Camcycle strongly welcome the news that Cambridgeshire County Council have begun to publish plans for temporary enhancements to support more walking and cycling in the region. This follows clear government policy announced on national television that councils around the country should be making such changes.
We’d like to thank the county for acknowledging our contribution to these efforts. In turn we would like to thank our members and the general public for their support. Through our Spaces to Breathe campaign, we’ve gathered over 150 suggestions for walking and cycling improvements and over 400 supporters have signed our open letter calling for urgent action. We’ve also partnered with campaign groups across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, including Waterbeach Cycling Campaign, Ely Cycling Campaign, Huntingdonshire Cycling and Walking Campaign Group, Peterborough Cycle Forum and others to ensure the entire region is considered for active travel improvements.
We appreciate that this is just the beginning of the county’s plans and we’re awaiting further details of these early proposals so that we can respond in full.
Camcycle is particularly keen to see more information about the ‘one-way system’ proposed for Mill Road. We are pleased to see the county acknowledge this is an area that requires attention, even more so with now that we must also accommodate physical distancing. We’ve long advocated for changes to Mill Road to make it safer and more accessible for people walking, cycling and shopping. Our suggestions have not included a one-way system, as we believe this could create problems for bus services, exacerbate problems with speeding drivers and still not provide much-needed wider pavements and space for safe cycling. Our vision for Mill Road, published in August 2018, puts forward ideas that could be quickly, easily and cheaply trialled as part of the county’s Covid-19 response and we would like to see these ideas considered before committing to a one-way system.
What we expect to see from the county council in the coming weeks is a network-first approach that looks at the corridors needed for people to make their journeys. These corridors should be audited to determine appropriate interventions and then changes rapidly implemented. Low-traffic neighbourhoods and traffic circulation plans should support this network, prevent rat-running, keep local streets safe for people walking and cycling and maintain the low levels of air pollution many have appreciated during the lockdown. These are best-practice approaches that we are seeing all over the world, including in the UK. Camcycle has been working on this approach and we hope to share this with the county, the combined authority and other stakeholders over the coming days and weeks.