A traffic-free Mill Road?

The recent closure of Mill Road bridge for railway works has prompted a debate about removing unwanted through traffic on a more permanent basis. Join the debate.

Go to latest updates

See our readers’ comments. Add your own. And check out linked blogposts from this page: Mill Road – what route for the future?

See our (historic) post Closure of Mill Road Bridge for Railway Works, for a flavour of some of the issues which arose.

Throughout and following the closure there were:

  • Traffic counts on Mill Road and other routes to the city centre and Grafton Quarter
  • Surveys of traders on the impact on their takings and on deliveries
  • Discussions with pedestrians, cyclists, bus users and local residents using Mill Road on how their journeys have been affected

Let’s continue the debate in the comments section, below, or on the Mill Road – what route for the future? page.

A thriving Mill Road: remove the through-traffic

From Martin Lucas-Smith

Mill Road should be a thriving place, with tens of thousands of residents around it, and a fantastic range of shops and community facilities. Yet traders are often struggling. Why is this?

What’s the one thing that almost everyone agrees is bad about Mill Road? The traffic. So isn’t it time something was actually done about it?

These two are strongly linked. Mill Road is currently a place that many people, myself included, either avoid completely, or visit and then leave as quickly as possible. It’s too unpleasant, polluted and noisy. All the trade from people who might actually stay for a while, or would be more likely to walk/cycle through if they didn’t have to battle the cars taking up all the space, is lost.

Mill Road has all the conditions for a popular, even trendy, location: central, cosmopolitan, offering something unique. Yet trading is still marginal. Get rid of the cars simply passing through, and the street can be opened up – to people actually visiting – and spending money and time there.

Some people think removing traffic would make trade suffer. Look at Bridge Street, and the bollards installed in 1997. Before the closure, there were 700 cars per hour passing through. Now, it is a thriving place, with the streetscaping in 2000 providing an even more pleasant environment. Who would return to all that traffic now?

Pretty much all the problems of Mill Road that people complain about can only be solved by getting rid of the through-traffic – it is both the cause and the solution:

  • If you want Mill Road to be a place where people actually want to visit and stay a while, you have to get rid of the through-traffic.
  • If you want lovely new ‘parklets’, where people can hang out and enjoy a coffee outside shops/cafes, without breathing in polluted air, you have to get rid of the through-traffic.
  • If you want traders to have space for delivery bays, getting vans off the pavement, with access 24/7, you have to get rid of the through-traffic.
  • If you want buses to run on time, and be more regular, you have to get rid of the through-traffic
  • If you want to walk and cycle safely, you have to get rid of the through-traffic.
  • If you want to get rid of pavement parking, where people feel they shouldn’t block other passing cars, you need to get rid of the through-traffic.
  • If you want places to park your bike, you need to get rid of the through-traffic.
  • If you want new space for public art, you need to get rid of the through-traffic.
  • If you want wider pavements, you need to get rid of the through-traffic.

If you want to be able to drive in and out, to access your house or the car parks, you would still be able to still do this, at any time – we are not calling for pedestrianisation.

This would be achieved by a closure to private vehicles at the bridge. Buses, cycles, emergency vehicles, and (out of necessity) taxis would be allowed through. People can still drive to every part of Mill Road, just not through. Delivery drivers sometimes already exit the same way they came in, or via selected side roads. It’s workable.

We know that most of it is through-traffic, because in July, a sinkhole had appeared near the Co-op. But calm and tranquillity broke out. You could hear people talking across the street. It was at last safe to cycle. People could still drive in and out. Mill Road felt like a place again. Just for two days.

With parklets, and all kinds of other changes like those listed above, Mill Road could be thriving, far more pleasant and safer, permanently.

You can read our full set of ideas at: Mill Road – our vision for 2019 and beyond.

Martin Lucas-Smith, Petersfield resident, and Camcycle

See also the article from CamCycle: Mill Road reclaimed for humans – a vision (PDF 384 KB) and CamCycles’ post, Our vision for Mill Road.

