Mill Road: Positive Thinking in Trying Times

The economic impacts of Covid-19 are badly affecting many of our Mill Road shops.

Some traders have coped OK. Some traders have been able to make modifications to their businesses in order to adapt. But others are closing down or have been put under significant economic pressure.

We want to see Mill Road remain a vibrant street in the heart of our community. Further down the page you can tell us how we could best work together to achieve that.

Covid-19: National Retail Impact

Mill Road suffering from online competition
  • The Office for National Statistics’ figures show online shopping has risen substantially since the start of lockdown and continues at historically high levels. At the same time there has been a dramatic reduction in fuel consumption throughout Britain. These national trends have hit those stores without an online presence hardest.
  • Overall 57% of all businesses in the UK are now suffering a serious downturn.
  • Millions of people are now either out of work or fearing for their jobs, impacting all non-essential sales.
  • Monitoring shows that footfall in Mill Rd has fallen in line with similar UK high streets.
  • There are much lower student numbers in Cambridge right now. Fewer people are walking and cycling down Mill Road to go to the city centre. Both factors will adversely affect traders.
  • We have large numbers of businesses on Mill Road which by their nature can’t provide online services. And others need physical customers walking through the door in order to thrive – e.g. some restaurants simply can’t survive with online orders alone.
  • Most of our traders need more “real” customers back on Mill Road.

Where Does Mill Road Go From Here?

Which way now for Mill Road?

Residents & traders should collaborate! We will be campaigning to make Mill Road a more attractive destination for all shoppers, while maintaining covid safety standards. And we must work to ensure that already disadvantaged groups (e.g. the chronically sick and the disabled) are not further penalised by the bridge closure.

Mill Road Ideas

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas!

We want your ideas. Please tell us about them using the form below!

We’ll collate the responses, and then feedback to you. We’ll also provide an opportunity for discussion in a public zoom meeting, date tbc.

If you’re short on inspiration you can read what people thought should change on Mill Road at the last public meeting held at St Barnabas Church Petersfield in October 2019.

But particularly if you’ve used Mill Road recently we hope you’ll come up with some great ideas of your own


Please choose up to 4 key changes that would encourage you to spend more money on Mill Road. You can use the comments box at the bottom to expand on your answers.




County Council Proposes Covid-19 Safety Changes to Mill Road

Following our campaign to make Mill Road safer during the Covid-19 epidemic, we’re pleased to see Cambridgeshire County Council has now proposed a number of changes. These include the closure of Mill Road to most motor vehicles at the bridge.

The changes will mitigate the risk of Covid-19 transmission by making social distancing possible and safe. They will also make it easier and safer to walk and cycle, and ensure bus journey times are predictable.

A “modal filter” on the bridge will use number plate recognition cameras to only allow certain types of motor vehicle (e.g. buses) over the bridge. Other types of vehicle that ignore the warnings will be fined. The substantial reduction in traffic volume will allow pavement widening in a number of places, benefiting both residents and traders. The additional space created will facilitate social distancing, as well as making shopping, queuing and eating on Mill Road both practical and safe.

The changes, which are funded by central government should begin to be implemented next week.

We know from a number of previous consultations with local people that a large majority of local residents support making Mill Road safer, less polluted and more welcoming for pedestrians and cyclists. Now the Covid-19 pandemic has given these changes an additional urgency.

And the improved environment for shoppers will present real business opportunities for those local Mill Road traders who can think positively and grasp them.

If you add your details below we’ll send a supportive message to the County Council including your signature.

You can also send a personal email to the County Council in support of the changes to policyandregulation@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.


If you have any comments on the proposals, you can put them here and we'll pass them on with our message of support to the County Coucil.


We will look after your personal data - you can read our Privacy Policy here.