Hundreds of supporters of Mill Road for People (MR4P), Cambridge, braved the poor weather to take part in a dancing procession, starting from Donkey Common and ending at Mill Road Bridge, where they were entertained by Colonel Spanky’s Love Ensemble.
The crowd was addressed by Liz Walter (communications officer) at the start and by Paul Lythgoe (chair) and 15-year-old Winter Glennon at the end.
March on Mill Road, protesting that the bridge is still open to traffic. pic.twitter.com/8TQjXM6OUN
— Mark Williamson (@markrwilliamson) October 21, 2023
Winter spoke of the often-ignored needs of teenagers whose freedom to move around the city by bike is severely compromised by unsafe roads.
En route, the supporters danced to tunes from 1972 and wore clothes from that era to hammer home their message that 72% of respondents to last year’s consultation supported traffic restrictions on the bridge.
MR4P organisers said the procession was to highlight the level of local support for these restrictions and to urge Cambridgeshire County Council to begin the part of the project concerned with safety works without further delay.
Leaflets explaining the event were handed out to passers-by.
Paul Lythgoe, chair of MR4P said: “Despite the efforts of a small, unrepresentative group, the court has now ruled that the safety works can go ahead.
“It is unconscionable that the county council would further delay this work in one of the most dangerous areas of the most dangerous street in Cambridgeshire.”
He said residents have consistently voted for councillors who share MR4P’s vision of a cleaner, safer, more accessible street and against pro-car candidates “and two consultations have shown support for traffic restrictions on the bridge, the second one by a huge margin, with 72% in favour.
“There is extensive evidence that low-traffic neighbourhoods are beneficial for local trade as well as providing social and health benefits.
“It is beyond frustrating that a small group, who refuse even to name their members or explain who they are representing, are seeking to pervert the democratic will and wasting many thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money in the process”.
Vice chair of MR4P, Katie Hawks said: “Every month that goes by without the bus gate is another month of congestion, pollution and danger for pedestrians and cyclists on a street that has never been designated an arterial route in the Local Plan, and which could and should be a pleasant residential and shopping area.”
The Mill Road Bridge bus gate is a proposed traffic calming measure that would ban private motor vehicles from crossing Mill Road Bridge while allowing access for buses, pedestrians, cyclists, emergency vehicles, taxis, and blue badge holders.
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