Liz Irvin, Camcycle Volunteer, adds…

Dear Mill Road Bridges,
I’m a CamCycle volunteer helping out with our Mill Road campaign.
I am pleased to see that you have published Martin Lucas-Smith’s article about our vision for Mill Road with no through-traffic, which would allow more room for pedestrians, cyclists and delivery vans, reduce congestion, improve air quality and make the street a more pleasant destination. We think the closure of the bridge next summer is a great opportunity to trial elements of our vision. We would love the Mill Road community’s input, and would appreciate Mill Road Bridges being involved in this process.
We are holding two drop-in public consultations over the coming weeks to gather the views of residents, traders and visitors to Mill Road.
Kind regards,
Liz Irvin
Camcycle Volunteer

We say:
It would be great if these two events were to attract a large attendance by a lively crowd to further the debate.

Over 18 thousand adults live off Mill Rd. If it were closed to private through traffic, it could have widened pavements and cafe extensions to shops.Dave Baigent, city councillor for Romsey.

For more on the size of the Mill Road community of communities (over 25,000 souls in 2011) read this post,  or the PDF (316KB)

New! Experimental closure to through-traffic scheme currently on Mill Road … aka street repair. Will Cambridge grind to a halt, or will people cope, showing that a more permanent change would work?  – CamCycle

A view from Romsey Labour‘s Making spaces for people consultation page…

Romsey Labour often discuss the possibility of how Mill Road can be made safer and this was raised again at the last meeting.  At that time opinion was balanced in favour but this is a moving feast and it was decided to have it as an agenda item at the next ward meeting.

What follows is a view in favour

This action follows a very positive response to the unexpected blockage of Mill Road by a road collapse 27th-28th June – this has reopened the debate about if we could have a trial stoppage of through traffic.  A trial closure at Mill Road Bridge monitored by CCTV could mean:

  • all private vehicles would be stopped from crossing the bridge
  • all of Mill Road would still be accessible
  • deliveries could be 24/7 and this would help traders.
  • it would be much safer space for pedestrians/cyclists (see the amount of collisions)
  • massively reduce pollution
  • buses could have a traffic free route and be on time
  • Of course there remain people who are against this because it will interfere with their car journeys – there are also concerns about pushing traffic onto other roads.  The traders have also indicated that they remain opposed.

Cambridge Cycling Campaign on the other hand are enthused and they have raised the potential of introducing ‘parklets’.  Seen below these would be used to widen the pavement and allow shops to extend their frontages – to allow ‘pop up cafes’ for example. They believe that trade would be increased for traders if the road was closed to through traffic and with parklets there would be further gains.


These ‘parklets’ would be relatively cheap to construct and make so much difference to the narrow parts of pavement on Mill Road.

Nothing that has been suggested would remove access from any part of Mill Road.  Deliveries could continue as before and because there was no through traffic the lorries would be unlikely to frustrate drivers, cyclist and pedestrians.  This has got to be a way forward and people should contact their councillors to make their views known (for or against).

It may even be that the Greater Cambridge Partnership could be approached to fund this trial.

From Romsey Councillors: Dave Baigent, Anna Smith, Sophie Barnett, Noel Kavanagh

As a non-party-political community group, Mill Road Bridges would love to hear from councillors and/or activists of other parties about their vision for Mill Road. Come on Conservatives, Greens and Liberal Democrats!

Making space for people on Mill Road – Smarter Cambridge Transport

The closure of Mill Road while a sinkhole was repaired prompted people to wonder whether the road could be closed permanently to through traffic. Some have called for a trial closure and Camcycle is putting forward a vision for a Mill Road with wider pavements, improved streetscape with parklets, and more cycle parking.

The café tables on the pavement around 196 Cocktail Bar hint at what a vibrant street culture we could have if Mill Road were more hospitable for people, and less so for motor vehicles. As alocal, I’d love to see this. It’s exactly the vision that our local community should be aspiring to.

But, wearing my Smarter Cambridge Transport hat, I have two concerns: the first is about the practical impact of a closure point on vehicles needing to access homes and businesses. Even if Mill Road were opened up in the early morning for shop deliveries, at other times, motor vehicles of all sizes (other than buses) would have to be directed around loops through residential streets either side of the closure point.

