Cambridge Police in vow over Fen Road but county council ‘must do its part’

PUBLISHED: 05:36 25 May 2018

Jason Ablewhite Police and Crime Commisioner says the force will increase patrols in the area . Picture: Keith Heppell

Jason Ablewhite Police and Crime Commisioner says the force will increase patrols in the area . Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Police are to increase patrols around Fen Road following residents’ declaration of an anti-social behaviour “crisis”.

The Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite has told the Cambridge Independent that a PCSO is also being assigned to the area.

Labour city councillor Gerri Bird met with Mr Ablewhite last week to discuss action after residents held a meeting to voice their concerns to Inspector Paul Rogerson.

A six-car collision on Fen Road, reportedly the result of street racing, catalysed the meeting and residents are now forming a group that will improve communication with police.

But Cllr Bird said the county council, as the highways authority, needs to do its bit too. The planned Chisholm Trail cycle and pedestrian path that crosses Fen Road is an additional issue.

“We’re very concerned,” she said. “We’re going to have over 2,000 more people coming down there to use the bridge but we don’t feel that the county took that into consideration.

“Where you have to cross over to Moss Bank will be very difficult. When you’ve got children, parents, elderly and disabled people crossing over there it’s going to cause eruptions.

“We’ve got to have some kind of crossing.”

She said the fact that Fen Road has only got one way out, and that the railway crossing barrier “goes up and down like a yo-yo” makes it a completely different road to any other in Cambridge, and the system “has not been thought out”.

“The barrier has been knocked out twice,” she continued.

“People have got to realise that it’s not just Fen Road, there are a lot of other areas affected by what’s going on down there.

“I feel really positive about what the police are doing, but now county needs to be accountable for the safety of people when the new bridge opens. I know what it’s like and I don’t want to see anyone hurt.”

Mr Ablewhite said: “I can understand the impact this anti-social behaviour has, and in particular anti-social driving is having on people living and working in the area, and have spoken to Inspector Paul Rogerson to ensure everything possible is being done to reassure the community.

“I am aware that a significant amount of patrol activity is now being carried out by the Southern Community Action Team and a PCSO specifically assigned to the area.

“The additional patrol activity should act as a visible deterrent to those individuals persistently causing disruption.”

PCSOs can not enforce the 20mph speed limit on Fen Road.

The county council said that as the Chisholm Trail is a Greater Cambridge Partnership scheme it would not comment. The county council is the authority responsible for highways.

A GCP spokesperson said plans for the Chisholm Trail have been scrutinised by county, district and city councillors and officers, with no objections being raised in regards to Fen Road.

“The county highways team, as part of their consultation, recommended a small modification to narrow part of the road, which was incorporated into the plans,” they said.

“The plans are now with the road safety team, and the project team are awaiting their comments and any recommendations they may make.”

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