woollards Lane, Great Shelford is open as usual from 9am to 5pm
Lay Electrical is now closed but can deliver domestic appliances (07740543187)
Harveys Garden Centre on Little Shelford has had to close their Cambridge so have set up a website and online order service for bedding plants and vegetable seedling / plants that you can collect at an allotted time from outside the property on Hauxton Rd.
The Rose pub is now closed. However you can ring for takeaways which need collecting from its sister pub, the George at Babraham on 837755. Its open 12 til 2.30pm and 6pm to 8pm.

Stapleford Granary has closed until further notice.

Stapleford Rec play equipment and tennis courts are closed
Cara Coffee in Great Shelford is now closed
The Navigator is Little Shelford is now closed
The Plough in Great Shelford is now closed
The Great Shelford dental surgery is closed
Great Shelford library is closed
The Cambridge Building Society in Woollards Lane is now closed
Winners Chinese takeaway in Little Shelford is now closed
Magog Down car park is closed. Locals who are able to reach Magog Dow on foot must respect others: taking into account govt advice on social distancing: maintain distance 2m(6ft) from anyone not in your household group.

Scotsdale’s is now closed.
Travis Perkins is closed for the foreseeable future.
Pillsorted Help is a locally based online NHS pharmacy who deliver. It is free. They are based at Copley Park email: Help@pillsorted.com
Robert T said of Pillsorted; “Just wanted to say, thank you for putting Pillsorted in your newsletter. It is a really good service for anyone who might want to know. I have Parkinson’s and it has saved me the stress of getting my drugs from the pharmacy of which a lot of the time they only had part of my prescription. However Pillsorted had no problems at all delivering everything to my door, wonderful service.”

Rayments garage is still open

T & J Tyres also in Gt Shelford (01223 845155), and they are similarly open until instructed by government to close.

Dave Hatter gas specialist is still operating

Relief Chiropractic health clinic in Great Shelford is still open Monday to Thursdays.

Wandlebury Country Park remains open to pedestrians and cyclists only, to enable people to take their once-a-day outdoor exercise. The car park and toilets at Wandlebury are now closed, please do not drive to the parks.
Would people visiting their loved one’s graves in Stapleford Cemetery take any dead flowers, and other rubbish home with them while COVID-19 lasts?
The people who normally look after the bins are unable to do this at present – the Parish Council is looking for volunteers to replace them.

(Updated noon April 7 2020)