In 2011 CPRA celebrated its 10th anniversary and it was a great opportunity to reflect on its origins, achievements and to look at some current and future challenges- here’s to the next ten years of standing up for neighbourhood concerns!
It all began when the County Council announced a plan to put a Taxi Rank in Emmanuel road; this proposal as you can imagine received strong opposition – a petition was signed by 156 residents and the plan was dropped.
Then the suggestion of a guided bus coming into the centre of Cambridge meant that Drummer St bus station needed expansion.
On 2nd of January 2002 there was a headline in the Cambridge weekly news ‘PLANS FOR CHRIST’S PIECES BUS STATION’ one idea put forward by the experts brought in to look at ways of expanding Drummer St was to build a new bigger terminus on Christ’s Pieces; needless to say that didn’t go down well with the residents. CPRA commissioned a very thorough well-researched report setting out THE MAIN POINTS OF OBJECTION to the project; the report was written jointly by the founding members of CPRA with the help of a research student. There was such hostility from the general public to the whole project that a public enquiry into the GUIDED BUS project was set up by the County Council. At a very charged meeting Anthony Bowen a current member of our CPRA committee eloquently read the main points of objection to the report; but needless to say the lawyers and others took no notice – it seems to have been a foregone conclusion that Cambridge would have a guided bus; all advice was ignored.
It now seems that the guided bus may be up and running by August 2011, but without a bus station on Christ’s Pieces – thanks in no small part to the efforts of CPRA, with the full backing of our Councillors.
What else has CPRA been involved in over the last 10 years?
We have managed to persuade the Council to revamp the childrens’ playground in Christ’s Pieces; replace outdated equipment and to have the shrubbery area surrounding the playground cut back, making the playground more visible and safer for children and parents.
We have managed to rid Christ’s Pieces of a lot of drug dealing by campaigning for security cameras and the establishment of a dispersal order which is still in force today.
Crime and anti-social behaviour- A new police team has been created to crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour in the centre of Cambridge, particularly cycle theft, retail crime and anti-social behaviour and violence. This is indeed good news for Kite residents. Eight police officers and six police community support officers, headed by a sergeant, will be based at Parkside Police Station and will also crack down on night-crime hotspots particularly on Friday and Saturday night. Also a City Central neighbourhood policing Team has been introduced to supplement the city’s four existing local teams.
New simple straightforward street signs are about to come to our streets soon, following a successful trial in Mill Road. Instead of having a sign showing a motorbike halfway up a lamp post we will have a simple sign saying ‘no entry except cycle’ this has to be an improvement.