Published: Friday, March 8, 2019
Councillors and campaigners broke ground at a ceremony today [Friday 8 March] to mark the beginning of construction on the Abbey-Chesterton Bridge and Chisholm Trail which will further improve cycle links in Britain’s cycling city.
Greater Cambridge Partnership Chair and Leader of Cambridge City Council Cllr Lewis Herbert, Cambridgeshire County Council Chairman Cllr Mandy Smith and cycle campaigner Jim Chisholm picked up their spades to conduct the sod cutting ceremony at Ditton Meadows that marks the first stage of a stunning new £19.1m cross city cycling project.
The trail – first proposed by local cycling campaigner Jim Chisholm and his colleagues in the late 1990s – will mean people can ride on a mostly off-road route connecting Cambridge North to Cambridge Station, making it easier and safer to get around and access green spaces.
Phase one of the north-south trail, funded by GCP, and the Abbey Chesterton Bridge, which is funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, are expected to be completed in 2021 by contractor Tarmac Infrastructure.
Cllr Lewis Herbert said:
“This ceremony marks the start of work on the first stage of the Chisholm Trail and much anticipated new Abbey Chesterton Bridge – a day long in the making that is the culmination of hard work over many years to realise Jim Chisholm’s vision for a first-class cycling route between north, east and central Cambridge.
“This trail will make it far easier for people to cycle or walk between their home and place of work or college, connecting our main railway stations via a safe, enjoyable off-road route linking up several of our city’s beautiful and lesser used green spaces.
“When fully completed, it will be a wonderful addition to our cycling network and a key part of the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s transformational investment in cycling in and around our lovely but busy city.”
Cllr Mandy Smith said:
“It is fantastic that Cambridgeshire County Council is helping the Greater Cambridge Partnership to deliver this cross-city cycleway that has long been championed by the community.
“The Abbey Chesterton Bridge, as part of the Chisholm Trail, will not only provide residents and commuters with a more sustainable means of travelling to work or places of learning, but also help people to explore our historic city centre and discover the wonderful surrounding countryside.”
Jim Chisholm said:
“This scheme will not only help many to travel in a more environmentally friendly and healthy way, but will also enable them to enjoy the results of the work to enhance the environment whilst minimising the impact on this sensitive landscape.”
Andy Brown, director of Tarmac’s infrastructure business, said:
“We’re delighted to celebrate the start of work on this exciting project - it’s great to be supporting the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Cambridgeshire County Council in delivering a scheme which will offer a wide range of benefits to the local community.”
Phase one of the GCP-funded scheme will focus on the north section from Cambridge North to Coldhams Lane and will open up lesser-used green spaces, including the privately owned Barnwell Lakes and Cambridge Past, Present and Future’s Leper Chapel, creating a green route between Stourbridge and Coldhams Commons.
It will also link up to The Guided Busway track providing an almost entirely off-road walking and cycling route between Trumpington and St Ives. Measures are in place to ensure the work to deliver phase one of the trail has minimal impact on wildlife.
Phase two will see the trail follow the railway line linking Cambridge Station to Coldhams Lane.
The GCP will be shortly hosting information events about the project so people can find out more about the route and construction timeline.
Details about those events will be published on the GCP’s website when the dates, times and venues have been finalised.
For more information about The Chisholm Trail visit the project page at www.greatercambridge.org.uk/chisholm-trail