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Question 25 - we asked:

Mill Road is one of the premier high streets in the country. It is also an important cycle route since it crosses the railway. But it is also covered with badly-parked cars and plagued by speeding motorists who disregard the safety of people walking and cycling. During the Mill Road Winter Fair we get a glimpse of an alternative Mill Road, one that provides an amazing public space that people can really enjoy. For the rest of the year, how would you like to see Mill Road improved so that it can be a better place for people living there, shopping and visiting?

We asked this question in these 2 wards: Petersfield, Romsey.

8 of the 8 candidates (100%) who were asked this question responded as below.

Those candidate(s) which were elected are highlighted.

(Conservative Party)

My phones' image galleries are full of badly parked cars on Mill Road, albeit the bit that's in Petersfield, but the tailbacks that can be caused by a single illegally parked car can stretch all the way to Romsey (I had a photo of this too somewhere).

As it happens, I am not a big fan of closing roads for the Winter Fair and I don't agree with the premise that it provides an amazing public space. Some people don't feel welcome and I am one of them.

The Mill Road traders have recently had a tough couple of years but it must be possible to improve the way deliveries are currently handled.

Simon LEE
(Conservative Party)

I mentioned a red route previously, I think this should be enforced by cameras and a fine system put in place, this would stop taxis parking using cash machines and on kerb parking.
You would have to have times and place when it would be ok to stop for delivery. We do need to utilise some of the side streets for parking for short periods to make use of the shops and we do need more parking for bikes.
Maybe it’s time we had another crossing for pedestrians over the railway and used the current path for a cycle path over the bridge. The main junction Mill Road and Gonville Place needs to be looked, it’s a death trap.
Mill road needs a good clean up and could be amazing. I would suggest cameras to clear up Anti-social behaviour, certain trader’s stop selling cheap beer and alcohol and clear up the open selling of drugs on Mill road would go a long way.

(Green Party)

Tougher restrictions on car-parking, new public cycle parking along its length, and more work with community groups that consider the interests of the residents and businesses along the road as a whole.

(Green Party)

One suggestion the Green Party has made in recent years in the city has been for more regular days where cars are not allowed to enter city - centre or 'hub' areas, such as been happening in Bristol and Paris recently. Obviously Mill Road is an important thoroughfare and this would need to be taken into account but we think people would love this idea. It would reduce air pollution on certain days and let people enjoy their local area more on certain occasions.

We badly need investment to ensure the pavements and road on Mill Road are improved to be safe for those using wheelchairs and prams, and everyone using the road. Because Mill Road is so narrow it's difficult to see how cycling space can be made but I would be happy to look at this with local groups and the cycling campaign.

I cycle on Mill Road regularly and there are often aggressive drivers and cars squeezing past cyclists, particularly on the railway bridge. This needs to stop and there should be better policing to discourage it from happening.

(Labour Party)

I would like to Mill Road closed at the area around the swimming pool. This could be controlled by CCTV and only allow bikes, buses and emergency vehicles would be allowed to pass the CCTV without a penalty.

(Labour Party)

Ian Jackson’s imagined scenario for Mill Rd is interesting. I think, though, that there would need to be more thought about how the road differs in width either side of the bridge, and solutions for pedestrians – who widely differ in age and mobility - would really have to be more formal. But, as Ian himself says, “Of course much of this is politically difficult for various reasons; it would require cooperation and approval from many officials and quite a few politicians.” – to that list I would add: ‘and a number of local authorities’.

The video, which shows the disruption that delivery by a large vehicle causes, is one of the worst examples I have witnessed. Personally, I would like deliveries in Mill Rd to only be allowed in the evening or very early morning. However, you will be aware that this doesn’t fall within the City council’s jurisdiction.

Mill Rd is one road among several that would be better viewed as a network of connected roads as they feed into/impact on each other and the users of those roads.

There are measures in the offing that will help improve the current situation in the area. When the park & ride charge was introduced, the numbers using the service dropped quite dramatically. The charge is to be abolished, with the expectation that use of the service will rise. Trains now go from Cambridge North railway station to Brighton, via Gatwick. In May this year, there will be two non-stop trains to Kings X per hour from Cambridge North station, bringing it into line with Cambridge Central station – that, together with the fact that parking charges are lower at Cambridge North station, should divert usage from Central to North. The remaining roads in the JA side of Petersfield are to be brought within the existing Residents Parking Zone, so incoming commuters will no longer be able to avail of free parking in the area. Taken together, these measures will reduce traffic in and around Mill Rd.

(Liberal Democrat)

As I mentioned for general safety question, I would be keen to see greater enforcement around the double-yellow lines on Mill Road itself, both on our side of the bridge and the Petersfield end, to prevent dangerous and illegal parking from taxis and deliveries. I would hope to see more local businesses working together to co-ordinate delivery times and share available stopping and unloading spaces sensibly, such as the Co-Op's rear car park and the car park on Cavendish Road.

I like the idea of bringing in greater pedestrianisation and cycle lanes instead of traffic for certain times of the week, perhaps on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, to create a better community environment at peak family and shopping times; I believe access to Mill Road via the side street routes (Argyle St, St Philip's Road, Coldham's Lane) would still allow most people living locally to reach their usual parking areas, as well as business being able to obtain emergency deliveries.

(Liberal Democrat)

Look to Dutch cities to see what's possible. I was hopeful for Tenison Road, as there was quite a lot of money available to work with, but what we got is yet another "bog standard" traffic calming scheme. We suffer from a lack of ambition and fear the change in attitudes to transport planning that we must embrace. The course we are on does indeed make spaces less liveable, through parked cars, broken pavements, noise, increasing congestion and air pollution that's becoming a health crisis.

We close Mill Road once a year and the world doesn't end. I've been to continental towns and cities where roads are closed for certain times of day and the space turned over to pedestrians. We could start with that, see how people adapt to the scheme (including those on side streets with no other way in or out), and let that inform our future direction. We should not be afraid to experiment.

Camcycle is a non-partisan body. All candidates are given an equal opportunity to submit their views. Information published by Camcycle (Cambridge Cycling Campaign), The Bike Depot, 140 Cowley Road, Cambridge, CB4 0DL.