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.

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8 Replies to “County Council Proposes Covid-19 Safety Changes to Mill Road”

  1. I use Mill Road frequently – for the shops, to visit friends and to access the station. When Mill Road is closed to through traffic the area is transformed. It opens up to people and the whole area feels cheerful and safe.
    Cycling and pedestrian safety, air quality, noise – all is improved.

    So I am very supportive of the scheme to close Mill Road to through traffic. This will give space for covid-safe wider footpaths, tree planters, cycle parking, street cafés … all positive.

  2. I am also very supportive of this measure to make Mill Road safer and cleaner. My wife and children are very nervous about about cycling down Mill Road to get into town or do any shopping there due to the heavy flow of traffic with large lorries and fast cars speeding past them. It is also not uncommon for vehicles to park half-on, half-off the pavement, creating a risk for those overtaking as well as those on the pavement. In the short term, there is a clear advantage to enabling people to socially distance as they walk to local shops. This will not be possible without widening pavements, but in the longer term this will encourage many more local residents to do their shopping at local shops, as they have told me they currently order online from the large supermarket chains precisely because of concerns for safety and the pollution caused by heavy traffic there, which is often at a standstill.

  3. The pavements along most of Mill Road (except for a stretch in Romsey) are so narrow that social distancing means that pedestrians regularly need to step off the kerb onto the road. It also means that cyclists need to leave the kerbside to ride in the middle of the road in order not to come too close to pedestrians. I have been in dangerous situations on my bike where I have cycled in the middle of the road, only to be overtaken by cyclists on the inside (very dangerous) or by cyclists, motorcyclists and cars on the outside. Cyclists rarely wear masks and when they overtake, don’t observe social distances but cycle very closely to other cyclists. I have found the bridge situation and the narrow-pavement-trap so perilous that I’ve ventured onto Mill Road maybe five times in total since March. I never take my car along Mill Road. I welcome the proposed changes and support anything that makes the traffic less dangerous for all parties: pedestrians, cyclists, motorists.

  4. Personally it’s a nightmare. I’m disabled with advanced cancer. I live just the Romney side of the bridge. I shop in the butchers and Al Amin cos I can park in Gwydir Street. I can’t walk from my house to the town side of the bridge. The longer drive means I won’t be doing that. The councils haven’t consulted. Great I’m sure for you able bodied cyclists but…Disgusted.

    1. hi, I believe local councillors do understand concerns such as these and are working with disability groups (e.g. Labour’s Disability Forum) to try to find good ways to help those that are less abled, while still making our High St a safer cleaner greener environment.

      Also short term are you aware of Romsey Mutual Aid? You can get in touch with them by filling in this form or calling / texting 07908 466257, and someone can then pop over the bridge and pick up whatever you need…

  5. Is there somewhere one can see the complete updated Council plan?

    I remember when local businesses were complaining that closing the road at the bridge would kill their business. Has something changed?

    From what I am reading here the scheme will only affect those coming from the south east and over the bridge. but I wonder whether other parts of the scheme will stop traffic coming from the Fire Station end and turning down Tenison Road to get to the Rail Station?

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