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Vehicle restrictions to remain in Cambridge streets but displacement debate continues

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Restrictions for private motor vehicles in six areas of Cambridge are set to remain after they were supported by the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s executive board.

The restrictions at the Panton Street and Pemberton Terrace junction. Picture: Keith Heppell
The restrictions at the Panton Street and Pemberton Terrace junction. Picture: Keith Heppell

Members agreed that modal filters be retained in Luard Road, Carlyle Road, Nightingale Avenue, Silver Street, Storey’s Way and the Newtown area.

They also agreed to continued monitoring of traffic levels on Long Road along with funding for traffic signal mitigation as a result of displaced traffic from the Luard Road scheme.

The Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) schemes were introduced in August 2020 by the GCP working with Cambridgeshire County Council to support more cycling, walking and active travel during the pandemic.

Officers had recommended that all but Luard Road, which gained one of the highest levels of public support, should be made permanent following consultations after it was found to displace traffic onto the already congested Long Road.

But this was overruled by members of the joint assembly earlier this month, and supported by the executive board at its meeting on Thursday, September 30.

Yet member of the public Steven Hollis asked the board why “no consideration had been given to the effect on traffic and pollution caused by residents and visitors having to drive around the closure areas”.

He added: “Why has no consideration been given to the effect on businesses in the area by the disruption caused to customers visiting their premises?”

GCP transport director Peter Blake responded: “The ETRO report does recognise displacement takes place.

“It’s perhaps notable that in similar schemes where assessments have been made across the UK actually displacement diminishes over time.”

He added that residents and businesses in the affected area had been asked to comment as part of the public consultation.

Mr Blake also confirmed that emergency services had keys to allow them to open barriers when needed.

Martin Lucas-Smith, speaking on behalf of Cambridge cycling charity Camcycle, told the meeting: “The data shows that all the GCP’s experimental active travel schemes have been successful with routes rebalancing transport in favour of walking and cycling and the majority of respondents to the consultation agreeing that the areas are safer and more pleasant in terms of noise/pollution and general ambience.

“We support further work by the GCP and its partners to improve the schemes where necessary and design and implement permanent layouts.”

The executive board will send its recommendations to the county council’s highways and transport committee which will make the final decision next month.

Read more:

Restrictions on vehicles in Cambridge win support despite impact

‘Congestion in Arbury Road must be tackled’ say Cambridge residents as debate on closure to motor vehicles grows

Traders tell of concern over Coldhams Lane bus gate proposal in Cambridge

Cambridge road closures could be made permanent following trials

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