A bigger concern is the effect of treating this part of the city’s road network in isolation. Mill Road is special, particularly to those who live around it, but…

Read the full article: Making space for people on Mill Road – Smarter Cambridge Transport (PDF 777KB)

From Leader of Smarter Cambridge Transport, Edward Leigh

Mill Road reclaimed for humans – a vision

At the start of July, Mill Road was closed to through traffic, as a sinkhole had appeared near the Co-op. Calm and tranquillity broke out. You could hear people talking across the street. It was at last safe to cycle. Mill Road felt like a place again. Just for two days.

We want to make this permanent. Mill Road has for too long been a conduit for traffic rather than a place for people – the result of cars cutting through it to get to/from the city centre.

Cambridge didn’t grind to a halt in July. Cherry Hinton Road did experience delays, but we believe this problem can be dealt with, as discussed below.

By taking out much of the through traffic, alternative travel becomes much more attractive. For instance, buses would keep to time, and services could be expanded to be much more regular.

However, it’s not enough just to stop through traffic. We’d like to see a whole range of changes. This change is not really an agenda for cycling: it’s about turning Mill Road back into a place again.


Traffic evaporation – what about surrounding roads?

It’s a common misconception that when streets are changed to stop through traffic all the traffic goes elsewhere. Not so – ‘traffic evaporation’ occurs. People change their behaviour, resulting in a lot of car journeys simply disappearing.

In the case of Mill Road, cycling would at last be safe, bus journeys become practical, and walking without breaking into a cough from the poor air becomes possible.

Of course, some traffic will be displaced, and it’s important that Cherry Hinton Road in particular has action taken on it. Cherry Hinton Road is wide enough for a proper cycleway in many places, again providing an alternative to driving, and ought to be a pleasant tree-lined boulevard. Combined with the proposed Workplace Parking Levy and/or a Toxicity Charge – both of which are needed in Cambridge – traffic in the surrounding area can be minimised.

Mill Road is a much narrower road and, unlike much of Cherry Hinton Road, is a high street, densely lined with shops and other facilities. Pedestrian and cycle traffic is much higher on Mill Road, and 18,000+ people live off Mill Road – a very densely-populated area.

Read the full article from CamCycle here: Mill Road reclaimed for humans – a vision (PDF 384 KB) Mill Road – our vision for 2019 and beyond and CamCycles’ post, Our vision for Mill Road.

Madeleine Loewe’s comment (see below, 19 February 2019) about the death of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, a 9 year-old girl from Hither Green is backed up by this report, by Nicola Davis, in The Guardian.
Revealed: asthma’s deadly toll on young people in the UK
European health report finds Britain has highest mortality rate of countries studied

See also this excellent piece from The Observer: Deadly air in our cities: the invisible killer

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23 Comments (Don't forget to scroll down to subscribe to website updates.)
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Alan Ackroyd
Alan Ackroyd
18 November 2019 15:09

A few years ago I used to travel down Mill Road regularly in a transit van on my way from East Road to Cherry Hinton. I never thought of stopping – there was (and is) no where to park. It was a convenient route but on the way I contributed noise, pollution and added to congestion. I think everyone would agree that Mill Road would be better without that sort of use.
Having retired from van driving I can now travel without moving half a ton of metal around by using my bike (at 61 years young). As a rule, I now avoid Mill Road because there is still so much through traffic and I feel pressured because as a cyclist I slow motor vehicles down as they rush to the next queue/traffic light etc.
From my point of view, if there was room for cyclists, I would use Mill Road, rather than going through the back streets into the City centre. Cut out the non-stopping through traffic (which clearly doesn’t include the buses) and I’ll start shopping in Mill Road – like I did when the bridge was closed.
As far as I can understand, this is what Camcycle are looking for.

Madeleine Loewe
Madeleine Loewe
Reply to  Alan Ackroyd
6 March 2020 12:51

Absolutely! Obviously traders need to receive deliveries and the idea of pedestrian only is both impractical and undesirable but is seems odd that some traders are arguing that without the support of large volumes of non-stopping traffic their business will die.

Geoff Fewtrell
Geoff Fewtrell
5 November 2019 14:50

We would all agree that reducing traffic has got to be a priority; simply to make it a nicer healthier environment. Ironworks residents will add to the traffic problem and l wish the Council planners would consider all planning aspects when they allow new houses to be built in the City.

