Following the public meeting in which representatives from Network Rail and Govia Thameslink told the local community that “nothing was a done deal” in terms of the proposals for Mill Road bridge, Camcycle has reiterated their call to enhance rather than divide this unique Cambridge destination.
Responding to concerns from residents and traders about the effects of an eight-week full closure, Camcycle called during the meeting for Network Rail to reconsider its plans, maintaining access between the Romsey and Petersfield sides of the bridge and investing in the local community in mitigation for the disruption caused. In particular, the charity would like to ensure that:
- Pedestrian access is maintained throughout the project, except during the short periods of time when it would be unsafe to provide this. Access should be wide enough to accommodate pushchairs, wheelchairs and people walking with bicycles.
- Network Rail funds investment in Mill Road during the works so that, although the bridge may be closed, the street will remain fully open with thriving businesses and a united community. Camcycle would like to see funding for a new Mill Road coordinator as well as investment in the streetscape and exciting events.
- There is a positive legacy from the project with the street left better than it was before. The proposed closure offers a rare opportunity to improve the road which is consistently named among the places Cambridge residents avoid or find most dangerous when walking and cycling. Camcycle would like to see the street become a popular destination for shopping, eating and community activities with access prioritised for those on foot, cycle or public transport and more area given to public space and planting.
Camcycle’s Executive Director and Romsey resident, Roxanne De Beaux, said, “Camcycle supports improvement works to the bridge to expand train services and enable further development of the Chisholm Trail. However any disruption as a result of this work must be offset by adequate mitigation of the impact on people walking or cycling. The proposed diversions will place an excessive burden on pedestrians and fail to recognise that people walking and cycling over the bridge are vital to local trade. We want to see imaginative ideas from local councillors to encourage activity on the street during the closure and would like to see an appropriate investment in this from Network Rail.”
The charity would like to hear from local organisations and businesses who are keen to work with Camcycle on a shared vision for a thriving and vibrant Mill Road community which can use the bridge closure as an opportunity to draw residents and visitors to a street rich in interest and diversity.