Core Scheme Stage 3 – Silver Street

Silver Street
Silver Street: narrow, busy, no room to walk and hazardous for cyclists

The Silver Street and probably Regent Street areas are next on the list for traffic reduction, following on from the schemes in Bridge Street and Emmanuel Road over the last few years.

While buses were the main focus of the two earlier schemes, Silver Street is more about cycling and pedestrians.

A number of options are being whittled down. The combination will be decided by City and County councillors at a committee meeting on Monday January 28.

  • Total closure. Officers are not recommending this because of the impact on the inner ring road. We felt that this was among the few viable options, as all others would require a carriageway to remain in Silver Street.

  • Part-time closure. Interestingly, cycle flows are much more spread out during the day than motor traffic, but are still at their highest at the same time as the other traffic. Off peak closure won’t do much for commuting cyclists and pedestrians on the narrow pavements.

  • Tidal-flow. This offers more opportunity to create space for cyclists and pedestrians by narrowing the vehicle roadway. But not much, as the street is so very narrow in the first place. A 3m traffic lane and a 1.5m contraflow cycle lane would leave little scope for widening the pavements.

  • One-way. But which way?

  • Tidal-flow plus part time closure. Some combination of these two looks like being the basis for consultation.

Pembroke Street juction
Pembroke Street to Mill Lane across Trumpington Street: hard to cross
Royal Cambridge Hotel junction
By the Royal Cambridge Hotel at Lensfield Road: still the highest cyclist casualty rate in the City

Officers also recognized concern about Regent Street and will be working on options for an April committee meeting.

In December 2001, we met with Richard Preston (Cambridge Projects Officer) and Jemma Little (Richard’s assistant) at the County Council to give some initial feedback.

As well as the specific streets in question we also raised the need for a crossing between Pembroke Street and Mill Lane. We were also concerned about the impact of any changes on the ring road. It is a little worrying that this concern seems to have been used as a justification for not recommending complete closure of Silver Street rather than mitigating the effects on cyclists on the ring road. We drew attention again to the dual mini-roundabouts by the Royal Cambridge Hotel, still the junction with the highest casualty rate in the City.

You can read a more complete summary of our comments here.

You can also read the full report going to the Cambridge Area Committee on January 28 here.