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Villagers claim planned cycleway will have a "detrimental aesthetic impact" as local authority sides with majority and moves forward with proposal

At consultation, 73 per cent of village residents opposed the Haslingfield Greenway, consisting of off-road paths and active travel infrastructure, in contrast to the 64 per cent who supported the scheme overall

A local authority has pledged to step forward with plans to build a Greenway active travel route, including a cycleway, through a village despite concerns and criticism from some who say it will have a "detrimental aesthetic impact".

The Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership reported that the consultation shows 64 per cent of people support the scheme — which would see the Haslingfield Greenway off-road active travel link into Cambridge through Grantchester — in contrast to 73 per cent of people from the village who responded to the public consultation expressing their opposition to the proposals.

The local authority has pledged to move forward with the plan, the BBC reports, emphasising that the overall mood was one of support, members of the board suggesting that regardless of whether a cycleway and active travel infrastructure was built people would still walk and cycle through the village, so it might as well be "as safe as possible".

The chair of Grantchester Parish Council had expressed concerns about the route's potentially "detrimental aesthetic impact" on the village and argued it would be a "democratic deficit" if the village's consultation responses were separated from the overall picture.

However, the local authority decided to move forward with the proposals, Mike Davey the Labour leader of Cambridge City Council suggesting Grantchester is a "victim of its own beauty" and that people will cycle or walk through it regardless of whether there is an active travel route available.

Agreeing, Peter Blake, GCP's transport director said it makes sense to make the route "as safe as possible for all road users".

Detailed designs will come next, local cycling campaign group Cam Cycle (the Cambridge Cycling Campaign) previously warning that it is "hugely concerned that the proposals overall do little to improve the existing situation for active travel users".

"Although significant investment is proposed for the Greenway, the designs presented will result in substandard infrastructure that is not fit for purpose and does not align with the overarching Greenway vision to make local journeys safer and easier and to deliver pleasant and sustainable routes into and out of Cambridge and for leisure purposes," Cam Cycle has said previously.

"The proposals fail to address the retention of the pinch point at Burnt Close which introduces unnecessary difficulties for those on larger cycles and could create conflict between path users. We also still believe that a modal filter on Grantchester Road would be the most effective, cost-efficient and environmentally-beneficial option for the route, leaving the Baulk Path as it is."

The group published a blog post on alternative options ahead of last year's consultation, highlighting concerns that the campaign will hope will be addressed with the publication of more detailed plans.

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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18 comments

Avatar
lesterama | 3 months ago
2 likes

Do Lord Arch-hole and his fragrant wife still live there? Their tasteless front-lawn statues maligned Grantchester's views for many a year.

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Benthic | 3 months ago
4 likes

Some double-yellow lines would brighten the place up.

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HarrogateSpa | 3 months ago
13 likes

Ah God to see the BMWs stir, Across the road at Grantchester,

To smell the thrilling-sweet and rotten, Unforgettable and unforgotten,

Exhaust fumes from these monstrosities, While I sob by the greenway's trees.

Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?

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Rendel Harris replied to HarrogateSpa | 3 months ago
8 likes

HarrogateSpa wrote:

Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?

Gammon must keep his SUV - and so no cycle lane for thee.

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muhasib | 3 months ago
5 likes

I'm concerned about the aesthetic impact of the houses that those objecting live in, can we all go back to living in holes in the ground, it's much better for the countryside views.

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cyclisto | 3 months ago
5 likes

Guys just be honest, you are afraid of missing car parking spaces, it is not bad to admit it.

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Capt Sisko | 3 months ago
1 like

I'd love to see the background information and questions that were asked in the survey if one produced a 73% in one way and 64% vote the other way. Kind of suggests the background info and wording of the question was biased in one way or the other or the representative sample was carefully chosen.

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OnYerBike | 3 months ago
9 likes

Classic NIMBYism:

"I have grown accustomed to things as they are; the proposals would lead to change; ergo the proposals must be stopped". 

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Car Delenda Est | 3 months ago
3 likes
Quote:

Mike Davey the Labour leader of Cambridge City Council suggesting Grantchester is a "victim of its own beauty" and that people will cycle or walk through it regardless of whether there is an active travel route available.

Agreeing, Peter Blake, GCP's transport director said it makes sense to make the route "as safe as possible for all road users".

Ah so if you can't beat them you might as well treat them as humans?

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bensynnock | 3 months ago
4 likes

Oooo, what a pretty road. I'm going on a car park tour of the north west next year for my summer holiday.

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Geordiepeddeler | 3 months ago
7 likes

The ignorance of the vehicle owners is the only aesthetic impact on this village.

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kingleo | 3 months ago
10 likes

The parked cars have a "detrimental asthetic impact" on the village.

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andystow | 3 months ago
25 likes

What a lovely village! I spotted some items left lying around that really spoil the look of it, though.

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ktache replied to andystow | 3 months ago
18 likes

It's the grey transit blocking the pavement I find particularly appealing...

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hutchdaddy replied to ktache | 3 months ago
0 likes

Do you know what I think it makes the village look even more pretty.

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pockstone replied to ktache | 3 months ago
3 likes

If it diverts local resident Jeffrey Archer into fast moving traffic, I'm all for it.

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d_c_h_w replied to andystow | 3 months ago
3 likes

...and I would call that a quiet day.

On a nice weekend there are literally cars parked everywhere in Grantchester, as its a bit of a magnet for a Sunday stroll

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eburtthebike replied to andystow | 3 months ago
2 likes

Nowt so blind as those who will not see.

The very epitome of congitive dissonance: a bike route would have a  "detrimental aesthetic impact" but cars parked everywhere are beautiful.

The villagers need to get those planks out of their eyes.

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