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City Deal welcomes 'greenways' review

Published: Friday, October 28, 2016

Ambitions for a web of high-quality cycleways linking Cambridge to its rural hinterland has been backed by members of the Greater Cambridge City Deal.

‘Greenways’ are long-distance and, usually, off-road routes for cycles, pedestrians and wheelchair users, which people can enjoy for commuting or leisure.

In Cambridge, aspirations for a comprehensive Greenways network fanning out to villages beyond, support on-going work to further increase local cycling rates as a means of tackling congestion – a key aim of the City Deal – as well as to promote the health benefits of active travel.

Greenways Review, published today by Cambridgeshire County Council, has been warmly welcomed by the City Deal’s Executive Board.

Vice chair and South Cambs Cllr Francis Burkitt said he hoped much of this could be delivered through City Deal investment: 

"I'm delighted by this report," he said. "It gives a vision for a world-class network of medium-and long-distance cycle routes linking the surrounding villages and Cambridge, which would be a huge asset to residents and an important contribution to reducing congestion.  

"My fellow district councillors and I are often urged by our residents to lobby for improved, safe and off-road cycle routes into the city and we can now see how that might be achieved.  

"This is a high-level report and individual Parish Councils and landowners may have views on slightly different route layouts, which will be gratefully received.  

"I hope that the City Deal will be able to pay for a lot of this, and I will be working towards that in due course.  My thanks go to the team at the County Council for their hard work on this."

The report looks in detail at 12 possible Greenways, between Cambridge and Waterbeach, Horningsea, The Swaffhams, Bottisham, Fulbourn, Linton, Sawston, Melbourn, Haslingfield, Barton, Comberton and St Ives Greenway. Some of these routes already exist in part while others would be brand new. The network, with funding, would take more than ten years to complete in full.

The Greater Cambridge City Deal, a local partnership, is working to future secure economic growth by investing in better transport, more housing and the local labour market, using research and innovation to promote quality of life.

Developing a transport network for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire that prioritises passenger transport, cycling and walking is key to its plan, ensuring the area can continue to grow and prosper in a sustainable way.

The report was commissioned by the County Council’s Cycling Team and written by an independent expert, Nigel Brigham Associates and can be viewed.