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
At the end of last year, we launched a new campaign on 5 December, the day which would usually have seen thousands flock to the road for the Mill Road Winter Fair celebrations. We asked people to share positive visions for Mill Road in 2021 and called on Cambridgeshire County Council to extend the bus gate scheme trial.
We were disappointed that on 27 July, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Highways and Transport Committee voted to remove the bus gate. However, councillors did agree to undertake a full review and consultation on the options for Mill Road and this process will begin in January 2022. It has been delegated to the Greater Cambridge Partnership, which will manage the scheme as part of its City Access project, looking at ways to reduce traffic, congestion and air pollution across the city of Cambridge as a whole.
Mill Road 2020
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 welcomed these measures to keep people safe and support the local economy as the city emerged from lockdown, but we believed additional improvements needed to 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.
You can also read our official response to the 2020 consultation here.
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.
Other ways to take action
Email in support of the changes to Mill Road
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.