There are lots of good suggestions but some difficulties for older residents. City end Mill Road has lost its Post Office and larger food shops are at the Romsey end and beyond.

We are blighted in Gwydir and Kingston street by speeding fast food delivery motorbikes/scooters who use the street as a rat run. They drive through the pedestrian only [pedestrian/cycle – Ed] gate with impunity. This will still continue! Delivery vans in Mill Road are also a major issue. We need to restrict the times of delivery vans to the area. Parking on the pavement is totally antisocial and we should have zero tolerance when it happens. This will need investment in Police and traffic enforcement officers#. Where and how will delivery vans turn around if the bridge is a no go area?

Residents around Mill Road have got to have priority in any scheme. Licence recognition technology could be employed to allow residents access over the bridge to go shopping to Sainsbury’s or to travel towards Bury St Edmunds. East Road is not an alternative as it will become a “carpark” when traffic through Mill Road is stopped.

[Web Manager’s note: #Zero tolerance enforcement of pavement parking could happen immediately and would entail no charge to council tax. See our blogpost: Pavement Parking along Mill Road.

T Jones
T Jones
5 November 2019 08:10

Surely a point closure on Mill Road makes sense. It stops commuters using Mill Road as a through route, but still enables local residents to get in/out by car if they need to. I know several families with children in the area who don’t own a car and manage to shop and get to school and work by foot/bike without problems (bike trailers are wonderful).

If you use any urban street when it’s quiet, e.g. first thing on a Sunday morning, you can see and smell the difference: less air pollution, much less stressful, those people who are up and about are cheerful to each other. We’ve got so used to the ubiquity of cars, it’s hard to imagine what life can be like with fewer cars. Look to the Danes or the Dutch for examples of how to live a nicer less polluted life, it can be done.

Mick Brown
Mick Brown
4 November 2019 20:12

Mill Road is not so narrow as many like to pretend. The traffic is not particularly heavy outside peak hours, when the whole city experiences the same or worse levels.

Except for the odd exception on the residential side, pavements are wide and many cafés own parts of them where they can and do place tables for customers. Parklets give monopolistic advantages for one or two traders to the disadvantage of others.

At a meeting in St Barnabas Church, an architect skimmed through some very dodgy statistics intended to show that traffic removed from Mill Road did not affect any other main road apart from, slightly, Cherry Hinton Road. This was obvious nonsense.

It seems that those in favour of restricting traffic from the bridge tend to be relatively new to the area with many new to the property ladder who would gain from these measures and, working away from the area and doing their shopping elsewhere, feel they would benefit from Mill Road as a weekend playground.

Many of those against such a radical move have lived there for decades, have consideration for the effects on other parts of the city and have businesses or genuine experience of business in the area; they remember a time when the side streets actually were ‘rat runs’ and a time when traffic lights were installed on the bridge but firmly rejected within a year.

Allan Brigham has made the most sensible proposals in my opinion.

Web Manager’s note:
Apologies on the delay in this post appearing, the spam filter was over-active. I have retrieved it.

Helen A
Helen A
Reply to  Mick Brown
5 November 2019 10:58

Again, I agree with every word from Mick Brown. I’m a 10-year resident of Ross Street myself.

Ledy Surbey
Ledy Surbey
Reply to  Mick Brown
10 November 2019 10:58

We own a business on Mill Road. Whilst it was was closed during the summer months – On two occasions we had delivery drivers that would not deliver to us because of the traffic in Cambridge and all the roads being blocked with traffic – the suppliers could not get to us and cancelled our deliveries. Therefore we had to cancel our installation jobs because we did not have the materials to complete the works. We lost money.

Closing Mill Road permanently would jeopardise our installation work because of deliveries of goods.

4 November 2019 19:33

Experience alone should show anyone that there is a problem with traffic on Mill Road. Look at it at rush hour. It’s nose to tail and there is no room for anything other than cars on the fairly narrow road. Experience should show us that trying to cycle over Mill Road bridge is challenging unless you are very confident. It’s a narrow bridge, after all. Experience shows that cyclist regularly get close passed. The collisions on the junctions in this road are not small. The stats are there for that.

