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.
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.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.