Traders overwhelmingly in favour of re-opening Mill Road bridge to cars

“The current bridge restrictions are having a detrimental effect on Mill Road Traders, residents and shoppers”

This was the message delivered by Shapour Meftah, chair of Mill Road Traders’ Association to senior County Councillors, council officers and contractors, at a meeting, on Wednesday 9th September at 2.30pm on Donkey Common, (next to Parkside Pools).

Cambridgeshire County Council and contractors were represented by Chair and Vice Chair of Highways and Transport Committee, Ian Bates and Mark Howell, contractor Skansa’s Principle Engineer, Anthony Eades, and County officers; Sonia Hansen (Traffic Manager) and Andhika Caddy (Engineer).

Traders cited these reasons for opposing the bridge restrictions:

  • Added extra time to people’s daily travel/commute 
  • Causing not less but MORE pollution because alternative routes for car drivers take longer and are over-congested
  • No access to disabled badge holders and emergency vehicles
  • The bollards and barriers have narrowed the road and resulted in more major traffic incidents along Mill Road and danger to cyclists and pedestrians 
  • The dangers of the build out particularly to cyclists with on coming traffic as well as buses which try to overtake parents with their children 
  • Disconnecting people from one side of Mill road to the other; It was explained to those present that Mill Road is not divided by the two boundaries it is ONE road 
  • Following  the 2019 rail works on the bridge and the ongoing gas works one obstacle after another has paralysed businesses and Mill Road has not been given a chance to get back on its feet after months of national pandemic lockdown and enforced closure of businesses
  • Closing the bridge hasn’t helped at all towards social distancing which is, by the government’s own admission not such a risk when passing someone in the street (sic on the closed bridge itself which was the contrived reason given for its closure) whereas gathering or waiting outside restaurants may be
  • People don’t feel safe walking; the government emphasis on encouraging people not to use public transport has made people feel that they are safer in their cars.
  • A number of shops are closing down on Mill Road due to the lack of footfall which has been caused by the bridge closure to cars

The Mill Road Traders’ Association Survey results and the ongoing Open Mill Road Bridge Petition which has already attracted over 2000 signatures was  presented to Councillor Ian Bates and his team.

The survey assessed the impact of the bridge restrictions on both traders and residents within the Petersfield and Romsey wards.  187 Businesses were sent out surveys and 170 responses were received. The 17 businesses which did not respond are no longer trading at this moment. See graphics, below.

  • 4.8 % (8 businesses) in Mill Road support the current restrictions
  • 87.6% of businesses want the bridge fully open
  • 7.6 % of businesses don’t mind
  • 92.9 % are independent businesses
  • 7.1 % are not independent
  • 100% of businesses felt that the Council Consultation was inadequate
  • 76.5% of independent businesses say that they are suffering
  • 17.6% of businesses report no change
  • 5.9% say they have benefitted from the restrictions

Councillor Ian Bates responded was that the County Council are listening and will will be reviewing the results of the Mill Road Traders’ Association survey. For the time being, Traders and Residents have been advised by the County Council to send all their objections to:

Leading members of Mill Road Traders’ Association say that they doubt the sincerity of this ‘listening’, noting that the Minister of Transport who awarded the funds to the county for these ‘temporary measures’ Grant Shapps has forced his own constituency at Welwyn to reverse the restrictions on the high street saying that it benefitted no one.

See this comment, relating to one of our other posts about the one-way scheme and suspension of parking bays in Welwyn.

Mill Road Bridges Web Editor

The Mill Road Traders’ Association can be contacted for comments at

Please note: Mill Road Bridges is happy to publish views from any section of Mill Road’s Community of Communities. And to host comments, replies and debate.

The publication of this post by Mill Road Bridges should not be considered an endorsement of the views of the Mill Road Traders’ Association nor of the objections to the Mill Road traffic-reduction measures and associated restrictions on the railway bridge. Neither should this statement be read as one of opposition to their views.

The press release, upon which this post is based, released under the name of Shapour Meftah, Chair, Mill Road Traders’ Association, continues with allegations of ‘collaboration’ and ‘bias’.

Mill Road Bridges does not wish to censor any viewpoint but declines to publish such allegations. Were the press release to be found on the Mill Road Traders’ Association website, we would link to that, for people to view and form their own opinion. The Traders’ website, however, does not appear to have been updated recently.

