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I share the view that traffic through Coton has increased in speed and number over recent years (see Coton Community News June-July 2010) and I’m grateful to those people who have already come forward to describe the hot spots they have identified in the village.   Please let me know of any concerns you have on traffic in Coton, either through this website, or through the Parish clerk.

If you have suggestions of what we could do to improve road safety, please let me know.  Granchester has recently installled electronic vehicle-activated signs (pictured).  What do you think of these?  Mirrors at blind corners?  Speed humps?  Chicanes? More obvious signage at the entrances to the village?  A pedestrian crossing over Brook Lane? A pavement on the Recreation Ground side of Brook Lane? All thes have been suggested when I’ve asked people around the village.

Some options are summarised at http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport/trafficmanagement/policy/speed_reduction_measures.htm.

On the other hand, if you feel there are no particular problems, please also give your view. It’s important that the Council hears from as many people as possible.

Sara Godward

20 Comments

  1. As far as I can see Coton has 4 MAJOR traffice rporblems which should be resolved as a matter of some urgency.

    1. Speed through the village is unacceptable.

    2. Any problems on the A14/M11 result in the village becoming a ‘rat-run’. Any emergency vehicles that may need access to the village during these times would find accessability impossible. Residents are unable to enter or leave their properties. Danger to pedestrians on these occasions is even worse.

    3. Madingly Road junction exceedingly dangerous and over the years has got worse with increased volume of traffic.

    4. The corner of High St/Cambridge Road is a nightmare. The corner is taken at excessive speeds – there is very pooor visibility – drivers make no allowance for any vehicles that may be parked/stopped on the High Street eg schoool bus and local bus – drivers make no allowance for vehicles leaving driveways which are onn the High St.

    Solutions:
    YES to flashing speed signs – all other villages in the area have these.
    YES to chicanes at either end of the village to slow vehicles.
    YES to safer crossing by the recreation ground.
    YES to perhaps a mini roundabout being put at High St/Cambridge Road junction.
    YES to roundabout or traffice lights at Madingly Road Junction.
    NO to any form of speed bumps in the village – we have huge, heavy farm vehicles continually travelling through and this would result in damage to the foundations of properties on either side of the road due to excessive vibration – plus the noise from vehicles continually speeding up and slowing down – One only has to consider the situation in Caldecote to see this just does not work!!

    If you would like to further discuss any of these points then please do contact me.
    Regards
    Val Smethers 01954 – 212352

  2. James Fox says:

    Does anyone know of a list of reports of traffic accidents in the village over the last, say, 5 years? It might be interesting to post here.

    As a cyclist in Coton, I am appalled at the number of drivers who overtake cyclists dangerously. Most do drive sensibly but I have frequently been put in danger by idiot motorists overtaking me close to the High St/Cambridge Rd junction and on the blind corners near The Plough. I suspect most of the latter have no connection with Coton.

    Saying that, I am also appalled at the dangerous cycling of many of the irresponsible cyclists in the local area and would support e.g. an increase in on the spot fines for those not sporting lights during times of darkness.

    The poor road quality and pot holes on the sides of the Coton roads are another danger to cyclists who have to decide to pursue a seemingly erratic path to avoid these or to maintain a steady line well away from the curb.

  3. sara says:

    I’m bothered about the High Street/Cambridge Road junction, too. For motorists as well as cyclists and slower pedestrians. Someone has proposed changing the road markings so that the priorities are alteredi.e. so that Cambridge Road would flow into the High Street and then Silverdale Ave rather than turn down towards the Plough. Do you think that would help? I think it’s worth thinking through, particularly because it’s a comparatively cheap solution, although I wonder about whether we’d have to slow traffic down on Cambridge Road and perhaps on the High Street at the same time.

    It’s worth reporting specific potholes to https://forms.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/customer/servlet/ep.app?ut=X&type=259830. You can also report to http://www.fixmystreet.com/. which makes it public but I’m told that the Council will reply to you personally if you tell them directly rather than via Fixmystreet.

  4. Myles says:

    Directed at Mrs Valerie Smethers,

    I have found this page while doing a ICT project at school and have to say i think Coton is good the way it is and think the only problem that needs sorting out is the crossing to the rec as i have, a number of times, have had close incounters with cars.

    I think the business off speeding cars and building roundabouts will only make the situation worse.

  5. x iFuumble says:

    I’d like to know how many people have ever been hit by a car on that road, only two houses are even need that stretch, is it really necesary?

  6. Sara says:

    The county council are not enthusiastic about a suggestion to change road priorities at that junction in case it leads to greater speeds and the potential for more accidents.

    Statistics on accidents only include deaths and very serious injuries so even if an area is VERY dangerous, it takes a long time to build up strong evidence base from accident statistics. Obviously, we all want to avoid the potential for accidents, and not wait for accidents to happen, and at the same time, not to embark on major changes (and expense) without good logic behind it.

    I think the Coton problem is a generalised issue of speeding. Many of us can describe part of the picture around where we live and where we go, but we don’t have an overall picture. The parish council is looking at trying out Speedwatch, which is a portable speed camera.

