mill road – a street for people is a group of of over 700 local residents and traders working together to get the best Mill Road for everyone. We want Mill Road to be an attractive, safe and successful shopping street, retaining its unique atmosphere, independent shops, cafés and restaurants, popular and accessible to all residents and visitors.

1 create a low-traffic, low-pollution street

Before the experimental bus gate scheme, around 12,500 cars and 1,500 LGVs travelled along Mill Road every day, leading to congestion and pollution. With large new developments off Mill Road, this problem can only get worse if left unchecked. Excessive traffic creates an unpleasant and unhealthy atmosphere for walking and cycling.

Whilst there is a pressing need to cut traffic congestion throughout Cambridge, Mill Road has particular issues:

  • There are over 200 residential front doors less than 5m from the carriageway.
  • Mill Road has more independent shops cafés and restaurants, than any other district outside of the traffic-limited city centre; many have minimal or no forecourt space.

We need to find the best balance of accessibility for residents and visitors while avoiding the dominance of motorised traffic.

our ideas

Enable the transformation of Mill Road into a road built for people: keep traffic levels low with permanent modal filter(s).

Ensure any scheme prevents motor vehicles from using South Petersfield and Romsey residential side streets (e.g. Tenison Road, Catharine Street) as rat-runs.

Encourage the use of electric vehicles, e.g. for deliveries.

Investigate other alternative vehicles and approaches to deliveries; for example cargo bike deliveries and local delivery consolidation hubs for the benefit of residential and/or commercial deliveries.

If you support our goals, please let us know.

Questions? Check out our faq and resources pages.

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2 make Mill Road accessible to all

Controlling traffic is just one measure that enables physical activity including active travel for children, older adults and those with disabilities. Other factors that have been shown to limit active travel opportunities include:

  • low frequency and difficulties in accessing public transport
  • inadequate lighting
  • street conditions
  • air pollution
  • issues of safety due to traffic volume and speed
  • poor infrastructure for walking and cycling

our ideas

Introduce a registration scheme for blue badge holders to go through the bus gate.

Introduce a mobility scooter hire facility for Mill Road visitors, based at Queen Anne Terrace Car Park; this should build on the experience of running the Cambridge city centre and Huntingdon shopmobility schemes.

Improve pavements (especially surfaces) and kerbs to be less problematic for wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

Go beyond bicycles and promote inclusive active travel on three and four wheelers, hand cycles and wheelchair cycles. Build on the experiences of the scheme running at Milton Country Park.

Remove obstacles from pavements, e.g. prevent pavement parking, relocate bike racks from pavements to more suitable locations. All improvements should be made in line with the recommendations of the Keep On Moving report (Healthwatch Cambridgeshire) – see page 5

Prevent pavement parking, e.g. with bollards or bike stands, while ensuring room for wheelchairs and buggies.

Improve crossings of Mill Road and side roads (See later points).
Provide more disabled parking bays at the sides of the street to reduce walking distances from car parks and to send a clear message that disabled drivers are welcome.

Ensuring pavement expansions and activations do not create obstacles and are accessible to all.

Implement a shuttle bus, and/or increase the number of bus stops, since buses can now travel more quickly.

Make cycling safe and accessible to everyone. Remove physical, mental and financial obstacles to inclusive cycling.

Provide cheap, accessible and flexible public transport.

Help/require businesses to become wheelchair accessible – currently around 34 of Mill Road shops do not have step-free access.

Seek the active involvement of people with all kinds of disabilities in any changes to Mill Road.

Investigate provision of an electric shuttle bus or train to run up and down Mill Road and possibly to and from the station and the town centre.

If you support our goals, please let us know.

Questions? Check out our faq and resources pages.

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3 Make Mill Road safe

Mill Road has a high collision record, the worst in all of Cambridgeshire, particularly on and around the bridge. There are also issues around speeding. On the other hand, the experimental bus gate scheme led to some extreme speeding as the roads are emptier in general, especially in Romsey. Some people have said they feel less safe walking alone without traffic passing, especially at night.

This map shows some of the collisions and near misses on and around Mill Road that have been reported to us. We started collecting this data in October 2021.

Click on / tap the pins on the map for more detail.

our ideas

Redesign the streetscape to prevent cars driving dangerously fast,  e.g. with build-outs that narrow the road, planting, etc.

20 mph limit, and 10 mph on the bridge.

Clear no-overtaking signs on the bridge, including no overtaking of bikes.

Improve street lighting to make all users of Mill Road feel confident and safer when using the road, especially women and those who are vulnerable.

Encourage people to the area, e.g. to bars and restaurants so that the streets are busier.

If you support our goals, please let us know.

Questions? Check out our faq and resources pages.

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4 encourage active travel

Active travel is a stated aim of the government and is unarguable on both health and environmental grounds.

Walking and cycling are good for our physical and mental health. Switching more journeys to active travel will improve health, quality of life and the environment, and local productivity, while at the same time reducing costs to the public purse. These are substantial ‘win-wins’ that benefit individual people and the community as a whole.

from Public Health England: Working Together to Promote Active Travel
from Public Health England’s “Public Health Matters” blog

our ideas

Provide more convenient cycle parking close to shops/cafés – perhaps at the end of side streets. Or in the main carriageway, protected by a planter at each end, doubling as traffic-calming measures.

Consider pairs of Sheffield bike stands parallel to the pavement right at the edge of the pavement, as often done in London.

Consider store-front cycle parking where pavements are wider.

Create more safe crossing places for pedestrians.