I would encourage the doubters to explore what happened in Waltham Forest, London where something similar has been tried. It made it more vibrant not less.

I’m a pedestrian and bus user by the way. I want to see it made better for me, for people on bikes and for bus users.

John Ball
4 November 2019 11:58

We have a small family business – Cut Price Carpets – on Mill Road, Romsey end and, when the bridge was closed it effected us really badly, both going out to see our customers and them coming in to see us. The parkelets also effected us badly as our delivery could not stop outside our shop to make deliveries and our products is very heavy and awkward to carry any distance. If Mill Road was closed we would have no other choice but to shut up shop and, after being a local trader on Mill Road for 25 years, I really don’t want to do that.

Many thanks, John.

Website Manager’s comment: Thanks for your contribution, John. I’ve added a link to your website in the body of your comment.

Paul Weaver
Paul Weaver
4 November 2019 09:32

Mill Road Bridges Website manager’s comment

The following comment is published in furtherance of the debate about the future of Mill Road. It is the view of Paul Weaver and is not representative the views of Mill Road Bridges. Short pieces of Paul’s comment have been cut – marked by this symbol [✂︎] – in order to maintain our standards of polite debate. Nothing of substance has been cut. Martin Lucas-Smith and CamCycle have been invited to reply.

Replying to Martin Lucas-Smith

Martin, let me correct you on some very important points. I have written the correct information for the readers under your [✂︎] statements.

Mill Road should be a thriving place, with tens of thousands of residents around it, and a fantastic range of shops and community facilities. Yet traders are often struggling. Why is this?

• False – Traders are not often struggling, this is yours and the CamCycle team [✂︎] with no evidence

What’s the one thing that almost everyone agrees is bad about Mill Road? The traffic. So isn’t it time something was actually done about it?

• Where are your statistics to show that ‘almost everyone agrees’ that Mill Road has a traffic problem?
Again, scare mongering [✂︎] in the community with no evidence

Mill Road has all the conditions for a popular, even trendy, location: central, cosmopolitan, offering something unique. Yet trading is still marginal. Get rid of the cars simply passing through, and the street can be opened up – to people actually visiting – and spending money and time there.

• Trading is NOT marginal, again where are your stats for this? You need to do your research before commenting and scare mongering a perfectly brilliant road, I will help you Martin, please read this and it may educate in how Mill Road is doing in the country. This Cambridge neighbourhood is one of the ‘hippest’ in the UK This Cambridge neighbourhood is one of the ‘hippest’ in the UK ‘Romsey town outranked trendy areas in London, Manchester and Liverpool’ The neighbourhood has been ranked 14th in Travel Supermarket’s annual listing of ‘hip hangouts’ across the country.

Some people think removing traffic would make trade suffer. Look at Bridge Street, and the bollards installed in 1997. Before the closure, there were 700 cars per hour passing through. Now, it is a thriving place, with the streetscaping in 2000 providing an even more pleasant environment. Who would return to all that traffic now?

• Martin, the argument was proved incorrect at the ‘Making space for people’ meeting. You cannot compare a city centre to Mill Road, the reason why Bridge street didn’t collapse and die is because it is a city centre, with thousands of tourists and Cambridge’s unique pull from around the world for its punting.

Removing traffic [from Mill Road] DID make trade suffer, significantly. Some traders losing up to 60% of takings compared the same time last year and the years before. Some traders are still counting the cost of the bridge closure, because the people driving cars need re-educating that they can now drive through Mill Road again. One restaurant laid 3 members of staff off due to the 8 week closure.

If Mill Road were to close to through traffic, it would rip the heart and soul out of an already fantastic thriving community. The local independent eclectic shops would close, we would end up with a heartless road with boarded up shops and the odd charity shop. Mill Road was like a ghost town for 8 weeks. Although some residents thought it was ‘nice’, however, when pointed out to them that the local traders are suffering big time, they could see how and why.

Your statements are [✂︎] quite scary, to think you can put [✂︎] statements out in the public domain that are very one-sided is to be honest very irresponsible.

