Mayor emphasises ‘high hopes’ for Phase Two of the Chisholm Trail as Camcycle campaigns for safe link through the Beehive

Last month, Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, joined Jim Chisholm and Camcycle representatives to review the completed Phase One of the Chisholm Trail and understand the challenges arising as Phase Two develops. Enjoying a sunny day for his tour, Mayor Johnson commented:

“It was a most worthwhile and enjoyable trip, meeting various stakeholders in this visionary project and seeing for myself what has been achieved already. So many people have worked so hard to turn the dream to reality, making Phase One of this trail really happen. It’s a remarkable community asset, making brilliant active travel links for work and leisure, bringing public health and green space nearer everyday life for more people. Phase One is fantastic and we all have very high hopes for Phase Two.”

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson (centre) on a Chisholm Trail tour with Paul Robison and Jim Chisholm (left) and Josh Grantham and Yo Higton (right).

Phase Two will see the Trail continue from Coldhams Lane to Cambridge Station with links through new developments and alongside the railway. The Greater Cambridge Partnership has revised its completion date for this phase from 2023 to 2024 (see page 463 of the latest GCP Board papers) as designs are being updated ‘following feedback to the summer 2022 consultation [on Cromwell Road and the Coldham’s Lane junction] and ongoing dialogue with Network Rail. Meanwhile, Camcycle is concerned that proposals for the link through the Beehive site, which is protected as part of planning conditions, does not align with LTN 1/20, the government’s standards on cycle infrastructure design – please join us in objecting to the current plans.

Jim Chisholm, who developed the idea of the Trail more than twenty years ago, said:

“Pleasant routes for active travel are essential for a healthy city like Cambridge. Phase One of the Chisholm Trail has been complete for a while, and together we were able to see the potential for Phase Two, which would complete my original vision. It was good to be able to give the Mayor a tour and to be joined by a friendly and knowledgeable team to explore the full route.”

Other representatives on the tour included Yo Higton, Active Travel Lead for the Combined Authority, Paul Robison, Camcycle’s Chair of Trustees, and Camcycle Infrastructure Campaigner Josh Grantham.

Standing on the Abbey-Chesterton bridge, Jim Chisholm points out active travel routes that link up with the Chisholm Trail.

Paul Robison said:

“Since December 2021, the first section of the Chisholm Trail has become an important asset for the community, providing links to green spaces, to Cambridge North and to many places for work and study. We have high aspirations for Phase Two so that the link from Coldham’s Common to Cambridge central station continues the high quality of Phase One.”

During the tour, the Mayor crossed the Abbey-Chesterton bridge, which provides a connection to those two communities and access to green spaces alongside the river, and also passed the historic Leper Chapel. James Littlewood of Cambridge Past Present & Future said of the Trail:

“Cambridge Past, Present & Future is pleased to have enabled the Chisholm Trail by using its lands near the Leper Chapel. We are delighted that many more people are now aware of the Chapel and our meadows at Barnwell and able to enjoy them when they use the Trail.”

TAKE ACTION: Campaign for a safe and accessible link through the Beehive site

Computer visualisation of the redevelopment of the Beehive siteThe deadline for commenting on planning application proposals for the new development at the Beehive Centre site is Saturday 23 September. Please object to designs which do not protect the Chisholm Trail via the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning online portal.

We are concerned that the cycle route through the site, which should be part of Chisholm Trail Phase Two, is too indirect and does not link well to the site’s access points. With the link for the Trail protected by local planning conditions (Policy 80 of the Local Plan and Policy LTP3 of the Cambridgeshire Local Transport Plan), Camcycle would like to see a better design that aligns with government standards on cycle infrastructure design and safeguards the route for the 5,000 people a day cycling along the Chisholm Trail and the 20,000 people a day riding to and within the Beehive site. Below are diagrams which show how the current proposals should be improved. Read more details in Camcycle’s full response to this application.

The proposed cycle routes from the Beehive masterplan shown in green (left) and an alternative framework developed by Camcycle in blue (right) which would create an improved route for the Chisholm Trail and users of the Beehive site.

Please object to the planning application on the grounds that the proposed route for phase 2 of the Chisholm Trail which runs through the redevelopment of the Beehive has not been designed in accordance with LTN 1/20, the national guidance for cycle infrastructure design as it fails to provide a direct and attractive route. It does not align with Policy 80 of the Local Plan, Policy LTP3 of the Cambridgeshire Local Transport Plan or Policies AT04 and AT21 of the county council’s Active Travel Strategy, which states that all new developments should prioritise active travel.