Little Thetford : Residents' Survey

4. Traffic, roads and transport
4.1 Traffic problems
The most serious traffic problems for residents were the A10 junction (78% agreeing this was a problem) and traffic speed with half the sample (51%) considering this to be a problem. On road parking was a problem for 24% of the sample and traffic noise for 6%.
Table 4.1 Traffic problems in and around the village

Other traffic problems mentioned are listed below:
  • Cars parked around Green Hill; heavy goods lorries bad access for outgoing traffic - unable to see incoming traffic
  • Inconsiderate parking around the school
  • Turning in T junction in Cowslip Drive
  • Blind spot up Cowslip Drive caused by garden extending to path with large plants (no4)
  • Problem with plants causing blind spot in Cowslip drive has been reported but nothing done
  • In New Close people park in lay bys intended as passing bays
  • People coming from Ely come too fast and on the wrong side of road, white line down Wyches would help
  • Damage to roads and green belt by recycling lorries on Watsons Lane
  • Parking at school on corner making it hard to get out of Palisades Ct, did get better but now worse again
  • Occasionally car and bikes going off road at speed where there are walkers, kids or dogs
  • White line needed down Main Street
  • Parking around school at start and end of school day, cars parked on pavement
  • Cars parked on pathways
4.2 Speed control measures
There was considerable support for a 20 mph limit in the village (65%). About a third of respondents supported the introduction of flashing speed warning signs (38%) and a third road markings (35%). A total of 22% favoured additional signs.
Figure 4.2 Level of support for selected speed control measures

A total of 6% of respondents added they would like to see speed humps but 4% commented that they did not want speed humps. A total of 3% said they would like to see existing speed limits enforced.
4.3 A10 junction
The A10 junction was one of residents' main concerns about the village. Three quarters of respondents thought access to the A10 from the village was a problem. A total of 18% said it was not a problem and 7% did not reply.

Views were mixed on the best way to improve access, with 46% wanting to see a roundabout, 28% peak time traffic lights and 15% traffic lights at all times. A quarter of the sample did not reply (mainly people who did not think access was a problem).

Figure 4.3 Level of support for selected measure to improve access onto A10

A variety of other suggestions were made (see below) with a number of people suggesting a central island so you only needed to cross one lane at a time.
  • Central island on A10
  • Pedestrian crossing
  • Pedestrian crossing
  • Islands
  • Filter coming out of Little Thetford to Grunty Fen; can wait ages, traffic overtakes not knowing there is a right hand turn, accident
  • Refuge half way over to ease turning right
  • 50mph limit half a mile each side of A10 junction
  • Island like at Milton so you can cross one lane at a time
  • Central island similar to that near The Slap Up other solutions are impractical
  • Reduction of speed limit
  • Realistically cost too high so driver education and patience is only realistic answer
  • Same system as at Denny End
  • Improved central reservation
4.4 Condition of roads, pavements and bridleways
Roads: Half the respondents (49%) thought the condition of the roads was good, with 35% thinking it adequate (Figure 4.2). A very small number of respondents (1%) rated this poor.

Pavements: Residents were slightly less happy with the condition of the pavements with two in five respondents rating this good (40%) and 41% adequate. A total of 6% of residents, rising to 18% of those aged 75 or over, rated them poor.

Bridleways: A quarter of the sample (26%) rated the condition of bridleways as good, with 34% rating them adequate. A total of 7% rated them poor, but 30% did not express an opinion.

Footpaths: A quarter of the sample (27%) rated the condition of footpaths as good with 45% thinking them adequate. A total of 8% rated them poor.

Cyclepath A10 to Ely: Half the sample did not express an opinion on the cyclepath to Ely, but amongst those that did a significant proportion thought it poor. Respondents complained of it being uneven and dangerous with overhanging branches and being 'scary' cycling towards oncoming traffic. Overall, 12% of respondents rated the cyclepath as good, 18% as adequate and 20% poor.

Figure 4.5 Condition of roads, pavements and bridleways

Particular places where conditions are a problem are listed below (if all household members made the same comment they are only listed once). Many of these comments relate to the cyclepath.
  • Overhanging hedges on cycle path to Ely - pushed cyclists close to road traffic
  • Cycle paths alongside A10 is inadequate - poor surface and too narrow
  • Paths are often muddy, cycle paths alongside A10 is inadequate - poor surface and too narrow
  • Could be wider and resurfaced
  • Holt Fen. Short Drove/Burying Way/Watsons Lane bridleways kept neat by residents but churned by 4x4s
  • Red Fen Road
  • From A10 to roundabout
  • Path beside A10 is in poor repair and too narrow for both pedestrians and cyclists. Also loads of litter
  • A10 to station very poor for cycling
  • Past back way to school is very wet. Often flooded
  • Footpaths generally cracked, poor camber especially the Wyches
  • New Close Road to the Wyches (pavements)
  • Road dangerous when icy at A10 junction, uneven pavements, unusable when wet
  • A10-Ely
  • No path to Tescos
  • I did struggle walking to Stretham last year via Plantation Fm, footpath churned up by tractor, could not push the push chair and came home; also footpath to Ely walking with children into oncoming traffic; footpath outside church very slippery in icy weather
  • Too near the fast traffic along the A10 for less able cyclists
  • Need lowered kerb stones; Cowslip Drive promised in 2009-2010 budget. Overgrown privet by telephone box
  • Anywhere where a mobility scooter is unsafe or it is difficult to push a wheelchair
  • A10 path is rough and poorly lit
  • Cycle path to Ely is very poor
  • Too close to road, bad surfacing
  • Throughout village
  • Watsons Lane
  • If you mean on paved area - still a little bumpy and scary with all the traffic
  • No cycle path A10 roundabout to station - should be
  • Bridleways badly rutted by vehicles during bad weather
  • Complete cycle path very poor, bushes overgrown on foot and cycle path
  • Holes plus not two way cycle plus traffic ends up too close to updraft from road
  • Start of Burying Way dreadful with mud arising due to heavy tractors using it (and other vehicles). Also footpath across fields after football pitch - farmers do not always reinstate after ploughing
  • Burying Way
  • Cycle path is too close to fast moving traffic, surface is very uneven
  • Main road into Thetford
  • Footpath from Holt Fen towards Ely
  • Along total length
  • A10 footpath cycleway
  • New Close Road
  • From NCR to The Wyches footpath
  • A10 to Ely
4.6 Improvements to encourage cycling
Respondents were asked what might encourage them to cycle more and 62% of respondents did not give a response and 5% said that nothing would make them cycle more. One in three respondents made a suggestion, the most popular being to improve the cycle path to Ely (13%) with a further 5% saying the cyclepath needed to be extended into Ely to Tesco's or the station.

A further 2% said crossing the A10 needed to be made safer. A total of 7% said there needed to be more and better cycle paths generally with paths to Stretham and Cambridge being mentioned. Other respondents mentioned a better surface on the farmer's road, a path from Red Fen Road, round Grunty Fen, connecting to the cyclepath on the other side of the river, along Angel Drove and a 20mph speed limit in the village.

4.7 Access for disabled people or people with pushchairs
Three respondents (1%) said that roads caused them a problem because they had a difficulty with walking or used a pushchair.

Slightly more respondents (4%) said that pavements could be a problem for them and 2% said that using footpaths could be difficult.

