Mike Sargeant spoke at the Greater Cambridge City Deal Assembly asking the following questions:
I want to ask about the lack of confidence in the consultation and particularly about how the valid concerns, that people have, is narrowing the discussions and taking it away from coming up with alternative ideas.
You say the Milton Road scheme is subject to a consultation, but residents tell me “It is a general concern that the proposals in the Draft Options Report will be “railroaded through” in the limited time afforded for public consultation and that such consultation will in any case be a sham because decisions have already been made.” As examples ‘Do Something’ and ‘Do Maximum’ options both have the same road closures and prohibited turns so it feels as if there is no choice.
How can the City Deal reassure me, and residents, that you will listen to their ideas and concerns and that this consultation is meaningful?
Coming to perhaps the biggest issue for Milton Road, many people in and near to Milton Road are up in arms because of the proposed loss of trees and grass verges. They are worried that Milton Road would become an urban motorway with hard surfacing from private boundary to private boundary punctuated only by white lines, curb stones, bus stops and other street furniture. That would be an ugly prospect for what is also a residential area.
The issue of trees was raised at the first Assembly meeting. Why didn’t the options talk about how this could be addressed instead of just focussing on tarmac and saying that up to 83% of the trees could be lost or that many trees were low value? This was like a red rag to a bull. Trees and verges and the streetscene are very important to Milton Road and cannot be an afterthought. So again, how can the City Deal reassure me and other residents that keeping a green residential character to Milton Road is a priority? Didn’t you ought to send out a supplementary leaflet for the consultation addressing this?