Your chance to influence changes in Cambridge city centre

PUBLISHED: 09:31 07 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:11 07 July 2018

Have a say on Cambridge city centre

Have a say on Cambridge city centre

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The council is asking for ideas and feedback to make the city centre better for people.

Moving the city centre market, pedestrianising Mill Road and planting an orchard on Parker’s Piece are just some of the ideas being floated as the city council asks how Cambridge can be improved for people.

The council is developing a Making Space for People supplementary planning document (SPD) for Cambridge that will be a material planning consideration for proposed developments in the city centre. It will be used to prioritise the delivery of improvements to key public spaces.

It will also identify improvements to key streets, and aim to improve the walking and cycling network.

Making the market square outside Guildhall “more European” is a popular view, with more spaces to linger.

Decreasing city centre traffic and improving cycle infrastructure is also popular.

David McLean, a software developer who lives in Cherry Hinton and commutes by cycle to CB1 where he works, said pedestrianising Mill Road should be considered.

He said: “It seems like a no-brainer to pedestrianise it to me. It’s such a great street, such a good community and with so much energy and diversity. The only issue is that it has a constant queue of cars crawling up and down the middle, churning out fumes and generally ruining the atmosphere, not to mention the danger to pedestrians and cyclists.

“My friend and I were discussing this while sitting outside Limoncellos eating ice cream this Saturday gone, relaxing, chatting, people watching and things. It would be so much better still without all that noise and fumes.”

He said it could close for a few hours on Saturdays at first.

“I understand shops need their deliveries but prioritising people over business will likely ultimately benefit everyone,” he said.

Resident Matt Danish said cycle routes through the city could be greatly improved. He said buses could be rerouted to make more cycling and walking spaces.

“The Magdalene bridge is narrow and historic, and the passage of heavy buses and cars makes it unpleasant, polluted and dangerous, instead of a welcoming gateway into the city centre,” he said.

“If it were a walking and cycling bridge then it would be a much nicer, cleaner and safer space for people, especially while over-looking the river.

“The bus routes are important, however, much bus traffic has already been re-routed via Victoria Avenue and the remainder could be as well.”

Residents Paul Lythgoe said there are issues with the market square and suggested it should be moved to Mill Road so that the market can be used by eateries.

He said: “The market square should be the centre of the historic town, a central space where people can gather, stand and socialise. A space that can be used flexibly for social and art events by day and become available for restaurants and cafes by night.

“Today it is a space that can only be used for market traders, the stalls are old dirty and fixed.

“Cambridge city is dominated by university buildings that are restricted in access. Opening up the market square will create a centre for the town part of Cambridge.

“Moving the market to Mill Road will be an innovation for the city supporting the traders in Mill Road and giving the market a cool new home.”

Cllr Kevin Blencowe, executive councillor for planning policy and transport, said: “The work now being done to develop this Spaces and Movement SPD gives anyone who lives, works in or visits Cambridge the chance to get involved and tell us how they think the city centre could work better for people in the years to come.

“Is there a route or walkway in the city centre that you think could be reconfigured in a better way? Are there areas which could be put to an entirely different use? What changes would you make to help the city centre work better and help people get around it more easily?

“These are the sort of questions we are hoping the SPD will address, so I would urge as many people as possible to give us their views to help us shape it.

“As the city grows and comes under different pressures, and new opportunities arise, it is important that we have a set of principles in place to help ensure the city centre continues to be attractive, welcoming and fit for purpose in the years to come.”

Post your comments at cambridge.gov.uk/making-space-for-people-spd by 5pm on Monday, July 16.

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