Residents are being urged to have their say on plans to create a new cycle and pedestrian bridge across the River Cam in Cambridge.

The £4 million bridge linking Abbey and Chesterton wards would see around 3,000 bike and pedestrian journeys each day "“ helping boost the economy, reduce congestion and improve health.

It would provide an alternative route to get to Science Business Parks and new railway station as well as linking into other cycle networks as well as the proposed route, known as the Chisholm Trail, from the north to the south of the city.

Bridge locations, designs, shapes and colours for the new river crossing will be consulted on between the 30th June and 28th July. The public can find out more about the bridge and comment online at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/new-bridge.

Project officers will be available to answer any questions people have about the new bridge at consultation events across the area.

These will take place on: Wednesday, 9 July, at Abbey Primary School between 3 pm and 6.30pm; Thursday, 17 July, at St Mary's Church Hall, Fen Ditton; between 5pm and 7pm; on Monday, 21 July, at Shirley Primary School, Chesterton between 4pm and 6.30pm as well as lunchtime events on the Science and Business Parks.

The public can choose between different locations; one between 30m and 60m east of the existing railway bridge; and another between 60m and 120m further on to Ditton Meadows.

Studies looked into locations a couple of hundred metres closer to the city but these were unfeasible. This was because it would have affected a large number of houses and involved compulsorily purchasing riverside gardens. The council would not wish to do this and cannot legally do so should other locations be available.

Currently three design options are being looked at; a truss bridge like the existing railway bridge; a box girder; or a half through girder design. Some of the options allow for the possibility of the main span of the bridge to be curved rather than cutting straight across the river.

Cambridge residents and commuters are also being asked what type of shape and colours they would like to see for the new bridge. When taking into account the ramps needed, the structure could be shaped like a C, or a backwards C or be S or Z shaped.  Prospective colours are red, green, grey or black, all of which are in use on bridges across Cambridgeshire.

Councillor Ian Manning, who represents East Chesterton ward said: "We need to make it as easy as possible to get from A to B in Cambridge, without having to rely on private cars. This new bridge will provide a vital link from the Newmarket Road area to the new station, and crucially will lessen the chances of East Chesterton being clogged up with commuter parking.

"It is important that residents get to help decide on the location and type of bridge, as well as getting the chance to question the justification for one. I firmly believe a new bridge is warranted and can be installed in a way that is sensitive to local concerns and the environment, and I'm excited to find out what resident think about the proposals."

Councillor Joan Whitehead, local member for Abbey, said: "We welcome the consultation about the new crossing over the river and we hope that all residents will participate in the process."

Mike Davies, Project Manager for Major Infrastructure Delivery said: "A new bridge linking the communities of Abbey and Chesterton will not only help to reduce traffic through busy parts of Cambridge, but will also benefit those wanting to reach employment and training opportunities across the river. We also need links like this in place to ensure as many people as possible, of all abilities, can travel to and from the new Science Park Station and access destinations beyond Cambridge."

The bridge and its structure will cost over £4m and will be paid for by developer contributions, regional funding and possibly monies from the Cambridge City Deal. Subject to land and planning agreements, the Council aims to have a new bridge in place in 2016/7.

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