The development known as Coldhams Business Park, which is to include a high quality 3 m wide red surfaced cycleway and separate 1.8 m wide footpath, is nearing completion. Thanks must go to Campaign members who spotted that the developers had submitted plans for a considerably reduced path width compared to the original scheme. Following objections from several parties, including local councillors, path widths were widened to allow for safe two-way cycling. Responses to our comments also resulted in the introduction of measures to slow vehicles using the hotel access road. Unfortunately, path widths were restricted at this junction because the adjacent roundabout and access roads had already been constructed. We feel that major lessons can be learned from this and that it would be preferable to consider such interdependent planning applications as one entity.
This path is usually called the Tins; it crosses the site of the former Blue Circle cement works off Coldham’s Lane. To allow the safe completion of the path as it approaches the railway bridge, this right of way will be closed for a period of up to one week, probably in January 2004. It was rather disappointing to learn recently that a problem has arisen with the ‘approved plans’ which had included a sensible increase in path width right up to the sharp bend near the bridge. For this width increase to be implemented, construction would extend outside land under the developers’ control. Currently the cycle path stops very suddenly, but the neighbouring landowners have agreed to allow some works on their land so that such a sudden change in path width can be avoided. One hopes construction will proceed as in the original plans since any major alterations would require further planning consent and thus more delays.
The new path through the centre of the development is planned for completion in early March 2004. Part of the temporary path beside the railway line has already been closed to allow works at the rear of the hotel, and cyclists and pedestrians are now directed around the hotel complex. The hotel will open on 28 November, so be careful for the next 2-3 months when crossing the hotel access road at its temporary junction. We have asked for this area to remain well lit, and for the retention of measures that cause vehicles to slow down.
Improvements to paths to the east and west of Coldhams Business Park will be funded by monies from this development and will be the subject of future planning applications. We hope for another high quality construction along this extremely well used route, but this may well require co-operation from a number of parties who control the land, including Network Rail and the Council. When one considers that the alternative to the ‘Tins’ path is a busy, fast and narrow section of Coldham’s Lane, it is not difficult to appreciate why we believe that major improvements to the entire route would represent an extremely worthwhile investment in sustainable transport for Cambridge.
Comments to Justin Bainton (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jon Finney (email@example.com).