Network Rail has given Cambridgeshire County Council permission to proceed with the planned cycle and pedestrian bridge beside the existing road bridge. We reported on these plans in Newsletter 39 (December 2001), but there was a long delay after the collapse of Railtrack. Work is due to start in late October, and the project will take six months to complete. The £1.1 million cost is to be met mainly through developer contributions from recent retail developments in the area.
A new toucan crossing will be installed close to the Beehive roundabout replacing the existing zebra crossing. A second Toucan will be put in to link the bridge to the Coral Park development.
The county council’s press release says that the ‘restrictions of the site’ do not allow the bridge to be wider than 3.5 metres or to be segregated for pedestrians and cyclists. This is a metre narrower than the busy cycle bridge near the station, and at one end it will lead to a very narrow shared-use pavement and a busy roundabout.
Two years ago we called this a very expensive – but mediocre – bridge which is almost useless when heading away from Newmarket Road and with inadequate access from the Beehive Centre. Many eastbound cyclists will choose to remain on the road where, we fear, they are likely to suffer increased intimidation by drivers who believe they should be using the new bridge.