Cambridgeshire County Council advertised, on Monday 28 November, a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to close Mill Road bridge to all motor vehicles, except buses, cyclists, emergency services, taxis and blue badge holders. The public have until midnight on Friday 6 January, to make comments and objections on the TRO. A TRO is required to implement the traffic restrictions.
Wait… There have already been two consultations? Three? All of which were overwhelmingly positive regarding the modal filter on Mill Road? And now we need another consultation? What am I missing here?Cab Davidson, on Twitter, 22/11/2022
The TRO is part of the legal process so open to public comment but not a consultation in the same way. It asks people for objections and other comments relating to the order. All objections must specify the grounds on which they are made.Camcycle, on Twitter, 22/11/2022
Background in brief…
Between June 2020 and early August 2021, Mill Road bridge was temporarily closed to most vehicles under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO). The closure was part of a government-funded scheme to help people socially distance and encourage walking and cycling during the Covid pandemic. When the order was removed and the bridge re-opened in summer 2021, the Highways & Transport Committee asked the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) to review and consult on options for Mill Road to promote active travel and tackle air quality and congestion.
The GCP consultation, which included focus groups of key stakeholders and two public workshops, showed that there was a desire to see traffic reduced while maintaining access for those who need it, including people with disabilities and taxis. There was also a wish to see the environment enhanced along Mill Road, including improving the public realm.
After reviewing the consultation, the Highways & Transport Committee at its meeting on 12 July this year agreed to introduce a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to reinstate the modal filter on Mill Road. The Committee was clear the TRO should include new exemptions, allowing blue badge holders and taxis over the bridge.
Official Cambridgeshire County Council documents
- Public Notice – Cambridgeshire County Council City of Cambridge (Mill Road) (Bus Gate) Order (PDF)
- Mill Road Bus Gate – Plan (PDF)
- Draft Order– Cambridgeshire County Council City of Cambridge (Mill Road) (Bus Gate) Order (PDF)
- Statement of Reasons (PDF)
Object or support: have your say
Statements of support, or objections to the proposal, together with the grounds on which they are made or any additional comments, must be sent in writing to:
Steve Cox, Executive Director: Place and Sustainability
c/o Policy and Regulation
Box Nº D8E
Huntingdon Highways Depot, Stanton Way
or by email to email@example.com by midnight 6th January 2023 quoting reference PR0872
Recent news media reports
- Mill Road bridge, Cambridge, prepares for permanent closure By John Elworthy, Cambs Times, November 22, 2022
- Details of Mill Road bridge closure plan to be revealed By Gemma Gardner, Cambridge Independent, 22 November 2022
- Mill Road trader says proposed bus gate ‘won’t solve congestion’By Fareid Atta, Cambridge News, 2 Dec 2022
Shapour Meftah, the Chairman of the Mill Road Traders’ Association, has said that if the bus gate were to be installed it would only “add” to pollution, and create more traffic on the roads.
- Funding for potential Cambridge Mill Road bus gate approved By Hannah Brown Local Democracy Reporter, Cambridge News, 6 Dec 2022
Another view on Mill Road
Mill Road in Cambridge […] could be fantastic. It used to be fantastic. But these days it is just […].
As a destination it should be a vibrant, exciting, diverse place where people visit, shop, can spend time on the street, and enjoy the cultural and culinary influences of dozens of nationalities and ethnicities represented there. What it is instead is a car sick urban canyon, narrow, noisy, chokingly polluted, and too dangerous to walk or ride on.
And the kicker is, nobody drives between shops there. There’s a car park at Parkside, another at Gwydir Street but nobody can possibly drive between the shops. The traffic that destroys Mill Road isn’t bringing money to the local traders, it’s taking money through Mill Road to the City Centre. Traffic on Mill Road exists at the expense of traders there.Mill Road. Why ought I even care? by Cambridge Cyclist, aka Cab Davidson (Warning: this is a robustly-expressed piece deploying strong language 🤬 which would not be used on our website.)
And the backstory…
- Mill Road Consultations (again) (25 February 2022)
- More thoughts on Mill Road’s future (25 February 2022)
- Mill Road Bridge restrictions end – but what of the future? (29 July 2021)
- Mill Road Bridge bus gate opinion survey (14 July 2021)
- Mill Road – The Future (15 June 2021)
- Mill Road Bridge Restrictions (27 December 2020)
- Traders Threaten legal Action over Bridge Restrictions (16 December 2020)
- Petitions and consultations (7 December 2020)
- Passing traffic… (4 December 2020)
- Mill Road Lives (4 December 2020)
- Let Mill Road Live (28 November 2020)
- Traders overwhelmingly in favour of re-opening Mill Road bridge to cars (17 September 2020)
- Mill Road Bridge – Disentangling the issues (8 August 2020)
- Protest Walk (31 July 2020)
- Mill Road Bridge – Blue Badge Petition (29 July 2020)
- Petition: Allow taxis to go, where buses go (24 July 2020)
- Petition opposing the bridge closure (19 July 2020)
- How is it working so far… (29 June 2020)
- Blue Badge holders access to Mill Road (27 June 2020)
- Bridge closure protest (25 June 2020)
- Wider footways, barriers and bridge restrictions (17 June 2020)
- What next for Mill Road? (12 August 2018)
- A traffic-free Mill Road? (12 August 2018)
- Mill Road – the high street of a small town within Cambridge city? (12 August 2018)
- Time for a Mill Road Plan? (25 June 2018)
This post is open for (politely-expressed) comments…
The Winter Fair was a really wonderful event, and we’ve all missed it due to the COVID years.
But it was disappointing, though not entirely surprising, to observe a lead member of the Mill Road Traders’ Association aiming to drum up final objections to the County Council’s Mill Road Bus Gate scheme.
A year ago, their Chairperson, Shapour, clearly stated on the radio that the way to resolve the question of the traffic problem was through a proper consultation, and that they would respect the result of it. That promise is now being ignored.
The consultation found that a clear majority of respondents wanted both the bus gate to be reinstated, with strong support for exemptions for blue badge holders, as well as improvements to the streetscape. The consultation saw thousands of responses, with a strong local response rate.
The consultation was widely publicised, with residences in the area leafleted, newspaper and radio coverage, seemingly endless debate in online forums and social media, billboards on key motoring routes, and of course posters in some of the shop windows of the 27 members of the Association. A joint letter from both Camcycle, MRTA and the Mill Road For People groups, asked for each group to be able to give presentations directly to councillors, which took place and which remains available on YouTube.
Councillors will hopefully take a dim view of the last-minute attempt by the Association and the Cambridge motorists’ group (CRG) to drum up objections to the legal order wording, which should not overrule the proper consultation which asked people to consider a wider set of proposals in the round.
The community can finally look forward to resolving Mill Road’s traffic problems that have been debated for five decades, and see a more positive street, where people will spend more time and money – if only traders choose to embrace the opportunities this brings.