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How new cycle and pedestrian bridge over A10 connecting Waterbeach to north of Cambridge would look

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This is how a new bridge over the A10 could look, aiding users of the Mere Way cycle route and helping to connect Waterbeach to the north of Cambridge.

Planning applications have been submitted following consultation for new development at Waterbeach, which will help those cycling to Cambridge Science Park, Cambridge Regional College and elsewhere in the city.

A view of the planned A10 bridge
A view of the planned A10 bridge

Urban&Civic, main developer of the former barracks and airfield, has been working with Cambridgeshire County Council, local partners and local communities to design the bridge for cyclists, and other users.

It will provide greater use for cyclists, along with wheelchair and pushchair users but at the same time maintaining a grass path for equestrians and others to use.

It was originally conceived as a cycle commuter route to access employers in the north of Cambridge but like all ideas it has evolved to include local leisure areas.

Caroline Foster, from Urban&Civic, said: “We are really grateful to everyone who shared their thoughts and ideas with us to ensure it really brings as many benefits as possible to local people.

“Our biggest challenge was to pull together the needs of different user groups and make sure we had the right designs, connections, delivery and maintenance in place.

“We have worked exceptionally hard with partners to ensure the bridge across the A10 achieves all of the functions it needs to, but also provides a handsome structure at the gateway of the development. The bridge has been designed to enhance the unique landscape of the area and capture some of the aviation heritage and avian influences of Waterbeach.”

A heritage surface course will be used to provide a softer colour and finish for the harder areas along the route, which will be managed by the county council.

Horse riders will be able to safely dismount and it is aimed at preventing horses from being frightened by noisy traffic.

The route has also been designed to minimise the impact on the environment that protects the historic route of the Roman road.

The A10 cycle bridge - an artist’s impression
The A10 cycle bridge - an artist’s impression

The intention is for the route to enable onward connection into the National Cycle Network 51 (the busway route to St Ives) and the Chisholm Trail at Cambridge North, which will pass through the heart of the city and connect to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus to the south.

This means that people from Histon, Impington, Landbeach and Cottenham will be able to get to these places and other locations in the north of the city.

Ms Foster added: “This is a really exciting piece of cycle investment which provides an opportunity to give the north of the city the same safe cycle connectivity as the south. Waterbeach is working hard to deliver a shift in the way people think, work and move about, and we are committed to moving people away from car use to regular cycle commuting.

“We will continue to work with local cycle groups and local communities and create the right information, incentives and culture to ensure Waterbeach provides a truly sustainable way of living.”

Some of the key elements of the route will be delivered through different planning mechanisms, as set out below with the main features of the applications:

  • A10 bridge: the design aims to ensure the bridge provides a positive landmark within the wider landscape and will connect the new footpaths and cycleways inside the development – as well as foot, cycle and bridleways in Waterbeach – with Mere Way on the other side of the A10.
  • New cycle connection from the A10 bridge to connect to Green End, Landbeach, following historic field boundaries.
  • Cycle route through Landbeach, following Green End, Spaldings Lane and Cockfen Road will be delivered under an agreement with the county council.
  • Akeman Street and Mere Way: upgrading the existing byway, which runs from Landbeach, crosses Butt Lane and goes under the A14 to connect to Cambridge Science Park and Cambridge Regional College.

Waterbeach resident Nigel Seamarks said: “The bridge is supported in principle but there are a number of concerns.”

Equestrian use and the requirements of the internal drainage board were two of the main items discussed during the last parish council meeting, which councillors hope to see addressed. They have also raised questions about pavements.

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