Friday, March 28, 2008

Yorkshire to the Chisholm Trail

I've just spent a couple of days out of the Coleridge campaign in Yorkshire visiting Graham Stuart, now MP for Beverley and Holderness - we served as Cambridge City Councillors together until 2004, and was good to see him doing so well in Yorkshire. There aren't any elections due in Beverley until the next General Election, but he really is working hard for his constituents all year round - we spent an afternoon talking to residents in Labour's strongest polling district in the constituency, where they polled 75% in the last general election. They certainly won't be doing that well next time - even in Labour heartlands, it is clear large numbers are now very fed up with the government and will be voting Conservative. I wouldn't want to be a Labour Councillor up for re-election on May 1st. I also heard depressingly familiar tales of residents plagued by anti-social behaviour, and police who seem totally unable to get to grips with the problems.

As the train came back in to Cambridge, I was reminded about just how much land is available alongside the railway. I have always thought this could be reconfigured, and the space used to improve public transport and cycling. In particular, I would love to see the Chisholm Trail opened. The idea, from Jim Chisholm of Cambridge Cycle Campaign is for a north-south supercycleway to be opened alongside the railway. The County Council are already delivering on this idea south of the railway, with an off road cycle route next to the Guided Busway, but it would make a huge difference to Coleridge to have a foot/cyclebridge from the LeisurePark to the station, and a cycle route north to the Science Park - in fact, I think this could have a much more beneficial effect on congestion in Cambridge than the planned congestion charge, as it will make many commutes more convenient by bike. A lot of people are in favour of this plan, I wonder what any of the Councils or Councillors have actually done about it - like writing to Network Rail and asking if they can open a cycle route for example...

1 comment:

Photo Blogger said...

You can now see much of Network Rail's "landgrap" in Cambridge. You can also follow the railway track and areas for the Chisholm Trail from Milton Road to Cambridge Station click by click. Start on http://cycle.st/p36544 and click on the >> XXXXX << links to follow through, which will show the images with their location on a map or aerial picture.