The Greater Cambridge Partnership is one of a number of ‘City Deals’ established by central Government in 2014. It can access up to £500 million in the period to 2030 for transport infrastructure to boost economic growth. It is a partnership of 3 local Councils, businesses and Cambridge University.
One key element of its work involves the delivery of 12 ‘greenways’, primarily concerned with offering safe commuter cycling routes between villages and the City centre. To quote the GCP website, they will ‘make it easier both to travel in a pleasant and sustainable way into and out of Cambridge and to enjoy our countryside for leisure purposes. In some cases these are new routes, or routes with new sections, whilst others will be based on existing paths’.
There has already been a round of initial consultation on each scheme, but more details are now being developed and a second round is now underway. It is of concern to some local residents and representatives of user groups, such as the British Horse Society and the Ramblers, that some of the proposals could potentially reduce our enjoyment of the countryside. This primarily affects historic bridleways – where constructing 3 metres of ‘black top’ hard surface path can leave walkers and equestrians with a much narrower stretch of ‘soft surface’ or none at all.
CRC members are encouraged to get involved in this new round of consultations; please look at the proposals for any paths which you regularly use, both as a resident and as a walk leader/participant. Whilst we must support the principle of providing a much improved network of off-road routes for non-motorised or ‘active’ travellers, we do not want to destroy our heritage of true ‘greenways’ and effectively urbanise the countryside close to Cambridge. Wherever possible it would be great to see new routes created for commuter cyclists. The first two greenways currently open for consultation are Haslingfield and Comberton.
The full list of greenways: