Designs for South Cambridgeshire greenway cycleways take in resident's views
The Greater Cambridge Greenways project is officially under way, as detailed designs of the 12 rural cycle lanes leading to Cambridge from surrounding villages gets started.
Cllr Francis Burkitt, leading the project for the City Deal, has written to parish councils to learn of residents’ aspirations for the routes as the design stage begins.
“It’s stopped being a concept and it’s now a project,” he said. “What happens now is work on the exact routes that people should get. It’s the detailed project planning and it’s going to take a long time.”
He said he wants plans for the routes ‘shovel ready’ for when funding is secured, estimated at £10million, from the City Deal’s Tranche 2 – the £200m it will get from the Government in 2020 – with hopes that supplementary funding can be sourced.
The City Deal assigned £480,000 to the project in March, which will pay for the hiring of staff to carry out all the consultation work required.
Cllr Burkitt continued: “We’re realistic. Everybody thinks the concept is a good thing, but when you actually come to designing the routes, one thing we’re really precious about is the countryside. I think people will be worried about the surface and thinking ‘Will there be floodlights and garish signage?’ Well, of course there won’t.
“What we have got to do is be really sensitive to local concerns. That’s why it’s going to take two to two-and-a-half years.
“If you stand back from this, it’s visionary. I don’t think any other city in England can have this network – as a flat city, we have an amazing opportunity to create this.
“Some people say I don’t cycle, but if the bloke in the car in front of you gets on a bike your journey gets easier. It’s about getting that extra 10 per cent of people out of cars.
“And I don’t see it as just for commuters – the city could go out to the county as well.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if the four million tourists that come to Cambridge every year were able to get out of the city? ”