Cambridge Cycling Campaign has submitted an objection to the application to refurbish the Arup Building, which was constructed in 1971 and houses the Museum of Zoology and departments of Materials Science and Computing, on the New Museums site in central Cambridge. Our objection is because the plans “fail to make adequate provision for cycle parking, do not provide sufficient detail to assess the quality of the cycle parking, and do not address the existing problem of lack of cycle parking in the vicinity of the Arup Building and Museum of Zoology”.
The recently submitted plans for the redevelopment of this complex site include the: “demolition of non-original extensions, alterations to elevations and roof, extension to Zoology Museum, creation of new entrance at podium level and energy efficiency and carbon reduction measures” (link to planning application). After refurbishment a number of currently geographically separated organisations will be brought together to form the Cambridge Conservation Initiative.
The building lies within the crowded city centre site between Downing Street to the south and Corn Exchange Street to the east. Large numbers of staff and students use the site, which in term time can have bicycles strewn across the lawn and any convenient wall or fence. Given that one of the principal aims of the project is to enhance sustainability this should encompass the essential need to travel to the site.
The plan fails to demonstrate how staff and students who use a quiet and clean method of transport will have a place to park their bikes. It is over five years since the University commissioned a survey of cycle provision here, resulting in a series of recommendations which still have not been implemented.
John Hall, speaking on behalf of Cambridge Cycling Campaign said, “The plan needs to take into account the fact that cycle parking needs to be conveniently-located and in sufficient number if bikes are not to be left around the site insecurely and blocking walkways. The University and its architects must seriously reconsider their plans for cycle parking. We wish to see a commitment to increase the number of good quality parking spaces for use by University members and we are hopeful that discussions with the developer will be fruitful.”