Is the Mill Road community an undifferentiated block, who agree on everything? Far from it. That’s why we adopted (borrowed) the phrase Community of Communities. Gather half-a-dozen Mill Roaders in a meeting and you’ll generate a score of differing opinions.
We are pleased to see the establishment of a new website and group trying to create a positive vision for the future of Mill Road.
Note Mill Road – A Street for People is not controlled by, nor aligned to Mill Road Bridges. We exist to foster debate about Mill Road and will draw attention to all websites, protests, opinion surveys and events concerning Mill Road which come to our attention, on whatever ‘side’ of any ‘argument’ they stand.
It is a site which hosts a variety of (sometimes overlapping, sometimes conflicting) ideas.
And what of the future?
Since June 2020 there have been restrictions on what traffic can lawfully use Mill Road Bridge – see Wider footways, barriers and bridge restrictions. Some claim that the restrictions are ‘killing’ Mill Road. Others 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.
Some want all restrictions on bridge traffic removed, to bring ‘passing trade’ back to Mill Road. Others insist that passing motor-traffic is just that. Passing. Not stopping. Not shopping. Would the return of the previous traffic congestion, air pollution and road traffic accidents be worth it for the alleged benefits to traders?
Can compromises be found?
Access for Blue Badge holders? Difficult as the Blue Badge is a parking permit, linked to an individual (driver or passenger) not a vehicle. But could a means be found?
Delivery vehicles to traders? Which ones? What times?
Some blame any drop in trade to the current restrictions on Mill Road Bridge, while others point out that Covid-related restrictions on shopping, eating out, and socialising have hit businesses across the city and the country.
Many have pointed out that it wasn’t traffic restrictions which led to the demise of the once mighty Cambridge and District Co-operative Society, nor to the failure of BHS, Debenhams, Top Shop, and many more; that every High Street, including Mill Road, has had changes of shops.
Doreen’s – The noted shop for coats – is long gone. As shopping preferences change, so do the shops.
To get a flavour of earlier discussions see the links at the foot of this post.
Let’s get the debate progressing.
And now for something completely different (but related)
Have you ever wondered why Mill Road has become the lucky host to Cambridge Central Mosque?
Could it be that, just as half-a-dozen Mill Roaders will generate a score of differing opinions. That’s exactly the same for Muslims?
Listen to Baroness Sayeeda Warsi on the subject of the ‘Muslim community’.
“You want to talk to me about Muslims, as if somehow they’re just one big monolithic block? You get two Muslims in a room you get six opinions.”Sayeeda Warsi on Channel 4’s Stand Up and Deliver
No wonder the Cambridge Central Mosque was built on Mill Road – an ideal place for a beautiful building and a continuing debate about the best future for the ‘Mill Road community’.
- Mill Road Bridge – Disentangling the issues
- Traders overwhelmingly in favour of re-opening Mill Road bridge to cars
- Bridge closure protest
- Protest Walk Saturday 1st August
- Blue Badge holders access to Mill Road
- Mill Road Bridge – Blue Badge Petition
- How is it working so far…
- Celebrate Local Businesses
- Petition opposing the bridge closure
- Current Trading Problems in Mill Road
- The Gas Man Cometh (Again)
- Gas Works – Important Update
- Ideas for future Mill Road prosperity
- Petition: Allow taxis to go, where buses go