Upgrade existing crossings to zebra crossings, thus removing buttons so that pedestrians crossing take priority over car movements.

Identify locations where pavement widening should take place, and plan for these to be implemented as funds and Section 106 opportunities allow.

Redesign side road entrances for maximum safety by providing raised crossings and priority over side roads for people walking.

Approach the DfT for permission (as also being sought in Manchester) for zebras without beacons at each sideroad. These are common in other European countries and have the effect of significantly prioritising pedestrians crossing a sideroad.

Work with schools to encourage active travel to school.

If you support our goals, please let us know.

Questions? Check out our faq and resources pages.

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5 support and encourage a wide range of independent businesses

Our range of independent shops and eateries make Mill Road special. We believe that a low-traffic neighbourhood will benefit many businesses by attracting more customers, as has been demonstrated in many other cities.

We believe that changes to remove through-traffic creates new opportunities to make deliveries easier than before.

our ideas

Create on-road marked delivery bays at key points along Mill Road, consulting with traders to work out where these should be placed to be most useful.

Remove timed unloading restrictions on Mill Road since vans and lorries will no longer be restricting the flow of traffic.

Consult on options to enable delivery vehicles to make efficient journeys over the bridge by either:
– Allowing pre-registered delivery vehicles through the bus gate.
– Opening the bridge for deliveries for a set period (2 hours?) per day to enable deliveries.

Create on-road, marked short term parking bays outside shops for customers making it clear that pavement parking is unacceptable. Potential to create parking bays particularly near the bridge, since this area is furthest from the entry point, especially on the Petersfield side.

Permit up to three hours of on-road parking between 6 pm and midnight in parking and delivery bays, to help restaurants.

Increase cycle parking to make it easier to stop and shop. Where practical consider

  • store-front cycle parking
  • cycle parking in the main carriageway, protected by a planter at each end, doubling as traffic-calming measures
  • cycle parking at the end of side streets

Promote local shops and the benefits of local shopping to residents, taking care to promote all shops to avoid charges of gentrification.

Introduce tourist-type shuttle train to transport customers and act as a tourist attraction.

With business owners, investigate again the pros and cons of becoming a ‘Business Improvement District’, where traders pay a levy to develop projects that will benefit them.

Reintroduce the Mill Road Coordinator to advise and support shops.

If you support our goals, please let us know.

Questions? Check out our faq and resources pages.

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6 enhance our sense of community

Mill Road is the most important shopping street outside the city centre, and has a sense of community, as evidenced by the popular Winter Fair. We would like to build on this and give residents more opportunity for social interaction. County Council Highways policies need updating to modern expectations to enable some of these improvements to happen.

our ideas

Create more outdoor seating areas (some covered), e.g. parklets, for joint use by cafés and bars and/or for groups of private individuals.

Seating areas dotted along the street can be made by reducing the highway from 2 lanes to 1.2 lane widths at these points, changing the roadway boundary, and thereby doubling the width of the pavement.

Permit licensed use of tables on the newly widened pavement areas, always ensuring that pedestrian access is not impeded.

Organise art/music events in the street or in buildings along the street.

Create attractive, green spaces for social interaction.

If you support our goals, please let us know.

Questions? Check out our faq and resources pages.

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7 provide reliable, affordable public transport and taxi access

Where driving is curtailed, other options must be offered. Low-traffic neighbourhoods enable buses to operate much more reliably – the restrictions on the bridge showed how buses can move much more freely. However, bus use is not currently popular because it is too expensive.

More effective public transport would also reduce any displaced traffic in other streets. There has also been debate about taxis. Residents of Romsey in particular who are unable to walk or cycle, have been faced with longer taxi journeys to the station, and other residents unable to walk or cycle have longer essential journeys e.g. to a doctor’s surgery.

our ideas

Improve quality of bus stops for the benefit of bus users and to improve the public realm (e.g. better seating, adequate shelter, good design, cleaning)

Consult bus users, operators and the transport authority (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority) on bus stops to ensure optimal locations.

Ensure that any traffic calming measures are bus-friendly.

Consult on options regarding taxi journeys including:

  • City Council licensed Hackney cabs to be allowed over the bridge. Council policy is moving towards these being required to be electric and take wheelchairs.
  • Continued complete restriction of taxi access over the bridge, with access to all Mill Road residents and businesses by taxis remaining.
  • All taxis to be allowed over the bridge. However this option could increase vehicle movements on Mill Road which would require significant extra measures to prevent speeding and may make it difficult to install other improvements.

If taxi access is granted, install increased traffic calming, to discourage taxis using Mill Road unnecessarily for journeys other than to/from local premises.

Urge the transport authority to use their powers to reduce bus fares, expand the validity of bus passes and, in combination with the Greater Cambridge Partnership, use Mill Road as a reliable high-quality bus route to a range of destinations.

Smaller, more frequent buses.

Cheap or free shuttle buses from park and rides.

If you support our goals, please let us know.

Questions? Check out our faq and resources pages.

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8 provide an attractive environment

When you visit towns in France, you are struck by the civic pride evident in main streets with attractive paving and planting. We should aspire to something similar.

our ideas

Consult on where to install things like large planters and parklets, and where widened sections of pavement are wanted.

More trees, flowers and general greenery. Include a community garden / community planters for residents to use, as has been successfully implemented in many other parts of the city.

Audit all street furniture including bus stops/ telephone boxes, junction boxes, street signage, poles, etc. and remove any that are unnecessary.

