07:42 Tuesday 15th March 2016
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
DOTTY MCLEOD: There are claims that drivers using a Cambridge Park and Ride site as a shortcut are holding up buses and passengers leaving it. The Trumpington site sits just off Hauxton Road, just off the M11, on one of the main busy approaches into Cambridge. And we’ve seen drivers trying to avoid heavy congestion on Hauxton Road by cutting through the adjoining Park and Ride site, causing bigger queues. Our reporter Julia Greenaway has been speaking to drivers caught up there. The first said it was a real pain.
DRIVER ONE: Yes it is, because obviously they’re misusing you know it’s purpose you know.
JULIA GREENAWAY: And do you .. is it .. are you aware that people are using it as a cut-through?
DRIVER ONE: Oh yes. Absolutely. You see them. You see them, you know, come straight in and you know exit without having you know need to drop off anyone or do anything here. Yes.
JULIA GREENAWAY: And a real issue for you. How long do you think you’re going to be stuck here for?
DRIVER ONE: Well looking by the traffic at the moment, probably about another twenty minutes or something. So not good.
JULIA GREENAWAY: People are using the Park and Ride as a cut-though?
DRIVER TWO: (LAUGHS) .. because I’m going to miss my plane, but yes. Yes. Because the traffic is so awful. And particularly since they’ve built all this stuff around Trumpington, it’s made it much worse.
JULIA GREENAWAY: Are you using it as a cut-through?
DRIVER TWO: We are. Yes. Yes.
JULIA GREENAWAY: And is it working do you think?
DRIVER TWO: Not this morning. No. (LAUGHS) Mostly it does though.
JULIA GREENAWAY: There’s cars. There’s loads of cars.
DRIVER TWO: It’s not normally like this.
DRIVER THREE: Not a cut-through, because I’m just .. I drop my children off at the school buses.
JULIA GREENAWAY: Yes.
DRIVER THREE: So I know a lot of people do, and that’s why I’m sitting here. Some mornings it’s fine. Some like today it’s a complete snarl-up.
JULIA GREENAWAY: Yes as you can like you can just see cars queueing for ages. How long do you reckon you might be sitting here for?
DRIVER THREE: Oh God. I don’t know. Well it’s foggy, but I don’t know, another ten minutes probably?
DOTTY MCLEOD: Well Julia our Park and Ride correspondent this morning is at Trumpington now with one member of the community very worried about this. Hi there Julia.
JULIA GREENAWAY: Hi. I like that new title you’ve come up with for me. Very good. Yes I’m with Charlie Nightingale. So Charlie is the district councillor for Shelford. We’ve been standing here at the Park and Ride for about what twenty minutes now Charlie? The queues aren’t so bad this morning actually, not compared to how they were a few days ago. But we’ve seen loads of cars coming in and just driving straight in and straight out haven’t we?
CHARLIE NIGHTINGALE: They go round there fast as well. I can’t believe how fast they go round the car park.
JULIA GREENAWAY: It’s obvious they’re coming straight in to avoid the traffic on the main road and straight out again. You’re aware of this being an issue already aren’t you Charlie?
CHARLIE NIGHTINGALE: Yes well last July In convened a meeting just up the road here with the MP and the manager from Waitrose and other councillors, to try and do something about the gridlock in Trumpington. But at the present time, well for the last five months I’ve been trying to back to the officers to have a meeting, and they ignore us at the moment.
JULIA GREENAWAY: Why are people having to cut through the Park and Ride?
CHARLIE NIGHTINGALE: Well because the congestion on Trumpington Road. Between here and Cambridge there’s twelve sets of traffic lights, and there’s also on-street parking which shouldn’t be allowed. I mean this is the only place in the county I know of where there’s parking in a bus lane. It’s allowed officially and it’s stupid.
JULIA GREENAWAY: Congestion is just your main worry about Trumpington then? And people I guess you’ll say don’t have a choice but to cut through the Park and Ride site here.
CHARLIE NIGHTINGALE: You see we’ve got the Babraham Science Park and Wellcome Trust being redeveloped. All that traffic has to come through this direction, through Shelford into Trumpington, to get to Cambridge.
JULIA GREENAWAY: So what’s the answer then? What’s the solution to stop people having to do things like cutting through the Park and Ride and stopping them queueing for so long?
CHARLIE NIGHTINGALE: We need more work done on the Trumpington Road area and this area here, from money from the City Deal. That’s what we need. More money spent in this area.
JULIA GREENAWAY: And in terms of stopping people cutting through the Park and Ride, what do you reckon?
CHARLIE NIGHTINGALE: Well bollards or something. (LAUGHS)
JULIA GREENAWAY: You said you were aware of this being a problem, a particular problem here.
CHARLIE NIGHTINGALE: It’s been a problem ever since this Park and Ride opened. I don’t really know what you can do safely, unless you restrict them going through, stopping them for a time to make it difficult. It’s a difficult one to handle.
JULIA GREENAWAY: It is a bit, because I’m not sure what the powers are that people have here, the people, the staff that own the site.
CHARLIE NIGHTINGALE: If you restrict it too much you stop people dropping people off to use the Guided Bus.
JULIA GREENAWAY: Exactly. And I believe Dotty you’ve got a statement from the County Council there.
DOTTY MCLEOD: (EATING) Yes we certainly do Julia. Thank you very much. That was Julia Greenaway reporting from Trumpington Park and Ride. The County Council say this:
We are aware that a minority of drivers use the Park and Ride at Trumpington in an attempt to avoid congestion on Hauxton Road. While this isn’t a regular problem, we would encourage drivers to stick to the main road, as often their efforts to take a short cut in fact cause further delays for themselves and other users trying to leave the site.