Stand up for Spaces to Breathe – join the majority of people who want safe streets and clean air in their neighbourhoods

New research shows 8 out of 10 people support measures to reduce road traffic in their neighbourhood – now it’s time to show local authorities that you want the same.

Earlier in the year, Cambridgeshire County Council and the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) began to introduce experimental measures to provide safe space for walking and cycling during the pandemic. The ‘modal filters’ they installed were designed to remove through motor traffic from selected streets, giving those travelling on foot, by cycle or using a mobility aid more space to spread out and maintain safe distances from others as well as minimising the risk of road danger from motor vehicles. As the measures have been in place for a few months, it’s now time to assess their success, decide whether to continue the trial and consider if any improvements need to be made.

 

Mill Road bus gate

The Mill Road scheme was installed in June 2020. It consists of a bus gate on Mill Road bridge which allows people walking, cycling or using buses to travel across the bridge, but restricts the movement of other motor traffic. The restrictions are enforced with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras – those who cross the bridge, despite the warnings, incur a fine. 24/7 access is maintained along the street on both the Romsey and Petersfield sides of the bridge. Parts of the road have also been sectioned off using plastic barriers to allow more passing space for pedestrians (as pavements are often narrow) and to slow down motor traffic to reduce danger for people cycling and crossing the road.

We have heard lots of positive stories from Mill Road about reduced air pollution, a more social space and a more pleasant street to cycle and shop in. If you’ve found the street safer and enjoyed the calmer atmosphere, now’s the time to share your views. We hope you would agree with us that changes to improve the layout also need to be made to help the scheme work better for everyone.

Please complete the county council’s Mill Road bridge survey and email your comments to policyandregulation@cambridgeshire.gov.uk. The consultation closes at 11.59pm on Thursday 24 December.

You can read more about our thoughts on the scheme on our Mill Road campaign page, which has links to a list of the additional improvements we have called for and some frequently asked questions. We also feature some local views on the Camcycle YouTube channel.

 

GCP city access schemes

Families use the Carlyle Road modal filterThe experimental measures installed by the GCP consist of modal filters on Carlyle Road, Nightingale Avenue, Luard Road and Storey’s Way, an extended bus gate on Silver Street (it now operates 24/7) and some new restrictions on motor traffic movements in the Newtown area (such as Bateman Street). Originally concrete barriers were put in place in many of these locations, but these have recently been replaced with more attractive planters. The measures were installed to encourage more journeys on foot and by cycle and to support social distancing during the pandemic, but are also being used as trials for longer-term changes as part of the GCP’s city access scheme.

Despite some initial worries before implementation, we’ve heard that these schemes have been welcomed by residents who are now enjoying quieter streets and safer journeys. Many people living in other parts of the city, such as Arbury Road, are calling for similar measures to be installed near them to make their streets safer for walking and cycling too. We’d like to see a whole network of schemes like this.

To champion these new ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’, please share your views on the GCP’s consultation survey today. (You can also request a printed survey by emailing consultation@greatercambridge.org.uk or by calling 01223 699906). The consultation closes at midday on Friday 18 December.

 

It’s never been more important to share your views!

All changes made to a city’s streets meet with a range of opinions, but often the loudest voices drown out the quiet majority. Research by Bike is Best earlier in the year showed that 77% of Brits supported measures in their local area to encourage cycling and walking and this has been backed up today by a new survey published by the Department for Transport. 88% of respondents wanted to see measures that would increase road safety, 86% wanted measures that would improve air quality and 83% backed measures to reduce traffic congestion. Two-thirds were supportive of reallocating roadspace to walking and cycling in their local area.

Announcing the release of the second tranche of funding for experimental Covid-19 walking and cycling schemes (of which Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is allocated £1.7 million), Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

We want to do everything we can to make it easy for people to include some activity in their daily routines – whether that’s cycling to work or walking safely to school. We can see the public’s strong appetite for greener and more active travel, and this funding will help ensure the right infrastructure is in place to build truly active neighbourhoods.

It’s time to give local authorities the confidence to continue their plans to deliver safe spaces to breathe for everyone who wants to walk, cycle or simply spend more time outdoors in the places where they live and work. Please respond to these consultations today to help create safe, healthy and sustainable communities near you.