Explore on foot and by cycle at the Chisholm Trail celebration event

A child and adult cycling on the Chisholm TrailOn Saturday 16 July, an event is being held to celebrate the completion and first six months’ popularity of phase one of the Chisholm Trail active travel route. Camcycle, supported by the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP), Cambridge United and other partners, invite you to explore the Trail on a led ride and walk departing from Cambridge North railway station at 10.15am.

All members of the community are welcome to join the procession, with banners and T-shirts representing local organisations warmly encouraged. The main group will meet outside the station at 10am with photos on the Abbey-Chesterton bridge at 10.30am and a small ceremony at the Abbey Stadium at 11.30am. Cambridge United mascot Marvin the Moose will be available for photos and there will be ice cream from local business Lewis & Sons, children’s activities from Cambridge Woodcraft Folk and a mini Trail quiz.

After campaigning for this route for over two decades, Camcycle is delighted that so many people are now able to enjoy it and is keen to spread the word to even more local people. Jim Chisholm, who was responsible for the initial idea all those years ago, is thrilled that his vision has been brought to reality. He said:

It was really great to see these important parts of the Chisholm Trail opened just before Christmas and these new links between Chesterton and Abbey are already proving great value. It has been a real joy to see children, teenagers, runners, dog walkers and people of all sorts on foot or cycle use the Trail over recent months.=

The quality of the bridge, the value of the underpass, and the discoveries of the previously nearly hidden lands between, all bring their benefits and would not exist without the diligence of council officers, other active campaigners and local councillors; the essential support of local landowners including Cambridge Past Present & Future and Gonville and Caius; and funding from the GCP, county council and Sustrans.

The Trail has already surpassed my original dream of a cycle link for commuters that avoided busy roads, with great access to green space being a particular benefit in these difficult times. Even more will be achieved with the extra links that are planned. Thanks to everyone who has supported this route over many years and those who continue to work hard on the forthcoming sections.”

Cllr Elisa Meschini, Chair of the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Deputy Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said:

The opening of phase one of the Chisholm Trail was a landmark moment for active travel in Cambridge, providing truly transformational journeys over the River Cam by the Abbey-Chesterton Bridge and safer, traffic-free travel via the Newmarket Road underpass.

I am delighted that so many people enjoy using this wonderful new active travel link and I look forward to seeing lots of people walk, cycle, dance and run around the Trail as part of CamCycle’s event to celebrate the completion of phase one of this wonderful project.”

Simon Wall, Cambridge United Community Trust’s Community Engagement Manager, is delighted to be hosting the community in the club’s Signature Suite. He said:

It’s fantastic to be involved in this event. Since the Chisholm Trail has opened, it has had a really positive impact on the programmes that we deliver, particularly our walking and running groups, and so we are delighted to celebrate its completion. We also know that Cambridge United are incredibly keen for more supporters to use the Trail on matchdays when the new season starts, so this is a great opportunity to showcase it.”

The ride route will pass through land protected for future generations by local charity Cambridge Past, Present & Future. Chief Executive James Littlewood said:

Cambridge Past, Present & Future is delighted that the Chisholm Trail is enabling people to experience its Barnwell Meadows for the first time and also get a different view of the historic Leper Chapel, one of Cambridge’s oldest buildings. All are welcome to come and take a closer look. Find out more at our Medieval Fair on 3 September when for the first time there will be access directly from the Trail.”