Cambridge cyclists’ long-held ambition for a cycleway beside the railway line, the ‘Chisholm Trail’, could finally come to fruition.
As part of the Cambridge City Deal, announced today, Cambridgeshire councils will receive up to £500m to fix traffic problems in the area – and much of this could be spent on cycling provision. Councillor Tim Bick, leader of Cambridge City Council, said:
“This big extra infrastructure investment will speed the delivery of much needed housing developments outside the city and strengthen public transport and cycling options inside the city.”
The money will be released in stages, with £100m expected to be available next year. The Chisholm Trail, long promoted by Cambridge Cycling Campaign, is a strong contender for early spending. It would comprise a north-south route from the Science Park to Cambridge railway station, running largely by the mainline railway (pictured), and linking the two isolated sections of cycleway beside the new Guided Busway. Cambridgeshire County Council has already carried out a feasibility study for the route.
Other mooted possibilities include cycle routes to neighbouring towns, and a “complete orbital route” of busways around Cambridge which could have accompanying cycle tracks and feeder routes.
The announcement was a rare bit of good news for cyclists in today’s Budget. £200m was also allocated to fix potholes nationally, but the sum was widely condemned as inadequate by transport campaigners, pointing out that many counties have a bigger backlog than that in their own area alone.