Work with the community to develop a design for the overall environment with textured paving and high quality public realm.

Any significant changes to resurface/remodel the road layout should only be considered after 2 years, to avoid any more disruption after years of gas/utility works. Smaller changes, like adding buildouts can go ahead quicker, as they are simpler changes not requiring noisy or extensive digging.

Encourage community led street art to celebrate the Mill Road community, following the wonderful example of the mural linking Mill Road north and south at the railway bridge. 

Encourage County Council to work with utility companies to ensure a more strategic, coordinated and less disruptive approach to utility works and require them to reinstate the highway to a higher standard when repairs are complete.

If you support our goals, please let us know.

Questions? Check out our faq and resources pages.

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  1. A brilliant proposal!
    While taxis use Tension Road as a rat run, there should be restrictions on their use of the bridge.

    1. Taxis are forced to use Tenison Road as it is the only route to the station they are able to take because the Council closed Station Road to taxis.

        1. Dearest Andy, have you ever been to hills road?

          It is always busy. Do we really want to bring more traffic there? (We all know it causes more pollution) Also, did you miss the part where Margaret said that station road is closed to taxis? Are you suggesting they break the law?

          1. No I didn’t miss that Izzy. They’re not allowed to approach the Station directly up Station Road, but they are allowed up Station Road as far as Tenison Road, if they turn left there, then into Great Northern Road then can get to the taxi rank perfectly legally. Check out

            Re Hills Road being busy, it’s wider and less residential than Tenison Road, so impact would be less I would have thought?

            Maybe we shouldn’t try to do anything to any road until all traffic measures for the whole city are in place. But we’ve been waiting for that for 25 years. No sign of it coming. So let’s just make a start on *something*.

        2. This only shift a traffic(problem) elsewhere. Should residents of these roads close the access too? I guess we could catch the train in Shelford or Waterbeach?

  2. The Winter Fair is such a nice atmosphere – it would be lovely to have that every day – although there’d be fewer people, it’d still be a great place to mooch without having cars and vans using it as a thoroughfare. I’d like to see just non-motorised traffic (bikes, scooters, mobility scooters, etc.) as well as pedestrians, much like the city centre. Deliveries could happen early in the morning, perhaps.

    1. Great once a year or even quarterly. But Mill Road needs its through bus service, and it would be hard to continue it with pedestrianisation.

    2. hi Jonathan – thanks for your comment but we’re not advocating pedestrianisation. E.g. it would prevent residents from driving into and out of some of the side roads – like Gt Eastern Street. Though we do love Mill Road Winter Fair – and hope we can have it back for real this year!

  3. It really would be great if the appearance of the street could look more attractive to pedestrians, shoppers, disabled people, cyclists and families.

  4. Stop cramming in ugly houses, flats and offices on every square metre of free space, such as the Council Depot, Ridgeons, Travis Perkins, and around the station.
    Invest in real infrastructure for the residents, such as schools, playgrounds, green areas, and childcare facilities.
    Invest in a bus service that isn’t prohibitively expensive. It’s cheaper to get a taxi into town and back (even if not allowed over the bridge), than dayrider tickets for a family of four. Run buses more often on Sundays and evenings.
    It is cheaper and more pleasant to drive to Bury St. Edmunds, or hop on a £2 train to Ely, than it is to get into the City Centre for shopping.

    1. The City Council has a policy of protecting the street scape by not allowing individual householders to raise the roof profile where it can be seen from the street when they are doing loft conversions. Yet they gave permission to those awful looming blocks on the former Ridgeons and Council Depot sites that have now ruined the streetscape from certain viewpoints. The effect is much more pronounced than would have been if householders had been allowed to raise the roof height a little to allow for headroom in their new loft rooms. When you enter Cavendish Road now the street’s vista is dominated by a sinister looking, looming new block of flats going up that ruins the view. Similarly when coming up St Philip’s Road (on foot or on a bike) the unbroken roofline of the terraced houses on Cavendish Road has been wrecked by another horrible block of flats going up on the Council Depot site. The Planning Officers and the Members of the Planning Committee really messed up here.

  5. Great to see these proposals! It’s clear to me that the death-trap Mill Road we had before, and the desolate road we currently have now, are both not ideal. A compromise between the two, where we have slow, carefully managed traffic, plenty of bicycles, extra room for pedestrians and lots more community events, is definitely the way to make Mill Road thrive and bring safety to the community.

  6. I agree with these aims. Since the experimental bus gate scheme, Mill Road has been much safer and cleaner. I definitely cycle & walk to local businesses more as a result with and without my young children. Cycling along Mill Road before was frankly terrifying. It’s good to see the increased footfall cause by the changes. I have always felt that the vast majority of those driving over the bridge were driving into town and not stopping & shopping. I look forward to more development such as outdoor seating.

    1. Yes, many were driving to the station, having come from out of town. They could be encouraged instead to use Cambridge North station, reducing the pollution in the City.

  7. I got your leaflet in my letter box , I like all 8 suggestions . If u find taxies are breaking the rules ,fine or take away the privlage letting them drive down Mill Rd. I love the idea of planters & bicycle parking . As a blue card driver I would be very happy to regester my car only 1 driver .thank you .

  8. At last someone with positive ideas.

    How about a weekly or monthly farmers market?

    How about borrowable disability scooters, so those of us who can walk a bit but not a lot can cross the bridge?

    I’m concerned at removing street furniture but increasing bike racks and parking places. It’s just one lot of visual clutter for another.

