Today (Tuesday, 7 March), members of the Highways and Transport committee voted to reinstate the Mill Road bridge closure to all motor vehicles, except buses, cyclists, emergency services, taxis and blue badge holders.
This decision follows, a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) which has been advertised and an extensive public consultation by the Greater Cambridge Partnership, where 1,986 online and written responses were received and saw 72% of respondents supporting restricting motor vehicles from crossing Mill Road bridge.
Members of the county council’s Highways and Transport Committee, following a majority vote, agreed to go ahead with the bus gate, including exemptions.
The closure will be implemented as a bus gate and blue badge holders will need to register via an application form online, which will be available from tomorrow.
Blue badge holders will be required to provide relevant details such as name, address, blue badge number and appropriate paperwork. They will also be able to register up to a maximum of two vehicles.
Following approval, work will now get underway to design and implement the bus gate in the summer. More details will follow.
The bus gate will be enforced by Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras (ANPR).
After the bridge closure is installed in the summer, there will be a month’s grace period where non-registered drivers would receive warning notices only and if they are exempt, would be encouraged to register online.
Cllr Alex Beckett, chair of the Highways and Transport Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We had a very good debate, heard from all sides and listened to the concerns raised. This was not an easy decision with very strong opinions, but on balance reinstating the bus gate whilst making improvements to pedestrianised areas was agreed.”
Cllr Neil Shailer, vice-chair of the Highways and Transport Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We have listened to the public feedback and decided to go ahead and prevent the majority of motorised vehicles travelling over Mill Road bridge. This will encourage safe, sustainable transport and access to shops at the heart of our community.”
There was also a wish to see the environment enhanced along Mill Road including improving the public realm and walking and cycling provision. Various funding opportunities are still being explored for this project, which we plan to develop in discussion with the local community. It is anticipated that, subject to funding, design and engagement work will begin in 2023/24.
The meeting was live streamed and is available to listen back on the council’s YouTube page.