Campaign update: Spaces to Breathe

This article was published in 2021, in Magazine 152.

Camcycle believes that people in the Cambridge region need spaces to breathe to allow them to stay safe, happy and healthy. This campaign works to achieve more safe space for cycling and walking during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, so that more people feel able to choose active travel for everyday journeys, or spend time outdoors in the places where they live. Find out more at camcycle.org.uk/spacestobreathe

Active Travel Tranche 1

Of the emergency active travel schemes installed during 2020, Mill Road may have been removed, but there is strong support – and evidence – to show that the series of modal filters put in place by the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) should remain and be made permanent.

Before the September meeting of the GCP Joint Assembly, results of the public consultation were published, showing that for all neighbourhoods in the scheme – Carlyle Road, Luard Road, Newtown (Phase One), Nightingale Avenue, Silver Street and Storey’s Way – a majority of respondents supported the trials and felt they should be retained and made permanent. The Phase Two measures for Newtown (installed in January) were slightly less well supported and additional work on the location of closure points, highway signage, parking arrangements and bus services is recommended.

Additional data referenced in the GCP report demonstrated some impressive statistics: over 80% of those travelling in Carlyle Road, Luard Road and Silver Street are cycling or walking, and Carlyle Road – with over 1,200 cycle movements a day (between 7am and 7pm) – is nearly as popular as the Riverside cycle bridge!

Trial modal filter on Luard Road

Owing to some concerns over traffic congestion on Long Road, the Luard Road filter (pictured above) was recommended for removal. Thanks to the Camcycle members and local residents who helped us campaign to get this recommendation changed. The GCP Board have now voted in support of all these schemes and it is up to the county council to decide on their future.

Active Travel Tranche 2

With strong results for tranche 1 measures being revealed, local communities are growing increasingly frustrated at the time it is taking to get tranche 2 schemes put in place.

A Photoshop visual showing what the Arbury Road modal filter could look like.

Cambridgeshire County Council consulted on a long list of options over the summer, but the online-only survey, accompanied by just technical drawings for each scheme, was not conducive to constructive public debate on controversial schemes such as Arbury Road or Coldham’s Lane. Working with local residents’ associations, Camcycle spread the word about the consultation and tried to explain the issues via social media (often using Photoshop visuals to illustrate the proposals). Volunteers delivered over 4,500 leaflets in North Cambridge and our technical experts explained our thoughts and position on each scheme (including some in Huntingdonshire and South Cambridgeshire, as well as Cambridge city) on our website. The consultation results are expected later in the year.

TAKE ACTION!

Write to the Highways Committee
Please urge members of the county council’s Highways Committee to vote in favour of making Tranche 1 schemes permanent. Find member names and emails on the county council’s website.

Write to your county councillors
Ask them to support Tranche 2 schemes. Find your local councillor at writetothem.com