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Traffic restrictions and improvements on Mill Road to be progressed following consultation

12 July 2022

Pedestrians and cyclists may once again have priority on Mill Road bridge in Cambridge after approval was given to look at a new scheme which prevents the majority of motorised vehicles travelling over the bridge and encourages safe, sustainable transport and access to shops.

Following a lengthy public consultation which saw overwhelming community support for re-introducing a partial closure of the road, members of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Highways and Transport Committee agreed to push forward with a traffic order consultation to reduce traffic and improve the public realm on the road.

Mill Road bridge was closed to private vehicles during the pandemic through a traffic order as part of a government scheme to encourage people to walk and cycle. While that order was removed last July, the committee asked the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) to review and consult on options for Mill Road going forward as part of its City Access programme, which includes promoting active travel.

The consultation, which included focus groups of key stakeholders and two public workshops, showed that there was a desire to see traffic reduced while maintaining access for those who need it, including people with disabilities and taxis. There was also a wish to see the environment enhanced along Mill Road including improving the public realm and new cycling infrastructure to support the Mill Road community.

After reviewing the consultation, the Highways and Transport Committee at its meeting on 12 July voted to consult on re-introducing a traffic order on the road, while also investing in public realm improvements. The public realm changes would be made in collaboration with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and GCP.

The committee also agreed to monitor traffic levels in nearby roads as concerns were raised during the GCP consultation that any closure could cause increased congestion.

Cllr Alex Beckett, chair of the Highways and Transport Committee, said: “Mill Road is incredibly important to the local community and the GCP consultation on options for Mill Road showed a clear consensus towards restricting through traffic for private vehicles while making improvements to pedestrianised areas and encouraging sustainable transport.

“We know any scheme we bring forward will lead to strong opinions, but we will continue to consult with residents before going ahead with any works to make sure we deliver the necessary long-term improvements for this important street.”

Cllr Neil Shailer, the committee’s vice-chair, added: “I would like to thank the GCP for carrying out this thorough consultation, and it is only right that we now use the public feedback to make Mill Road a safer and more enjoyable place to visit and be at the thriving heart of our community.

“Not only would closing the road to the majority of private vehicles help achieve this, improvements to the public realm would deliver better air quality and encourage more people to visit the area.”

The papers from the meeting can be viewed on the council’s website

The meeting was streamed on the council’s YouTube page and can viewed back at: