Cambridge greenway cycleway planning, review by Tom Turner


Cambridge tops the lists for UK economic growth and  cycle commuting. It  is near the bottom of the list for car ownership. With 29% of trips done by bike it is far ahead of other UK cities but still behind Dutch university towns (eg Groningen  37%,  Leiden 70%). So congratulations to Cambridge for its ambitious cycle way planning. The Cambridge Greenways project could make it a world leader in sustainable urban design.

The above video is of a lecture, on 21st November 2017, in which I reviewed Cambridge’s greenway plans.  The chief points are (1) it is an excellent project (2) but the network should be planned for leisure cycling as well as for commuter cycling (2) there are in fact several categories of leisure cyclist and several categories of commuter cyclist (3) it’s great that it is called a ‘greenway network’, instead of merely a ‘cycle network’ (4) the term ‘greenway’ should be used in a broad sense (meaning ‘multi-objective’) instead of the narrow sense of ‘non-motorised transport’, NMU). (5) the Cambridge greenway objectives should include, at least, scenic quality,  water management, leisure, conservation, biodiversity, physical health, mental health and social justice (6) each of the greenway routes should be localised as a work of context-sensitive landscape architecture, instead of using a standardised ‘mini-road’ formulaic design (7) the greenway network should  do more to ‘bring the country into the town’ and less to ‘take the town into the country’ (8) it should provide green infrastructure within and outwith the Cambridge city boundary.

Web links re Cambridge UK greenway planning

Nigel Brigham Cambridge Area Greenways Review

Cambridge Greenways Partnership

CamCycle response to Cambridge Greeways proposal

David Hembrow 2011 comment The Truth about Cambridge

cambridge cycling: heaven or hell?

Cambridge is in a state of purgatory. This is better than being in hell but not as good as the Cyclist’s Heaven Cambridge could become if the bicycle greenways project is well designed.

Tom Turner

Posted in cycleways, landscape planning

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