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Cambridge residents face five-month closure of Hills Road when construction of cycle lanes start

By Ben Comber

Councillor Tim Moore, Hills Road cycling scheme event . Picture: Keith Heppell
Councillor Tim Moore, Hills Road cycling scheme event . Picture: Keith Heppell

Construction of two new cycle lane schemes in Cambridge to improve the offer to pedal-powered commuters is due to start next month – one in the north and one in the south of the city.

Upgrades for cycling provision on part of Hills Road and in Addenbrooke’s Road are set to begin in late February.

However, residents are reacting to news that the improvements will come at a cost of five months of disruption as a 24-hour road closure is planned when ‘main construction’ begins in May.

A diversion route via Queen Edith’s Way and Fendon Road will be signposted. Emergency services vehicles and a number of buses will still be allowed through.

Smarter Cambridge Transport campaigner Sam Davies brought this to the attention of councillors at a meeting of the city’s south area committee, some of whom were hearing of the plans for the first time.

Cllr Tim Moore, who represents Queen Edith’s ward, said: “We were all unanimously disgusted by the lack of communication with us.

“I was one of the first people to discover the proposals, but only because one of our residents had been pushing hard to find our progress on the scheme.

“One of the issues here is persistent poor communication and persistent poor planning. The process does not lead to sensible project planning.”

Cllr Moore said that residents should have been engaged earlier, and although the upgrades are very important he will be asking if the upgrades can be carried out on half of the road at a time, allowing inflowing traffic at peak times in the morning and outflowing traffic at peak times in the evening rush hours.

Additionally, work on phase one of the Cambridge North railway station and Science Park around Green End Road will commence on January 30, with more consultations and events to run alongside.

Many advances to the city’s cycle network are due to be made this year as the Chisholm Trail moves forward.

The final design is due for construction after Easter.

Team leader for cycling projects Mike Davies said: “It is exciting that we are nearing construction on two key schemes and, while works will cause some disruption locally, I’m confident that the safe and high-quality cycle routes will be welcomed when it’s completed.”

Cambridge North Railway Station and Science Park

A public consultation event will take place later this month involving a letter drop to residents of Nuffield Road explaining some small changes to the scheme consulted on last year and asking for any comments on the changes.

An event will also be held on Tuesday, January 31, from 6.15pm to 8.15pm, at Shirley Primary School. Project officers will be available to answer questions and members of the public can look at drawings and images of what the scheme could look like.

Hills Road and Addenbrooke’s scheme

An event will be held on Thursday, January 26 from 5.30pm-7.30pm at St John the Evangelist’s Church, Hills Road, for people to find out more about the scheme and to look at detailed drawings.

Construction will begin at the Hills Road/Long Road junction, and traffic management, including temporary traffic lights, will be in place between 9.30am and 3.30pm each day.


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