This is our summary of the current state of play regarding changes to major pieces of local transport infrastructure. We will do our best to keep this updated as and when we find out further information.
Hills Road cycleway (ongoing)
This project has been running since January 2015, commissioned by the County Council (Phase 1, Holbrook Road to Cherry Hinton Road, both directions) and the City Deal (Phase 2, Holbrook Road to Addenbrooke’s roundabout, both directions) and delivered by the County Council cycling team. The objective is to deliver improved cycle facilities between the Biomedical Campus and the City Centre. The scheme has proved noteworthy for several reasons including a significant time/budget overrun for Phase 1; the installation of ‘floating’ bus stops; and the loss of verges and hedges. Phase 1 is largely completed although there are still several ‘snagging’ issues that need to be resolved when Phase 2 of the cycleway is finished. Phase 2 commenced in February 2017 and is due to run to ‘early autumn’ 2017.
As of w/c Monday 19th June, the section of Hills Road between Addenbrooke’s roundabout and Long Road will only be open to city-bound traffic. Vehicles heading away from town will have to detour left into Queen Edith’s Way and then turn right into Fendon Road to get Addenbrooke’s roundabout. Buses will be routed via Long Road and through the Addenbrooke’s site to the bus station. Properties on the closed section of Hills Road will only be accessible from the Addenbrooke’s end. Unfortunately, it is not possible to point readers any explanatory material on the City Deal’s own website, but Addenbrooke’s has provided a summary here. Although the road closure is being implemented a week later than originally scheduled, this is not supposed to delay the finish date of ‘early September’.
A1307 corridor including Babraham Road/Hills Road (ongoing)
This project is commissioned by the City Deal, with the aim of improving access to the Biomedical Campus from the south along the A1307 (and maybe some ancillary improvements to the other major southern employment sites at Granta Park and the Babraham Research Campus). The City Deal carried out public consultation on initial options in mid-2016. Those options have now been narrowed down and are being worked through by a ‘Local Liaison Forum’. Amanda Taylor (QE County Councillor) and Sam Davies (Chair of QECF) are our local representatives on the LLF. According to the current timetable, following further refinement of the preferred options over this summer, they will be re-presented for a second round of public consultation in autumn 2017. The next LLF meeting for our area will be held on 20th June but is not open to members of the public. Documents will presumably be added to the project website in due course.
This is a massive project, currently estimated at £39m, with changes proposed all the way down the A1307 from the Biomedical Campus to Haverhill. The aspects most likely to impinge on QE residents are about improving bus access from Babraham Road Park & Ride site to the Biomedical Campus: either off-highway, across the fields south of Babraham Road; or on-highway, by widening Babraham Road and Hills Road to make space for either an in-bound or a tidal flow dedicated bus lane. However, residents might also want to take an interest in proposals for a dedicated bus lane over the Gogs, past Wandlebury. Here is the official project website, though it doesn’t seem to have been updated for months.
Fendon Road/Mowbray Road roundabout and Queen Edith’s Way cycleway (ongoing)
The County Council cycling team has been pressing for improved cycle provision along Queen Edith’s Way as it effectively joins two major employment growth sites at the Biomedical Campus and the Peterhouse Technology Park in Fulbourn. The first element of this to be tackled will be the roundabout at the junction of Fendon Road, Mowbray Road and Queen Edith’s Way – plans to implement a ‘Dutch style’ design have now been approved and work is due to start in Spring 2018. You can see an illustration of what this will look like here.
The other half of the project, looking at cycling provision along the length of Queen Edith’s Way from the junction with Hills Road virtually to the Robin Hood traffic lights in Cherry Hinton, has proved much more contentious. Both design options initially proposed by the cycling team were rejected by local residents (represented by the Queen Edith’s Way Residents Association) on the grounds of both safety and the loss of trees and verges, as explained in the Cambridge News here. We are told that there will be a workshop in May to look again at balancing different concerns, but do not have a confirmed date as yet.
There has been a long-standing condition attached to the new developments going on at the Biomedical Campus that the Addenbrooke’s roundabout should be ‘improved’, specifically in relation to cycle and pedestrian access. This is being undertaken alongside the Hills Road cycleway works.