Ely to Soham

At the moment the most direct route from Ely to Soham is 4 miles along the very busy A142 which even the most hardy cyclists would only use in emergencies.

There are two alternative routes. Via Prickwillow which is around 10 miles – more than twice the distance and probably too far for commuters to the train station. Via Barway and NCN11 which is around 6 miles, however it has an off-road section which gets very muddy in winter which again makes it unsuitable for commuters.

Essentially there is currently no way for normal people to cycle from Soham to Ely and as public transport is limited, people have no choice but to drive!

As far as we can see there are two sensible routes to enable people to cycle to and from Ely within a reasonable amount of time (20 – 25 minutes):

4 thoughts on “Ely to Soham

  1. Tom

    I’m a huge fan of this idea; however you need to consider how this will be funded and what will make the council want to pay for it?

    e.g. Will it reduce congestion? Could it be a complimentary, follow on, activity to the (well funded) Ely bypass to reduce congestion around the bridge by the station? How many people would actually cycle vs how many people from Soham park at Ely station? Will the Council save any money? How much will it cost to put in the cycle path? Has any cyclist been harmed travelling from Soham to Ely in rush hour – can this be avoided?

    Councils are severely stretched and so unless they can be persuaded this will save money, avoid cost, reduce risk etc. then this is unlikely to get off the ground.

  2. John Powell

    I listened to the Mayor of the Combined Authority (James Palmer) talking about transport this evening.
    He is preoccupied with big ticket items such as the Cambridge Metro. He feels he cannot justify the spend on lots of cycling infrastructure -just the odd project, like stuff to connect to his Metro.
    This is an example of the attitude of politicians. And the planners are only too happy to satisfy this desire to make a ‘big splash’ -it’s what they have been trained to do and they probably enjoy doing it.
    It has been shown time and again that measured investment in cycling infrastructure is hugely efficient spend -individual projects cost relatively little, can be completed quickly and if planned properly can take significant traffic, relieving the roads.
    So I believe the problem is that politicians and planners are addicted to the current paradigm of spending for cars.
    The solution is at a higher level than rustling up some funds. We need to force politicians to act on the clear need to persuade people to get out of their cars.
    This is the gist of Ely Cycling Campaign’s response to the Commons Select Committee and the reason why a local organisation is getting involved at a national level. But we don’t give up on the local front -we continue to give the politicians a hard time for failing to provide facilitated crossing between Ely and Stuntney and neglecting to connect the cycle route to the parking at the Leisure Village.

  3. Sophie Lee

    I was only saying this the other day. Having cycled the road my self, it’s very dangerous and narrow in place’s making it hard for traffic to pass safely.
    I think this would be a great asset to the community. Members of the public can use it to commute on to get access to the trains, for shopping, school, college (especially as there is no local 6th form) and for work.
    Having recently using the Ely to Reach footpath on a road bike it was very narrow, no passing place, uneven surface with tracks that weren’t suitable for a road bike.
    I really do hope to see this happen.

  4. Nick Barton

    I love the idea, and a simple upgrade to the current NCN route would be appreciated as it is already so well used, but not suitable for road bikes, trailers, use after dark, or those afraid of cows. As ever in this part of the world, a more direct route looks so achieveable, but presumably prohibited by private land ownership. However I don’t enjoy the B road through Soham cotes as the bends are so tight and narrow, and the cars along there so fast. Then there is the wind on the open barway section!!

    Oh for any improvement to transport links for soham; a bus for <5 ukp, a shuttle bus, a taxi, a cycle way, just some kind of encouragement away from more roads, individual cars, and traffic issues.

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