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Work starts on key cross-city Cambridge cycle route after two decades of campaigning

The Chisholm Trail - named after the Camcycle trustee who first proposed it - is due to be complete by 2020

Work was due to last week on a traffic-free cycle route in Cambridge, the UK’s leading city for cycling, after more than two decades of lobbying by campaigners.

The Chisholm Trail – named after Jim Chisholm, a trustee of local cycle campaign group Camcycle, who first proposed the route – will run from Milton Country Park in the north of the city to Trumpington Meadows County Park in the south.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership has confirmed that Tarmac has been appointed as contractor for the project, with work due to start last week.  

Speaking at Camcycle’s monthly meeting, Chisolm said: “It is wonderful to know that work is starting in earnest. Planning permission was granted some 15 months ago but that still left agreements about flood risks, ecological compensation and mitigation, as well as land leases to be negotiated.”

The full route, which will link to existing cycle infrastructure such as paths alongside the city’s guided busway and other routes, will be almost entirely traffic-free and is due to be completed by 2020.

Chisholm Trail map

The first phase will focus on linking Cambridge North ttrain station and Stourbridge Common with Coldhams Common, including a much-needed cycle and pedestrian bridge across the River Cam between Abbey and Chesterton in the north of the city.

The second phase of the project will link Coldhams Lane with Cambridge’s main railway station.

Councillor Ian Bates, transport portfolio holder for the Greater Cambridge Partnership and chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Economy and Environment Committee, commented: “I am delighted that we have appointed Tarmac to deliver this visionary plan for a cross-city cycleway that has long been championed by the community.

“The Chisholm Trail will provide people with a safer and more attractive way to discover our city’s beautiful green spaces and it will also make it easier for people to access places of employment, education, our historic city centre and the main railway stations.”

Chisholm added: “I cycle mainly for ‘utility’ trips with my leisure activity normally being walking. This route will enable far more pleasant walking access between a number of valuable green spaces, and especially from Chesterton to Ditton Meadows and Coldhams Common.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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