The campaign for the Abbey-Chesterton foot and cycle bridge reached out to the supporters of local football club Cambridge United on Saturday 7 November when the ‘U’s took on Basingstoke Town in the first round of the FA Cup.
Willa McDonald, Richard Burgess and I stood outside the Abbey Stadium’s gate before kick-off, talking to the Amber Army and urging them to sign the petition in favour of the new bridge. The proposed Chisholm Trail runs right past the stadium. It would provide a quick, easy route for supporters to get to matches and then back home, avoiding the chaos and congestion that always follows a game. However, for supporters coming from areas such as King’s Hedges, the route will only be really useful if the new bridge over the river Cam is included.
Collecting signatures on paper proved to be quite a challenge, with hundreds of people arriving in a short space of time. For a while a lady wearing a ‘Here to help’ T-shirt, who was dishing out free sweets to the people arriving, was also directing them to the petition -this worked really well, at times I had a small queue waiting to sign! We really needed more Campaign volunteers as the most effective way was to work as a pair one to catch the attention of the punters and the other to supervise the signing. As kick-off drew closer, and people were in more of a hurry and less willing to stop, we were only able to hand out the leaflets and ask people to sign the petition online.
We collected 124 signatures, enough to take the total number of signatures past the target of 1,500 well ahead of the closing deadline.
For the record, Cambridge United scraped a 1-0 win with a rather unimpressive performance -but at least they won!