Addenbrooke’s roundabout – an update of sorts

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This is probably the most pathetic post I’ve ever put on this site, but I have to write something about what’s going on at the Addenbrooke’s roundabout, even though I don’t understand it at all. Perhaps this might act as a catalyst for somebody to step up and explain …if anybody truly does understand what’s happening.

All residents could be fully briefed on what was happening in these sorts of developments if the council would only update us, in plain English, perhaps through a blog explaining what’s going on. I’ve always found it unacceptable that they choose not to do so. Until that day, we have to try to work out what’s happening ourselves.

Anything to do with Addenbrooke’s roundabout is not trivial. It handles a massive amount of traffic, yet has to cater for some of the most vulnerable members of society, as well as some of the most urgent vehicle movements. It needs to be fit for a vital purpose.

What’s going on?

Now, from what I can make out, there was a significant redevelopment of the roundabout ordered as part of the expansion of the site. Despite its importance, the plan went largely un-noticed by the public – yet another example of the abysmal quality of communication offered by the council. As has been widely reported, even local councillors claimed not to know what was going on. An honourable exception is Councillor Tim Moore, who appears to have spent a huge amount of time on the issue, talking to residents, expressing concerns and proposing new ideas. Somehow, enough concerns had been raised by a few weeks ago that a second plan was proposed. At least this time, more people seemed to have been made aware of it, although the explanations and visualisations on offer are still appalling. There was a consultation event, but many people say they weren’t aware of that.

Now, if I’ve got this right (and I’m really not sure that I have), the development will be discussed at a council planning committee meeting on 1 April. It is to be hoped that the councillors concerned understand what’s going on. I have been told (but I can’t find the information myself), that public comments are being accepted until 23 March. Again, I’d appreciate confirmation of that.

An unstructured mess

What is for certain is that many people seem concerned that even the revised plans have major failings, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists heading to the hospital. I can direct you to the council’s public documentation website, although as ever, it’s just an unstructured mess of paperwork which would take anyone the patience of a saint to wade through. This is the link to the documents page, although I know from past experience that the IT architecture of the site is strange enough that these direct links are unpredictable. If you have problems, go to the home page and copy + paste 14/1691/S73 into the box. Click “search” and then “documents”.

I’d start at the bottom, if I were you, because much of the stuff at the top is no longer current. You’ll see some civil engineering plans, which are hard to visualise, and some rather folorn images of how the crossings might look, as well as a few residents’ comments sent in by email and post. Those comments sent in through the website can be found under the “comments” tab at the top of the page.

I’m sorry I can’t illuminate you on the situation, what’s proposed, or its advantages or failings. Please join in the discussion below. Especially if you know things that the rest of us don’t.

3 Replies to “Addenbrooke’s roundabout – an update of sorts”

  1. You are correct that this is some sort of planning-gain agreement due to developments on the hospital site. It affects two roundabouts – the ones at either end of Fendon Rd – ie junctions with Hills Rd (at Addies) and Queen-Ediths/Long Rd.

    The changes are essentially to add more controlled pedestrian crossings at Addies (and largely pointles ASLs for circulating bikes), and to make the islands bigger on Fendon Rd, which will probably help peds, but will make the squeezing of bikes by cars at the entrances worse.

  2. On the 19 February I wrote an e-mail to John Evans that he never answered:

    Dear Mr.Evans

    I am at a loss. I understand that you are planning to modify the above mentioned roundabouts, the reason being not to increase the vehicle capacity. Not too long ago I received a copy of a planning application to develop Addenbrookes site with a hotel among other things. I can not understand in face of these proposals how are you going to avoid the increase of vehicles in this area. I have seen the change of the Mowbray Rd roundabout which after the modification has become a bottle neck at rush hours. I cannot imagine what will be Hills Rd.-Fendon Rd roundabout if the modification will be similar to that made in the Mowbray Rd. roundabout. Could you be so kind to explain the logic to me?

  3. UPDATE Councillor Tim Moore, who has been working furiously on this development proposal, reports that: “The final version of the plan has conceded virtually all my points, and been accepted by Highways too.”

    He goes on to say: “Each road entering the the Hills/Fendon Rd roundabout now has a pedestrian crossing (with the Fendon Road one a little away from the junction for safety reasons). Other pedestrian lights are included too on the Addenbrooke’s access road.

    “The reality of cyclists avoiding the cycle lane, and using the pavement, has been acknowledged and all relevant pavements will become dual use (a mixed blessing in that older pedestrians won’t like it, but cyclists will feel safer, encouraging more to cycle whilst reducing car-cycle collisions).

    “Cyclist crush hazard railings are going. The wishbone path through the roundabout centre has been dropped. Cycle provision has been reinstated, and improved (still not ideal, but no retrograde steps).

    “The fact that the roundabout is part of several important routes has been accepted. Once the remaining elements have been planned together they will be considered once again by the County Council and approved together.”

    This all sounds positive to me, and thanks to Councillor Moore for his efforts.

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