Contracts were awarded last last year 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.
A start of works ceremony was held on 8 March 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 have begun to create the access route to the site of the bridge and embankments on the east side of the river.
Phase One covers the area from Cambridge North Station to Coldhams 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 Coldhams Common.
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.
Images taken from the route of the Chisholm Trail; a proposed cycle and pedestrian route from Cambridge North station down to Cambridge City central station
Exterior view of the Cambridge North rail station, showing the open plaza in front of the building, cycle parking to the right of the building, and route direction signs in the foreground indicating; City Centre, Regional College, Kings Hedges; Business Park, Science Park, Innovation Park, and Milton
A junction and cycle crossing point
The green and white rail bridge crossing the River Cam.
Close view of sign indicating 2 mins travel to the rail station.
Front entrance to Cambridge rail station.
£14.3m of City Deal funding has been allocated to the Chisholm Trail.
This does not include funding for the separate Abbey-Chesterton bridge project, which comes from a Cycle City Ambition grant and developer contributions. This is anticipated to cost in the region of £4.3m.
A Local Liaison Forum (LLF) has been set up for this project to provide regular 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.
The notes and presentations from the last LLF can be found in the document library.
The scheme will benefit residents, students and commuters by improving access to key locations and easing congestion on these routes
A. We’re currently undertaking enabling works for the building of the Abbey-Chesterton Bridge and the Chisholm Trail. This includes the removal of some trees and scrub.
We’ve been working alongside Cambridge City Council’s Tree Officer and all works are being carried out with their knowledge and agreement. Furthermore, an ecologist is on site providing full supervision (e.g to checking for nests, bats etc.) and expert advice.
Every effort has been made to spare healthy trees through the construction works:
The enabling work are conducted with the full permission and consent of the landowners, with the agreement of Planning Officers and in accordance with the planning approval. All trees have been assessed and inspected as part of the submission that was taken through the planning process.
Vegetation clearance work has been undertaken in a number of stages because of the different landowners involved. For instance, work on the railway requires special consent and working practices to be agreed and observed throughout.
We are currently carrying out enabling works to prepare for the building of the Chisholm Trail, which requires the removal of some trees and shrubbery. The trees that were removed are not the subject of any tree preservation orders.
All work has been carefully planned to be as conservative to trees as possible. Many of the large trees were in a dangerous condition and posed a severe threat to those in nearby premises.
Much of the apparent damage to the trees has been caused by grazing livestock ‘ring barking’ trees over years. This has allowed irreversible decay to set in.
A. The use of an underpass will avoid an increase in the use of the existing toucan crossing, which would further delay road users on this key bus route. Should an underpass go ahead, the toucan crossing will remain in order to serve existing users.
An underpass will provide access to the Leper Chapel and links to the green spaces. We will look to make the underpass attractive to reflect those materials used in the Leper Chapel. It will be lit and designed to be as sympathetic as possible to the historic surroundings.
A. The width of the cycleway will vary along the route as space allows and in order to take into account the surrounding area.
A. Yes, we are investigating the types of public art which could be used to enhance the attractiveness of the Trail. We plan to have information boards including environmental and historical information along the route.
A. The Trail will provide better access to the Chapel from the river, via a green route and it will be linked with the area south of Newmarket Road through a new underpass. Great care will be taken to preserve and enhance the setting of the Chapel, reflecting its significance as one of the oldest buildings in Cambridge.
We are in discussion with Cambridge Past, Present and Future, the owners of the Chapel, in order to achieve the best possible outcome. The proposed Newmarket Road underpass would improve access to this area, and encourage more people to visit this important historic site. There is also the potential to provide future facilities for the Chapel and rejuvenate the area around Barnwell Lake and improve this open space.
A. The route will be lit where this is considered necessary. We are consulting as to whether lighting is appropriate at the Stourbridge Common/Ditton Meadows area. (Coldhams Common is currently lit.) Lighting is likely to be one of the key issues raised and debated in the consultation. Solar studs may be appropriate in some locations.
A. A dual-use path along the side of Ditton Meadows near the railway line is proposed. The width and style of the path is subject to consultation. Ditton Meadows land is privately owned by Gonville & Caius College.
A. The Chisholm Trail aims to improve the public realm. The Trail will link green areas within the city, improve the public realm with high quality paths, signage and public art as well as making Stourbridge Common, Coldhams Common and Ditton Meadows more accessible for people on foot and cycles.
On Coldham’s Common where more space is needed to improve paths this will, wherever possible, be mitigated by the reduction of excessive tarmacked area elsewhere e.g. at access point to Coldham’s Common, off Coldhams Lane. We will be carrying out ecological and environmental surveys along the route to identify areas where we can take mitigating action.
A. The Green Dragon Bridge is not part of the proposed route of the Chisholm Trail. To cross the river at this point would require about 1 mile of extra travel, which is particularly disadvantageous for pedestrians. The Trail needs to be direct and convenient in order to encourage modal shift from motor vehicles to means of sustainable travel and thus reduce congestion.
Sight lines and headroom improvements are being considered for the underpass on Coldhams Common.
A. We will work with colleagues in our Road Safety Team to create a safe crossing area for both pedestrians and cyclists across Coldhams Lane. The exact form of the crossing has not yet been decided.
A. The route will link to each end of the Busway at the current and future train stations. This cycleway therefore provides a largely off-road route from St Ives to Trumpington.
A. This route has been chosen because it is the quickest, most practical and direct means to get from Cambridge Station to the site of the planned Cambridge North Station whilst keeping users away from busy traffic. The Trail follows the railway line where there is space available and links a number of green areas together. Some of the rail corridor is unavailable due to new developments and operational rail infrastructure.
A. The Trail will be built in phases and is expected to be completed over a period of three to five years. It is possible that we will be working on some phases consecutively. Some stretches of the Trail will be quicker to implement than others. As and when work finishes in an area, the new path will be made available for people to use for walking and cycling.
A. The Chisholm Trail (CT) is a strategic, transport project that will provide a largely off-road foot and cycle link between the Cambridge Rail Station and the new North Cambridge Station crossing the river at the location of the proposed Abbey-Chesterton Bridge adjacent to Ditton Meadows. The route will provide off-road links to key business, residential and commercial areas allowing people to travel easily across city without the use of their cars.
The key benefit of the route is that it would provide direct, quicker and safer cycle and walking access for residents travelling within the City, north-south, or vice-versa. The proposed Trail will link into a network of existing cycle ways and create a high quality route from Addenbrookes Hospital in the south of Cambridge to St Ives in the north-west of Cambridgeshire, using the Guided Busway.
We have employed a qualified and highly experienced Ecological Clerk of Works to oversee every aspect of the scheme and to stop works in the event that birds are nesting or protected species are found.
All trees have been assessed for bats by experts and surveyed at height using a cherry picker aerial access platform.
Bat and owl boxes will be installed in suitable remaining trees as part of our mitigation work and commitment to longer term environmental improvements.