Histon and Impington Highways Update

High Street Histon

A summary of discussions with the local Highways Officer for Histon and Impington in October with a November update.   

You might not like it but here are some of the reasons for decisions and actions.

I apologise for poor phrasing I typed a lot of it as we spoke.  I may have made some errors in the reporting of this but am publishing it in good faith.

Tree removal and the recent fallen tree blocking the footpath near the park school along the B1049.  Local highways officer response; tree removal priorities are ‘is it in the carriageway’ because with trees in the carriageway there’s the possibility of a major incident.  Sorting trees in the carriageway out comes first then removing trees from other locations happens such as footways. In the instance of the tree on Glebe Road B1049 the tree was removed from the carriageway but not the footpath.  Had there been a verge the team would have put the wood from the tree there.  That was a very large tree the guys with the chain saws were unable to remove that quantity of timber they needed a full 18 ton lorry to clear the debris the chain saw guys had a 3.5 tonne truck. So there was a time delay in ordering the larger truck.

Clay Street leylandii hedge this will be cut back by the County Council as it has long been causing an obstruction and the County Council has been unable to identify the owner. It will look ugly.


Local highways officer response;

  • Holiday Inn area entrance/ B1049 – this is due for an extensive jetting and cameras will be put in the gullies.
  • Park Lane – there was no pooling 24 hours later.   It could be a consequence of two excessive weather events, where we simply don’t have the infrastructure to take that quantity of water away from a location.   The local highways officer will look at the data from the recent Carbon tech surveys.  Please keep me informed of future flooding incidents so that we can monitor this.  It may be impossible to completely resolve the issue or it might be solvable. Anyone either ideas would be welcome and any information about future flooding events is useful.  In the Holiday Inn entrance gullies up the hill are blocked is there anything similar in this location?
  • Woodcock close – Clay Close Lane  previous work has been done here.  Local Highways Officer will take a look but evidence from future flooding events would be useful.

Removing foliage from cycleways and Solar Studs on the Cottenham-Histon cyclepath

Local highways officer response; The maintenance schedule allocates cutting twice a year.  This is not enough.  The foliage can only be cut back by hand during bird nesting season which allows additional cuts. Workers can use hand strimmers or hand hedge trimmers but they have to check for birds nests.  This is a very long process and very costly so there is a limit to how much can be done.   Brambles can grow by 3 inches a day it is practically impossible within the current system to keep on top of this issue.

The Milton Road cycle path hedges have a post and wire fence which prevented mechanical flailing but this is going to be removed so this area will now be cut right back/ levelled. Butt Lane is not my area but I will forward this to the Milton (Butt Lane) Councillor.  This process of cutting the hedges and brambles adjacent to the cycle path right back hasn’t happened before.  The new process is to try to cut them back at the beginning of the season and at the end of the nesting season.   It will not be perfect and to date there isn’t an additional maintenance allocation for cycleways.

The local Highways Officer will endeavour to take the same approach for Cottenham Road – they are the farmers hedges so the county council should not be doing this but trying to get the farmers to take these issues seriously is like ‘banging your head against a brick wall’.

Reports of Solar studs having been covered on the Cottenham/ Histon cycle path are in the Cottenham Area (Cottenham County Councillor) but the local highways officer will check.  This was an emergency repair so there may have been some issues with things like this.

Whilst cutting back the Cottenham Cycle path and Milton Road cycle path the highways officer will side out the cycle way ie remove the vegetation on the path uncovering solar studs along the Cottenham cycle path.  

Vegetation and debris along Water Lane approaching the Park School ‘siding out’.  I have forwarded photos to the local highways officer who will look at this.  If the hedges could be better maintained this would be less of a problem ongoingly.

I also requested the B1049 be sided out along Water Lane west side between Chequers Road and the War memorial traffic lights.   I can put together a list of additional locations in a month or so.

FAO HiHub and the Parish Clerk The local highways officer requested an annual announcement in local news media to request residents to cut back their hedges before nesting season in February.  

Tescos/ High Street pedestrian crossing across the mouth of the carpark.  [I have pushed for this for months – Ros].  This is now apparently reported and on the list for works which is progress the highways officer thinks the previous job used the wrong material and will use something denser to fix the potholes and repair the road surface.  There is an ongoing issue here that the Highways boundary is very early (close to the carriageway) reflecting where the dropped pavement sits which means people cross at the place where the road quality is worst * and the distance walking on the road is longest but the County Council cannot change this.  It is possible that discussion with the owners of Tescos could lead to a different preferred point for crossing.  It’s worth having a conversation……

The wear and tear in that location on the road will always be the worst as it is where vehicles accelerate to turn into the car park including HGV’s so it’s a combination of the worst factors ie worst location for a pedestrian crossing and place where the road condition will inevitably be worst but it is finally marked for repair.

Station Road in front of 8a vegetation.  There have been complaints by residents about the sprawling vegetation. The parish are responsible for the verges is this a verge? The local highways officer did not know.  He will look with his plants contractor next week at that spot.  His approach was to remove everything and replace with perennial flowering shrubs hopefully next week

Burgoynes Road will be flailed back as it has not been possible to get a response from the landowner please get in touch if this is you.  This has been an ongoing issue. That said the vegetation on the church side goes no further than the verge so the real issue here is that it is an old road which is too narrow and which struggles to take HGVs.  Perhaps the Parish Council would like to consider adopting the County Council’s new HGV policy for this location?  

Footpath 4 which runs parallel to the guided bus way along the back of Somerset Road and Manor park is also due to be sided out and have overgrowth removed. The contractor will review in the next few weeks.

The footpath defect by The Boot is now sufficiently deep that it has registered as a fault and should be fixed next week.

The footpath issue near the traffic lights and at the brook by 5 Water Lane near the Smoke House will be reviewed.

November Update


The area near the Holiday Inn was recently pumped when flooded, the gullies will be jetted.  (I still don’t have dates, I will pursue – Ros Hathorn)

The Park Lane/ Bell Hill area.  The highways takes the view that if flooding has disappeared within 2 (this might be 3) hours after rain then that is acceptable, as sometimes the sheer quantity of water overwhelms the system.   Rain has been particularly heavy recently.

Residents are requested to keep an eye on this area and report to Ros it is really important to understand when flooding happens in this area how high the water in the adjacent ditch is as if this is flooded there is nowhere for water to go but if this is lower there could be a partial blockage.

Area near 33 Station Road – water had dissipated a few hours after rain but this is now on the radar.

Approach to Park School from south – I have been liaising with the local highways officer who called in to review this on Friday I will follow up this week as more as been established about the ownership of the hedge line.

One comment

  1. Thank you Ros for all try to achieve in the community. I know how frustrating it is and sympathise with you.

    Couple of helpful comments. I know the name of the owner of the Conifers on Clay Street. Would you like his details?

    The flooding in Park Lane near Bell Hill is mainly due to the blocked gully that I have reported on the CCC Highways website. Would you like the acknowledgement number and date?


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