No one is saying Mill road cannot be improved, but why is CamCycle so hell bent on closing roads and getting rid of cars? Cycles are a menace too, I was nearly knocked over twice last Sunday by cyclists riding on the pavement outside the Co-op.

Things that can change
• Smaller, electric buses
• Build a cycle lane beside Mill Road bridge like the one on Coldhams lane bridge
• Better signage for cars and cycles
• Remove pedestrian traffic lights and replace with zebra crossings
• Solar powered speed cameras showing car speeds
• Fix pot holes and pavements
• Contact shop owners that have shops closed for years and make them re-open
• Create seating area outside Tesco’s on Mill Road
• Plant more trees
• Fund the Christmas lights
• Have a summer mill road festival for one day and close the road

There are endless possibilities for Mill Road to make it a cleaner nicer place. We are not saying we don’t want change but not to the extent the radical CamCycle want it to be.

Helen Acton
Helen Acton
Reply to  Paul Weaver
4 November 2019 11:00

As a resident of Mill Road – 10 years in Ross Street to be precise – I would like to wholeheartedly agree with every word of Paul Weaver’s response.

Hear hear Paul!!!

Diana Smith
Diana Smith
Reply to  Paul Weaver
4 November 2019 16:42

I completely agree with everything Paul Weaver has written.

I was born in, and have grown up in Romsey my whole life, 50 years. I am very unhappy with the way CamCycle seem to think they own Mill Road and no one else matters. It feels completely one sided.

If the issue is pollution shouldn’t they be protesting against the rapid expansion of Cambridge, that is bringing more pollution, rather than blaming the people that live in Cambridge, specifically Mill Road? Stopping through traffic would have a very bad impact on the traders, Mill Road and all surrounding roads. Cars use Mill Road because it is a main road, taking that away will not stop cars, it will just create chaos everywhere else.

paul weaver
paul weaver
Reply to  Paul Weaver
4 November 2019 18:57

Only 4 cuts, I was expecting more, thank you for letting me voice my reply. 😉

Stephen T
Stephen T
17 October 2019 16:02

I enthusiastically support closing the bridge to through traffic as proposed. I tend to avoid Mill Road unless I have a pressing need to go there, or when I do need to go there I spend little time there.

However, when the bridge was closed over the summer I sat out on the pavement of cafes and Tradizioni several times. It was great – I wouldn’t usually do that due to noise and fumes. I found myself avoiding it less and spending more time (and money) there when I did go.

I wouldn’t dream of shopping there if I were driving through, since parking nearby is so difficult, so I don’t see how reducing the cars driving into and from town would significantly hit businesses. When I cycle down Mill Road currently I’m also not inclined to stop and go into shops since, other than outside the Co Op the cycle parking facilities are poor. Allowing for more cycle parking would only help businesses.

The proposals allow for deliveries, residents, buses and taxis, so this seems like a pretty good compromise away from pedestrianisation.

The roads current focus seems to be providing space for cars to queue into the city than for people to spend time there, and this is a real opportunity to change this.

Ruth Greene
24 July 2019 14:49

I live on Romsey Broadway. In order to get to Addenbrooke’s, first of all I have to find where the bus stop has moved to because of the major gas repair works on Mill Road. The original bus stop is now operating but there are no details of waiting periods (3 an hour?!).
I then have to catch the minbus to Sainsburys, and wait again for a bus to Addenbrooke’s.
If I want to go into city centre from Sainsburys, I have been told that the last bus leaves at 1.28pm, which means I still have to wait for a bus to Addenbrooke’s, change yet again for one of the services to the city centre. And then of course have to do the journey in reverse in order to get home. I am fairly confident that if I wanted to spend an evening out in the city centre, there will be no service to take me home – am I right?
Could you please explain to me why Sainsburys has suddenly become a bus depot? A more logical approach would have been to run the service direct to the hospital, where passengers can transfer for the city centre, railway station or Park & Ride.
On a more personal note, I have just been diagnosed with secondary cancer in my brain and am having major surgery on Monday. I am not allowed to drive and have handed in my licence which could be withheld for 1-3 years. Obviously during that time I will have to attend regular outpatient appointments, but your pathetic C2 only offer 3 buses an hour – there and back. I do not have the stamina. I will be totally dependent on Dial-a-Ride, taxis and the goodwill of friends. I don’t need this extra burden.
I recognise that Stagecoach is not a charity, but it should be a service which supports local residents. Mill Road (1.5 miles from the city centre, and not a village) and the rest of the C2 route to the hospital is a vital and necessary service, we have no other option; Sainsburys is a luxury. Please sort out your priorities.
The bridge works were/are unavoidable, but the alternatives put in place for the Romsey side of Mill Road are 100% unworkable.
And throwing street parties is not tempting or useful. We want a BUS!

Madeleine Loewe
Madeleine Loewe
19 February 2019 23:26

Dear Editor,

The UK was shocked by the death of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, a 9 year-old girl from Hither Green who suffered from asthma. It has been established that her fatal attack in 2013 was triggered by high levels of pollution at her home which was 80ft from the South Circular Road. My condolences to her mother Rosamund, and my admiration as, since Ella’s death, Rosamund has campaigned for pollution to be the recorded cause of death on her daughter’s death certificate.

Local Councillors and County Councillors should be aware that there is at least one child, living less than 20ft from Mill Road, who has been hospitalised with asthma when pollution levels were high. The London Mayor sees the reduction of pollution as part of his remit. Please learn from Ella’s tragic death and find a way to cut down pollution on Mill Road.

Local resident
Local resident
Reply to  Madeleine Loewe
6 July 2019 20:07

Really enjoying the lack of traffic & better air quality while the Mill Road bridge is closed. Getting to work (via a different bus route) has also been far less hassle than I anticipated. Wondering what other residents are thinking. Is pedestrianising Mill Road still being considered?

Reply to  Madeleine Loewe
4 November 2019 21:39

You can hardly compare Mill Road to the South Circular Road! I used to drive all the major roads in London in my previous career, Mill Road does not come close to in terms of volume of traffic, congestion etc. etc.

13 October 2018 10:53

[…] Add your own comments (pre-moderated) below. Or below the A traffic-free Mill Road? post. […]

Madeleine Loewe
Madeleine Loewe
27 August 2018 20:19

I think Cllr. Baigent’s proposal is full of good sense. It is simple and will allow both traders and residents to reap the benefits of less congestion. I am also convinced by the ‘traffic evaporation’ argument. At present walking and cycling along Mill Road is dangerous, cut the through traffic and both walking and cycling will become pleasurable and safe.

Allan Brigham
Allan Brigham
14 August 2018 12:22

Making Mill Road car free is not the solution, though the road should be made more pedestrian and cycle friendly.

  1. Most fully pedestrianised streets become quite sterile unless there is a very large pedestrian usage. some cars give a street life.
  2. However positive ways of encouraging fewer car journeys is welcome.
  3. But many people will still need to use cars:
    3.1 to get to work, especially if they work shifts, out of town etc.
    3.2. To take children to school ( not all can walk or cycle, not all can get to a walkable school)
    3.3. to go shopping – most families cannot do family shop on a bike
    3.4. The elderly or disabled need cars to shop and for access – walking to bus stop often too far, cycling often impossible, certainly carry shopping.
  4. What is needed is changes to road surfaces and planting using planters and trees to link a series of green spaces from Petersfield to Brooks Road. This would slow down and deter traffic by making Mill Road more visibly a shared space, rather than a road where traffic flow was considered priority – at present the state of the pavements is visually horrible when not dangerous, esp considering they must have one of the largest numbers of pedestrians in Cambridge outside the city centre.
  5. The spaces and Movement consultation at the Maths centre failed to cover Mill Road. The online consultation was not widely known about and froze as I was completing it.
  6. The presentation by Mr Hamilton Bailey on Mill Road traffic issues was supported but has never since seen the light of day. It makes a good starting point. Money will always be an issue, but at present there seems to be a lot of it for favoured projects. Mill Road is the best known street in Cambridge outside the city centre, unlike other main roads it brings people together from both sides, rather than dividing them as other arterial roads do. So time for this to be recognised ?
    See: Hamilton-Baillie Associates Ltd – Civilised Space
  7. The bridge should not divide Romsey and Petersfield, but link them.
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