Decision to delay Royston to Cambridge cycle highway is ‘kick in the teeth’ for campaigners

A10 cycling corridor campaigners Rod Taylor, John Meadows, Tina Filby, Erika Bosman and Susan van de

A10 cycling corridor campaigners Rod Taylor, John Meadows, Tina Filby, Erika Bosman and Susan van de Ven. - Credit: Archant

A county councillor has spoken of her ‘astonishment’ after plans for a £7.2 million cycling ‘super highway’ connecting Royston and Cambridge were put on hold.

The Greater Cambridge City Deal executive board met last week to decide which schemes will be delivered in the first five years of the City Deal.

One of these was a highway running separately to the A10, and provide links to Foxton, Meldreth and Shepreth railway stations, but it was not included in the list of schemes to be developed in the first five years.

Melbourn county councillor Susan van de Ven said: “It was an astonishing decision by the tiny group of executive decision-makers for all rural cycle schemes for South Cambridgeshire to be thrown out – in spite of their strong evidence base for improving the wellbeing of our area in so many ways.

“The larger and more representative City Deal assembly had carefully considered the Royston-Cambridge cycle link scheme and voted to support it.

“It was fair to assume, in the spirit of the democratic system which governs our society, that the executive would respect the assembly’s recommendations.

“Instead its final decision was one of those kicks in the teeth that reminds us that our system has much room for improvement.”

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Ian Driver is a member of the A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign Group who cycles to work from Foxton to Bottisham every day.

He said: “The final decisions on the City Deal excluded all cycling schemes outside of the main city itself.

“The belief within the board that made the final decision was that people would not cycle more than one or two miles.

“People who could cycle to the railway station on a folding bike and use it at the other end were ignored. People who work outside of the main city were ignored.

“The notion of a cycle or scoot to school, rather than being driven, didn’t seem to enter the collective consciousness of the board.

“This belief can be changed though. We need to gather evidence of the journeys people cycle to demonstrate the type of usage people make by bike.”

Councillor Lewis Herbert, chair of the City Deal executive, said: “The decisions ensure that funding will be targeted at many of the Cambridge roads suffering the worst congestion.

“Reducing congestion, improving transport links and helping more people cycle, walk and take public transport is vital to keep Greater Cambridge moving and attract more business and jobs.”