Home‎ > ‎Little Shelford news‎ > ‎

Junction changes feedback

Little Shelford Parish Council is exploring the possibility of changing the priorities for the
 Whittlesford Road/ Church Street/ Bridge Lane junction.

The views of villagers were sought in the October 2017 newsletter. Feedback to the proposals can be read below: 

Response 1 – resident in Whittlesford Rd

I don't think it's possible to make it perfect, but changing the priority as planned (so that from the Whittlesford Road you have to give way) makes some sense.

However this will have the effect of traffic moving a lot faster round this junction and immediately past the junction (in both directions) the road has a blind corner with a narrow pavement, so there will likely be some pedestrian accidents, especially during the school run.

Maybe you could paint 'SLOW' on the road towards the end of Bridge Lane? or extend the 20 zone round the corner?

Can't see any better place for the traffic island/ crossing, as the road is widest there.

FWIW i've seen cyclists falling over on that corner without assistance from other traffic, they misjudge the sharpness of the corner sometimes.

Response 2 – resident in Courtyards

My late husband campaigned for many years to have the junction made safer and a roundabout was considered; however the Council at the time took the view that as no-one had been killed nothing need be done!!

Response 3 – resident in Courtyards

As a Courtyards resident who frequently walks and cycles around the Shelfords, and occasionally drives through, I'd like to voice my concern at the proposal to change the priorities at the Whittlesford Rd., Church Street, Bridge Lane junction.

Although I am very sorry about the cyclist who was injured, we need to be very careful about encouraging drivers and cyclists to come round the corner from Church St. into Bridge Lane without, at least, being required to slow down.

If you drive or cycle that way you will know that you can't see round the bend in the road because of the wall on your left hand side, and drivers already come round there quickly. If there is any problem at all - perhaps a driver coming the other way in a large vehicle or a cyclist from Great Shelford lining up to turn right into Church St., there is an even greater chance of an accident.

And if you stand and watch the small folk from the primary school coming along the pavement around that corner, you'll see that - first and foremost - EVERYONE needs to SLOW DOWN.

They say that 'single cases make bad law' and I really urge members of the Parish Council to go and stand out on the pavement at busy times of day and observe carefully what is happening before any decisions about changing the priorities.

Further to my previous email and with all due respect for modern technology, what really slows drivers down is the kind of traffic calming measures that we see in Newton (bumps) or (better) in the middle of Cherry Hinton where there is a roundabout on a raised area.

The faster that drivers travel round the corner from Church Street into Bridge Lane, the faster they are going to travel past people - especially small people - on foot or scooter.

I think that you need to slow vehicles down in all directions.

Response 4 – resident in Church St

I'm responding to requests for comments about the Whittlesford Road / Church St junction.

I've always thought that the priority should be from Bridge St into Church St, as it is a blind corner into Whittlesford Road and oncoming traffic is impossible to see from Bridge St.

I think the current priority is dangerous, even more so when the garden of the corner house has overgrown shrubs.

Response 5 - resident in Church St

The corner of Church Street to Bridge Street should definitely have a change of priorities there as it is very hard to see round to Whittlesford road. I am surprised there haven’t been more accidents, especially when the garden on the corner is overgrown (please see my previous correspondence on this matter!) I hope it can be done soon.

Response 6 - resident in London Rd. Harston

I think the suggestion of a change to priorities is a good idea. Traffic from whittlesford should give way because traffic, including cyclists, turning from bridge street into church street cannot be seen round the corner.

Response 7 – Sawston resident

I read, via the Stapleford email newsletter and your website, about proposed changes to the Whittlesford Road/Church Street/Bridge Lane junction.

I live in Sawston, and often cycle from Bridge Lane and into Church Street. I just wanted to let you know that I think your suggestion for changing the priorities is a good idea and would have my support. As the junction stands, I feel very nervous about turning from Bridge Lane into Church Street - I think it's sensible to slow right down and stop on the corner before turning into Church Street, and I'm always frightened that the people driving cars behind me will not realise that I've stopped on my bike. People drive their cars so fast from Shelford School along Bridge Lane towards that corner, it's a shame they don't slow down and look at what a beautiful area it is.

Response 8 - resident in Bridge Lane

Changing the priorities at that junction is a crazy idea. (1) It violates the principle that traffic gives way to the car or bicycle on its right hand (2) Through traffic coming along Church Street already hurtles around that corner and needs no incentive to further treat it as a racetrack. Crossing Bridge Lane on foot is difficult enough as it is. Perhaps clearer GIVE WAY signage is necessary. It would of course be much preferable if the junction were restored to the previous obvious T-junction but that is obviously too much to hope for.

Response 9 - resident in Bridge Lane

This junction is inherently dangerous, mainly because car users DRIVE TOO FAST!!

Pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders are particularly vulnerable, even when they have right of way.

A mini roundabout, which could be accommodated in the space available, would solve problems with visibility, and might help to slow drivers to a reasonable speed.

Response 10 - resident in Whittlesford Rd

In view of the tight timetable for responses, I am writing to provide the Parish Council with our initial view.

-We do not believe that such a change would improve safety at the junction and we would object strongly to any proposal to alter the priority to favour traffic turning right from Bridge Lane into Church Street.

- The junction could be made safer by improving the current visibility of road signage and better road markings to alert drivers to road priority.

