Monday, 12 August 2013

Lib Dems Welcome Chisholm Trail Funding

Chisholm Trail Map
Campaigning for Cambridge’s Chisholm Trail by the city’s Lib Dems paid off today (Monday, August 12) with the announcement that the project will receive £560,000 from the government..

The trail plan, originally conceived by the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, will receive a share of just over £4 million handed out by government to improve cycling across Cambridge.

Cambridge City Council has already backed the project by including the land for the trail in its draft Local Plan so that it is protected from development.

Kilian Bourke, Cambridgeshire County Council for Romsey who has been pushing for the trail said: “With the City Council including the Chisholm Trail in its draft Local Plan and the government providing a contribution to its cost, this project is gaining momentum.

“The trail is vital because it will create a new north-south transport axis across Cambridge, and enable people to cycle directly between key centres of employment.

“Ninety two per cent of Romsey residents support the project because it will allow them to cycle straight to Addenbrooke's Hospital or the Science Park.

“The Liberal Democrats have been pushing for the County Council to make a big capital contribution to the project and hopefully this will finally happen in the next budget round.”

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats included a £4 million investment for the project in their alternative county council budget this year.

And Cllr Bourke put forward a motion calling for the route to be completed by 2020.

Councillor Ian Manning, who represents Cambridge’s East Chesterton on the county council and has been pushing for a trail bridge over the river in his ward, said of the funding announcement: “This is excellent news.

“It is vital that the trail bridge should be completed when the new Science Park station opens so that East Chesterton won’t be swamped with traffic. This announcement from government means the trail is on its way.”

Susan van de Ven, Lib Dem Transport spokesperson said the funding would plug many important gaps in the Cambridge and South Cambs cycling network.

“The stronger the overall network becomes the better position we will be in for further improvements,” she said.

“The bid rightly recognises the scope for increasing travel to work by bike, not just in Cambridge but outside the city too.

“For example, the 2011 Census has revealed higher than expected levels of cycling on the A10 south of Cambridge. This is an area which has received no cycling infrastructure investment whatsoever for many years. A share of the grant for ‘cycle links to Foxton station’ is a wonderful first step towards transforming sustainable transport options.”

The wording of Cllr Kilian Bourke’s motion can be found here:

http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/CMSWebsite/Apps/Committees/AgendaItem.aspx?agendaItemID=5126