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Cambridge public to have say about future of city's open spaces

A chance to have a say about a future vision for the streets and open spaces in Cambridge is taking place this week.

There are two public exhibitions about The Making Space for People project – developed by the city council and county council – the first of which opens tonight (Wednesday).

Cambridge market square
Cambridge market square

The project is gathering views from residents, workers and visitors to feed into the creation of a supplementary planning document (SPD) to guide improvements to streets and spaces in central Cambridge and significantly change the way the city centre works.

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, executive councillor for planning policy and transport, said: “The Making Space For People project gives people a once in a generation chance to help shape the sort of place they want the city centre to be. Historic central Cambridge is a much-loved and much-visited destination, but this in turn has brought about pressures on it. We are determined to use this unique opportunity to make sure the city centre continues to thrive in the years ahead, enhancing and improving it for everyone and in doing so helping reduce traffic, make life easier for pedestrians and cyclists, improve air quality and work towards a zero-carbon future for Cambridge.”

During 2018, the public was asked for views on what should be done to make the best of the city’s heritage and its spaces. This input has led to the publication of Central Cambridge – Vision, Aims and Objectives, and Strategies which people are being invited to read and comment on by October 14.

The publication sets out a vision for central Cambridge, and poses key questions for people to consider the best ways the city can remain a great place to live, work and visit.

These include ways to prevent conflict between pedestrians and cyclists, finding new uses for space freed up by reduction in vehicles, creating opportunities for new cultural activities, and enhancing the market square.

Cambridge Market (17073026)
Cambridge Market (17073026)

Stallholder and Friends of Cambridge Market spokesperson Glenys Self, who has campaigned to retain the historic cobbles in the market square in the face of any redevelopment, said: “Now is the chance to have a say about the future of public spaces, like the market. It’s easy to complain after the horse has bolted but if you write in now you can help make a difference.”

There will be two exhibition events where people can speak to council officers and find out more about the project. The first is today (Wednesday) from 3pm to 7pm at Cambridge Central Library. The second is on Wednesday, October 2, from 11am to 2pm at the Guildhall, Market Square.

You can also have your say in the consultation using an online feedback form via cambridge.gov.uk/consultations or call the city council on 01223 347200 for a form.

It is anticipated that the draft SPD will be available for public consultation in late 2020.

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