Science Park Access Subgroup

This article was published in 1998, in Newsletter 16.

In January a new subgroup met for the first time, to look at ways of improving access to the Science Park for cyclists and pedestrians. In particular, we’ll be looking at Trinity College’s plans for two stages of development to increase traffic flow into and out of the Science Park, on Milton Road.

Phase I is the widening of the access road, between Milton Road and the Science Park roundabout, coupled with the addition of traffic lights on this roundabout. These traffic lights will be synchronised with other traffic lights in Cambridge, via a system called ‘SCOOT’. This received approval from the County Council Environment and Transport Committee back in October, and Trinity College intends to complete this work within the next year.

Phase II is the planned addition of an extra lane, for northbound traffic, leaving the Science Park, and heading towards the roundabout above the A14. This would be a nightmare for cyclists leaving the Science Park, mixing with three lanes of traffic, with a 70 mph speed limit. The Environment and Transport Committee resolved to oppose this change, on the grounds that it would be detrimental to cyclists and pedestrians, that it would encourage more people to drive in private cars (against local and national policy), and that the scheme would only move the congestion a few hundred yards, to the A14 roundabout.

We supported the decision on Phase II, and will now spend some time looking at the details of Phase I, to see just how they’ll affect cyclists. A look at a map of the area between the Science Park, St John’s Innovation Centre, and Tesco’s at Milton shows just how the whole area has been designed solely with the car in mind. The road distances involved, to travel just a few hundred yards as the crow flies, are absurd. We feel that what is really needed is to open other access routes to the Science Park, ones suitable for cyclists and pedestrians. We spent a lot of time considering potential entrances, which we intend to study in more detail.

In the meantime, to give Trinity College credit, they have stated publicly that they support measures to reduce private car usage, such as the Travel for Work scheme (of which the Cycling Campaign is a partner). We look forward to seeing how this support will be put into practice.

Clare Macrae