Spaces to Breathe letter and signatories

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29 April 2020

Let’s work together to ensure safe walking and cycling in the Cambridge region during the COVID-19 lockdown and into the future.

  • People who need to cycle to, or for, work, including healthcare workers, cycle couriers and key workers must be able to stay safe during and after the lockdown period.
  • People who need to travel for essential journeys, such as picking up groceries or delivering medicine to vulnerable neighbours, must have the space they need to do this safely while protecting themselves and others.
  • People who are taking daily exercise for the benefit of their physical and mental health should be able to enjoy this time without the worry of struggling to stay a safe distance from others on popular routes.
  • Ensuring safe space for walking and cycling will crucially reduce the burden on the NHS by decreasing the spread of coronavirus and the likelihood of road traffic injuries, and benefiting physical and mental health through greater physical activity, cleaner air and allowing time outdoors while still physically distancing. 
  • We must be prepared for when the lockdown measures will begin to ease. People will be reluctant to use public transport and without alternatives in place, we risk increased levels of private car use leading to more air pollution and road danger. Cambridge will grind to a halt with even a slight increase in car traffic from pre-lockdown levels, which will hurt our recovery. 

Cambridge should be a global leader. Let’s be inspired by other cities like Bogotá, Berlin, Milan and Oakland and start living up to our title of the cycling capital of the UK. As one of the world’s leading centre’s for science, health and technology, Cambridge will play an important role in helping the world recover from this pandemic and we must ensure our city and transport networks are ready. 

We ask our decision-makers to make quick and affordable interventions under Part V of the Highways Act 1980 or by using experimental traffic regulation orders. Paint, planters, traffic cones and water-filled barriers can enable fast implementation. Communications programmes and enforcement of traffic laws must also play a part. Decision-makers must act to keep people safe by:

  • Adding filters – Stopping through motor-traffic to reduce traffic and make walking and cycling journeys safer while providing more space to spread out.
  • Reusing road space – Convert road traffic lanes and/or parking and loading bays into space for cycling and walking. 
  • Removing anti-pedestrian railings – Such railings are now known to harm pedestrian safety and they reduce space available for pedestrians making it difficult to maintain physical distance. Removing them will provide more space and improve safety for cycling and walking. 
  • Widening cycle lanes – Narrow on-road cycle lanes encourage close passing from drivers and make cycling feel less safe. Cycle lanes should be made wide enough to ensure a safe distance between people cycling and passing car traffic. 
  • Improving wayfinding – Helping people find new and safe cycle and walking routes will direct them away from congested areas. People new to cycling will also feel more confident if they can easily follow safe routes.
  • Enforcing speed limits – With lower levels of car traffic, speeding has become a significant problem which is putting people in danger and making them wary of cycling. Road safety must be improved through stronger communications from the police about driving safely and within the speed limit along with enforcement action. Simple changes to road design such as the removal of centrelines can also encourage lower speeds. 
  • Redesigning junctions – Improve safety by tightening geometry at junctions, ensuring motor traffic travels at slower speeds and pedestrians have less distance to travel when crossing. This will also provide more waiting space at crossings and more space for walking and cycling on the road. 
  • Implementing communications and behaviour change programmes – Local authorities can encourage less driving through positive communications about walking and cycling and resources such as grants or cycle donation programmes to ensure everyone can access a cycle.

Further information and evidence can be found on the Camcycle website along with specific locations and recommended changes.

This crisis has shown how quickly we can act as a society when facing a threat to our lives. We must act with the same haste now to improve our transport system as this too will save lives.

We call on our decision-makers, particularly at Cambridgeshire County Council, to take urgent steps to ensure we have safe networks and infrastructure for walking and cycling so that people can make essential journeys and get their vital exercise as safely as possible now and when our city reopens. 



Business community

Max Bautin – Managing Partner – IQ Capital

Anne Beamish – Founder – Indie Cambridge

Andrew Bell

David Braben

Astra Carter-Marsh – Partner – Three Cups Jewellery, Ely

David Cleevely – Entrepreneur

Eleanor Cook

Anthony Dean – Director – Cambridge Bike Tours

Ian de Massini – Courier cyclist with “Zedify”

Tim Drye – Managing Director – DataTalk

Norman Evanson

Robin Forder

Toby Gomersall – Director – SmartAcoustics

Mike Gough – Business Owner/Mechanic – Roadies Cycles (Workshop & Bicycle Specialist)

Colin Gravill – Microsoft Research

Douglas Higgins – Project Director – First Base

Gail Hoban – Director – GAS Studio

Faye Holland – Founder – cofinitive Ltd

Spike Jackson – Managing Director – Sage Exteriors Ltd

Rob King – CEO – Zedify

Jill Laughlin – Travel for Work Lead – ARM

Ruairi Mackenzie

Andy McClelland – Chief Engineer – Cambeam System Design

Jill McCulloch – Business Coach – Coach You

Robin Message – Company director

Jeremy Peters

Ruth Queen – Head of HR – Cambridge Enterprise

Alex Raha – Business Manager – CamkolInov

Mark Richards – Partner – studio24architects LLP

Ellie Russell

Robert Sansom – Business Angel

Simon Thorpe – Managing Partner Delta2020

George Vardulakis – Director – Halkyon Consulting Ltd

Charles Wartnaby – CEO – Fusinity Ltd

Matt Whiting – CTO – Cambridge Enterprise

Natacha Wilson – Director – Cambridge Insights

Wookey – ARM Bicycle User Group


Community organisations

Tim Arnold – Harston Residents’ Group

Steve Blackburn – Resident – RedCross Areas Residents Association

Tom Bragg – Trustee – Cambridge Carbon Footprint

Lu Collier – Co ordinator – RedCross Areas Residents Association

Ian Cooper – Vice Chair – Arbury Road East Residents’ Association

Patricia Dalby – Director – Alliance Francaise Cambridge

Diane Docherty – Chief Executive – Emmaus Cambridge

Extinction Rebellion Cambridge

Extinction Rebellion Youth Cambridge

Henry Gomersall – Director – SmartAcoustics

Margaret Fernie – Joint Secretary – A.R.E.R.A. Arbury Road East Residents Association

Mark Freeman – CEO – Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service

Anne Hamill – Committee member – Milton Road Residents’ Association

Ingrid Horgan – Supporter – Red Cross Areas Residents Association

Alex Hughes – Church

James Littlewood – Chief Executive – Cambridge Past, Present & Future

Andrew Milbourn – Chair – Hurst Park Estate Residents’ Association

Anne Miller – Chair – Carbon Neutral Cambridge

Charles Nisbet – Chair – Milton Road Residents’ Association

Michael Page – former Chair – Hurst Park Estate Residents’ Association

Nicola Terry – Secretary – Transition Cambridge

Ian Ralls – Campaigner – Cambridge Friends of the Earth

Paul Robison – CEO – The Bikeability Trust, National charity with base in Cambridge

Lilian Rundblad – Chair – Histon Road Area Residents’ Association

Marilyn Smith – Chair – Arbury Road East Resident’s Association

Dan Strauss  –  Save Your Cycle Route

K Thomas – Wildlife planting conservation, horticulturist

Kevin Walshe – Project Lead – Owl Bikes

Frances Wright – Cambridge Cohousing


Councillors, politicians, political parties

Daniel Zeichner – MP, Cambridge

Philip Allen – District Councillor, Harston & Comberton ward – South Cambs District Council

David Ambrose Smith – County, District & Parish Councillor, Littleport

Barbara Ashwood – County Councillor,  Trumpington

Dave Baigent – City Councillor, Romsey – Cambridge

Simon Bywater – Chairman CYP Committee Cambs County Council – Cambs County Councillor  Sawtry & Stilton

Tim Bick – City Council, Market – Cambridge

Rod Cantrill – City Councillor, Newnham – Cambridge

Greg Chadwick – City Councillor, Castle – Cambridge

Victoria Charlesworth – District Cllr – East Cambs District Council

Cllr Steve Corney  – Mayor of Ramsey, Ramsey Town Councillor,  HDC Councillor

Cllr Lorna Dupre – Councillor, Sutton (Ely) – Cambridgeshire County Council (Liberal Democrats)

Stephen Ferguson – Mayor of St Neots – St Neots Town Council

Nichola Harrison – County Councillor, Market

Lewis Herbert – Leader of Cambridge City Council – Coleridge, City Councillor

Pippa Heylings – Cllr – South Cambs District Council

John Hipkin – City Councillor, Castle – Cambridge

Nick Hollinghurst – Hertfordshire County Councillor

Chris Howell – Former City Councillor – Personal Response

Veronica Hufford – Huntingdon Town Councillor

Julian Huppert – Former MP, Cambridge

Linda Jones – County Councillor, Petersfield

Cllr Patrick Kadewere  – District Councillor  – Huntingdonshire Community Group

Ian Manning – County Councillor, West Chesterton

Josh Matthews – City Councillor, Newnham – Cambridge

Dr Anthony Martinelli – City Councillor, Market – Cambridge

Stephen McAdam – Mayor of Huntingdon

Jacquie McBride – Parish Councillor – Barrington

Colin McGerty – City Councillor, Queen Edith’s – Cambridge

John Morris  – District Councillor, Brampton & Hinchingbrooke – Huntingdonshire District Council

Lucy Nethsingha – County Councillor, Newnham

Jonathan Pallant – Town Mayor of St Ives – St Ives Town Council

Cheney Payne – City Councillor, Castle – Cambridge

Katie Porrer – City Councillor, Market – Cambridge

Claire Richards – County Councillor, Castle

Cllr Richard Robertson – City Councillor – Petersfield

Tom Sanderson – Councillor

Mike Sargeant- Deputy Leader Cambridge City Council – West Chesterton, City Councillor

Dr Jocelynne Scutt – County Councillor, Arbury

Michael Todd-Jones – City Councillor, Arbury – Cambridge

Damien Tunnacliffe – City Councillor, West Chesterton – Cambridge

Susan van de Ven – County Councillor, Melbourn and Bassingbourn

Councillor Richard West, Huntingdonshire District Council – Chairman Huntingdonshire District Council  – Great Paxton ward Huntingdonshire District Council






Doctors and public health practitioners

Mark Abbas – GP

Tom Adams  – Junior Doctor

Richard Baird – Hospital Doctor

Dr Kate Baker – Programme Leader and Honorary Consultant

Martin Becker – Consultant Paediatrician

Amanda Buckingham – PhD Student

Harry Bulstrode – Clinical Lecturer

Melody Clark

Patrick Clark

Petrus Fourie – Consultant Anaesthetist – Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Emily Gomersall – Doctor, GP – Lensfield Medical Practice

Andrew Graham – Consultant Neurologist – Personal capacity

Simon Griffin – GP

Dr John Hall – Research doctor

Brian Hendrich

Sarah Hopkins – Geriatric Doctor – Addenbrooke’s Hospital

Dr Nik Johnson – Consultant Paediatrician – North West Anglia NHS Trust

Amelie Kirchgaessner

Alex La Frenais – Research Assistant – MRC

Suzie Loveday  – CEO – Cambridge Counselling

Neil Mack – Physician

Willa McDonald – GP – Lensfield Medical Practice

Will McEwan – Scientist

Dr Catherine J Merrick – University Senior Lecturer

Richard Merrick – Public Health registrar

Jim O’Sullivan – Nurse

Richard Patterson

Andrew Perrett – GP

John Powell MBChB

Dr Victoria Ramsden – GP Registrar

Sean Rock

Dr James Smith – GP

Marilyn Smith – Ex researcher/practice teacher community health

Tabitha Smith – retired doctor

Dr Martin Stefan – Psychiatrist

Dolly Theis – Student

Kevin Varty – Retired Doctor

Richard Wakeford – Proprietor – Cambridge Assessment and Quality Assurance Associates

