Saturday, 12 April 2014

A14 Consultation

I hope you managed to get along to either of the two local stands at the start of the A14 consultation. the purpose of this post is to share with you the discussions the Parish Council had with the contractors when the came out to meet us on the 3rd April.

If you've managed to pick up the brochure you'll have noticed that the Bar Hill junction resembles this;


The contractors brought a slightly updated map to our meeting and I managed to take a copy (excuse the annotations, some are ours and some where there's);


As you'll notice from one of the annotations a concern was expressed by Parish Councillors in relation to the design of the junction. It was thought that by several people (including me) that a double-roundabout might be a better model for this junction (based on the A428 Hardwick/ Dry Drayton junction) in that a potentially dangerous right-turn would be removed.

I have expressed concerns previously about the traffic modelling the County is using and I'm hoping to get my hands on the raw data from the monitoring boxes that were installed on the North/ South junctions to the A14. My concern is that, in the design above, the talk is of reducing the average journey time to navigate the junction - the problem is that I don't think the "average" is a good model for traffic, unless those working it out have been very careful (and I haven't seen their working out!) there is a real risk that the junction could be notably worse at peak times, but better at off-peak and this could lead to a misleading average. There is also the possibility of increased traffic from Northstowe will overload the junction at peak times.

If you look at differences between the two maps you'll notice that the cycleway has been added, following a very windy route, to join the local road to a new bridge (or tunnel, this wasn't quite clear, probably a bridge). Councillors, myself included, were very unhappy that the cyclist from Cambridge has to cross over the local road to get to Bar Hill. We asked them to look at that again.

After a bit of comparison during the meeting (thanks to Google Earth!) we eventually were able to show that the existing A14 bridge has been removed in this new model. The new bridges are located to the west of the existing one (which means, if nothing else, less disruption during the building works). It's a shame the original bridge can't be re-used (if only as a cycle bridge) but it's just not in the right place and, apparently, there are question marks about it's long-term structure after they've widened the road underneath it.

The previous plan show'd an access road from the A14 into the village to serve the hotel/ petrol station - that's gone (everyone was quite relieved by that!), moving the junction to the west will probably also reduce the noise in the village (although of course the A14 being closed is less than ideal).

I've made the brochure available (via Google Drive) via this shortlink, please feel free to pass it on;

http://goo.gl/FmPhvS

The Bar Hill junction is on Page 54.

If you have a view on this proposal you can either contact me, one of the other Parish Councillors, or make a representation yourself.