    In the mean time, do put forward any suggestions you have (positive or negative)

  7. Helen Moss says:

    I would strongly support electronic speed signs and chicanes at the entrances to the village. They seem to be very effective in the other villages nearby that almost all have them now.
    I am particularly concerned by the speed of traffic on Brook Lane. Many drivers start to accelerate out of the village as soon as they have come round the corner past the Plough and see a straight stretch of road ahead of them. The problem is made worse by the fact that there are no pavements on either side of the road past the end of the rec. Although there are only a few houses on this stretch, it is extremely dangerous, for cyclists as well as pedestrians.
    I am also in favour of lights or a roundabout on the Madingley Rd junction. At certain times of day it is almost impossible to turn right from Cambridge Rd and I have often seen drivers become impatient and flustered and take risks that I’m sure they wouldn’t do otherwise.

  8. Sara Godward says:

    Dear Helen

    Thank you for putting your thoughts up on the website. Traffic problems were the most common complaint among Coton villagers in the Coton Parish survey, but in order to make a case to the Parish council to fund any improvements, I think we need more views from residents on the precise nature of the problems, and on whether the collective view is that the village should commit funds to address them.

    I’m told by the County Council that the effectiveness of the recent electronic speed signs in Granchester will be reviewed and the results of that study will affect whether we are permitted to have them in Coton. Of course, if they’re found not to be effective, we wouldn’t want them anyway. I understand that the current prevailing view is that they work for a while.

    Other residents have expressed concerns about speeding on Brook Lane. This problem could potentially be addressed by the sort of physical deterrent such as a chicane or road narrowing (with accommodation for cyclists). Do you think there is support for this among villagers – the cost would have to be met by the village – and I think would be around £5000.

    The last I heard was that the County Council considered the Madlingely Road junction a priority area and was likely to propose a roundabout here. However, I’ve not heard the position on this since the recent budget cuts.

    Please encourage your neighbours to put forward their thoughts on traffic in Coton, either through this website, to me directly, or to the Parish Council. And of course, please share any further thoughts you have, either through this website, to me directly, or to the Council.

    regards

    Sara

  9. DFTOcelot says:

    What an incredible waste of time and money it is to install any of the methods of speed reduction previously mentioned. the question has been asked, how many accidents has there been in the last x amount of years in coton NOT madingley road or near the barton roundabout out the other side of the village because as far as i can remember ive never heard of any serious accidents i the village. I myself ride a motorbike and have had numerous amounts of close calls and near misses luckily never a serious accident but out of those incidents only about 10% were due to myself not paying full attention so i pose the question; if one of the many elderly members of the village is driving down the road at 15/20mph and a baby crawls out in front of the car and gets run down because the elderly person has slower reactions and limited eyesight and/or hearing would counter speed measures even be considered. On the other hand in the same situations but with a younger driver and travelling at say 40/50 mph it is my personal opinion that the younger driver is more likely to either swerve out of the way or slam on the brakes, either way not causing an accident but still counter speed measures would be put in place just because of the fact the driver was technically going too fast, the moral of my short story is that it is not how fast someone is going but rather their driving ability on a whole, by all means im not saying its ok to drive at 150mph past the school but if people drive over the 30 limit and dont cause any acccidents then maybe you should stop and think to yourself that these individuals just have a better driving ability than you.
    Now i would just like to say thank you to anyone who has actually read through my entire comment as i know that it has gotten quite lengthy. There is just one more question i feel i need to ask on behalf of the community and it is that the first line of the newsletter states that “in 2007, 60% of the residents feel that coton has a traffic problem” i would just like to state that myself and my family never answered a questionnaire or got asked by any member of the community news about the issue so how are these figures accurate in any way, shape or form. In fact the people asked were most likely the elderly members of the village that just want to moan about whatever they can, so unless the whole village is going to be asked about something next time then i suggest not including false figures and statistics in the newsletter or website.

  10. Sara Godward says:

    Thank you for responding to the traffic issue in Coton. This is the time to share your thoughts and get involved in the discussion so please encourage other people to get involved as well.

    I understand your points about driving safely and according to road conditions. Apart from breaking the law, however, and avoiding the potential for accidents, the noise of speeding traffic can be stressful to people who live nearby, and near misses or fast vehicles travelling close to pedestrians (even safely) can be stressful and upsetting.

    On a point of accuracy: the Coton Parish Plan was published in 2007 but the data were collected in 2005. Questionnaires were delivered to every household in Coton but you may not have lived in Coton at that time. According to the final report, which was delivered to all households in Coton, 60% felt that Coton had a traffic problem.

    I wasn’t involved with the village survey but I kept my copy of the final report that was put through my door, probably some time in 2007. If you give me your name and address, I can send you a copy if you would like to see it.

    Sara

  11. DFTOcelot says:

    In response to the last comment i would like to inform you that i have lived in coton for 20 years so obviously the questionnaire wasnt delivered to EVERY household and i would like to know how many or what percentage of questionnaires delivered got filled out and returned.

