Phase one of the Chisholm Trail opens

Cyclists and pedestrians can now enjoy faster and safer journeys across Cambridge after phase one of the flagship Chisholm Trail project was opened yesterday (Thursday).

Ribbon cutting to open the Chisholm Trail

Representatives from the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Cambridgeshire County Council joined cycling campaigner Jim Chisholm to open the Abbey Chesterton Bridge and phase one of the trail to the public.

It means people can use the first section of the trail which connects Cambridge North to Coldham’s Lane via the new bridge and Newmarket Road underpass.

Phase one of the trail is a joint project between the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Cambridgeshire County Council and minor work to finalise the scheme will continue into the new year before a formal launch.

Cllr Elisa Meschini, Chair of the GCP’s Executive Board and Deputy Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “This is a landmark moment for active travel journeys in Cambridge and an exciting moment for councillors, cycling groups and the community who have long championed this fantastic project – and I would like to thank our contractors for their hard work in getting it to this stage.

“I am delighted that people are enjoying truly transformed active travel journeys over the River Cam via the Abbey Chesterton Bridge and the new Newmarket Road underpass to provide better and safer journeys.

“Once phase two is complete, the Chisholm Trail will provide a first-class active travel route right across the city to connect people with work, education and leisure opportunities, and link into other active travel projects being developed to ensure Cambridge remains the UK’s cycling city.”

Jim Chisholm, cycling campaigner, said: "Getting this far has been a long campaign. I realised it was likely that providing quality cycling and walking routes in and around Cambridge would enable many more to leave their car at home, and make trips on foot or cycle so bringing health benefits yet without significant time penalty. This 'modal shift' is an economical way to free up road space for public transport and other essential motor vehicle trips on existing roads.

“When completed this route will connect green spaces, major employment sites, education centres, and residential areas within Cambridge to provide enjoyable trips for pedestrians and cyclists away from busy roads and that, even at a leisurely pace, can be quicker than driving.”

The 40ft Abbey Chesterton Bridge was lifted into place over the River Cam in November 2020.

The Newmarket Road underpass was delivered from start to finish in seven days in spring 2021 – with the site excavated in just 24 hours before 28 concrete units were lifted into place and the site was refilled with 3000 tonnes of soil and material.

Final works - including the installation of some fencing, surfacing on Fen Road and landscaping - to complete phase one of the scheme will continue over the coming weeks. For more information visit the project webpages.

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