Christmas lights turned on by private company

A Cambridge Journal - Sunday 18 November 2007

by Stephen Hewitt

This evening I found myself in the market square outside the Guildhall with a large crowd of people who were there to see the Cambridge Christmas lights turned on.

Although he was taking photographs like a tourist, the young man standing in front of me had one hand on some switches inside a lamp post, evidently waiting to turn on the lights at the appropriate moment. He was wearing a yellow jacket with "Lamps & Tubes Lighting Engineers" on the back. I asked him if he was turning on all the lights or just some of them. He replied in a foreign accent and bad English that he didn't speak English and told me that he spoke Polish. The lights on, he closed up the lamp post and went on his way.

A planning appeal and Jane Coston A14 cycle bridge

A Cambridge Journal - Tuesday 27 November 2007

by Stephen Hewitt

This morning on the gatepost at the entrance to Milton Country Park in Fen Road, Milton, there is a notice that "further drawings" are to be considered as part of a planning appeal by Stannifer Developments Ltd and the drawings may be inspected at various offices of South Cambridgeshire District Council. A reference APP/W0530/A/06/2014216 is given.

The planning appeal concerns the A10 and the notice mentions "improvements" to the cycle paths. It has evidently been posted there by private initiative and not by the Council. There are hand-written notes in the margins. The notes say that the plans include the destruction of the Jane Coston cycle bridge and its replacement by a bridge for buses. They finish with "Why not object?"

A plaque on the Jane Coston bridge says that it was opened in May 2004. Heavily used by cyclists and pedestrians it spans the busy A14, connecting Milton to Cambridge. There is a large Tesco supermarket next to the A14 at Milton, whose entrance is next to the end of the bridge. Currently another new bridge - the first new bridge across the Cam in many years - is under construction in Riverside. It too is a pedestrian and cycle bridge and it is about 2 minutes' walk from the Tesco in Newmarket Road. It will enable the residents of the mulitstorey concrete blocks now being built in Chesterton to shop at Tesco.

The printed notice itself contains several interesting features. Firstly, the address given for sending comments or representations is not the Council, but a company, whose address is not even in Cambridgeshire: Persona Associates Ltd, RH12 2PD. Another feature is that of all the places given by South Cambridgeshire District Council where you can examine the plans, not one of them is Cambridge.