Antony Warren – Doctor

Philip Wigglesworth – Director

Eleanor Winpenny









Key workers

Eleanor Blair

Harry Bullivant – Consultant – TTP

Alice Clarkson

Catriona Cole

Patrick Davies

Ian de Massini

Lynne Hamilton


Gary Howell

Phil Garrett

Mary Jane O’Sullivan

Catherine Thompson

Simon Warnes – Engineer

Ian Webb – Operations Manager

Heather Yeadon




Parents of young children

Sian Alexander

Catherine Aman

Valerie Ashton

Richard Baird – father of 4

Jeremy Baumberg

Felicity Baynes

Emilia Benjamin

G S Bennett

Zachary Bergman

Rosanna Bienzobas

Tina Bollerslev – Teacher, parent, community enthusiast – my family and friends

Tilman Bregler

Edward Briffa

Anthony Brown

Amy Burbidge – Buckden parish councillor

Jim Butler

James Cooke

John Constable

Hilary Costello

Jonathan Cribb

Russell Dunn

Alec Edgington

Roos Eichenberger – Global Health Research Manager – Personal response

Neil Ferguson

Kate Fry

Felix Sanchez Garcia

Naomi Griffiths

Lisa Hall

Sarah Harbour

Hatem Helal

Alison Hoare

James Hobro

Stephen Hodgson – Parent Grandparent Cyclist – Hunts Walking & Cycling Group

Neil Howie

Chris Hughes

Tim Hughes

Dickon Humphrey

R. Humphrey

Karsten Koehler

Shani Lee


Blair Martin – Graduate Student – Cambridge University

Dermot McGinnity

Tom McKeown

Jacquie Mercer

Amy Merrick

Sally Milligan

Sophie Mitchell

Berry Mulligan

Helen Mulligan

Vincent Murray

Jerome Neufeld

Fiona Ogden

Francesca Raphaely Ingold

Jo Rees

Rich Rippin

Charlotte Roberts

Peter Robinson

Karen Rodgers

Mark Rogers – Sentinel Projects

Michael Sanders

Sarah Strickland

Tom Stroud

Tom Sutch

Sarah Swire

Laila Tims

Nicolas Vanelslande

James Vause

Joe Vervaeke

Tim Waller

Kieran Walsh

R. Westley – University of Cambridge

Anna Williams

Matthew Williams

Clare Wilson

Elspeth Wilson

Pete Wilson

Georgia Powell





Teachers and education sector

Rhona Armour – Senior Manager – Cambridge Assessment

Neil Arnold

Joshua Blanchard Lewis – Affiliated lecturer, tutor

Anthony Bowen – Retired teacher and councillor

Joanne Bradley – Teacher

Andrew Caines – Senior Research Associate – University of Cambridge

Robert Coe – Owner  – EnglishINcambridge

Julian Constable – Lecturer

Margaret Cranmer

Michael Crisp

Susan Day

Helen East

Sarah Elsegood

Paul Evans

Anna Gannon

Tim Gent – Governor, Waterbeach Community Primary School – Waterbeach Community Primary School

Philip Gibbard – emeritus professor

Christine Green

William Hale

Sara Hennessy – Reader – University of Cambridge

Richard Jennings – Director of Studies, Supervisor – University of Cambridge

Neil Jones – University lecturer

H Judge

Siobhan Lyons – Teacher – Lyons Languages

Darren Macey

Dorottya Nemes – School teacher

David Newbery – Director Energy Policy Research Group U of Cambridge

Clare Sansom

David Secher – Retired 

Trudi Tate

Matthew Tennant

Lisa Tuohy – Headteacher – ACE Nursery School

RAD Wagon – Cycle Instructor – RAD Wagon Wheelers

Bronwen Walter – Emerita professor – Anglia Ruskin University

Marjolein Wytzes




Transport professionals and organisations

Matthew Barber – Head of Partnerships – Sustrans

Vikki Beale – BDM – Breeze… British cycling

Paul Bearpark – Chairman – Waterbeach Cycling Campaign – Waterbeach Cycling Campaign

Robin Clarke

Ian Cray – Member – Cambridge CleanWheels

Roxanne De Beaux – Executive Director – Camcycle

Ian Driver – A 10 cycle campaign webmaster and committee member – A10 corridor cycle campaign Royston to Cambridge

Stephen Hodgson – Chairman – Hunts Walking & Cycling Group

Eddie Kehoe – Director – The Electric Transport Shop Ltd

Stephen Kidson

Edward Leigh – Leader – Smarter Cambridge Transport

Sam Livingstone – Director – Car Design Research

Kieron McNab – Managing Director – Outspoken Training

Sean McSweeney – Ely Cycling Campaign

Sean Moroney – CEO – Cambridge Electric Transport

Michele Piu

Simon Roberts – Safety Management specialist – Safety Management International

Hugh Salt – Company Director – Cambridge Dutchbikes

Mark Searle – General Manager – Outspoken Cycles

John Seton – Secretary – CTC Cambridge – Part of Cycling UK

Mike Stapleton – Cycling UK Campaigner – Cycling UK

Phil Walker – Administrative – Huntingdonshire Walking and Cycling Campaign Group




