Social distancing in Ely after lockdown

The UK is moving from the COVID lockdown phase to the containment phase and this will require social distancing in public areas. Below are our suggestions on how to make more space available in the busiest areas in Ely:


Ely College

Many children walk to Ely College along Downham Road. The pavements are too narrow for safe social distancing and a coned off >1m wide lane should be provided on both sides of Downham Road for extra walking and cycling space.

The Lantern

The car park should be closed for cars during drop off and pickup to give parents and children more space while waiting.

St Johns

St Johns Road should have a >1.5m coned off lane on the southern side. In the long term it might be better to make St Johns Road one-way or access-only for cars from Beresford Road to West End Road.

Beresford Road should have >1m wide coned off lanes on both sides up to Alexander Chase.

St Marys

Many children walk to St Marys along High Barns. The pavements are too narrow for safe social distancing and a coned off >1m wide lane should be provided on both sides of High Barns for extra walking and cycling space. High Barns should be made one-way to provide the necessary space.


Kings students walk to Ely Cathedral at the same time as many commuters walk to the station along The Gallery. The Gallery should be closed to motorised traffic so extra walking and cycling space can be provided.


Shopping areas

High Street

People will have to queue outside shops and pavements are too narrow for safe social distancing. The High Street should be permanently closed to traffic and parking should be removed to provide extra queuing and walking space.

Transport hubs

Train station

The pavements of Back Hill are too narrow for safe social distancing for commuters walking to the station while school children are walking the other way. Back Hill should be made one-way or access only so a coned off >1m wide lane can be provided on both sides for extra walking and cycling space.

Bus stop (Market Street)

A 2m wide coned off area should be created on the southern side of Market Street to provide extra waiting and walking space at least near the bus stops.

4 thoughts on “Social distancing in Ely after lockdown

  1. Thanks for these ideas. Do you see any more places where modal filters could apply a Ghent or Groningen-style traffic circulation plan using the A10/A142 as a (semi-)perimeter road?

    For example, Witchford Road looks like a prime location for a modal filter, since it’s nearly paralleled by Cambridge Road. Combined with some filters on St John’s Road and/or Beresford Road, that part of Ely could become a low traffic neighbourhood with safe walking & cycling for everyone, especially the kids going to St John’s.

    1. An additional filter to motor traffic on Witchford Road is a good idea. However, West Fen Road, an adjacent access road for the A10, might be a road that could be completely blocked at its north end because the junction with the A10 is awful. Through traffic on Station Road hampers cycling access to the station. Access to the town centre from the south ought to use either ‘The new by-pass’ or, for access to East Ely, from Queen Adelaide. Reducing the amount and speed of motor traffic on Station Road would be particularly useful in making the collision hotspot at the east end of Broad Street less busy. Restrictions on Ely Road between Littleport and Chettisham would be excellent for pedestrians and cyclists if the volume and speed of motor vehicles were curtailed. For most of the necessary motor journeys between Littleport and Ely the A10 can be used. The relatively newly built Cam Drive is being used as an access road between the A10 and north Ely; some of these motor journeys are essential but the existing traffic-moderating installations are insufficient to keep down speed and volume of motor traffic.

  2. A slightly spur-of-the-moment suggestion, but what about modal-filtering (by bollards or planters) Lynn Road, immediately north of the junction with St Mary’s Street? The pavements there are too narrow for social distancing, so using road space more efficiently by eliminating through motor traffic seems desirable.

    Related changes needed to stop this driving traffic onto smaller roads would be:
    * modal-filtering Chapel Street partway along its length.
    * either gating Egremont Street [with its narrow pavements] with rising bollards to allow timely fire engine access, or making it West–>East one-way with cycle contraflow from just east of the fire station).

  3. Regarding Lynn Road &c, put your ideas on

    Everybody can put in ideas and also ‘vote’ on others’ ideas. Hopefully, the Council will heed what people contribute but the amount of attention will be related to the number of contributions.

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