East Road in Cambridge to be closed for two weeks
A main road into Cambridge will be closed for motorists and cyclists for two weeks from today (Tuesday, April 6) – just days before lockdown rules are eased.
Anglian Water is carrying out emergency works to repair a damaged sewer on East Road and expect the closure to remain in place until April 20.
The carriageway and cycle lanes will be closed from Norfolk Street to Broad Street with a lengthy diversion proposed.
Businesses in East Road remain open throughout the works.
Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID, said: “I really do not understand when the city centre economy has been closed for almost four months why more effort has not been made to get roadworks completed during lockdown so that on April 12, when shops, bars and restaurants open, visitors start to return and workers can return to their offices, the city is fully accessible.
“All the recent consumer surveys and, in fact, government advice points to the car being the transport mode of choice in the short to medium-term.
“The diversion for this closure would usually include Mill Road, but that has also been closed since June 2020 for Covid reasons to the dismay of many local traders, hence the actual diversion is double the distance at 7.1km and will increase congestion on that route, leading to poor air quality.
“For most of April, three main routes into the city centre will be closed – Histon Road, Mill Road and now East Road.
“Due to the high cost of housing, most of our city centre workers travel in. These closures will add further nuisance to their day just as they are hoping to return from what for many has been a very uncertain time, furloughed and unsure of their future jobs.”
Hairdresser Piero D’Angelico, spokesperson for the Mill Road Traders Association, added: “We have been waiting so long to reopen the shops and now we are going to be hit by this. It would make sense to reopen the bridge during these works.”
An Anglian Water spokesperson said a full closure was necessary to ensure the safety of workers who would be repairing a sewer several metres below the carriageway.
The spokesperson said: “Our teams will soon (April 6) begin work to repair a damaged sewer on East Road, Cambridge in order to prevent potential flooding to local residents, businesses and the wider environment.
“A small road closure will be in place on East Road, at the junction with Norfolk Street, to ensure the safety of our staff. Footpaths and businesses along East Road will remain open, however cycle paths will be closed. A full diversion route will be in place seeing traffic approaching from the south of East Road diverted along Hills Road, Cherry Hinton Road, Brooks Road and Coldhams Lane in order to reach the northern section of East Road. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”