Great Shelford emails and letters
Here is a complaint from Great Shelford Parish Council about an article published in November 2023 on Shelford Online about the possibility of Woollards Lane being made one way.
I am Chair of the Great Shelford Parish Council (the Council) Traffic and Transport Working Group. A group consisting of both councillors and Great Shelford residents. As you must be aware the Parish Council has been working really hard to increase engagement, respond to ideas and explore suggestions made by local residents and authorities regarding traffic and transport issues. The report into a one-way system does not suggest that both Woollards Lane and High Street be made one-way. It does however, explore the potential pros and cons and has not ‘emerged’ but rather been published as was always planned and documented since February 2022. I was disappointed to read your summary below. I don’t think it is ‘news’ that following much public pressure the council decided to explore the viability of a one-way system – and it is a long way from being a key proposal. The current traffic survey is not looking at the future of Woollards Lane, and I’m not sure why you think chicanes are under consideration in that location?
We are holding a public meeting on 22nd November at the Memorial Hall, where the results of the recent traffic management survey will be shared, the resultant plan for a local highways initiative application and a first look at how the feedback might be pulled together into a long-term strategy to respond to the key concerns expressed by residents relating to traffic. Residents of Great Shelford will be able to comment on the survey results and ideas, having already expressed their opinions through a range of channels over the past two years.
Please feel free to come to me for a fact-check if you are writing anything on the work of the parish council on this topic – I can help you avoid inaccuracies and am happy to do so.
The headline may not be as catchy but maybe you should do a piece entitled ‘Parish Council works hard to explore public preferences for traffic management and spend’. I would ask that you publish my comments in this email by way of a correction and to avoid misinformation. Please also add that members of the public are always welcome at Parish Council meetings and can find detailed, useful and factual information on actualities, ideas and consultation relating the traffic and transport on the GSPC website - https://www.greatshelfordparishcouncil.gov.uk/traffic-transport/ ?
Kind regards, Lyn Disley
This is the response to the Parish Council letter from Shelford Online editor David Martin.
Thanks for your email about the traffic in Great Shelford and the article on Shelford Online.
I would take issue with several elements of your email:
The report into a one-way system does not suggest that both Woollards Lane and High Street be made one-way.
I would disagree with your interpretation of the report. It is one of the strongest steers I have ever read from a report written by independent consultants. Even the title of the report gives a strong indication of the direction of travel from the consultants.
WOOLLARDS LANE AND HIGH STREET, GREAT SHELFORD POTENTIAL ONE-WAY SCHEME FEASIBILITY STUDY
The report summary sets out two clear options for next steps, both based around making Woollards Lane one-way.
Intermodal Transportation Ltd (ITL), an independent consultancy specialising in highway engineering and transportation planning, have been instructed by Great Shelford Parish Council (GSPC) to consider the implementation of a one-way system within the village. The two options considered within this feasibility study are as follows: - • Option 1: One-way westbound on Woollards Lane & one-way northbound on High Street; and • Option 2: One-way southbound on High Street and one-way eastbound on Woollards Lane.
In the light of the investigations summarised within this report it is recommended that if it is decided to undertake further investigations as to the feasibility of implementing either of the options considered within this report that those investigations focus on the Option 2 oneway scenario, i.e. one-way southbound on High Street and one way eastbound on Woollards Lane.
It does however, explore the potential pros and cons and has not ‘emerged’ but rather been published as was always planned and documented since February 2022.
The Oxford dictionary defines emerge as “become apparent or prominent.” The report was received by the Parish Council in the summer. It was only made public in October 2023.
I don’t think it is ‘news’ that following much public pressure the council decided to explore the viability of a one-way system – and it is a long way from being a key proposal.
I would disagree. Any potential changes major events concerning Woollards Lane are newsworthy. Around 1500 people clicked onto the news story about Woollards Lane on the Shelford community website last week to read the latest news. This might suggest there was new information to them.
The current traffic survey is not looking at the future of Woollards Lane
The survey included the wording;" What ideas are being explored? …..One-way or partial one-way system on Woollards Lane and High Street was cited in the following words.
I’m not sure why you think chicanes are under consideration in that location?
