Working together for safe and healthy communities in Cambridgeshire

Camcycle welcomes the list of temporary proposals to support safe cycling and walking which has been published by Cambridgeshire County Council this week. Funding for the schemes has been approved by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority in advance of the first tranche of investment from the government. This means that we should see measures implemented quickly across the county in the next few weeks.

We are grateful for the fast work of officers and councillors in compiling schemes that respond to the unique needs of the COVID-19 crisis while drawing on existing knowledge from projects such as the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan. Improving our towns, cities and villages so that people can walk, cycle and stay active will keep Cambridgeshire residents safe and healthy, strengthen our communities and keep levels of air pollution and congestion low. These things will be vital to the region’s success as we work together to rebuild the local economy and create a sustainable future for everyone.

Caroline and Cosmo outside the University of Cambridge Primary School which has high levels of walking and cycling. New proposals will offer all schools in Cambridgeshire the chance to install temporary interventions which will help children travel to school safely.

Schemes included in the council’s list of proposals include:

  • ‘School streets’ interventions offered to all schools in Cambridgeshire to enable them to restrict traffic around the school at opening and closing times
  • Increased cycle parking around town and village centres, schools and businesses
  • Review of the timings of traffic signals at junctions to give more time to people walking and cycling
  • Maintenance of existing routes including the clearance of vegetation and repair of potholes (such as the resurfacing of cycle lanes on Hills Road bridge)
  • Modal filters installed across Cambridgeshire including the Newtown area of Cambridge, Quayside and Bridge Street in St Ives and on the town bridge between Huntingdon and Godmanchester.
  • Pedestrian improvements including widened pavements at Back Hill in Ely and the High Street in Ramsey, and the removal of guard rails at junctions on Shelford Road, East Road and Elizabeth Way in Cambridge.
  • Pop-up protected cycle lanes in locations such as Elizabeth Way and Newmarket Road in Cambridge, Forehill in Ely and along the A505 slip road to Granta Park.
  • Temporary measures to improve the Cambridge to Cambourne route including the removal of car parking on Queens Road and Adams Road, protected cycle lanes on Madingley Road and bus gates on St Neots Road, Hardwick.
  • Reduction of speed limits in locations including Milton High Street, roads around the schools in March and roads around the station in Ely.

Camcycle is pleased to see a combination of simple, effective measures to tackle the immediate distancing challenges of the pandemic such as point closures, pop-up protected cycle lanes and traffic signal changes, alongside more ambitious projects to help more people to cycle, such as improvements along key commuter routes and a countywide programme to improve safety around schools. We are grateful that the council has used the expertise of cycling officers to inform its proposals and has drawn on local knowledge to identify areas for improvement. Many suggestions on the list were supplied to the council by Camcycle in response to our Spaces to Breathe campaign and we would like to thank all the individuals, local groups and parish councillors who have spoken up on behalf of their communities to help us build a safe and healthy future together. Camcycle will continue to listen to local communities and pass on their feedback as walking and cycling improvements are installed. We will also continue to gather suggestions for further measures that could be included in the second phase of the project to help provide access to safe spaces to walk and cycle for all residents of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

We thank local authorities for working together on these plans and for plans for the safe opening of Cambridge city centre as many shops and businesses begin to reopen on Monday. We look forward to councillors approving the list of improvements in full at their meeting next Tuesday and eagerly await the installation of the new routes in the coming weeks.