    No lorries between 8am and 5pm…

  9. Fantastic! So glad you’ve got this site up and running, and thanks for the leaflet. Your suggestions are really sensible. Let’s make Mill Road the envy of Cambridge. (Well, it already is, innit? But even more enviable.)

  10. I’ve now read comments on disabled access and tbh found them a bit disingenuous.

    Most wheelchair users who have blue badges can already park on mill road. We are allowed to park on double yellow lines for a couple of hours. So promising parking outside shops is pointless.

    As a life limited cancer patient, I am no longer able to cycle or walk as far as I used to. One of the effects of becoming disabled is that your world shrinks. With the bridge closure, my world has shrunk further to just this side of the bridge (Romsey). Driving the 20 minutes each way is simply too hard when my energy is very limited.

    I don’t accept that it’s too hard to run disabled access. They can use pip holders or blue badge holders or simply ask you to register a car as the station does. If you use multiple cars as I do when in chemo, it’s a fav but better than nothing. In Europe many city Centre’s have residents only car access, similar to residents parking. Surely if Sicily can do it, the uk can.

    Not solving this would turn me from pro to anti closure.

    1. hi Karen, we’re sorry to hear that you’ve seen comments on disabled access which appear disingenuous. Higher up this page we’re clearly and straightforwardly advocating for blue badge holders to be allowed to register their vehicle to be allowed over the Bridge. Elsewhere we’re pointing out some of the pitfalls which would need to be overcome in order to implement such a scheme – and forewarned is forearmed!

      But to be honest this is as much about our elected representatives on the County having the political will to get this implemented as it is about any technical or legal considerations. County Councillor Gerri Bird is in a position of authority on the Highways and Transport committee, and we suspect that you may not find her lacking in that respect…

      1. My son has a blue badge, but he doesn’t have a vehicle. His Carers use theirs to take him out. in one year we had 18 different Carers. Registering. deregistering, re-registering their vehicles would be a truly onerous task – he couldn’t do it and I know form past experience how time-consuming and frustrating it can be. I had awful problems at the Station with this system and the end result is that we no longer use the station disabled bays – it’s a nightmare, fines were (wrongly) imposed and I had to spend much effort and many hours dealing with these problems. We never even got an apology.

        1. That sounds like a real nightmare. Can’t see any fundamental reason why a registration scheme should be so difficult to use, though. But the one at the station certainly sounds rubbish – and if the County take a registration approach for blue badge holders to enable bridge access, then the implementation clearly must be much much better.

          1. Because you can’t register multiple vehicles. Because you need to be on -line to register. Because you need to fill in lengthy forms. Because you need to upload documents and take pictures and upload them. Because the process of registration is time-consuming and has to be done well ahead of using the vehicle or you end up then having to deal with fines and waste an inordinate amount of time trying to get them cancelled. Because these days organisations fail to answer the phone in a timely manner and you end up with lengthy menus and then this eventually either leads to a dead end or to voicemail or to someone who gives you wrong information or tells you you need to go on line or use another phone number and then start all over again. How can you register a taxi at the time you order it? You never know what vehicle is going to turn up. I am the carer and my time is already under enormous pressure and I can’t take on this job. Because I don’t have great computer skills and never will have.

          2. Hello Margaret. As we said in our previous reply, it’s difficult to understand exactly why the system has to be so difficult to use, and why there isn’t an alternative way of accessing it, e.g. telephone. These are the kinds of issues which should be hammered out by consulting fully with people like yourself at the sharp end of disability issues, and pragmatic solutions found. One idea we’ve mentioned and which has been discussed elsewhere in these comments is to exempt licenced taxis from a bus gate scheme, which would solve the taxi problem.

        2. Good points.
          Why not give people with a Blue Badge something like the Dart Tag, which works over the Dartford Crossing, and which can be taken by the owner in any car to identify themself. No tag, no entry.

    2. I agree – in addition, for those of us “over the bridge” there is a lot of unnecessary extra travel and noticeable increased congestion on the roads either side of Mill Road. I haven’t been able to cycle for three months due to disability and it has been a right pain as am not a blue badge holder; there must be many local residents in these kinds of positions. It feels like Romsey has been cut off, basically.

  11. Shuttle buses?
    More frequent buses yes. Smaller, no. Operators use vehicles of the right size for peak loadings, thereafter, the marginal cost of operation throughout the day is much of a muchness with operating small vehicles. (Probably cheaper when you factor in parking large vehicles throughout the day, the dead-running costs of bringing/returning small vehicles to/from the depot and the purchase costs of duplicate vehicles.) Shorter, narrower vehicles are useful for narrow streets with tight turns. That is not the character of Mill Road.

    What Mill Road needs is to become a reliable bus corridor serving Addenbrooke’s and also the under-bused new developments on Coldham’s Lane (East) and the planned airport-area development. Plus Teversham? Better to take passengers to and from Mill Road, than shuttle them along it.

    There are few passenger journeys which both start and end in Mill Road.

    1. Stagecoach were asked at the start of the Bridge closure to extend the 2 service that goes to Sainsburys up Coldhams Lane to Cherry Hinton Church but as usual nothing done. Lack of confidence in bus companys and councils brings lack of confidence in any schemes that get mentioned here.

  12. “Introduce tourist-type shuttle train to transport customers and act as a tourist attraction.”

