Plans for Bradwell’s Court

This article was published in 2002, in Newsletter 45.

The present buildings in Bradwell’s Court, which lies between St Andrew’s Street and Drummer Street, were put up around 1960. Before that access from St Andrew’s Street to Christ’s Pieces was down Christ’s Lane, which was then a pleasant lane used by both pedestrians and cyclists but which is now a blocked-off service area for Christ’s College kitchens and for some of the shops. Bradwell’s Court is now to be redeveloped.

A draft planning brief has been compiled to include ‘shopping, arts/entertainment space with housing or student residential above.’ It is also envisaged that Christ’s Lane will be reopened, but for pedestrian access only with cycling excluded. No provision for on-site cycle parking within Bradwell’s Court is made except for workers and residents. This unsatisfactory draft planning brief has just been accepted by the City Council.

Image as described adjacent
Milton Walk by Christs Pieces: A way through by bike would have been good. We reviewed the plans for this route in Newsletter 42.

Representatives of the Cycling Campaign attended a consultation meeting about the development in March 2001 and at that time stressed the need for sufficient cycle parking for all who use and visit the site. We also suggested that if Christ’s Lane were to be reopened, it should be wide enough to provide a dedicated cycle lane as well as pedestrian access.

In September this year we submitted detailed comments on the draft planning brief. We again commented that, given the present Council policies encouraging cycling, Christ’s Lane should be wider than proposed in order to provide a segregated cycle way to Christ’s Pieces. We also suggested that Milton’s Walk – the path along the edge of Christ’s Pieces next to the wall of Christ’s College – and the path along the edge of Christ’s Pieces which runs parallel to King Street to Short Street should be converted to dual cycle and pedestrian use. We suggested that this proposed new route would offer an extremely attractive peaceful ride through gardens and woodland from the city centre out to eastern and northern Cambridge. It would allow cyclists to avoid King Street/Hobson Street and Emmanuel Street, both of which will become even more congested if the articulated bus scheme is brought into operation. The proposed route would connect neatly with cycle routes over Midsummer Common and with the Jubilee Way (Sustrans Route 51) out to the Newmarket Road Park and Ride, to Bottisham and beyond. Our proposals were strongly supported by Sustrans.

Again we stressed the need for sufficient cycle parking. We said that we found it difficult to imagine how space could be found for much-needed additional cycle parking on St Andrew’s Street and proposed that a minimum of 250 high-quality cycle parking spaces should be provided on site at basement level, with good ramped access down from the St Andrew’s Street frontage. This would be additional to the cycle parking provided for workers and residents.

We suggested that a priority for cyclists in this area is a clearly marked red outbound (contraflow) cycle lane along a widened St Andrew’s Street which would need to be well integrated with clearly marked access routes for cycles into Christ’s Lane and the proposed on-site cycle parking area.

Our proposals appear to have been comprehensively rejected by the relevant City Council committees. As far as we are aware, the only amendment to the draft planning brief on any of these points is the inclusion of the words: ‘amend wording to be more explicit about numbers and location of cycle parking.’ We consider it deeply depressing that the needs of cyclists have, yet again, been largely ignored and the Council’s own stated policy of encouraging cycling has been negated.

Lisa Woodburn