We take a similar attitude to comments on our website. We aspire to host polite debate on all matters concerning Mill Road.

See also:

Mill Road Bridge – Disentangling the issues

Nina Lübbren, Romsey, published this measured and sensible comment elsewhere on an invitation-only social network. It is reproduced here with Nina’s permission.

At this point, I feel it would be useful to disentangle several issues about the Mill Road bridge closure.

  1. The lack of consultation. Probably most of us would have preferred more consultation but also understand why no consultation took place (because of government requiring immediate action).
  2. The need for social distancing. We can probably all agree that it is vital to enable social distancing for anybody crossing the bridge. Pedestrians have to step onto the road to keep a distance. Cyclists have to cycle in the middle of the road to keep a distance. People in cars are protected from the air outside but are faced with pedestrians and cyclists on the road. This was not a safe scenario.
  3. Decreased traffic; less pollution. A separate issue to 1. and 2. As with last year’s closure of the bridge, the decrease of pollution and traffic (and possible moving of this pollution and traffic elsewhere) is a side-effect of the closure of the bridge. Neither last year’s or this year’s closure was effected in order to address pollution. A joined-up urban planning measure with due consultation and a gathering of statistical data (pollution levels etc) needs to be undertaken in order to address this.
  4. Adverse effect on traders. This can be linked to 1. above but does not affect 2.
  5. Accessibility. For those who cannot cross the bridge by bike or on foot, there will need to be provision made, and quickly. Again, this is linked to 1. but now that the urgency of immediate action has passed, I would hope that the [Cambridgeshire County] Council puts measures in place to address both 2. and 5.

Nina Lübbren, Romsey

See also:

Do you have views about the measures which Cambridgeshire County Council are taking? How is it working so far… for you? Whatever your view, as long as it is expressed politely, you can add your comments below. Or on many of the posts above.

Mill Road’s Charity Shops

Post-lockdown re-opening

We are delighted to see Mill Road’s charity shops re-opening, though, sadly, one (Cats Protection) has closed permanently, Here’s what we can find, so far, arranged in order, from the city end of Mill Road towards Brookfields.

Contact Details

We have given a telephone contact Nº for each shop and, where possible an email address. We will update this post with any changes of which we are notified, but it’s worth checking ahead for any changes, and particularly if you’re offering large donations of pre-loved items.


Please check when and if your favourite charity shop can take donations. Try emailing or phoning beforehand, if in doubt.

Never leave intended donations outside of charity shops out-of-hours. When the shop re-opens the items may have become soiled, rain-soaked or may have been partly stolen with the unwanted items strewn all around. Not only does this give the shop’s volunteer staff additional work, you could find yourself fined for fly-tipping.

Books for Amnesty Cambridge

4 Mill Road Cambridge CB1 2AD T: 01223 362496

We are delighted to be open again and it has been wonderful to see so many customers returning to our Mill Road bookshop.

Opening days and times may vary for the foreseeable future while we work to get fully up and running again and we will keep them updated on this page. If you are making a special journey to the shop, please ring ahead to check that we are definitely open.

Our opening hours have now been updated to:

Monday:          Closed
Tuesday:         11am – 5.00pm
Wednesday:    11am – 5.00pm
Thursday:        11am – 5.00pm
Friday:             11am – 5.00pm
Saturday:         11am – 5.00pm
Sunday:            Closed

In order to enable physical distancing, we can only admit a few customers to the shop at any one time, and a physically distanced queuing system will be in place outside the shop.

If you wish to make a donation that is larger than one person can carry to the shop in one trip, please call the shop (01223 362496) or contact us by email before you set off. We must ensure that we have sufficient space to accept your donation and to arrange a time to be able to do so. 

For everyone’s safety, all donations will be quarantined. Please also note that we are now no longer able to accept donations of the following items: DVDs/Blu Ray discs, CDs, and vinyl records. As always, please do not leave donations outside the shop.

See you soon!

Books for Amnesty Cambridge, dated 03 Aug 2020, 10:46am

Wood Green, The Animals Charity – Cambridge Shop

41 Mill Road Cambridge CB1 2AW T: 01223 300755

Opening Hours

Monday-Saturday: 9am – 5pm
Sunday: 10am – 4pm


Donations are being accepted, but if in doubt – and especially for larger donations phone the shop (01223 300755) or email the Shop Manager, Layla Hess .