Alan Ackroyd

David Andrew

David Baker

Carol Barker

Beth Barker

John Barker

Colin Batchelor

Rachael Beale

Stephen Biddle – Retired NHS

Katie Birkwood

Imogene Blackburn-Horgan

Kate Boursnell

Annabel Bradford

Andy Brown

Hannah Brown

Vivienne Brown

Paul Browne

Judy Brunton

Tim Brunton

Pieter Bruyninckx

Anthony Bullock

Tim Burford

Richard Burgess

Matthew Burling

Audrey Burns – Associate Programme Officer – UNEP-WCMC

Valerio Chang

Hugh Chapman

Jim Chisholm

Anne Clarke

Sue Clements – Bikeability instructor

Tim Cole

Stephen Conrad

George Coombs

Paul Cowell

Ben Connor

Ian Cooper

Kenneth Coutts – Retired lecturer

Martin Cove

Nathan Crilly

Helen Cross

Matthew Danish

Mike Davies

Rupert Dick

Stefan Dixon

Colin Doak

Chris Dorling

Shona Douglas

Ian Driver

David Dyer

David Earl

Sue Edwards

Andrew Eltis

Anthony Evershed

Steve Fagg

Anke Friedrich

Monica Frisch

Michal Gabrielczyk

Chiara Gardner

Emma Garnett – PhD Researcher – University of Cambridge

Nick Gellatly – Spare Tyres Cycling Club

Harriet Gillett – Cambridge Resident for 34 years

Elaine Gillingham

Paula Goddard

Andrew Gordon

Dani Grant

Richard Gray

Jonathan Griffiths

Jill Grimshaw

J Fairbairn

Colin Farr – Research Assistant / Study Coordinator

Silvia Ferdin

Simon FitzMaurice

Henry Fletcher – Engineer

Richard Folley

Alan Fournier

David Gant – Retired schoolteacher

Jean Glasberg

Rachel Hall

Rebecca Hall

Ros Hathorn

James Hems

Robin Heydon

Julian Hickling

Susan Holland

Bart Hommels

Ben Horton

Chris Houghton

Peter Hutchison

Stephanie Hyland

Marko Hyvonen

Liz Irvin – Arbury resident

Hilary Jackson

John Jackson

Richard Jennings – University Teacher

G Jones

Natalie Jones

Tess Jones


Stefan Kaye

Andy Kennedy

Finlay Knops-Mckim

Anne-Laure Lacour


Alexandra Lanes

Mrs Anna Langley

Derek Langley

Jenny Langley

Jackie Leonard

Paul Lewis

Stephen Lewis

K Li

Clio Lloyd-Jacob

Marcus Lugg

Philip Lund

Rosalind Lund

Christina Lynch

Paul Lythgoe

Maureen Mace

Dominic Mahony

Nicola M Marrian

Frances Marsh

Robert MacDonald – Senior Water Resource Planner

Robert McCubbin – Little Wilbraham resident

David McLean

Ruth McGuinness

Sean McSweeney

Julius Mex

Andrew Milbourn

Riaz Moola

Beth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Ines Moskal

Richard Moss

David Newton

Simon Nuttall

Sebastian Palmer

Cathy Parker

Elizabeth Parkin

Lori Passmore

Kerri Pereira

Vivien Perutz

Maria Pooley

Simon Poppy

Marco Prain – Pro-Cyclist

Claire Preston

Ben Price

Christoph Puethe

Sophia Pugsley

Sebastian Rammensee

Judith Rattenbury

Joanna Raskin

Teresa Saez

Nick Salter

Maartje Scheltens

John Shead

Catherine Smart

Alex Smiles

Graham Spelman

Tamsin Spelman

Richard Spencer

Catherine Squire

Lauren Stabler

Ron Stobbart

Aldabra Stoddart

Alistair Storer

Nick Tankard

Edward Taylor

E.A. Theokritoff

Katharine Thoday

Ms Lily Tomson

Lynn Travis

Mark Troll – Research Scientist

Claire Turner

Hugo Tyson

Chloe Underdown – Civil Engineer

Clare Waldron

Nicky Webb

Jean Whitaker

Bruce White

Ian White

Steven Williams

Martin Willitts

Sue Woodsford – Cambridge City Amnesty International