The Ickleton line
I spent an early morning down at Frogge St in Ickleton just before Xmas with Ben, one of the county council highways project officers and Terry and Simon from the parish council.
Ickleton’s original bid into the County Council’s highways improvements scheme didn’t seem to be finding favour with the highways engineers on technical grounds and the village itself had differing views about what was needed. So rather than see the bid get rejected in January when it comes before the panel that makes the decisions, after a discussion at the parish council meeting the week before I arranged for the project officer to come out on the ground and talk through what was possible.
Terry Sadler - who as chair of Ickleton PC for the last few years - has been a tireless advocate of speed and safety measures aimed at controlling and curbing traffic that cuts through the village when the A roads are blocked up - especially the A505 - was there together with new PC councillor Simon Cheney who runs the very successful Bread and Meat outlet in central Cambridge near the Guildhall (an area now very much Cambridge’s food quarter).
The issue in Frogge St is that it has a longish straight bit that drivers put their foot down along before a very sharp bend into Abbey St - and where children cross to get the school bus, and where people cross to get to the village shop.
We looked at several options, taking account of the views of Ickleton Speedwatch, inter alios, and agreed that the bid should be focussed on a cut out into the road that would be a means of slowing incoming traffic. The newly installed speed sign showing actual speeds flashing up was operating while we were there but sad to say it just doesn’t make people in a hurry slow down whereas physical constraints - do. We parked two cars to see what impact that had on traffic - see below.
Interestingly - well, depending on how interesting the whole speed/roads thing is to you - Ben the highways officer also pointed out that the white lines running along the kerbs were in themselves not helping as they created an urban feel that might encourage drivers to see themselves as able to accelerate - so he suggested burning off the lines to create a more “rural lane” feel.
As with Pampisford’s site visit with Victoria from the county team, and the ones at Whittlesford and at Foxton, these on site discussions with the highways team do I think enable a better feel for what works from an engineering and road safety perspective, matching up with what the community wants - and hopefully they lead to a successful bid when it comes to the county council panel decision in January. Time consuming for the project officers but worthwhile.