    Look at the regulations and the difficulties…

    Under “normal” circumstances Land Train combinations would not be permitted to operate on public roads as they would contravene in some cases, Regulations 16, 18 items 2 – 8 (braking), 83 (1) items 6 and 7 (number of trailers) and 90 (1) (carriage of passengers in trailers for hire or reward) of C&U. However, Land Train combinations may be permitted to operate on public roads provided that the operator has obtained a Vehicle Special Order (VSO) issued under section 44 of The Road Traffic Act 1988.

    The view of the Department for Transport is that Land Trains are special purpose vehicles designed for low speed sightseeing operations on a specific itinerary which would not ordinarily be carried out by a passenger vehicle compliant with the regulations (e.g. it is not a traditional public service vehicle).

    The combination, laden or unladen, and irrespective of the number of trailers drawn, shall not exceed a speed of 10 mph.

    Source: Vehicle Special Orders: Guidance for Land Train Applications and Operation

    Land trains would delay buses and be counter-productive for Mill Road. More frequent buses, bringing passengers (and trade) form a wide range of destinations is what is needed. Not shuttles, nor small buses, nor any ‘novelty’ transport.

    (And you can’t use a bus-pass on land trains.)

  13. “Prevent pavement parking, e.g. with bollards or bike stands, while ensuring room for wheelchairs and buggies.”

    Bollards and bike bike stands are hazardous on the pavement particularly for people with visually disabilities.

    Cambridgeshire County Council already have the power to prohibit pavement parking. And it wouldn’t push up the council tax. Penalty charges (tickets) from offenders would cover the costs of the Civil Enforcement Officers (wardens).

    Cambridgeshire County Council were granted these powers in February 2011 and could have acted at any time in the last decade.

    Full details here:

    Since the May election, Cambridgeshire County Council is under new control.

    The Highway and Transport Committee now includes:
    Councillor Neil Shailer – Labour, Romsey
    Councillor Richard Howitt – Labour, Petersfield (substitute)
    Councillor Peter McDonald – Liberal Democrat, Duxford (Chair)
    Councillor Gerri Bird – Labour, Chesterton (Vice-Chair)

    Now would be a good time to lobby them to take the action which previous Highway and Transport Committee have declined to do.

    I think that we could expect strong support form Gerri Bird on the issue of keeping vehicles – and other obstructions – off our pavements as she is a wheelchair user.

  14. Open mill road it’s dying it needs open make it one way for all and stop lorries unload at certain time and it will be better for all I live in Romney all my life and the shop are shutting down open it up A.S.A.P

    1. Hi Mark, we understand that Covid-19 has been tough for retailers all over the city and the country, do you have any insight as to why the traffic changes on Mill Road are to blame rather than Covid? Also please note we’re not supporters of the existing scheme, we think it needs to be changed as we describe above. There’s evidence that businesses can actually benefit significantly from the changes we’re asking for. See our FAQ on business impacts.
      Also regarding one-way traffic, we have an FAQ which talks about why this might cause a few problems, any thoughts on that?

    2. It is an intriguing claim that the “the shops are shutting down” as a result of current Mill Road bridge restrictions.

      For balance, might I , respectfully, point to the new businesses starting up in Mill Road as signs of change and growth? These include the Harvest Organic Supermarket, and the Eclipse Bakery on Romsey Broadway; whilst on the Petersfield (city) side, Finn Boys Fish Butchery restaurant, a new Co-op, The Lads Piri-Piri, and another restaurant – Fancett’s – at 96A (Fabio’s former premises) have recently opened or are about to open.

  15. Thank you for setting up this website ! Your ideas seem v sensible and inclusive.
    I was walking on Mill Road today, gorgeous weather, relatively little traffic, plenty of pedestrians and loads of people on terraces.
    What about street buntings / flags between buildings all along Mill Road to make it look even more attractive / welcoming?

  16. I have lived in Cambridge for 30 yrs a cyclist and car driver.
    I have had several cycle accidents on Mill Road caused by pedestrians bicycles and potholes! Thankfully only one when a car turned infront of me. Cycling with my children I would avoid busy main roads preferring cycle paths , cycle bridge etc until they were confident and road aware
    I think that there should be a proper open consultation as to wether Mill Rd should be closed or left open. What seems to have happened is that Mill Road has been closed under the cloak of covid to the annoyance of shop owners, who I would imagine don’t get a great deal of time to cycle. Red and white bollards nave been put in place at various points ( where cars are now temporarily parking ) To make a suggestion that this is making Mill Rd safe for cyclists or even Covid safe is quite frankly BONKERS! Mill Road is now less safe than ever not least for the fact that it is cyclists, (inc electric bikes and scooters but not all) who do not obey the laws of the road. Mounting curbs to avoid bollards to avoid oncoming traffic including buses or just as it takes there fancy. Petrol scooters driving on pavements to collect deliveries.
    There are rules for using any public highway- bicycle riders need to have road worthy equipment and know the Highway Code.
    One tiny and simple measure that would contribute to the safety of pedestrians and cyclists could be an enforcement of cycle lights.
    It is unfortunate that there are so many cyclists who do not follow the rules of the road and this matter should be dealt with not turning Mill Road into an obstacle course!!

    1. Hello Jonathan, and thanks for taking the time to comment. We all agree that the current scheme is not fit for purpose. And we are asking for a full public consultation before any further changes are made. Could you clarify which (if any) of our goals or ideas for a better scheme you disagree with?

  17. Pre the closure the taxi fare to West Road was under £10 each way. Now it is over £13.50. So that’s an increase of over £7 every time I need to take my son to a concert. The same thing applies when going to church – fares are another £7 each time. This is mainly because of the increased journey length and time caused by the bridge closure. We are on quite a low income. My son is disabled.

