City Deal and the Chisholm Trail

This article was published in 2015, in Newsletter 119.

Cyclists riding across Ditton Meadows east of the site of the proposed bridge. [Reach Ride 2014]
Image as described adjacent
Location map.
Image as described adjacent

At the City Deal Board’s meeting of 28 January the Chisholm Trail was included for prioritisation in the first five years of Greater Cambridge City Deal projects. This is a huge step forward for a project the Campaign first proposed in 1998, and vindicates 15 years of campaigning for this route. The £8.4 million approved unanimously by the City Deal Board will enable the Campaign’s vision to become a reality. The Campaign looks forward to working with the Greater Cambridge City Deal Board, associated councils, planners and landowners to resolve implementation details and deliver the Chisholm Trail.

The Chisholm Trail is the Campaign’s proposal for a world-class cycling and walking route joining the north of Cambridge city to the south. It will provide a direct cycling and walking connection between numerous employment, retail and residential areas, and two major transport hubs upon completion of the Science Park station.

By replacing many difficult driving routes with a new attractive, easy and quick cycling route, it will free up road space and reduce congestion. Accordingly, it will benefit both people on bikes and those in cars. The central section offers opportunities to create a linear park: adding greenery to the city, and providing opportunities for both leisure and utility trips, on foot or by bike.

Two key sections of the Chisholm Trail have already been built, again as a result of our long-term campaigning efforts. These are the sections from Trumpington to Cambridge Station and from Orchard Park towards Huntingdon. Construction of a third section, from Orchard Park to the new Cambridge North (Science Park) station, is also underway. This approval by the City Deal Board will complete the final, central section.

Ditton Meadows. The proposed bridge over the River Cam will be close to the existing railway bridge.
Image as described adjacent

The Chisholm Trail, named for its proposer and principal campaigner Jim Chisholm, alludes to a nineteenth-century cattle trail in the American Midwest. Far from driving cattle to slaughter, Cambridge’s Chisholm Trail will breathe life into the city: connecting communities, opening up new green space, and relieving daily congestion issues.

Tom McKeown