Draft Transport Strategy for East Cambridgeshire: A cycling perspective

Cambridgeshire County Council have started consulting on their Draft Transport Strategy for East Cambridgeshire [PDF].

They have drafted the strategy to tackle the current and future transport pressures in and around the district, and to help support growth in East Cambridgeshire. The purpose of this strategy is to:

  • Provide a detailed policy framework and Action Plan of potential transport improvements for the area, addressing current problems and consistent with the policies of the third Cambridgeshire Local Transport Plan 2011-2031 (LTP3).
  • Support the East Cambridgeshire Local Plan, and take account of the committed and predicted levels of growth, detailing the transport infrastructure and services necessary to deliver this growth.

The strategy contains details of the schemes proposed in the short and medium term as well as the longer term schemes as proposed in the Long Term Transport Strategy.

There is a survey which allows you to give your opinions on the strategy.

We’ve had a thumb through the strategy to see what it says about planned cycling improvements.

The strategy’s main objectives

It’s clear that cycling can be part of the solution for all of the strategy’s objectives and can directly help achieve objectives 4, 5 & 6.

Strategy Objectives

Ensure that the Transport Network;

  1. Supports the economy and acts as a catalyst for sustainable growth
  2. Enhances accessibility
  3. Connects new and existing communities with jobs and services
  4. Prioritises sustainable transport alternatives and reduces impact of congestion on these modes
  5. Contributes to reducing transport’s contribution to air quality emissions in particular NOx, PM10 and PM2.5 – the main transport related pollutants
  6. Encourages healthy and active travel and supports people’s well-being

The approach

It’s good to see the approach to the strategy has a dedicated section on cycling and walking and that it mentions the provision of a network, something which is core to our strategy.

The Strategy Approach


Strategy Approach:

Public Transport
  • Connect major engines of growth along main transport corridors
  • Minimise need for interchange
  • Work with developments – contribution to Public Transport
  • Technology- ensure information about travel options easily available.
  • Build case for opening new stations
  • Support– capacity, frequency and journey times improvements
  • Sustainable access to stations
  • Rolling programme of review for rural bus services
  • Support community transport solutions
Cycling and Walking
  • Investment in cycle and pedestrian network
  • Enhancing and adding to network
  • Improve Cycle network around Ely
  • Enhance and develop around key destinations in rural areas
  • Comprehensive longer distance network across district
  • Enhance cycle parking
  • Ensure new developments provide high quality linkages.
  • Where possible seek to segregate cyclists from general traffic, particularly on main transport corridors / busy rural routes. – Balance between usability, convenience, traffic and safety concerns.
  • A number of areas require measures to be introduced for capacity reasons
    • The A10 connecting the district with Waterbeach and Cambridge
    • The A10 connecting Ely, Littleport and Downham Market
    • The A142 connecting Chatteris to Newmarket via Ely
    • A1123
  • Measures to reduce inappropriate through traffic and encourage all traffic to use the most appropriate route, particularly HGVs.


The last point in the Cycling and Walking section is worded with a few too many caveats.

  • Where possible seek to segregate cyclists from general traffic, particularly on main transport corridors / busy rural routes. – Balance between usability, convenience, traffic and safety concerns.

We (and the county) know that what puts most people off cycling more is having to mix with traffic. Segregated routes are essential and should not be something that’s only provided “where possible” after striking a “balance” with “traffic”.

We’d like to see a more strongly worded commitment to segregated routes.

The last point in the Road section is good to see, redirecting through traffic (esp. HGVs) away from urban roads (like King’s Avenue) will make these routes more cycle friendly.

  • Measures to reduce inappropriate through traffic and encourage all traffic to use the most appropriate route, particularly HGVs.

Details of the approach to cycling provision

There’s a whole section that details how cycle and pedestrian networks will be enhanced. It’s all very positive, treating cycling as a positive alternative method of transport and discusses improving the quality of provision. It feels a bit cut and pasted from a generic transport policy for any district in the county, but actually that points to a standard approach across the county which is not a bad thing.

The cycle and pedestrian networks

Greater levels of walking and cycling are critical if existing traffic problems are not to be exacerbated and investment in the cycle and pedestrian network is therefore one of the key investment priorities in this strategy. The benefits of walking and cycling reach much further than simply keeping additional vehicles off the road; walking and cycling contribute to the health agenda, and can provide those without access to a car or a good public transport service to take advantage of opportunities to access employment, training and other essential services.

We will look to increase the levels of walking and cycling trip in East Cambridgeshire:

  • Increase walking and cycling levels in Ely and its hinterland by enhancing and adding to the current networks.
  • Develop the cycle network in and around Ely, providing greater opportunity for cycling to replace the use of the private car for more trips into the city.
  • Provide greater opportunity to walk and cycle in Soham and Littleport by enhancing their pedestrian and cycle networks, with higher quality links to more key destinations.
  • Enhance or develop rural cycle and pedestrian networks around key destinations in the rural area such as village colleges, larger village centres, major employment sites, doctor’s surgeries, and transport hubs on the main transport corridors.
  • Develop a comprehensive longer distance cycle network across the district.
  • To enhance cycle parking provision across the county, recognising that the lack of secure areas to park a bicycle can be a deciding factor in the choice to cycle.
  • Ensure that developments in all areas of the county provide high quality linkages into existing pedestrian and cycle networks, and to key destinations where new links are needed.