- Sight lines from Whittlesford Road into Bridge Lane are equally as poor as those from the other direction and this forces all traffic at the junction to proceed more slowly – switching priority will adversely affect this.

- Pedestrians crossing from one side of Church Street to the other (near the bench/noticeboard) will be adversely affected by the unimpeded traffic from Bridge Lane.

- Traffic approaching from Bridge Lane then taking the sharp corner into Church Street (followed by the second bend by the Village Green / the church) will be able to travel more quickly than at present and accidents are more likely to arise as a result of vehicles having to deal with two sharp bends in quick succession.

- At present, traffic from Church Street into Bridge Lane often approaches the junction at speed and frequently does not completely stop at the junction. By removing the requirement to give way to traffic from Whittlesford Road, traffic from Church Street will be able to travel even more quickly and this will make the bend from Church Street to Bridge Street more dangerous.

Response 11 – resident in Courtyards

I was interested to read about the suggestions for this junction, which I think may be quite difficult to sort out. My parents moved to Little Shelford in 1963 and I have either lived here (as I do now) or been aware of the developments in the Shelfords since then.

Living in Courtyards off the Whittlesford Road and either driving or walking to Gt Shelford frequently I have seen the great change in traffic along the roads in question. Since it has become part of a route from the A10 at Harston to Cherry Hinton and back, the amount of vehicles passing through that are not local has rocketed and many drivers have no idea of the traffic problems in the Shelfords and also many do not care.

I think that the idea of making Whittlesford Road traffic stop at the junction may work, but you will also need to have some calming system (maybe the bumps) for both roads. If you watch how some coming from Church St barely slow down when turning into Bridge Lane and as a pedestrian try to cross the junction you will see what I mean.

I believe that the best for both Shelfords is to start by having a 20 mph limit throughout, just like Cherry Hinton. This seems to be working there by at least making most people slow down. Then maybe some bumps like Duxford would help. Is it not possible to get the corner house owners to reduce the low wall?

Sadly in England we have so many laws etc, but do not enforce most, so one can only hope that some measures to at least reduce the speed may help to save accidents and even lives. Maybe you should try to involve Great Shelford Council when looking at measures to slow traffic on Bridge Lane towards the School. When walking to the Library I am often amazed at the speed that some vehicles go over the little bridges and around the bends

I wish you success in your endeavours.

Response 12 – resident in Courtyards

We read of possible changes to the priority at the Whittlesford Rd / Church St / Bridge Ln junction in the monthly newsletter, and felt compelled to write down our thoughts. For context: We live in Courtyards, our children (5 and 7 yrs old) attend Shelford School, and we all walk, cycle and/or drive across the junction at least twice daily on our ways to and from school / work / Gt Shelford / Newton.

We have two serious concerns with the plan to allow straight-through traffic between Bridge St and Church St.

1. Walking across Church St at the junction on the way to and from school (from Whittlesford Rd down Bridge St and back): At the moment, it is often only because traffic coming up Bridge St and coming up Church St has to stop at the junction that we get a chance to cross safely - we would be very concerned about significantly increased danger for pedestrians at the altered junction. Drivers having no intention to stop (because they know that traffic coming down Whittlesford Rd has to give way to them) will be moving at higher speed, and there is little enough visibility for them or for pedestrians along either road when crossing as it is. The island on Church Street offers some protection but we suspect that it would feel considerably more exposed were traffic to be flowing rapidly past it.

2. Driving or cycling down Whittlesford Rd with the intention of turning right down Bridge St offers even poorer visibility of traffic coming up Bridge St than the stated problem of poor visibility for drivers coming up Bridge St turning left up Whittlesford Rd. If the priority is changed so that traffic coming down Whittlesford Rd has to stop before turning right, those drivers and cyclists will have very little time to see what's coming up Bridge St - at increased speed compared to that at present as reasoned above - before having to dive out in hope that nothing is too close.

Having thought this over for some time, we believe that the safest approach would be for no traffic to have a straight through priority. In short, a (mini) roundabout. It is not clear whether there is sufficient room for one, but we believe that any other approach leaves an open door for even more - and higher speed - accidents.

We finish by urging the Parish Council to not request the proposed change in priority, on grounds of significantly increased risks of serious harm to us, to our children, and to our friends and neighbours.

Many thanks for the chance to contribute to this consultation - please do let us know if anything in the above is unclear.

Response 13 – Church St resident

I’m emailing following the recent request for comments on potentially changing the priorities and the Church St/ Whittlesofrd Road Junction. We live just off the junction and consequently use it regularly, going in both directions.

I’m very glad the parish council are looking at ways to make this dangerous junction safer. I can see it is a difficult problem to solve and am torn as to whether the proposed changes would help, however I do think they are likely to increase the speed of traffic through the village. Bridge Lane and it’s continuation into Great Shelford are already difficult roads for cyclists and given the number of village families who use them to cycle to school this has to be of concern.

There will also be issues with traffic coming from Church St onto Bridge Lane at speed and unable to see the road in Bridge lane around the left hand corner. There are frequently cyclists using that route and cars overtaking them. Changing the priorities is inevitably going to cause confusion amongst local road users, even if well signposted.

Is there enough space for a small roundabout at the junction?

Thanks for asking for and taking views into account, I hope you manage to get to a satisfactory conclusion