  18. Hello MillRoad4people,
    I live on Mill Road and am really enjoying the reduction of traffic on the road, it feels calmer, safer, more accessible, healthier and less smelly!
    I support your ideas to make a lot more of Mill Road to make it a good place to visit, shop and relax. It could be made into a great place to visit. I think this would help the traders too. It has been a tough time for business but I do not think more traffic is the answer. A shuttle bus or some interesting way of getting along Mill road to shop and visit could be good and make the very good shops more accessible and attractive for more people to make use of.
    Personally I drive as well as walk and cycle and am quite happy to not drive down Mill Road if I benefit from a better environment and a more interesting street scene

  19. I see that the Council are discussing the bridge closure next month. Other than lobbying our Councillors ahead of that about making the closure permanent, is there anything more formal that can be done to feed local public opinion into that discussion?

  20. I have a few question for Mill road for people.
    1. who are the members?
    2. can anyone join?
    3. do you all have associations with Camcycle or a paying subscription to the Cambridge Labour party?

    1. Hi Doug. Thanks for your questions, which we’ve answered below:
      1) Our members are local residents, workers and business owners. See our About page.
      2) Yes, anyone can join, as long as they believe that Mill Road should remain a low traffic, low pollution street.
      3) No. Our members are supporters of all political parties, and none. We have no association with Camcycle, although some of our members are also members of Camcycle. Similarly, some of our members are also members of the Mill Road Traders Association.

  21. Hi team, can you answer this?
    why have you removed the option for people to click the thumbs up or down option on the comments? I find this very useful when determining the peoples reactions.

    many thanks

    1. Hi Doug. We thought they were a good idea too when we enabled them. However in reality we feel they were in danger of being used as proxy for the binary “should the restrictions on the bridge remain or not” debate. This site was not created to be a platform for that debate, which has already been covered exhaustively on social media over the months. Hope that helps.

  22. Millroad4people, thank you! How amazing that there are people in our community who are willing to commit so much time and energy into looking into this. A Romsey resident, I’ve always loved our vibrant Mill Road but wished we could find a way to radically reduce the traffic that spoils it. Your ideas for bringing everyone on board – traders etc sound great. Wishing you all success with this exciting project!

  23. What about Coldhams Lane? Do you have any plans for that too? We would like all the things you have mentioned too.

  24. A few thoughts, as a walker, cyclist and occasional car driver, based in Barnabas Court:
    1. From a selfish point of view, no traffic on Mill Road is great – I cross it 800 times a year with my child. But we do need something that integrates with the city as a whole. If we are to retain the bus gate, I would suggest if the technology is available, allow locals (rather than just disabled) access to the bridge. It seems silly on the rare occasion that I drive from very close to the bridge, heading into town creating more congestion and pollution, all the way round, when there is a very short route across the bridge. It is people doing longer routes who are better able to avoid the bridge without increasing congestion and pollution.
    2. I don’t think redesigning the streetscape makes things safer. In Tenison I frequently can feel the tension in other drivers as they wait for me to chug along at 20mph, and then as I pass them, I see them roaring off. Obstacles in the road generally makes things less safe – people have less room, they try to nip around them when they shouldn’t, and so on.
    3. There is a tension between speed and pollution. A nice steady 30mph is much less polluting than 20mph. Slowing down and speeding up is also bad for pollution (and indeed safety generally). [I don’t know if they are ridiculously expensive, but I much prefer eg average speed limits that help safe and smooth driving, rather than obstacles that simply annoy people and don’t achieve the desired effect.]
    4. We should be careful about trying to please those who shout loudest – people tend to complain rather than praise, so we can end up constantly changing things.
    5. Whilst I use a car little, and run a small efficient car, any strategy should not be anti cars (last time I went to a meeting a councillor described four wheel drive owners as ‘those buggers’). This is not helpful and we should be trying to design a system for all.
    6. We need something properly planned – recently St Barnabas Road was altered at no doubt great expense, taking away the bollard there, only to have a temporary bollard put back a few weeks later. (Presumably someone complained so they took away the bollard, and then someone else complained, so they put it back again.
    7. I am not pretending it is easy, but the city over the years appears to have taken each decision in isolation, rather than thinking about traffic flow of the city as a whole.
    8. I don’t think introducing cycle parking is a good idea. Fundamentally Mill Road has too little space – if we use more space, it will make it worse. A cyclist (and I am one) has to be prepared to park in a suitable place, and walk a few yards to a shop!
    9. More zebra crossings? Possibly – I don’t personally see the need, but like anything, if there are to be more zebra crossings, we also need to give more thought to how to help car drivers – they are not evil people, and if everything is designed simply to penalise them, you end up just making it impossible for certain sectors of society, and they in turn will vent their frustration by roaring away as soon as a pedestrian has gone, and hitting the next poor person on the road!
    10. Create more outdoor seating areas: I suspect that while this would be nice, there simply isn’t the space. At the moment Mill Road to me is less safe than it used to be – the chicanes have led to cars not being able to get past cycles – in my case I just crawl along Mill Road increasing congestion and pollution, but even when I do finally get to go past a chicane, I find a cyclist suddenly appears from nowhere, decides they cannot possibly wait and dangerously threads alongside the chicane, driving me almost onto the pavement. Mill Road is tough even where the full road width is available, but at least it was a bit safer, you could generally overtake bikes if nothing was coming, and bikes that appeared from nowhere, presumably with no working brakes (!) could actually fit past the cars.
    11. If there is a gate scheme I would support certain lorries being allowed to use it (as with locals – essentially the bridge should be for local access). I don’t think we need delivery bays. It is true that delivery lorries are a problem, but again, you don’t solve the fundamental problem of Mill Road not having enough space, by taking more space away.
    12. Bus passes is a whole other subject, as are buses. At the moment the use of bus lanes on Newmarket Road is totally misguided (perhaps a subject for another day, but I could explain why – take a look at Leeds – they use them properly!)

