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Bourke's call for Mill Road transport plan wins support

January 15, 2013 11:34 AM

A new transport strategy is to be drawn up for Cambridge's Mill Road following a request by Romsey Liberal Democrat Councillor, Kilian Bourke and Petersfield County Councillor Nichola Harrison, who between them represent the two parts of Mill Road on Cambridgeshire County Council.

It is hoped that the strategy, which will be developed by Cambridgeshire County Council alongside Cambridge City Council's Local Plan, will secure more funding in the long-term for significant improvements.

Cllr Bourke, who represents Romsey and leads the Lib Dem group on the county council, wants the plan to look at all of the issues in the round and to aim to make Mill Road a better place to live, instead of treating the road simply as a transport corridor.

He said: "In the past we have managed to introduce lots of schemes, including the Conservation area, our new street lights, and a 20mph zone; but we still need a truly long-term plan that will unlock Mill Road's full potential.

"I think that when the County Council is preparing its transport plan it should concentrate on Mill Road as a community where people live and not as a transport corridor that people pass through - that is what has always been missing."

"Mill Road is already great place to live, with a very strong sense of community identity, and the No Tesco campaign and the Winter Fair have enhanced that in recent years, but I think we can make it even better."

Cllr Bourke has made the following suggestions (see attachment for more detail):

  • Using junctions as punctuation, and installing more pedestrian crossings - to make it clear that Mill Road is a residential area, not a motorway;
  • Creating a farmer's market to increase trade for local shops and create the sense of a bustling community;
  • Pavement repairs to be a priority;
  • Turning spacious parts of Mill Road on both sides of the bridge into attractive public spaces, possibly with public art;
  • Investigate the possibility of road closures for special events such as the one in place for the thriving Winter Fair;

In a bid to improve the Mill Road area, Cllr Bourke has been campaigning for the Chisholm Trail, a linear park which would run from north to south parallel with the railway tracks. It would allow residents to travel directly to Addenbrooke's Hospital or Cambridge Regional College on bike or foot.

And he says with the density of housing around Mill Road, it would be good to see the lakes by Burnside opened safely to the public creating a green lung for this part of the city.

Cllr Bourke said: "Transport and planning often turn into technical exercises and lose sight of the human element. I think that the simple priority of both the City and County Council's plans should be to make Mill Road a better place to live."

He added: "By preparing a Mill Road-specific transport plan alongside the Local Plan for Cambridge, and avoiding the false division between transport and planning, I hope that it will be possible to achieve something bigger than the sum of its parts - a truly integrated and long-term vision."

"I am confident that, if the councils co-operate closely, we can put together something really impressive."