The Chisholm Trail is an exciting new walking and cycling route, creating a mostly off-road and traffic-free route between Cambridge Station and the new Cambridge North Station. It will link to Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the Biomedical Campus in the south and to the business and science parks in the north. In all the full trail provides a 26 kilometre route from Trumpington and Addenbrookes to St Ives. The central section from Cambridge Central Railway Station to Cambridge North Railway Station, which this project deals with, is a 3.5 kilometre route.
The north-to-south, route which closely follows the railway line, provides a quicker and safer route across Cambridge. It would be largely off-road or along quiet streets, avoiding busy junctions and would link up green spaces in Cambridge including: Coldham’s Common, the Leper Chapel Meadows and Barnwell Lake area, with Ditton Meadows (as well as Stourbridge Common beyond).
Contracts were awarded to Tarmac for construction of both the Greater Cambridge Partnership's Chisholm Trail foot and cycleway (Phase 1) and the Cambridgeshire County Council funded Abbey-Chesterton Bridge last last year.
A start of works ceremony was held on 8 March 2019 on Ditton Meadows. Temporary metal fencing now encloses the areas of work on Ditton Meadows and a site office has been constructed off Ditton Walk. Works to date include the creation of a 350m 'haul road' to the bridge construction area.
Phase One covers the area from Cambridge North Station to Coldham's Lane and links up green spaces in the north of the city creating an off-road route between Stourbridge Common, Ditton Meadows, the Leper Chapel, Barnwell Lakes and Coldham's Common.
PROJECT UPDATE PHASE 1 SPRING 2022
The Newmarket Road underpass has now been decorated with specially created designs linking places of historical and geographical significance, connecting the stories of the past to the present. The artwork was inspired by local history and community engagement events and activities under the artistic direction of Helen Weinstein of HistoryWorks, collaborating with their Poet-in-Residence, Michael Rosen, encouraging the participation of hundreds of children in primary schools, and community groups such as Abbey People and Cambridge United Community Trust.
The underpass artwork is based on the poetry and song co-created by Historyworks, and the design was produced by Paper Rhino after working closely not only with Historyworks, but also Cambridge Past Present and Future, who manage the Leper Chapel and Barnwell Meadows site.
The neighbourhood around the Chisholm Trail has a long and fascinating history which is reflected in the artwork, because it connects the River to the Leper Chapel again, the same as it was in medieval times, when the Cam was the main travel route for traders and produce. At one time the area was open countryside with a hospital for Lepers, the chapel that they used for worship is still in use today, 900 years later. The meadows were once the site of the famous Stourbridge Fair, which grew to become the largest medieval fair in Europe. In more modern times the area had industrial uses including brickworks, which created the lake near to the subway.
The basis of the design drew heavily upon the local history of the area and both designs feature extracts from poems written by Michael Rosen, following research of the area carried out by Historyworks. One of the poem lyrics incorporated in the design is called "Coldham's Common" and the other is called "Stourbridge Fair" . The latter has been set to music, and the song learnt by the local primary children, at Fen Ditton Primary and Shirley Primary and Galfrid Primary, whose pupils participated by drawing pictures and writing their own poems and stories inspired by the landscape and history of the area. The schools and local community groups contributed also to chose the emblems, such as the garlic of 'garlic row' to represent the goods sold at Stourbridge Fair that can be viewed in the design of the underpass artwork.
The vinyl artwork that has been installed consists of materials that are hardwearing and contain anti-graffiti properties, meaning any graffiti can easily be removed without causing any damage to the artwork.
We are pleased to announce that as of the evening of Thursday 17th March, Newmarket Road underpass is now back open ahead of schedule.
On Wednesday 16th March at 8am the Newmarket Road underpass was closed to all traffic, reopening on Friday 18th March at 5pm. The 3-day closure was to allow for planned artwork to be installed on the walls of the underpass. A signed diversion was in place via the pelican crossing on Newmarket Road while the closure was in effect. The artwork that has been installed on the underpass walls can be seen below.
The designs feature Michael Rosen’s poems - 'Stourbridge Fair' and 'Coldham's Common'.
