Potential improvements to School Hill

The St Andrew’s Centre, with the support of the Parish Council, applied f0r funding under the County Council’s Local Highway Improvements Programme for 2014/15 to improve the School Hill junction. This programme provides funding of up to £10,000 for local projects as long as there is also a local contribution of at least 10%.

The application has been successful and it will now be necessary to:

  1. secure additional funding to enable the project to go ahead; and
  2. consult with the community to ensure that it it does have broad and popular support.

Please note that the project will not go ahead until both of these actions have been completed.

A copy of the presentation given to the Minor Highways Panel and which characterises the project is available below.


23 comments on “Potential improvements to School Hill

  1. (Slide 8) There might be no complaints about loss of parking because the current arrangement on School Hill is only temporary – people expected to get those spaces back once the work is finished. Also there is less demand for parking at the moment while the Church Halls are closed.

    • Perhaps, but seeing as the StAC workmen are parking multiple vans and cars on Park Lane there are more cars parked then there ever were before. The current road parking on Park Lane just on the north of the triangle is not adequate and would be ill-advisable if these changes went ahead.

  2. This is ill thought out and shows a complete lack of understanding of the traffic flow out of Park Lane onto Winders Lane, heading into and through the village.

    There are significant tailbacks along Park Lane in the mornings to the junction at School Hill which will increase significantly if this goes ahead.

    Park Lane (like it or not) is used by residents of Oakington, Westick, Girton, etc to get onto the A14 or to get into Cambridge and is used even more heavily when there is a hold up on the A14

    The right turn from School Hill to Winders Lane is quite difficult at the best of times and lacks visibility. Also how are large vehicles going to manage this?

    You need to consider a pedestrian crossing at this point.

    Also why so much concern about the width of pavement over the Brook when you can barely walk around the sharp bend at the top of Park Lane. Clearly you councillors hardly ever walk this route.

    let’s have an open meeting about this.

    • I think this Concerned Resident is mostly right and we certainly need some discussion about this.

      The proposed single junction from Park Lane onto Windmill Lane requires more thought. It is a sensible solution, but presently inadequate due to parked cars and poor visibility.

      The proposed pedestrian crossings seem slightly weak – nothing from the North side of Park Lane into the village in any direction.

      It’s a difficult location that’s very tight on space, and I’m really pleased to see some improvements proposed as I live within the photoed area and experience the junction from all directions by all means of transport.

  3. I think this is looking really good. I’ve found it really hard to follow the concerned resident’s comments above but from what I understand, I don’t agree with much of it.

    I find this is a dangerous junction as a driver and extremely dangerous as a cyclist or pedestrian or pushing a buggy. I can see how the changes will improve safety and flow of all modes of transport. The provision of more cycle racks off sets the need for car parking and highlights that the StAC is encouraging sustainable, carbon neutral transport. It sounds like the PC are having an open consultation at which the village can understand the junction clearly and perhaps help to tweek the design.

  4. On a related note I hope everyone will enjoy the daffs that should soon be emerging on this triangle of grass…

  5. I agree with the previous posting: the visibility turning from School Hill onto Windmill Lane is very poor. This would almost certainly slow the traffic from Park Lane heading into village in the morning, which is a concern. Are there going to be double yellow lines outside 16 & 18 School Hill?

    As a resident of School Hill, I would urge the council to carry out a trial of any intended changes to monitor the effect on pedestrian safety and traffic flow, followed by an open meeting to discuss the results.

      • Thanks, David. As a resident, how would I put in a request to consider a pedestrian crossing from the North side of School Hill (in front of no.s 16 & 18) to the central triangle? If the traffic flow is increased along this piece of road (by directing all incoming traffic this way), it will make it difficult for my children to cross the road, which they do on the way to school. However, with a crossing from here to the triangle, and from the triangle to the bridge over the brook, that would make the journey much easier. This applies to all pedestrians accessing the high street from the North West side of the village (from Cottenham road, down Bell HIll, and along Park Lane to School Hill), as stated by others above. Many people walk past our house!

        The only other comment I can make is that I’m not sure where people using the wonderful new facilities at the St Andrews Centre are going to park (assuming they can’t park on this junction any more). It will be difficult for people with disabilities, the elderly and people with young children. However, I’m very much in support of calming the traffic for pedestrians and cyclists.

  6. I think these proposed changes to improve the streetscape and increase space for community activities outside of StAC are great, and I am supportive, as someone who lives just off Park Lane. I do find this junction dangerous as a driver, cyclist and pedestrian.

    At morning rush hour there is a queue all the way from Park Lane to the traffic lights at the green and I do not see that changing a straight-across junction to a 90deg turn in the middle of this queue would make any difference to the length of the queue. In fact, currently vans driving from Park Lane towards the green tend to go straight and then turn right into Windmill Lane already, as this means they don’t need to look back over their shoulders to exit the junction adjacent to StAC.

    The concept of Shared Space outside of StAC envisages one-way NW-bound traffic, pedestrians and other users intermingling between StAC and the ‘triangle of grass’. I think this is a flawed concept. It’s worth noting that Shared Space is not a particular success in NL, because traffic tends not to yield to pedestrians in 100% of cases. Shared Space is not welcomed by the Guide Dogs association as it has issues with disabled accessibility. It’s worth reviewing this experience:


    I would encourage the designers to think about how traffic can be slowed when travelling NW past StAC into Park Lane. Currently traffic takes the left fork at speed, and then slows at the last minute for the corner. If this area will be shared space traffic really needs to slow down way earlier, and this will only be achieved through good road design, perhaps by reducing widths, adiusing corners, or installing planters and street furniture on entry to the shared space. Closing the street outside of StAC and routing all traffic to the N of the triangle of grass would be much simpler, avoid much of the conflict between modes, and should be considered and trialled.

    I’d agree with Kate that a crossing from the N side of School Hill should be provided.

    • Chris Brown says: “Closing the street outside of StAC and routing all traffic to the N of the triangle of grass would be much simpler, avoid much of the conflict between modes, and should be considered and trialed.”

      ^ This seems like a particularly sensible idea.

  7. I would not be happy to lose parking on School Hill as I live at no 7 and there are others in my household as well that need parking spaces. As do no 5 School Hill. Also when we have visitors where are they to park?? Losing the parking spaces on the road would be a big inconvenience as it has been over the months of refurbishment at the village hall. Surely we should get designated parking spaces on the road for residents use. Those dropping off and picking up at the village hall should have parking elsewhere for this. As we live on School Hill we should get rights to parking outside our own homes.
    I am very concerned there will be no more parking on School Hill and next to the Green. I do not agree with taking parking away from residents.

  8. The tree on the triangle is in the way. There, I’ve said it.
    A bigger job maybe, but take out the tree and its a fairly big canvas.

  9. 1) How does a large vehicle (truck) take a right turn from School Hill on to Windmill Lane?

    2) There is a bus stop on the triangle which means no visibility to the right when bus stopped.

    3) Causing more hold ups coming out of Park Lane onto Windmill Lane will means drivers will use “rat runs” – eg Bell Hill and Park ave, Somerset rd and Home Close onto the High St.

  10. I would like to say that I support the proposals. They will create an enjoyable space within the village and enable the terrace outside the new St Andrews centre to become a very pleasant place for people to meet. This will enhance our community. As an added bonus Park Lane might become a less attractive rat run. I live on Park Lane and support any measures to reduce car traffic both here and in the village in general, whilst supporting any measure to improve life for pedestrians and cyclists. I dont agree that we should chop down the tree.

    • Suzanne – How can you call Park Lane a “rat run”, it is a major route from Histon to Oakington/Girton/Westwick and the A14 in both directions. Slowing down traffic at the junction will only cause tailbacks along Park Lane (outside your house) and “rat runs” onto side roads off Park Lane (which are not major routes).

      If you buy a house on a main road you have to expect traffic, but you just hope it flows.

  11. Widening the Windmill lane footpath at the bridge over the brook will be a big help to residents of Windmill Grange – many of whom use buggies or walking frames to get to the shops.

  12. I think that widening the footpaths over the Brook on Windmill Lane and on the corner in to Park Lane is an absolute must. Both of these areas are very difficult to negotiate for people with pushchairs or electric buggies. Widening the path outside the Centre will also serve to make the corner in to Park Lane better for cars.
    The possibility of making it one way outside the Centre seems a good idea.
    The suggestion of a third pedestrian crossing on the north side of the triangle does seem incredibly sensible.

  13. Seems a good idea to enhance the potential for community use of the new centre, and cafe particularly. Provision for some resident’s parking is desirable, plus a disabled parking space? It is important that there is a safe right turn from park-lane, but I think the main peak-time hold ups would be caused further down at the green, rather than at this junction. So, generally, seems an appealing proposal.

  14. I’m a little late to this, but in general I think this would be an improvement. One way systems can have the effect of speeding up traffic, horizontal (chicane) traffic calming to the juntion of the School Hill and Park Lane at the StAC would be effective and give the opportunity for some street tree planting to further enhance the aesthetics of the new space and break up traffic forward sight lines.

    The congestion is a problem for about an hour in the morning, 5 days a week and is a much wider Cambridge / Cambs issue. I would say on balance this will enhance a key, new community facility and improve life for local residents generally and it should not be dictated by rush hour politics.

    For context, I live in one of the roads off Park Avenue.

    • Another poorly thought out response. The junction is for enabling traffic to move from one road to another. If the priority becomes just aesthetics, then we have a major problem. The outlook from the new St Andrews cafe should have been considered before the build not after.

      Why not just change the layout completely. Do we need the triangle of grass and 2 roads connecting Park Lane to School Hill? Just remove the road passing by the centre and merge pavement with the green triangle.Then widen the road on other side of the triangle and turn it into a proper T junction.

      • Another poorly thought out response? Thats quite offensive, not to mention arrogant. My comments are made in response to the designs and budgets as presented, the key word here is budget.

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