Celebrate our county’s diversity and share ideas for the future

This article was published in 2022, in Magazine 155.

Rosie HumphreyA quick flick through this issue tells us something important: people in our county carry cargo in many different ways.Looking at photos alone, I counted more than a dozen different bike set-ups for shopping, children, tools and pets as well as a mixture of cycles to suit different riders. We see that the range reflects much of our community’s diversity – that many people are able to travel according to their needs as a result of imaginative design and careful engineering.

Since the spring edition, our developing regional work has helped us to discover more about people’s needs and how they want to live in areas outside Cambridge. Our election survey was extended to include Peterborough City Council and Huntingdonshire District Council; those who helped shape the questions provided insight into the barriers to cycling that people face in these areas. Separately, we began to survey the region to discover Cambridgeshire’s Best Streets and how they might inspire the sustainable places of the future (see page 49). In addition, we’ve learnt about cargo cycling in and around Little Paxton and why cargo bikes aren’t an option for some family journeys in Brampton (pages 29-30).

As we work together to tackle some of our region’s most pressing needs, we need to encourage imaginative thinking. Issues we share include climate change, the rising cost of living (how can we afford to fill up our cars?) and how we are going to adapt to a different future. The recent Active Travel Funding allocations made it clear that the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority needs to be much bolder if we are to benefit from the opportunity to transform local transport systems (page 13), and the Greater Cambridge Partnership also needs to be ambitious as it carries out the first Cambridge road classification review since the 1980s (page 16). Both here and abroad, there are numerous examples of successful and affordable schemes which move towards environmentally friendly modes of transport and would significantly benefit people in our region. We know that our infrastructure has to adapt, but decision-makers need our support – and our ideas. Camcycle member Bill Blake writes about how Cambridge could be a low-traffic city (page 43) and we would welcome your comments.

We hope that some of the articles in the pages ahead will inspire you to think about the challenges we share, to talk or write about them, and join us (if you haven’t already!) as we campaign for our region to become a place where all people can experience more, better and safer active travel in their daily lives.

Rosie Humphrey, Camcycle editor