  12. Sara Godward says:

    The report says that 327 questionnaires were distributed and 234 (70%) were returned. According to the census, there were 322 households in Coton in 2001.

  13. sara says:

    The results of the three recent traffic monitoring surveys can be found at http://www.cambs.police.uk/roadsafety/speed_surveys/survey_results.asp. Search on Coton within the page if you’re interested.

  14. DFTOcelot says:

    Just to clarify, if you do the maths that 234 (70%) of questionnaires were returned and that only 60% of those claimed there was problems with traffic in coton then that works out to 140.4 questionnaires state there is a problem and it doesnt take a genius to see that that is less then half of the total households, not including mine of course which never recieved one.
    Also just to point out even more flaws in your statement, how can you base the figures on the census from 2001 when according to you it was done in 2005 and the newsletter said it was done in 2007, I cant be 100% sure but werent there just a couple more houses in coton in 05/07.

  15. sara says:

    This thread is getting a bit off topic.

    It is difficult to second-guess the views of people who did not respond. I think the response rate was very good for a survey of this kind, and it looks to me like a very well conducted survey. I’m sure it would have taken a lot of effort – and it’s the best information we have at the moment on the views of residents.

    Traffic was in 2005 (according to the report published in 2007), and is now, a concern of many people. There could be another survey, perhaps, to give a more up to date comprehensive view.

    I mentioned the census data only to give a baseline.

  16. Robert Asher says:

    Dear Sara, as a relatively young resident of Coton I really appreciate the effort you and others have put into the survey & overview on issues regarding traffic. I completely agree that reckless driving and speeding in/near our village is a problem and your efforts will help to improve things.
    Gratefully, Robert

  17. Delyth says:

    As a parent of children at Coton School (and ex-biker) I feel the need to point out that the typical stopping distance of a vehicle traveling at 40mph is 24m just for the vehicle itself. The government suggest a thinking distance of 12m on top of that. Even if you have the reaction speeds of a fighter pilot, you would not be able to stop short of a child who wandered or fell onto the road. With cars frequently parked along one side of the road and pedestrians on the pavement, swerving to avoid hitting someone may not be possible.
    I think Madingley and Girton are on the right track with their 20mph signs that light up at appropriate times.
    I agree with Helen that something does need to be done on Brook Lane – crossing that road onto the Countryside Reserve from the footpath is a bit hairy.

  18. j says:

    as also a resident of coton, i agree totally with DFTOcelot. i have never recieved a questionaire, nor has my brother (who also lives in coton), nor our next door neighbour, and just for the record we have lived here for over 41 years. also i notice that sara goodwood changes her arguement from traffic accidents to noise (any other angles you would like to try) when we all live next to the constant din of the m11, so what you going to do to rectify that? the fact of the matter is, that a few residents who live in the buzy areas of the village are not happy, and want to penalise everyone else, just because a small minority decide to drive thru the village far too fast. also to the comment about the village becoming a rat-run when we have problems with the m11 and a14, what makes you think that traffic calming measures would stop those cars still coming thru, you dont get a barrier you can put up and down? and 1 last comment, i read a small paragraph in the local parish magazine that quoted huge figures of people speeding thru the village (700 i believe), really, i think you would be pushed to have 700 cars go thru the village, or do you mean along polhill road, where the actual camera was situated, and not the village, scaremongering at its best.

  19. Andrew says:

    I’ve never experienced traffic problems in Coton (except the other night on High St near the school when I think there must have been a parent teacher night or something). I do agree that some motorists have over taken me on a bicycle when on a blind corner. I actually think there is very little traffic through Coton and being new to the area can only assume that some residents are concerned because there is more than there used to be.

    I agree that a number of drivers on Cambridge Rd do not seem to prepare for the possibility of a vehicle on (lower) High St before turning onto (upper) High St and that visibility is poor at this intersection. I do agree with the idea of changing the priorities as I feel that that might emphasise that the corner is blind. However it is not a through road is unlikely to be used frequently by outsiders, thus I think it is we who need to take care.

    The comment about drivers not considering people coming out of their driveways is mis-directed. It is those coming out of their driveways that need to give way.

    In terms of cyclists, I may be one of those that are complained about as I do seem to pass many other cyclists on the road or cycle path. However, I feel I always do so sensibly from my point of view and we should be encouraging people to ride as much as possible. Fining someone for lack of lights because they had a meeting that overran and they couldn’t return in the daylight seems excessive: they’ve already had the natural consequence of struggling slowly home past the fields and over the overpass in dark so why add an artificial consequence? I doubt anyone wants to ride in the dark without lights but sometimes it happens.

  20. Rose says:

    Some years ago, I was involved in an accident when driving along the High Street towards Whitwell Way: the driver of a car parked at the curb opposite the Church pulled into the road without looking out for passing traffic. For me, the practise of parking along that curve, especially when there are also cars parked at either or both ends of the curve, is a Coton traffic problem – a problem compounded during recent months by the construction of the new house opposite the school.

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