    1. Balanced and thoughtful comments. I particularly applaud the comment concerning ‘those who shut the loudest’ so true of life in general in these times. I would just like to add that I don’t think there has been enough emphasis on parking for cyclists. At the moment there are many bicycles attached to poles and signs on pavements with little consideration for wheelchair or pushchair users or indeed ordinary pedestrians. I agree that cyclists could easily park in designated areas and walk to their chosen shop much as car drivers are required to.

  25. I would like to congratulate you on your Ideas Fest.

    However, I would like to correct one statement in your minutes, regarding the “access” breakout group facilitated by Katie Hawks. Motorbikes and mopeds are NOT much less polluting than cars – on the contrary. Since they do not have catalytic converters they are more polluting, and are moreover far more noisy than cars. So in answer to the further question “Is the distinction between petrol engined motor-cycles and e-scooters and e-bikes arbitrary?” the answer is emphatically no. So in conclusion, E-vehicles (as opposed to hybrids, which are quite frankly a con) are the answer to several issues for Mill Road and Cambridge as a whole, including apart from pollution, noise and the impacts from climate change.

    PS. Sorry, I am not on Facebook or Twitter, since they have become the primary means for propagating abuse, hate and misinformation.

  26. The bridge restrictions should be encouraging good planning and the breaking of bad habits. Yesterday I heard a ‘savvy’ young man claim that his daily journey to Royston by car had been lengthened since the bridge closure. Since closure he has been travelling north from his home and then west along Newmarket Road, a tortuous route. One of your supporters suggested an alternative route to him. He decried it as being much longer! I have just used google maps to compare his alternatives. Your supporter was right. If he followed the route suggested by Google and your supporter (ie. turning east into Mill Road, Coleridge Road and onto Brooklands Avenue), he would save time, fuel and create less pollution. Of course he also has the option of catching a train and not worry about traffic jams.

  27. To whoever is running this group: Thank you! The proposals outlined on this website are just what we need going forward.

    I am glad to see the loud antics and hyperbolic claims from the Mill Road Traders Association are being countered with reasonable proposals from a residents group.

  28. Great ideas MillRoad4 People. I think that Mill Road is a really nice area, previously totally ruined by the too heavy weight of traffic, and so a dangerous and polluted road before the bridge closure forced the issue. I applaud your well thought-out ideas – there is an opportunity here to turn a nice area into something really special and so I offer my wholehearted support for your aims. Thanks!

  29. So the bridge is re opening. That is so sad, and seems to go against the majority local feeling – given the results of the last local elections.

    What can be done about this? Truly very, very sad such a retrograde step has been approved.

  30. I’d like to thank all of these people who have taken the time and effort to create a better environment for us all, I have my reasons for not being able to do these things for myself so am grateful to the people who are doing it for me.

    I agree with several people who have said that the red and white bollards make Mill Road less safe. When cycling down Mill Road esp. with my 6 year old cars have driven directly at us while trying to get round them and have made cycling down there more frightening than it used to be.

    As a person who uses a pram and walks a lot too, I find the extra space the bollards supposedly give us completely useless. They don’t create enough room to make any difference as I can’t get my pram down the gap. If you want to give pedestrians more room make the pavements actually wider or don’t bother. Getting the pram up the side roads is a nightmare esp. on bin day, I’m having to move everyone’s bins so I can get past which from a Covid point of view is not great, but I digress.

    I love the idea of giving the cafes and restaurants more room and licence to have seating outside but I would worry about them using heaters in the colder months as obviously that wouldn’t be great for the environment.

    I would welcome more cycle parking places as I use them a lot.

    Lastly if you allow taxis, buses and delivery vehicles over the bridge I would have thought that would account for most of the traffic anyway? Does anyone know if there has been a survey done on the type of vehicles that use Mill Road because I would find that useful?

    1. Hi Cat, thanks for your comment. Good question about allowing vehicles other than buses free access to the street. We think it’s important that we take advantage of the next 6 months with traffic returning to Mill Road to understand how that traffic is made up.

  31. Just a few thoughts from someone whose family has lived in and around Mill Road since 1809. We need to consider the needs of local business, they are what makes our community what it is. Without them we’d just be another boring semi suburban street.
    I think designated delivery bays (also delivery times) are a good idea as this will prevent delivery vehicles from parking on the pavement. Cycle parking could be dotted throughout the road and need not take up too much space.
    It would be great to see more French style cafes, but owners will have to be more careful where they put their tables and A boards. I have had to move the latter out of the way more than once to allow people on mobility carriages access.
    The present temporary black and yellow build-outs into the road do make it more dangerous for cyclists. They should be scrapped.
    As to the vexed question of access for the disabled, and use of private cars. Great idea prioritising Blue Badge holders, however what about those people who who do not drive, and cannot afford taxis, and so rely on friends with private cars to take them about?
    A French style land-train might sound great, but they take up a lot of room and would slow down larger buses. In France they are mostly used in pedestrian areas anyway.
    Buses again, what we really need is a return to a council owned and run bus service. Unfortunately this seems unlikely in my lifetime!
    If Mill Road is to succeed we need to make it a destination for tourists as well as locals. We have some wonderful eating establishments and shops here, yet the council do little to promote them. Info at the station perhaps, leaflets in hotels? Having said that I have met a surprising number of people on my travels who come to our Winter Fair from other parts of the country.
    I too would love to see the kind of pride in our community, that the French have in their small towns and villages. However it is worth remembering that in France each community has an elected mayor who has control over the money!
    I too would like to know who exactly what kind of vehicles use Mill Road on a regular basis, and where they are coming from. I don’t think we can make an informed decision on what to do about the traffic situation, which is dire, without this information.
    Whatever happens next we have to include everyone, residents and traders alike in any decision.
    I am not in any social media platforms.

