This article was published in 2005, in Newsletter 58.
Lots of Good News
Funding has been granted for a large package of cycling improvements in the southern half of the City. Of particular note is a replacement bridge, suitable for cycling, at Sheep’s Green, linking Lammas Land at Newnham with Vicar’s Brook, Trumpington Road and the new Coe Fen path.
The link between Trumpington Road and Long Road via Porson Road and Rutherford Road will see some improvements to help continuity.
Two abysmal shared-use paths are proposed for long-overdue upgrades: along Long Road and Brooklands Avenue.
It is proposed that Sustrans Route 11, of which the new Coe Fen path is part, should continue south from Brooklands Avenue via the new developments and then join the last bit of the Hobson’s Brook path before Long Road. A short cut to the new development south of Brooklands Avenue was previously scuppered by English Heritage’s intransigence over access to its land in the neighbourhood. This was despite the existence of a tarmaced and lit path which was used as a short cut on foot to the Government offices site.
The bottleneck of narrow bridges in the flood plain on Coe Fen, on the path between the weir and Lammas Land, will also be replaced. Work will also be done to improve access at the Brooklands Avenue junction, though we need to be sure that this does not make things worse for those cyclists who stay on Trumpington Road.
Consultation should begin on these proposals very soon now.
Work on Cutter Ferry Bridge is now well under way. Closed since November 2003, when it was found to be in danger of collapse, the old span was removed before Christmas. The new span, costing £300,000, should be much more suitable for use by bikes and is due for completion in the Spring. Together with Sheep’s Green, Fort Saint George and the new bridge at Riverside, the barrier to cycling posed by the River Cam is rapidly being eroded.
In anticipation of the new bridge at Riverside, councillors have decided to close the road to motor vehicles at the point where the new bridge lands, which is also likely to reduce traffic along the whole of Riverside, much improving a well used cycle route.
The Tins bridge has been removed for ‘renovation’ by Network Rail. Being on a major cycle route, it should of course have been replaced by one better suited to cycling. Local Councils seemed unaware this was to happen.
After a long tussle with officers, councillors have accepted that it would be too difficult to allow contra flow cycling in Trinity Street. However, the strength of feeling is such that instead an eighteen-month experiment was approved by the Cambridge Area Joint Committee to allow cycling at all times in the other streets of the pedestrian priority zone: St Mary’s Street, Market Street and Sidney Street. If then made permanent, this would put the cycling position back to what it was before pedestrianisation was first implemented thirteen years ago. See article in this newsletter, and look out for more on this in the next Newsletter.
Work has begun in earnest on the Grand Arcade development, the old Robert Sayle building and its neighbours. Expect chaos for the next three years! The row over proper access to the cycle park in the new shopping centre from Corn Exchange Street has moved on. See article in this newsletter.