Imagine a street built around its community with round-the-clock access for businesses and residents, but without the pollution of through-traffic. Imagine a place that is a destination for shopping, eating and community activities; a space to linger or pass through at a leisurely pace. Imagine the unique and diverse nature of this street on show for all to see; not just during the Mill Road Winter Fair but all year round as visitors from across the city and beyond come to experience its unique culture. Together, let’s make this vision for Mill Road happen.
Mill Road 2021
Mill Road 2021 is a new campaign, launched by Camcycle on 5th December, the day which would usually have seen thousands flock to the road for the Mill Road Winter Fair celebrations.
The campaign encourages the local community to share positive visions for the future of the street and calls on Cambridgeshire County Council to extend the bus gate scheme trial.
What should Mill Road be like after Covid-19? Let’s have a fresh start in the new year, celebrating the best of our unique community and beginning to shape an even better place together.
Mill Road in the time of coronavirus
As part of Cambridgeshire County Council’s set of emergency measures to provide temporary space for safe cycling and walking during the Covid-19 pandemic, changes were implemented along the road from Wednesday 24 June, 2020 with a bus gate installed on the bridge.
Camcycle welcomes these measures to keep people safe and support the local economy as the city emerges from lockdown, but we believe additional improvements should be made to improve safety, air quality and access for those who need to drive. You can read a full list of frequently asked questions around our views on the scheme on our blog.
It’s also important that those that support the improvements tell the county council so that the experiment can be effectively measured and popular changes made permanent. We await the insights from the Mill Road consultation survey (which closed on 24 December), however, you can continue to send your comments to email@example.com and email your local Mill Road councillors.
You can also read our official response to the consultation.
Mill Road Summer 2019
In 2019, Mill Road bridge was closed to allow for the construction of a new railway line. We called upon Network Rail and Govia Thameslink to enhance rather than divide the community during the bridge works. Here’s what we argued for in the lead-up to this period:
- Pedestrian access to be maintained throughout the project, except during the short periods of time when it would be unsafe to provide this. Access to be wide enough to accommodate pushchairs, wheelchairs and people walking with bicycles.
- Network Rail to fund investment in Mill Road during the works so that, although the bridge was closed, the street would remain fully open with thriving businesses and a united community. Camcycle wanted to see funding for a new Mill Road coordinator as well as investment in the streetscape and exciting events.
- A positive legacy from the project with the street left better than it was before. The proposed closure offered a rare opportunity to improve the road which is consistently named among the places Cambridge residents avoid or find most dangerous when walking and cycling. Camcycle would like to see the street become a popular destination for shopping, eating and community activities with access prioritised for those on foot, cycle or public transport and more area given to public space and planting.
The Mill Road Summer initiative, which we contributed to, aimed to encourage people to visit Mill Road while the bridge was closed to motor traffic, despite the difficulties faced over the summer (gas works along the street, the H Gee fire and regular truck movements to the Mill Road depot site). Over 50 events were organised, posters and leafleting took place to promote the street, and the Romsey Parklet was created, bringing people into the area and fostering a greater sense of community. Read more about why we supported Mill Road Summer on our blog.
Email in support of the changes to Mill Road
Do you find it safer and more pleasant to get around Mill Road since the bus gate was installed? Have you noticed that the air is cleaner and it’s easier to keep a safe distance from others when walking along the street or visiting shops? If you have positive comments about the experimental scheme, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. You should also email your local councillors – tell them what you think and share your ideas for the future.
If you’d like to know more about our Mill Road vision, can help as a volunteer, are a member of an organisation which would like to work in collaboration with us or are from a publication which would like a statement or press release about our vision, please get in touch.
Camcycle members can also contribute to the discussion and volunteer on Cyclescape, our online members’ forum.
Become a member and help us campaign for a nicer Mill Road and other cycling issues you care about.
We’re a charity and promotion and materials are part of our campaigning costs. With your help, we can spread the word about the Mill Road vision project, pay venue hire costs for our public workshops, create surveys to gauge the views of local residents and produce other materials to further the project’s aims.