Every Cloud… : Making the Most of the Bridge Closure

Could there be a silver lining to the closure of Mill Road Bridge to motor vehicles in 2019?

The idea of reducing the amount of motor vehicle traffic on Mill Road has been much discussed in recent years.  Benefits could include reduced pollution, safer cycling and walking, more reliable bus services and a more pleasant environment in which to live, work and shop.  But we’re all conscious of the potential downsides – eg the impact on traffic in surrounding roads, the inconvenience for private motorists in particular for disabled drivers and the elderly, and logistical problems for bulk deliveries to the shops and business on Mill Road.  The financial cost (or benefit) of reduced traffic on local shops and businesses is also unclear.

So given that the bridge has to be closed to vehicles for at least 8 weeks in 2019, there’s clearly an opportunity to better understand the impact of reducing traffic on this key Cambridge thoroughfare. For example

  • measuring the traffic volumes in surrounding roads
  • gathering information about the financial effect on Mill Road shops and businesses
  • surveying local residents on how they are coping with the restrictions in place

We’ll be starting conversations with Cambridge Cycling Campaign (Camcycle),  local councillors, Mill Road businesses and the Cambridge Area Bus Users Group to progress these ideas.

Camcycle have produced this vision of a Mill Road with fewer cars.  Improvements to the Mill Road streetscape that become practical with fewer cars around could be trialled during the closure.

But what do you think?  Please do contact us and let us know your views.