A multi-million pound revamp of a major Cambridge road would only make the city’s congestion woes worse, it has been claimed.
Histon Road – one of Cambridge’s major commuter arteries – cuts through Arbury, starting at the top of Castle Hill and extending out of the city towards the A14.
It is now in line for a £6 million revamp with new junctions, bus lanes and cycle routes planned to make travel in the area more efficient.
The project is part of plans by the Greater Cambridge Partnership (formerly City Deal) to make sure Cambridge can cope with the growth it is expected to experience in the coming years.
A similar scheme to transform Milton Road led to a catalogue of problems as residents and transport campaigners opposed the widening of the road, the potential loss of trees and schemes residents feared would end up harming the character of the area.
GCP bosses have since pledged to avoid the kind of problems that beset the Milton Road project when improving Histon Road.
The GCP assembly will meet next week (February 28) to discuss the “final concept” for Histon Road before the public is consulted on the plans in the spring.
What ideas are on the table?
Victoria Road/ Huntingdon road junction
• Improved cycle provision at all junction approaches including off-road provision at the junction of Histon/Victoria Road.
• Removal of residents parking in Histon Road to enable advisory cycle lane on each side of
• Floating bus stop for northbound movement.
• Proposed parallel crossing of Histon Road in close proximity to the bus stop.
Linden Close – Gilbert Close
• Relocation of pay and display bays – it is currently proposed to move these to Linden Close.
• Advisory cycle lanes progress into segregated lanes (Cambridge Kerb) as the road widens. A fully segregated option through Gilbert Road junction, with on-road provision retained for commuters.
• Various landscaping opportunities in this stretch and retention of the line of trees to the north of the Gilbert Road Junction.
Gilbert Close – Blackhall Road
• 3m inbound bus lane from Blackhall Road to just after Carisbrooke Road.
• Approx 1.8m wide footpaths – 1.4m in pinch points.
• 1.5m wide inbound cycle lane adjacent to bus lane.
• Approx 2m wide outbound cycle lane, 1.6m in pinch points.
• Several landscaping opportunities in this stretch but net loss of highway trees.
Darwin Green Junction – to be delivered by developer
Kings Hedges – A14 stretch
• Slight modification of the kerb lines to enable a wider cycle lane and better definition of the cycle lane near the roundabout.
• A sharper, better defined crossover point for vehicles wanting to cross the cycle lane to get into the left filter lane.
Do you think revamp plans for Histon Road will help congestion in Cambridge?
0+ VOTES SO FAR
Yes, the plans have some good methods to improve congestionMaybe – but the plans need to be thought about and discussed in more detail No – leave Histon Road as it is
'Plans would only increase congestion'
Readers were quick to have their say on the proposals, and shared their views on social media.
The majority of readers commenting on the News’ story said the plans would only increase congestion.
Commenter ‘profgumby3’ wrote: “Wow, that's an impressive list of congestion generating ideas.
“Floating bus stops, narrowing roads, removing parking spaces, etc will all make congestion and parking WORSE, not better.
“[There’s] not a single suggestion that will free up traffic flow or enable more people to use public transport.”
Commenter Mary16 said she didn't think Histon Road was wide enough to accommodate all of these plans.
She claimed that if Milton Road and Mitcham’s Corner were revamped too, there would “no room for the rapid transport system that we have been asking for”.
The same online commenter questioned why floating bus stops were an idea as part of the plans, claiming that “all they do is hold traffic up, and cause congestion in the first place”.
'What might work on one bit, won't work on another'
Commenter ‘opaque’ wrote: “Histon Road changes a lot from the A14 to Castle Hill and what might work (cycle lanes being the best example) on one bit, won't work on another.
“By the time you get to the junction of Victoria Road you can only just get buses side by side on the road, you cannot have a cycle lane as well.”
Commenter ‘notadon’ claimed the £6m revamp of Histon Road would be pouring money down the drain – adding that there are costly but better transport development options.
They wrote: “Cambridge has got to attract people to use public transport, so that car traffic into Cambridge can be reduced or eliminated.
“The public has no confidence in the City Deal mob improving bus travel in Cambridge. The only way is a light rail network, trams, monorail or even underground.”
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