Mill Road – our vision for a healthy, thriving street

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, outside the coop, with people walking, sitting, parking a bike, pushing a child in a pushchair

Mill Road 2023

A decision on the future of Mill Road is due to be made at the county council’s Highways & Transport Committee on Tuesday 7 March.

Officers have recommended that the modal filter receives a final approval and Camcycle believes, as there are no new objections which would warrant a public enquiry, that the statutory aspects of this project have been carried out satisfactorily and everything is in place to proceed with an updated scheme, amended in line with the considerable amount of public feedback from the recent consultations.

Mill Road 2022

The Greater Cambridge Partnership held a new consultation on Mill Road. It sought a broader perspective on solutions for the street and included community workshops as well as an online survey. As part of this consultation, Camcycle, the Mill Road Traders’ Association and Mill Road for People each presented their vision for Mill Road at the East Area Committee meeting in March 2022.

The majority of consultation respondents indicated that they supported a modal filter on the road as well as improving the street quality through streetscape changes. In July, the county council’s Highways and Transport Committee unanimously supported a Traffic Regulation Order on this basis.

At the end of 2022, Camcycle trustee Martin Lucas-Smith wrote a summary blog on the Mill Road campaign.

Mill Road bus gate trial 2020-21

Experimental bus gate and pavement widening on Mill Road bridge

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 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. Read a full list of frequently asked questions around our views on the scheme and our official response to the 2020 consultation.

We were disappointed that on 27 July 2021, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Highways and Transport Committee voted to remove the bus gate despite significant local support and positive results on the scheme’s aims. Councillors agreed to undertake a full review and consultation on the options for Mill Road and this process was delegated to the Greater Cambridge Partnership at the end of the year. 

Mill Road Summer 2019

Romsey Parklet on Mill Road

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Cyclist in Romsey

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.

Example of a parklet

Contact us about our Mill Road campaign

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.

Camcycle social ride

Join Camcycle

Become a member and help us campaign for a nicer Mill Road and other cycling issues you care about.

Cyclist on Mill Road bridge

Donate to the Mill Road campaign

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.