Following the closure on the underpass, a few small sections of work are left prior to the Trail’s completion.
A formal opening event for the Trail will be organised later in the year once all works are complete.
Imagery of the artwork is available for download below.
PROJECT UPDATE WINTER 2022
Work has continued to progress along phase 1 of the Chisholm Trail, and we are now pleased to announce that the Trail is now open for public use. Access to the Trail is available, connecting Cambridge North to Coldham’s Lane via the Abbey-Chesterton bridge.
It is important to emphasise that while most sections of the Trail are open, there are still some final works that will need to be completed before the Trail is finished.
PREVIOUS WORKS UNDERTAKEN
Work to other parts of the Trail are now complete, including the removal of the traffic management measures on Newmarket Road which were needed to install the underpass. All footways are now open for public use and Newmarket Road has now been resurfaced in that section.
Work on the Northern Towpath alongside the River Cam has also now been finished and the towpath is now back open for public use.
In June and August Newmarket Road was closed to install the head beams for the underpass and to asphalt and resurface the road.
Once complete, the underpass will provide quicker and safer journeys for pedestrians and cyclists. It will also improve traffic flows on Newmarket Road, as people will no longer need to cross using the signalled pedestrian crossing on Newmarket Road when using the Trail.
PROJECT UPDATE PHASE 2 SPRING 2022
On 17th March the GCP Executive Board resolved to:
• Endorse recommendations for public engagement on designs for Coldham’s Lane Junction, and Cromwell Road in Summer 2022 to further inform the design.
• Endorse recommendations for public engagement on designs for Great Eastern Street Car Park in Summer 2022 to further inform the design.
• Approve the land acquisition at Clifton Road.
• Approve plans for continued work in partnership with stakeholders and the landowners to develop a package of local mitigation to support the scheme.
• Approve the negotiation of land and rights required for the early delivery of the scheme including Compulsory Purchase and Side Road Orders as appropriate.
• Approve the further work on a Public Path Order to secure the links from Cromwell Road Shops into the Timber works development.
• Approve work for the further design of all other elements of the Chisholm Trail Phase 2.
The technical work to support this summer’s engagement on sections of the Trail is currently ongoing, and further details surrounding this will be communicated in due course.
PROJECT UPDATE PHASE 2 SUMMER 2021
Phase 1 of the Chisholm Trail is approaching completion, and we have now started the planning work for Phase 2.
During this early design review stage, we are starting to talk to landowners and stakeholders. We will need their agreement to build phase 2 of the Trail as we will require access to land owned by Network Rail and others in order for the Trail to be completed.
We are also starting to look at the design elements of the Trail including improving the on road sections, which junctions need improving, and how we link the parts of the Trail that are close to the railway line with the other sections.
We want to deliver phase 2 as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is to deliver sections as the land that we need becomes available, rather than wait for everything to be agreed before we start.
The map (above right) is a representation of the proposed walking and cycling route including possible access points. The off-road sections are shown in orange and the on-road sections are shown in purple.
The Trail would make it easier for students cycling to Cambridge Regional College, for commuters arriving at the planned Cambridge North Station to walk to workplaces south of the river and for workers to travel between the Science Park, Business Park, Addenbrooke’s and the Biomedical Campus. It also links to leisure facilities like Cambridge Leisure Park and Abbey Pool.
Chisholm Trail Gallery
Updates on the project are available via subscription to the the Greater Cambridge Partnership's e-news bulletins and emails.
A Local Liaison Forum (LLF) has been set up for this project to provide dialogue between the project team and members of the local community. The Forum enables local communities to keep up to date and to have their say outside of formal consultation processes. The LLFs are open to the public.
BENEFITS OF THE PROJECT
The scheme will benefit residents, students and commuters by improving access to key locations and easing congestion on these routes
- Cutting Congestion
- Quick, direct route linking major employment and railway stations
- Quiet, mostly motor traffic-free routes
- Opens up currently private green spaces to the public
- Makes cycling a more attractive way to get to work
- Provides major health benefits