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People asked for their ideas to improve city centre streets & open spaces

Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Residents, workers and visitors are being invited to help shape a new guidance document that will contribute to making Cambridge city centre easier to get around and a more attractive place to spend time.

‘Making Space for People’ is being developed by Cambridge City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, and is funded by the Greater Cambridge Partnership.

The project will lead to the creation of a new Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to help guide improvements to the city centre, which will put people first when identifying future opportunities to improve public spaces and movement flows into and around the city centre.

Potential areas for changes could include:

  • Improvements to the way people move around Cambridge city centre on foot and by bicycle;
  • Potential enhancements to walkways, cycleways, roads and open spaces – to ensure people are put at the heart of city life;
  • New uses for certain parts of the city centre.

Residents and other members of the public are being invited to have their say at a series of public drop-in events and by providing views on a website which will register comments and ideas.

Photo of bikes parked in Cambridge City Centre

Bikes parked in the Cambridge City Centre

The website, Engagement HQ, will give people the opportunity to view a map of the city centre and comment in detail about specific locations that they feel could be improved, and how.

People can make comments online via Making Space for People on Engagement HQ until 5pm on Monday 16 July before having another opportunity to comment on the emerging vision at a later date.

All of the ideas and comments the council receives from these initial exercises will help shape the council’s strategy, and will feed into a draft document to be discussed by councillors, before a full public consultation on the proposed Making Space for People SPD, which is due to take place in early 2019.

A range of organisations with an interest in the city’s future are also being invited to attend meetings and workshops to give their ideas for the future and discuss some of the challenges and opportunities for improving the city centre.

The project is funded by the Greater Cambridge Partnership and is part of the City Access scheme to improve travel within Cambridge by public transport, cycling and walking, along with tackling congestion and improving air quality and the public realm.

Cllr Kevin Blencowe, Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, said: “The work now being done to develop this Spaces and Movement SPD gives anyone who lives, works in or visits Cambridge the chance to get involved and tell us how they think the city centre could work better for people in the years to come.

“Is there a route or walkway in the city centre that you think could be reconfigured in a better way? Are there areas which could be put to an entirely different use? What changes would you make to help the city centre work better and help people get around it more easily?

“These are the sort of questions we are hoping the SPD will address, so I would urge as many people as possible to give us their views to help us shape it.

“As the city grows and comes under different pressures, and new opportunities arise, it is important that we have a set of principles in place to help ensure the city centre continues to be attractive, welcoming and fit for purpose in the years to come.”

Peter Blake, Transport Director at Greater Cambridge Partnership said: “We are delighted to launch Making Space for People, part of work to further improve the city centre by placing people at the heart of any future developments.

 “The project is part of our long-term plans to improve the city’s public spaces which will encourage people to make choices for active travel and make the most of cleaner air, with more pleasant streets and less traffic.”