We will seek to raise the standard of provision so that walking and cycling will be a more obvious choice for many more medium and longer-distance trips, for either the whole or part of the journey. Where possible we will seek to segregate cyclists from general traffic, particularly on the main transport corridors and on busier rural routes. However, there are areas where on road provision will be the most appropriate solution for cyclists. In practical terms, there is a balance between usability, convenience, traffic and safety concerns that needs to be considered. Safe but inconvenient off-road routes are often not well used.

Cycling related schemes

There’s a pretty long list of cycling related schemes (listed below are those for the northern end of the district). It’s good to see several of the schemes we’ve campaigned for on the list inc. the bridge over the A10, the underpass to Stuntney and a route from Soham to Ely.

However, there are some notable omissions, including:

  1. Improving cycle access to the station after the southern bypass is built.
  2. Widening the route from Lancaster Way into Witchford.
  3. Widening the route along the road to Little Downham (instead a scheme along the bridleway which is included).
  4. Improving cycling through the Porta area of Ely – inc. dealing with the cobbles.
  5. Cycle specific improvements to the Broad Street / Station Road junction (although there is a scheme to improve safety there).




Relevant document/ Source



£ <10k
££  <250k
£££  <500k
££££ >500k


E-1 Cycle bridge over the A10 with upgraded link to Lancaster Way Ely Modelling Study (2009) TBC £1M
E-2 Cycle route Lynn Road – High Barns via New Barns Ave
(Options – on-road lane, shared use path)
Ely MTTS (2009) By 2026  ££
E-3 Feasibility study for Cycle route: Western Boundary
(Options – on-road lane, shared use path)
Ely MTTS (2009) By 2026  £
E-4 Cycle route: High Barns – New Barns
(Options – on-road lane, shared use path)
Ely MTTS (2009) By 2026  ££
E-5 Cycle route: High Barns estate/Lynn Road crossing
(Options – on-road lane, shared use path)
Ely MTTS (2009)  By 2026  ££
E-6 Additional cycle parking provision
Stands in the corner along the edge of the Market Square in the corner opposite the war memorial.Stands on Market Place and other locations
Additional stands in the Cloisters area and other locations
Ely MTTS (2009) By 2026 £
E-7 Shared use footway/cycleway on the Eastern side of Lisle Lane from Prickwillow Road to Cresswells Lane. Ely MTTS (2009) By 2026  £££
E-8 Route along Cam Drive connecting Kings Avenue to Lynn road Ely MTTS (2009)  By 2026  £££
E-9 Pedestrian and cycle link (bridge) to connect Summer Hayes (off Henley Way) to Merivale Way
Bridge between Henley Way and Merivale Way – Linking two large housing developments and connecting into the Lisle Lane route. This route would also connect up the Ely North development
Officer working group  TBC  ££
E-10 Cycle Route St Johns Road – Tower Court Area  Ely MTTS (2009)  TBC ££
E-13 Broad Street/Back Hill junction changes
Safety Improvements
Ely MTTS (2009)  TBC  ££

Cycle / pedestrian underpass associated with Ely Southern Bypass

In order to facilitate the Ely – Stuntney – Soham cycle route

Officer working group By End of 2017 ££
E-20 Improved cycle and pedestrian access
Creation of a new circular pedestrian route to the north, south and east of Littleport
Town Vision 2012 £££
E-21 Improved pedestrian and cycle access
New routes to Little Downham and Ely (Bank Branch between Littleport and Ely – steep embankment may be an issue for off-road route) or Ely Road – Lynn Road
Town Vision  TBC £££
E-25 Soham Town cycling network
Hall Street
Pratt Street
High Street
Paddock Street
Townsend Road
High Street
Sand Street to connect with Fordham Road
(Options – on-road lane, shared use path)
Soham Masterplan (2010) 2021/2026 ££
E-26 Cycle route: Soham to Ely (via Stuntney) (9.6km)
Link in with routes above and also to Soham to Wicken Fen listed below
Ely Cycling Campaign TBC £££
E-28 Cycle route: Soham to Wicken Fen
(Options: Off road route connecting to NCN 11) links to Soham to Ely scheme above
Village Vision TBC £££
E-39 Cycling improvement
Improve bridleway to create cycle route from Little Downham to Ely (investigate opportunitiesfor improvements to NCN 11)
Village Vision TBC ££
E-43 Foot/cycle path extensions required in the Wyches from the cemetery to A10 (££)(may require land take) and between Little Thetford and Stretham (£££) East Cambs Parish Forum (2015) TBC ££-£££
E-45 Cycling improvement
Segregated cycle route along A142 from Sutton to Mepal
Village Vision TBC £££
E-50 Walking and cycling improvement
Investigate Pedestrian / Cycle route (shared use or segregated) between Stretham and Ely
Officer working group TBC £££
E-62 Pedestrian and cycle improvement
Pedestrian / Cycle route between Wilburton and Cottenham
Village Vision TBC ££££
E-67 Cycling improvement
Improvements from Wentworth junction – connect to existing segregated shared use provision
-signage / surface improvements
East Cambs Parish Forum (2015 TBC  ££

One thought on “Draft Transport Strategy for East Cambridgeshire: A cycling perspective

  1. Regarding the Little Thetford to Stretham cycle path, what are the options the council are considering? Along the road is “obvious” but along the byways would be a much nicer ride and I believe there are two viable routes too.

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