Haslingfield Parish Council Newsletter, March 2014

1.  Of Parish Clerks; Retired and New

166cAn article on our retired Parish Clerk Janet Hendy appeared in C&V previously.  Janet has been a mainstay of HPC proceedings for eleven years and will be a hard act to follow.  Existing and previous councillors and others attended a farewell gathering at the Chairman’s house on 28th February 2014.   Our thanks go to Mike Hendy too who has been so helpful behind the scenes over the years and continues to volunteer for more.Our new Parish Clerk, Frances Bishop, moved from Comberton to Haslingfield about a year ago and has taken up the Clerk job with enthusiasm.  Frances’s background is as a Medical Consultant’s and Practice Secretary.  She is quickly picking up the ropes (there are a lot of them) and getting to know the village.  Please give her your support in following after Janet and settling into the job.

2.  Road Safety Initiative

Haslingfield Parish Council are developing a Staged Programme of Road Safety and Traffic Calming Measures to improve the safety of vehicle, cycle and pedestrian movement within the village by reducing vehicle speeds.

The development of the road traffic calming ideas has not been carried forward as quickly as the Parish Council would have liked after the consultations in late 2012. The delays have arisen partly from the effects of cutbacks and reorganisation at the county council, the need to adjust engineer aspects of the proposals and organise and process traffic surveys but now things have settled down the work is being carried forward.  A contract has been awarded to Cambridgeshire County Council’s Framework Contractor, Skanska Infrastructure Ltd to carry out the designs for the first phase of traffic calming measures in the village.  These designs will then be published as draft Road Traffic Orders by CCC and after a consultation period they will be confirmed (hopefully) and construction work will then be done by Skanska.

The items to be implemented in this first phase are as follows: –

  1. Establish a 20 mph zone around the school and its approaches with road markings to encourage speed reduction.
  2. On the road from Barton establish a 400m long 40 mph buffer speed limit from just before the left hand bend into the village, associated with a gate at and a outlier structure within the 30 mph limit to reduce speeds on the approach to the village in Barton Road.  A second outlier will be provided in Barton Road to restrict outgoing traffic speeds, somewhere near the old Jolly Brewer’s location.
  3. On the road from Harston, provide a 40 mph buffer zone from just before the entrance to Penn Farm into Haslingfield 30 mph zone.  Outliers are not viable there as there are too many side roads and other property accesses.

The effect of these initial measures will be observed and further measures initiated if found necessary.  There will be further traffic calming measures adopted elsewhere in the village in the future, as consulted on previously.

A recent item of good news is that we have been successful in obtaining a grant of £ 10,000 from CCC towards the costs of this work from the CCC Local Highway Improvement Initiative. 

3.  Cycle Path from Haslingfield to Grantchester

The plans for the Cycle Path have been completed and submitted to the County Council Cycling Officer for processing.  It will link up in Grantchester with the existing Cycle Network into Cambridge.  A lot of work was done on this project by Rebecca Ridley last year and it has been developed into its final form by Lucian Hatfield, working with parish councillors from Barton and Grantchester on local aspects of the project in their parishes.

The route follows the existing system of permissive footpaths and bridleways and will require a change in status of parts of the route, improvements at the Motorway Bridge crossing and drainage improvements.

We will be following up this application in the next few months in consultation with our County Councillor, identifying funding sources and negotiating a programme for its funding and implementation.

The Parish Council regard the provision of the cycle path as an integral part of the first stage of the HPC Road Safety Initiative noted in the first article.

4.   75 Bus Route

Thank you to everyone who completed the Cambridge Future Transport Questionnaire and to the Village Shop for hosting the survey forms.  Haslingfield sent in more responses than any other village in the South West of the District.  There was an Area H Bus Working Party Meeting in our Village Hall on 4th March 2014 to discuss routes 31 and 75.  There are no clear proposals yet.  It was pointed out to officers that the elderly were particularly vulnerable to any reductions in service and that this would become an increasing problem in future.  Short term measures for finance only were negating the CCC Strategy to encourage the use of public transport.  Liz Heazell, as the HPC’s Bus Representative, robustly put the village case for retaining Route 75 and improving village bus services generally, as done in other counties.

The village public meeting for mid-April remains on the schedule although at present there is nothing firm to report to the public for consultation.  Watch the notice boards!

Bob Branch & Lucian Hatfield