Places causing difficulty are listed below:

  • Behind the school
  • Footpath between Main Street and Palisade Court can have garden growth sticking out though the Council seems to be cutting back the trees
  • Vehicles parked on pavements Holt Fen
  • Very wet, not sure what could be done though
  • Poor camber causing walking difficulty
  • Should be checked where conifers have been cut
  • Pavements in front of some houses are gravel or grass
  • Along Main Street between Watsons Lane and school due to very narrow pavements in some places + dog fouling
  • Overgrown bushes hinder access on the Wyches main road
  • Parts of the path at bottom Cowslip Drive are grassed where they clearly should have been path
  • River stile left on bank going to Ely at Holt Fen
  • Overhanging hedges and bushes on pavements cause a problem
  • Pavement camber and kerbs, footpaths not even enough, especially to River
  • Footpaths in general

Five respondents said that there were places that were inaccessible in the village:

  • Better walk way to Fish and Duck (unfortunately now closed)
  • Cannot walk completely round Cowslip Drive estate as private residents at end of Orchid Drive have fenced off with a bollard there, surely this was a right of way?
  • The River Road is in an appalling state
  • River - uneven footpath; conservation area no footpath
  • Hard to find places for teens!
4.8 Footpaths and access to the River
The survey asked about access to the countryside and the River through local footpaths, bridleways and cyclepaths (Figure 4.3).

One in three respondents (36%) said they knew where local footpaths were. Men (40%) were slightly more likely to know than women (32%).

A total of 42% said they could use these paths without difficulty but 13% said they could not (46% did not reply).

Respondents were unhappy with the signage of footpaths. One in five respondents (22%) thought footpaths were well signposted but 44% thought they were not (34% did not reply).

There was strong support for maps or leaflets with walks (71%) with 13% saying they did not want this (16% did not reply).

Figure 4.6 Views on footpaths

The majority of respondents do cross the railway to the river area, although many do this only occasionally. A total of 3% of respondents visit this area daily and 24% at least once a week. Just over half the sample (56%) visit occasionally with 13% saying they never visited. A third of those aged 75 or over never visit the River area.

Figure 4.7 Frequency of crossing railway to river area

How river area is accessed: The vast majority of residents walk to the river area (96% of those crossing to the river area). Just over one in ten cycle (11%) with some people sometimes cycling and sometimes walking. A total of 4% said they drove. One respondent used a mobility scooter.

Views on whether the roadway to the river should be improved were mixed with 38% thinking it should be improved and 50% thinking it should not (Figure 4.5).

Figure 4.8 Whether the roadway to the river should be improved by frequency of visiting river area

4.9 Access to and use of a car
The majority of respondents (89% and 92% of those aged 18 or over) have access to a car. The group least likely to have access to a car are those aged 75 or over (30%). Men (92%) are slightly more likely than women (85%) to have access to a car.
Figure 4.9 Access to a car by age

The proportion of people using cars for particular activities is shown in Figure 4.10.
Figure 4.10 Proportion of respondents using a car for selected activities

4.10 Use of buses
A total of 43% never use a bus with a further 36% saying they hardly ever used a bus (including people saying they used a bus when the car was at the garage).

A total of 7% use a bus monthly, 6% once a week and 5% daily. Half of the respondents using a bus daily were aged under 18. The age groups most likely to use a bus were 11-17 years olds (96% at least occasionally) and 60-74 year olds (71% at least occasionally).

Figure 4.11 Use of the bus

The proportion of the sample using the bus for selected activities is shown in Figure 4.12.
Figure 4.12 Proportion of respondents using the bus for selected activities

One in five respondents (20%) said they would use the bus more often if it came into the village (Figure 4.13), rising to 48% of those aged 75 or over.
Figure 4.13 Would you use the bus more often if it came into the village?

Frequency of bus services: Of those that use a bus and expressed a view, 66% thought the frequency was adequate and 33% thought it was not.
4.11 Awareness and use of Dial-a-Ride and Social Car Scheme
Just under half the residents had heard of the Dial-a-Ride mini-bus scheme rising to more than 70% of those aged 60 or over. A total of 3% of respondents said they used the scheme, rising to 15% of those aged 75 or over.

One in five respondents (21%) had heard of the Social Car Scheme rising to 45% of those aged 75 or over. A total of 3% said they used this scheme (9% of those aged 75 or over.)

Table 4.1 Awareness and use of Dial-a-Ride and social car scheme by age

Aware Dial-a-Ride?
Use Dial-a-Ride?
Aware social car scheme?
Use social car scheme?