Speak out now for Spaces to Breathe: write in support of new healthy street schemes

Spaces to Breathe campaignThe Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over, and the need for Spaces to Breathe is more pressing than ever. Traffic and air pollution are creeping back up, 2020 is looking like the hottest year on record and it’s also been a bad year for cyclist casualties (sadly, there have been three deaths in Cambridge since March). It’s time to take action.

Despite widespread approval and generous government funding earlier in the summer, the rollout of emergency cycling and walking schemes for Cambridgeshire has been slow. The initial changes on Mill Road have reduced traffic and provided more space for those walking, cycling and using mobility aids; however there is more to be done to support local traders with extended space for shopping and dining and improvements to make the street more welcoming for everyone. Several schemes planned for the first phase of rollout have been postponed and others, such as a series of modal filters in Milton village, have been cancelled. With less space on public transport, it’s essential that we get those that can to walk or cycle for everyday journeys so that we can keep congestion and pollution low while keeping our streets safe and residents healthy.

With through-traffic removed from Nightingale Avenue, a return to the quieter conditions seen in lockdown will allow more people to walk and cycle, including healthcare workers travelling to the nearby Addenbrooke’s hospital.

We know that there is wide support for measures to enable more cycling: a survey out last week showed that for every 1 person opposing local emergency schemes, another 6.5 people supported them. Every one of those voices is needed now. New schemes providing spaces to breathe have just been announced for Cambridge, including a bus gate on Silver Street and modal filters in residential roads including Bateman Street, Nightingale Avenue and Storey’s Way. If you support these schemes which will help more people walk and cycle, and keep our communities safe, please tell the council NOW.

All you have to do is send a quick email to contactus@greatercambridge.org.uk, copying in policyandregulation@cambridgeshire.gov.uk. The Greater Cambridge Partnership is delivering these new schemes on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council, so it’s important that emails are sent to both addresses. Tell them you strongly support the schemes, ideally including your personal views or experiences. Emails don’t need to be long, but they do need to be sent – please join us in supporting Spaces to Breathe TODAY.