|Sustrans routes are well known for their artwork. This new sculpture at the Newmarket Road Park & Ride site is a nice example.|
I have never before had a gold-edged card inviting me to an event featuring the Duke of Edinburgh, but then he probably hasn’t been on a bike much recently either. And July 1 was no exception, when he opened the Jubilee Cycleway.
As we reported last time, work was nearing completion. It still is at the time of writing. Temporary gates are still in place at each of the bridges. And it will be a while before a proper toucan crossing is in place on Ditton Lane.
Nevertheless, the route is built to a pretty high standard and when the last wrinkles are ironed out it will give a really good alternative to Newmarket Road for Park & Riders and people coming from Bottisham. It will possibly be a more direct route for people heading to the northern side of the City Centre than using the main road, and is quicker because it isn’t punctuated with junctions and has a very smooth surface. It is undoubtedly a less stressful and more pleasant way into town. It ends up very close to the new Park Street Cycle Park. The section through the Newmarket Road Park & Ride car park is sadly deficient though, especially the way it crosses a car exit, which is very hard to see because of planting, and then a terribly narrow bit alongside buildings.
The section in town starts at the Park & Ride site where a magnificent bike sculpture now arches over the route. It was here that the Queen’s representative opened the route by cutting the tape. Cyclists from Sustrans, Fen Ditton and Teversham schools, a group from the CTC and a veteran cycling club all then dutifully piled through the arch, and came back to eat strawberry scones and tea.
|The Duke of Edinburgh opens the new route.|
If you want to try the path, look for the Route 51 signs. From the city centre, follow the path along the river on Jesus Green and Midsummer Common onto Riverside and onto Stourbridge Common. At Green Dragon bridge, you can now continue along the river on the same side onto the new section.
This leads you to Ditton Lane. Cross the crossing and follow the estate road until a sign turns you left onto the short off-road section to the Park & Ride site. You can then continue through the site, parallel to Newmarket Road and eventually under the A14 tunnel to Quy and beyond, all well signposted.
If you want to make a round trip, you could return via Wilbraham, Fulbourn, Fulbourn Old Drift and The Tins, to the South East Cambridge route, about 15 miles all the way round. Anglesey Abbey is not far up the road from Quy.
|The railway bridge on Ditton Meadows is navigated by a timber build-out over the water. This was our original suggestion when we were helping Sustrans’ Nigel Brigham look at possible routes. We thought of a couple of ways of crossing the railway. Here are our two mock-ups from 1996, soon after the Campaign was formed (left), and the final answer (above).|