Sally Ann’s – the Salvation Army charity shop

5 Tenison Road Cambridge CB1 2DG T: 01223 316161

Hurrah!  Our lovely Sally Ann’s shop has reopened. Both parts have been reorganised to introduce  a one-way system and facilitate social distancing. Hand sanitiser is readily available. It is wonderful to see the team again and, as before, to  look for treasures.

Caro Wilson, local resident

Sally Ann’s is the Salvation Army charity shop, located in our recently refurbished premises next door to our Church in Tenison Road.

It’s purpose is primarily for fund raising, supporting our Community Centre which is located close by at 104 Mill Road.

It is open six days a week, shutting at lunch time on a Saturday.

Please note that following closure due to COVID19, we are pleased to announce that we are be re-opening our Shop on Monday 3rd August at 1pm with reduced hours and for a period, we will not be open on Saturday.

Contact us at

Salvation Army, Cambridge
Opening Times

Monday: 1:00pm – 4:30pm
Tuesday: 10:00am – 4pm
Wednesday: 10:00am – 4pm
Thursday: 10:00am – 4pm
Friday: 10:00am – 1pm
Saturday: Closed Presently


Sally Ann’s may be able to accept a couple of modestly-sized bags per donor in the mornings, but probably not after midday. If in doubt, telephone 01223 316161 or email to check when Sally Ann’s can accept your donations. This is essential for larger items.

Cats Protection Charity Shop – permanently closed

172 Mill Road Cambridge CB1 3LP

Our charity shop on Mill Road is now permanently closed.

We extend our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to everyone who has donated, shopped, and volunteered in the shop through the decades of serving the Mill Road community, raising funds for the cats of Cambridge.

The activities of Cambridge Cats Protection remain unchanged, please view the other pages on our web site for more information.

Romsey Mill Charity Shop

176 Mill Road Cambridge CB1 3LP 07768 307674

Our charity shop raises vital funds for Romsey Mill.  It is located at 176 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3LP and thrives with the help of committed and friendly volunteers.

As well as supporting Romsey Mill, the shop provides low cost clothing, toys, books and lots of other household items.  

The shop is currently open Tuesday to Friday, 10am – 4pm.

We welcome donations, but currently can only accept them on certain days. Please ring first (07768 307674) or email Liz Diamond, especially if your donation is large as we have limited storage.

We have vacancies for more volunteers to join our team, if you are interested in meeting new people, gaining retail experience and supporting Romsey Mill, please get in touch with the Shop Manager on 07768 307674.  Or pop in to the shop and pick up a volunteer application.

Romsey Mill
August opening times

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10am – 4pm
Wednesday: 10am – 4pm
Thursday: 10am – 4pm
Friday: 10am – 4pm
Saturday: Some*
Sunday: Closed

*Liz Diamond informs us that the shop will be opening some Saturdays in September.


Donations are being taken only on Tuesdays 9-12 and Thursdays 9-12.

Ring for enquiries of amounts larger than three bin bags or medium-sized boxes.

Nothing must be left outside the shop when we are closed.

RSPCA Secondhand and Antiquarian Books

188 Mill Road Cambridge CB1 3LP T: 01223 212 644

Please shop with us and raise funds to help local animals. Our target is to achieve a monthly profit of £1,000 at each of our shops, which will safeguard the future of the services which we provide in the Cambridge area.

We have an enormous stock of quality fiction and non-fiction: novels, poetry, literature, crime, sci-fi, plays, art, audio-books, aviation, natural history, DIY, biography, business, children’s, curio and collectable, economics, esoteric, history, sport, new-age, health and fitness, humour, languages, linguistics, film and theatre, music, self-help, theology, psychology, computing, textbooks, craft, cookery, science, current affairs, philosophy, politics, sociology, topography, travel… New items go out daily, so keep coming in.

We also stock secondhand music records, CDs, DVDs and videos.

RSPCA, Cambridge
Opening Hours

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10am- 4pm
Wednesday: 10am- 4pm
Thursday: 10am- 4pm
Friday: 10am- 4pm
Saturday: 10am- 6pm
Sunday: 11am- 6pm


It is advisable to phone ahead if you are bringing donations (01223 212 644) or email Ffiona

Arthur Rank Hospice charity shop

222 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3NF T: 01223 214253

The Arthur Rank Hospice charity shops play a vital role in raising funds and awareness of the Charity. Our Mill Road Cambridge shop is ready to deliver to you a bargain or two!

Nestled in Mill Road Shops our charity shop is filled to the brim with good quality clothing, books, toys and bric-a-brac, as well as our very own Arthur Rank Hospice Charity merchandise.

Love shopping whilst helping us raise the vital funds necessary to continue our excellent standard of end of life care and support in Cambridgeshire.

Arthur Rank Hospice
Opening Hours*

Monday: 10:00am – 4:00pm Shopping and donation drop-off
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 10:00am – 4:00pm Shopping only, no donation drop-off
Friday: 10:00am – 4:00pm* Shopping only, no donation drop-off
Saturday: 10:00am – 4:00pm Shopping and donation drop-off
Sunday: 11:00am – 4:00pm Shopping and donation drop-off

* Notes: The A-board outside reads “Friday Closed” but a representative of Arthur Rank Hospice, informed us of the arrangements, shown above, on Saturday 8th August.
The shop may be closed for a short lunch-break, dependent upon staffing.

The Children’s Society charity shop

258 – 260 Mill Road Cambridge CB1 3NF T: 01223 411884

Opening times

Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10am-4pm Shopping only
Wednesday: 10am-4pm Shopping only
Thursday: 10am-4pm Shopping only
Friday: 10am-4pm Shopping and donation drop-off
Saturday: 10am-4pm Shopping only

Our shop hours can change. Donations can only be accepted on Fridays. If in doubt phone ahead. T: 01223 411884

The Children’s Society

The Edge Café Community Fridge & Larder

Brookfields Campus 351 Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 3DF T:01223 212 478

Not quite a charity shop, but Waste Not Want Not! The Edge café’s Community Fridge saves food from landfill.

The café is open Mondays to Saturdays 10am – 3pm, the community fridge Mondays to Saturdays 11am – 1pm, Monday to Friday.

And here’s a top tip from The Edge’s Shofiq: a close-to-expiry-date salad can make a great meal for your pet!

If you would like to check ahead, email Sarah Dickinson, Café Manager, or phone 01223 212 478.

The Edge Café, in common with a number of other cafés and restaurants, offered half-price meals on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August, through the government Eat Out to Help Out scheme. But they’re brilliant value at full price, too!

Eat Mill Road, Help Mill Road

Some of Mill Road’s restaurateurs, publicans and café proprietors are planning their own continuing discounts and offers through September – now HM Govt’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme has ended. We’ve emailed as many as we can, and we’re updating the list with details as soon as we hear from them.

Inputting the nearest postcode to Mill Road bridge – CB1 2BQ – on the Gov.UK website, we were able to generate Registered restaurants within 5 miles of CB1 2BQ, with participating establishments listed by proximity to the bridge, from which we’ve pulled out the 30 participating restaurants, pubs and cafés along Mill Road and side streets.

Below is a list – in order of proximity to the bridge – of eateries which participated in HM Govt’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme throughout August.

Where we’ve been informed of (or otherwise reliably learned of) any offers of their own, these are highlighted in red.

  1. Scott’s All Day
    0.04 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    111-113 Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 2AZ
    Scotts are continuing Eat Out to Help Out on Wednesdays throughout September.
  2. The Devonshire Arms
    0.04 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    1 Devonshire Road, Cambridge, CB1 2BH
    0.04 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    106 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2BD
  3. Prana Indian Restaurant
    0.09 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    97 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AW
  4. Hot Numbers Coffee – Gwydir Street
    0.10 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    Unit 5, Dales Brewery, Gwydir Street, Cambridge, CB1 2LJ
  5. Kingston Arms Freehouse
    0.11 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    33 Kingston Street, Cambridge, CB1 2NU
  6. Cambridge Gourmet Grill
    0.13 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    102 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2BD
  7. Bedouin Cambridge Ltd
    0.11 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    98-100 , Mill Road, Cambridgeshire, CB1 2BD
  8. Little Petra Ltd
    0.14 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    94 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2BD
  9. Black Cat Café
    0.16 miles from the bridge, in Romsey
    2 The Broadway, Cambridge, CB1 3AH
  10. Samaan Restaurant limited
    0.18 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    74 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AS
  11. Salisbury Arms
    0.18 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    The Salisbury Arms, Tenison Road, Cambridge, CB1 2DW
    The Salisbury Arms will be running a Half The Price, Twice as Nice offer, on food items (not on soft drinks) to follow the Eat Out to Help Out scheme on Mondays and Tuesdays throughout September.
  12. The Sea Tree
    0.18 miles from the bridge, in Romsey
    13-14, The Broadway, Cambridge, CB1 3AH
  13. Carlos BBQ
    0.19 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    70 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AS
  14. Tradizioni Restaurant
    0.19 miles from the bridge, in Romsey
    18 The Broadway, Cambridge, CB1 3AH
    Tradizioni will be following the Eat Out to Help Out scheme with a 30% discount on Mondays and Tuesdays throughout September.
  15. The Petersfield
    0.20 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    2 Sturton St, Cambridge, CB1 2QA
  16. 196
    0.20 miles from the bridge, in Romsey
    196 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3NF
  17. Spring
    0.20 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    66 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AS
  18. Al Casbah
    0.21 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    62 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AS
  19. Bibimbap House
    0.21 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    60 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AS
  20. Modigliani
    0.22 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    54a, Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AS
  21. Mr Ho’s
    0.23 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    54 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AS
  22. Limoncello (Cambridge) Ltd
    0.23 miles from the bridge, in Romsey
    212 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3NF
  23. Rotana Café
    0.23 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    50 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AS
  24. Maurizio Dining & Co
    0.25 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    44 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AS

    Maurizio Dining & Co are running their own 50%-off on eat-in food (max £10/person) on Tues/Weds throughout September!

  25. The Cambridge Blue
    0.25 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    85-87 Gwydir Street, Cambridge, CB1 2LG
  26. Relevant Record Café
    0.26 miles from the bridge, in Romsey
    260 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3NF
  27. Noodles Plus
    0.30 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    24a, Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AD
  28. The Empress
    0.32 miles from the bridge, in Romsey
    72 Thoday Street, Cambridge, CB1 3AX
  29. Tu Casa Restaurant
    0.33 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    8 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AD
  30. The Alexandra Arms
    0.35 miles from the bridge, in Petersfield
    22-24, Gwydir Street, Cambridge, CB1 2LL
    The Alex will be following the Eat Out to Help Out scheme with a buy one burger get another for just £1 every Tuesday to Saturday 12-2pm
  31. Tzatziki @ The Royal Standard
    0.44 miles from the bridge, in Romsey
    Royal Standard Pub, 292 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3NL
  32. The Edge Café
    0.61 miles from the bridge, in Romsey
    Brookfields Hospital Site, 351 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3DF
  33. The Brook Pub
    0.68 miles from the bridge, in Romsey
    25 Brookfields, Cambridge, CB1 3NW

Note: the links in the above list are to (in order of preference, according to what we could find) the establishment’s website, their Facebook page or Trip Adviser. We have no responsibility for any information on these links.

Many thanks to Paul Lythgoe – @PALythgoe – for tweeting about local participants, in the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which inspired our original post.

See also:

Protest Walk

There has been significant opposition to the restrictions on Mill Road Bridge posted on various social media sites.

This protest has been spotted on Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor, a localised social media site.

Poster text:


Peaceful & distanced stroll up Mill Road.
across the Bridge. and back
Please gather at 12 noon — Petersfield Play Area
(across from Donkey Common)
This poster has been appearing in the windows of some Mill Road traders

The publication of this post by Mill Road Bridges should not be considered an endorsement of this protest or of the objections to the Mill Road traffic-reduction measures and associated restrictions on the railway bridge. Neither should this statement be read as one of opposition to this protest and its aims.

It is unclear quite who the ‘ad hoc committee of Romsey and Petersfield residents’ are, but Pamela Wesson of Fantasia, 64 Mill Road, Cambridge,
purveyor of “unusual and unnecessary items” has been most active on Nextdoor, Facebook and Twitter.

Pamela has published, on Nextdoor, some of the responses to the poster. These are reproduced below.

To whom it may concern,

I am writing today to voice my support for the Mill Rd Bridge Closure. I live on Cavendish Road. I think the closure is working very well and makes Mill Rd much more pleasant to use as a cyclist and pedestrian. I do not understand the protests against the bridge closure. It seems unlikely to me that a large number of people drive to Mill Rd to shop given the limited parking, or that they are going to be significantly discouraged by having to park on one side of the bridge and walk to the other.

If anything, now that more of the road can be used by pedestrians, I would like to see provisions for more outdoor seating so that businesses suck as coffeeshops can serve more patrons.

I do not agree with the Mill Road Traders Association or the Ad Hoc Committee of Romsey and Petersfield Residents Against Obstructions and Bridge Closure on Mill Road that the bridge should be reopened.

Kind Regards,

K[…] N[…]

I have just got a flier through my door which does not specify any reasons for objecting the road closure but is planning a demonstration! Mill road is used by through traffic all the time. These people do not stop and visit shops or facilities on mill road, they cause noise, pollution and danger to our children.

I have not been able to cycleover mill road bridge with my children and as a result do not use shops on the town side of mill road. The one time i took my daughter over the bridge she fell off into the road! Wiith the bridge shut i’ll be hanging out and spending money on mill road more.

Shutting the bridge to commuters who have no interest in our community is a good thing.

I do not understand how it has a negative impact on anyone. Cycle or walk and if you must drive, just drive around!

I too now have to go the long way round in my car and i’m more than happy to do so in order to benefit my community.

I really do not understand objections to this scheme. Please can you explain?

L[…] (Thoday Street)

Asked, by another commenter on Nextdoor, “why are you posting copies of other people’s opinions etc?” Pamela responded, “Not fussed by showing other opinions. Often just showing them reveals why I personally oppose them.”

We are happy to publish your (polite) opinions on the Mill Road traffic-reduction measures and associated restrictions on the railway bridge, in the comments section of the Wider footways, barriers and bridge restrictions post. The How is it working so far… post is also open for comments.

Interestingly, in addition to a leaflet from the ‘ad hoc committee of Romsey and Petersfield residents’ (see poster above) a leaflet expressing opposing views from Cambridge Cycling Campaign (CamCycle) based on this post – Camcycle repeats call to county to fast-track improvements on Mill Road – on their website appeared on our web-editor’s doormat on Friday 31st July.

The leaflet also referenced a recent letter to Cllr Ian Bates, Chair of the Highways and Transport Committee. See below.

Click on the image to read/download the full 3-page PDF letter.

This post is also open for comments, but please limit these to this protest walk (ahead of the walk, during the walk, or afterwards).

If you have photographs to accompany your comments, please email them to us, from the same email address which you used for your comment.

See also:

Gas Works – Important Update

Triio, contractors for Cadent Gas, are returning to Mill Road to complete works from last year. Whilst the street sign informing of impending works, which went up a couple of weeks ago, indicated the main focus from the commencement date of Monday 27th July would be near the city end of Mill Road, a letter sent to traders appeared to suggest it was the whole of Mill Road.

Understandably, as we and the Cambridge Independent have reported, Mill Road’s traders were extremely concerned.

On investigation Cllr Linda Jones, Cambridgeshire County Councillor for Petersfield Division, found that the planned Triio/Cadent work was for connections from the new gas main to individual premises, only on the stretch of Mill Road between Mortimer Road and Mackenzie Road.

The planned work, Linda reports, is as follows:

Phase 1, when it starts, will be between Mortimer Road and Guest Road, with two-way signals. This will last four weeks and initially the closed section will be on the southwestern (shops) side as Triio accesses the new gas main (laid last year) to do the connections to the shops. After that the closed section will be the pavements on the residential side, with temporary footways created in the roadway, still with two-way signals but on the other side of the road. Triio/Cadent will, again, be connecting individual properties to the new gas main.

Phase 2 will be between Guest Road and Mackenzie Road and will take around three weeks. There will be three-way signals to enable exit/entry from side roads. Again, works will start on the shops’ side and then move to the residential side.

During the past week, Cllr Jones has been negotiating with Triio and the Cambridgeshire County Council Streetworks team, to achieve the best way forward.

The gas works have been delayed from the planned date of Monday 27th July since the build-outs will need to be removed to allow short stretches of one-way traffic with temporary signals. Linda has also pushed for the ever-deepening potholes to be filled quickly, lest that whole section of carriageway collapse. The potholes have now been repaired.

Cllr Jones has now informed us that the gas connection works will start on Monday 3rd August. Triio will be doing the work in two stages as described before.

Linda also adds:

“As we ‘survivors’ from last summer know, there could be minor delays if antiquated connectors at properties need replacing. But there is no other work currently scheduled for Mill Road.”

Cllr Linda Jones, Cambridgeshire County Councillor for Petersfield Division

Our thanks are due to Cllr Jones for her assiduous work to look after the interests of Mill Roaders.

See also these related items:

Ideas for future Mill Road prosperity

A (second) personal view from Edward Jenkins

Assuming that, despite moves being made against progress, the plan for reduced usage of Mill Road Bridge will proceed, there are numerous ways in which the Councils and Traders could work together towards future prosperity in the Road.

The present payment system for both the Gwydir Street, and Great Eastern Street car parks could be arranged to provide short term, free parking, with significant payment penalties should the provided time be exceeded. Additionally, a heavy financial penalty could be introduced for non compliance with the arrangement!

The City Council could extend the Business Improvement District (BID) to include ALL of Mill Road*, with appropriate City Centre signage, and work with the Traders and other representative groups to provide incentives for day, and longer term, visitors to come to this part of the city. This could include displaying the history of the Road, possibly in the form of mosaics and/or wall and lamp post paintings, together with flyers and ‘treasure’ maps being made available at locations, such as the tourist centre office, in the city.

*Editorial Note:
We understand that, to extend the current BID boundary (see map) all businesses within a proposed extension with a rateable value of £30,000 or more will be able to vote. There must then be a double majority in favour – by rateable value and by number of businesses. Cambridge City Council and the current BID may propose, but if the Mill Road Traders’ Association opposes…
(We are open to correction on this.)

The Milly Card was an initiative of the No Mill Road Tesco Campaign to promote independent businesses

A loyalty card system similar to the Milly Card tried a while ago, but with a comprehensive, sophisticated, interactive website system to include details of all Businesses and Card Holders, in which incentive type offers would be presented and taken up, bookings made, together with arrangements for purchase collection.

With the large chain type stores on the wane, now is the opportunity for the return of the high street and its wide array of shops of all kinds. Hopefully we will see a much more interesting and functional Mill Road emerging after this difficult time, and the uniformity of the present, changing into a wider ranging business area with more true independents located here.

Edward Jenkins

You can read Edward Jenkins’ previous post Current Trading Problems in Mill Road here.

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Your (polite) responses are also welcome in the comments section below.

The Gas Man Cometh (Again)

Just as you thought it couldn’t get any worse…

Privatised gas-main utility Cadent, with its contractor Triio, has seven weeks of disruption planned for Mill Road.

And you thought that the gas-main replacement work was all done in the summer (and autumn) of 2019? It seems not, as this letter, received by a local trader, on the Petersfield (city) side of Mill Road bridge, reveals.

At the time of publishing this post, it was unclear whether this work would be limited to the Petersfield (city) side of Mill Road bridge, or wopuld also take place on the Romsey side. It would now appear that:

The gas works by Cadent are set to start at the junction with Mackenzie Road and end at the four-way junction of Mill Road, Parkside, Gonville Place and East Road. They are currently set to run from July 27 to September 11.

Alex Spencer, Cambridge Independent, 24 July 2020

Dear Gas Customer,

We’re improving the gas pipes in your street – we need to temporarily disconnect your gas supply

We look after the gas pipes in your area, and we’re committed to keeping you safe and warm. To ensure you continue to receive a reliable gas supply, we are going to replace the pipes in your street. We will need to turn off your gas supply for a short time and gain access to your property.

Working with our partners TRIIO, we plan to start this work between 27.07.2020 and 27.09.2020, and we expect it to last approximately 07 week(s).

We recognise that you may have concerns about COVID-19, and we want to reassure you that your safety is our number one priority. All our engineers follow the latest guidance from the Government. You can find more about this at

What you need to do

  • If you or anyone in your home is seIf-isolating and/or shielding, let us know as soon as possible – if you haven’t already done so – using the contact details overleaf. It’s very important you do this, so we can put measures in place to keep everyone safe.
  • We will need access to your property on the day your supply is turned off and at various times throughout the day, including access to your gas appliances once your supply has been reconnected. Someone over 18 must be present to allow the work inside the property to take place. Please do not ask a friend or neighbour to be present. We’ll update you with a specific date closer to the time.
  • All of our engineers carry an identity card; please ask to see this before allowing anyone into your property.
  • Ensure that your landlord knows you have received this letter, and let us know of any potential hazards e.g. asbestos, family pets, that might impact our work as we would like to discuss these before the start date to ensure we work safely.
  • Consider postponing any plans to resurface your driveway or landscape your garden as our works may require digging outside your property.
  • It would be helpful if you could remove any obstructions from around your gas meter before we start work.

You can find more information in the enclosed leaflet or at If you have any questions or concerns – or to let us know that someone in your home is self-isolating and/or shielding – please call us on 0800 151 2404 or email

Yours faithfully,

Cadent Mains Replacement Customer Team

Understandably, Mill Road’s independent traders are concerned…

Beleaguered traders who say the closure of Mill Road bridge in Cambridge to motorists has caused chaos and damaged trade are reeling after it was announced that they now face seven weeks of gas pipe repairs in the street.

They warned it could be the “last nail in our coffin” following the lockdown.

Alex Spencer, Cambridge Independent, 24 July 2020

Read the full article: Gas works ‘last nail in coffin’ for Mill Road in Cambridge say traders

Some thoughts about the implications come to mind:

  • With the Cambridgeshire County Council’s ‘pavement-widening’ barriers and Cadent/Triio’s will any bus, taxi or delivery vehicle be able to navigate Mill Road?
  • As the arguments rage about the effectiveness of the Wider footways, barriers and bridge closure and its effects on trade, how will we disentangle the effects of Cambridgeshire County Council’s initiative, from Covid-19 fear of leaving home and the latest Cadent/Triio work?

And one final thing, just in case anyone didn’t catch the reference in the title of this post…

Your (polite) comments are welcome, below. Be as critical as you wish, but any unacceptable words/phrases will be removed.

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Current Trading Problems in Mill Road

A personal view from Edward Jenkins

All town and city centres need to adapt and evolve to survive the continuing effects of Covid-19. Ingenuity is now at a premium, being needed in copious amounts! The situation in Mill Road is essentially no different, in my opinion, from that in countless high streets throughout the country. Yes there is the particular difficulty due to changing use of the bridge, but now is the time to be proactive and use energies to change the approach.

It has gradually become apparent that a significant number of businesses along Mill Road rely, and have always relied, upon distribution networks which provide the major part of their trade incomes. Needless to say this style of business requires pick up and deposit of goods throughout their long opening hours, and necessitates continual parking on pavements and double yellow lines, a factor largely ignored and unenforced over the years! Even taxi drivers order their snacks, meals & drinks by phone and collect when parked illegally!

Yes the new situation at the bridge will cause disruption of tried and tested schemes, but surely these can be worked on and changed in thoughtful ways? The removal of through traffic should help with the parking required, but it is imperative the new road lay-out be installed quickly and efficiently, without undue delay. It should also be possible in future, for the County/City Councils to work together with Mill Road’s Traders, in a compromising way, to build trust, and move towards something of a consensus. An example of this could be the installation of a parking system at Gwydir Street, similar to the present one, but with a pre-programmed free period (say 30mins), to encourage short term use.

Of course Mill Road has fewer pedestrian shoppers at present, but this is not because of the bridge, it is because a large part of the population is in dread of Covid-19, fearful of walking out and entering stores. Having got used to ordering goods on the net, they will take a lot of encouragement to come out and about again.

This is not a problem unique to Mill Road, it applies everywhere, and can only be tackled successfully through imaginative advertising over time.

The only other way, it would appear, is for some businesses, which are little more than ‘warehouses with public access’, to move to industrial units on the outskirts, where overheads will be significantly less.

Edward Jenkins

Mill Road Bridges welcomes personal views from members of Mill Road’s ‘Community of Communities’ – residents, shoppers, café- and pub-goers, traders, worshippers, visitors. Email with your submission.

Your (polite) responses are also welcome in the comments section below.

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Petition opposing the bridge closure

(Technically this is a restriction rather than a closure)

Mill Road Bridges exists to give a voice to all who live in, trade in, shop in, visit, or have an interest in Mill Road. Our linking to this petition should not be read as support. Neither should this statement be read as opposition.

Click on the image to go to the petition

James Youd, Labour Organiser started this petition to Cambridgeshire County Council.

Cambridgeshire County Council has is using £575k funding to implement a number of Experimental Traffic Orders (ETO) to completely shut several roads in Cambridge for an initial period of 6 months without consultation.

The most drastic of these in the closure for all traffic expect buses, cyclists and pedestrians of Mill Road bridge…

James Youd

Click here to see the full petition, and decide if you wish to sign.

Don’t forget: If you have a petition about any aspect of Mill Road, let us know and we’ll usually be happy to link to it.

You can also add your (polite) comments below, or in the comments section of the Wider footways, barriers and bridge closure post or the How is it working so far… post.

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