  32. Today, 11 August, there are markings on the foot path for power and fibre comms installation -outside Tesco’s Broadway. The potential problem is the POLE indicated. This will inhibit the space which is always used by the Winter Fair and some summer festivities. it will also be an unexpected, low visibility obstruction.
    Halfway house would be to add cycle racks -at least useful if still obstructing social activity


  33. Please can we consider simply making Mill Road ONE WAY for all vehicles? Or at least the part in the vicinity of the bridge.

    Sending people in Abbey all the way round to Hills Road to get to the station adds extra miles and forces all the traffic onto a different road where other decent people live. It would seem fair and sensible and balanced to allow Mill Road for direct access in one direction and Hills Road in the other. For every journey people will have one way that is more convenient for them, another way that is less so.

    It is too simplistic to say “let’s get people walking and cycling”. I cycle 9 times out of 10, but it isn’t realistic if you are picking up an elderly person, or it is raining, or you are picking up heavy items, or collecting someone from the station.

    One Way (with speed restrictions) would free up more space for street cafes, bikes and disabled access and by definition HALF your traffic. Everyone wins!

    1. hi Justin, thanks for your comment. We have an item on our FAQ page which responds to the idea of a one-way Mill Road – you will see that we think that there are some problems with it.

      Regarding your point about forcing traffic onto other roads (e.g. East Road, Hills Road, Cherry Hinton Road). Using Mill Road to get to the Station from Abbey means traffic has to go down residential streets like Devonshire Road and Tenison Road. We think that roads like East Road and Hills Road are actually much more appropriate for this kind of traffic – and the extra distance on journey times is relatively small. For example 2.4 miles from Ditton Fields via East Road, Hills Road and Station Road, compared with 2.3 miles via Mill Road and Tenison Avenue.

      We’ve also done some analysis of the changes in traffic volumes on Mill Road, Coldhams Lane and Cherry Hinton Road during periods of bridge restrictions, which provide no evidence that there is a sustained increase in traffic on surrounding roads when Mill Road bridge is closed.

  34. Given where we find ourselves now in November, there is a growing case for a Judicial Review of the Highways and Transport Committee’s July decision to re-open the Mill Road bridge bus gate. For those unfamiliar with Judicial Reviews, they are court proceeding where a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body. They challenge to the way in which a decision has been made, rather than the rights and wrongs of the conclusion reached. It may well be worth seeking a robust legal opinion on this, if it hasn’t been done already (costs permitting).

  35. It would be lovely to set up a weekly local market e.g. the car park next to Gwydir Street, with food, art, flowers etc. Also, trees and benches on the large pavement outside of Tesco would be wonderful.

  36. In times past Cambridge taxi-drivers have been criticized by Cambridge residents for speeding and driving dangerously. There miscreant status was particularly bemoaned by those who live near the station but I belief that it is time to confront this prejudice. While walking over Mill Road bridge in the evenings I have made a conscious effort to note how many motorists overtake cyclists illegally and dangerously. Last week I spotted 3 drivers of private cars in a row crossing a solid line to over take cyclists close to the blind camber. I have however observed that taxi drivers do not do this but drive slowly at a respectful distance to cyclists. How does this accord with the observations of others?

    1. I see no reason to single out taxi drivers Charlotte. I came here to comment on speeding actually. Mill Road is a 20 mph limited street with lots of shops, cafe’s and pedestrians. On a 20 mph street (particularly one that has had very limited motor traffic for more than a year) people behave slightly differently than they would on a 40 or 60 road. Combined with the fact that there’s not a second of the day when there’s not illegally stopped or even parked cars on the road obscuring sight, the speeding is very dangerous. If nothing else, adds to sound and air pollution and gives a busy and stressful impact to the area.

      A really simple solution to this would be speed cameras of course, the reason that most (let’s be honest, I’d be surprised if 1 car in 10 keeps to 20 mph – and I’d not be surprised if at least 1 in 20 does twice that) drive too fast is that they face zero consequences for doing so (until they kill someone that is). Same with parking. If you don’t enforce rules, you’ll have no rules. Even the most outspoken car supporters must be happy with this, being the responsible motorists they are? Put in a series of three cameras – they pay for themselves!

  37. The previous implementation of the bus gate was dangerous because it forced buses heading southbound over the bridge to switch into the right-hand lane, directly in the path of cyclists correctly using the left-hand lane, with very little advance notice because the steepness of the bridge acts as an effective blind spot. I’m surprised there wasn’t a fatality. This sort of dangerous mistake must never be allowed to be repeated. Use ANPR cameras but the design should never ever force a motor vehicle into the wrong lane and cause a potentially dangerous conflict with cyclists.

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