The matter was discussed at the Finance committee in August. The monthly accounts were RESOLVED by a unanimous vote for approval. b) Members noted that South Cambridgeshire District Council has received some funding as part of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which is to be used between 1st April 2024 and 1st April 2025. It was noted that correspondence had been received from South Cambs about bollards for de Freville and that the Co-op had recently applied for anti-ram raid bollards which is with the planning authority for approval. After a brief discussion it was agreed that the Traffic and Transport Infrastructure Working Group should include the potential of revitalising Woollards Lane through an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order on their agenda, to include flower planters as chicanes.
I was happy to share the survey an promote it to the majority of the village who don’t read the village magazine or receive parish council updates.
I will publish your full email on the Shelford website this afternoon.
I appreciate your offer of advice and will look to take you up on that in the future.
Great Shelford Online
Published Nov 8 2023
The real reason why Shelford Railway Crossing is one of the worst in the UK
From: Robert Hyde
When I saw the link "Shelford railway level crossing has been named worst in the UK”, I reckoned that finally someone at Network Rail had realised that the waiting times were completely unacceptable. However the revelation that this was about the crossing being the worst in the country for people trying to jump it, is clearly linked.
The 3-4 minute waits have been part of the village experience for at least 60 years, but the recent increase in train schedules has hugely exacerbated the problem. In the past, British Rail’s story was that the gates had to come down so far in advance of trains arriving because of the proximity of the crossing to the main road- i.e. for safety reasons. Presumably, the theory was that there might be a back-up of traffic travelling towards the main road which could overlap the track. In actual fact this is pretty much impossible given the traffic light sequencing, and, if anything, it is the 'gates down' which causes back-ups, even round the corner onto the main road, causing a hazard. Down-time of gates is now estimated to be well over 60% of day-time hours.
The ‘annunciators’ which passing trains trigger and control the level crossing, have been placed at Whittlesford and Cambridge, 3-4 miles away. Apparently to move them would cost over £1 million. However this sum was recently spent in putting up the totally unnecessary Granhams footbridge which serves probably no more than 10 dog walkers a day….if that.
I am not aware that the Parish Council has ever tried to lobby Network Rail to get these annunciators moved.
Unless they are moved, I am sure that frustrated people will continue to try and jump the gates, and one day there will be a terrible accident. If the Parish Council organised a petition of village users to lobby NR, at least they would know that we care. If we do nothing, the status quo will prevail.
Posted Oct 6 2021
Will the Mingle Lane/ Hinton Way development lead to 300 additional homes
From: The Shelfords and Stapleford Green Not Grey Group
Proposals have been published in the draft local plan, for a development of 100 houses on Green Belt land within Shelford/Stapleford. This proposal has been put forward by Greater Cambridge Shared Planning, which is sponsored by South Cambs District Council (SCDC). This matters to all residents of Shelford and Stapleford.
Prior to the publication of the draft plan, an initial call for sites resulted in house building proposals for virtually every single field around the villages. The land chosen in the draft local plan was previously assessed in the 2018 Local Plan, and dismissed as unsuitable for development.
The council has now reversed 2018’s decision, and is proposing construction of 100 homes on the site. This contradicts their own Greater Cambridge Green Belt Assessment Report, which comments that Green Belt:
"prevents communities merging into one" and "prevents further coalescence of settlements" – the land sits directly on the border between Stapleford and Great Shelford parishes
preserves "landscape that retains a strong rural character" – the development will concrete over 10 hectares of farmland and meadow.
The council itself refuses to commit to only 100 houses on the site. They have indicated they would prefer 300 homes, if additional road access can be obtained.
The land sits between the planned Busway and the villages, such that the proposed development will weaken the protection of this area and open it up for further extensive development. The resulting pressures on services and roads from hundreds of new homes will be considerable.
The ‘exceptional circumstance’ given by the council for this new proposal, is their assessment the biodiverse site will benefit from East-West rail and the Cambridge South Station; neither of which provide any direct advantage to the villages.
Given the councils willingness to reverse decisions made only recently, and ignore their own Green Belt assessment report, it is important that the community as a whole provides a strong voice to object to this sort of speculative and profit seeking development.
The formal consultation begins in November, but until then what can I do to register my objection? Contact:
SCDC Shelford/Stapleford Councillor Peter Fane: firstname.lastname@example.org
SCDC Planning Lead Councillor Tumi Hawkins: email@example.com
Shelford Parish Chair Malcolm Watson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stapleford Parish Chair Howard Kettle: email@example.com
If you are opposed to this planning precedent, there is a Facebook group where you can add your voice, as well as get access to important links, documents outlining issues with the plan, and a list councillors to contact.
Posted Oct 4 2021