There is a week to go before the temporary closure of Mill Road Bridge to vehicles for work that will deliver better rail services in Cambridge.
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is urging motorists to allow more time and to plan ahead for the closure, from 1 July to 25 August inclusive.
GTR has a new solution that will give pedestrians and cyclists wider access across the railway during the project. It has also published dates when, for safety, there will be no pedestrian access across the railway, with times adjusted to accommodate the morning school run.
A £30 million expansion of the railway depot requires modification of one of the bridge's arches to make space for an additional rail track to run underneath.
Responding to residents’ and traders’ concerns about the temporary closure, GTR last year said it would move the closure dates from May-June to July-August when it would be quieter.
GTR also said it would install a temporary footbridge for pedestrians and dismounted cyclists.
However, detailed design work has shown the footbridge would be too narrow in places and unsuitable for wheelchairs and people passing one another with bikes, prams, buggies.
An alternative solution has been found to knock down the section of bridge one half at a time across its width. This will allow contractors to keep open the existing pavement on one side of the bridge at a time throughout the project.
As previously advised, there will be occasions when, for safety reasons, there will be no pedestrian access to the bridge. These have had to be amended to accommodate the change in work. The times have been adjusted to 08.45am accommodate the morning school run.
There is an aspiration to beat these dates and finish earlier.
The days and times when the bridge will be fully closed are:
- Friday 5 July until Monday 8 July – from 8.45am until 8.45pm each day
- Thursday 11 July until Saturday 13 July – from 8.45am until 8.45pm each day
- Sunday 28 July until Wednesday 31 July – from 8.45am until 8.45pm each day
- Saturday 3 August until Monday 5 August – from 8.45am until 8.45pm each day
For the duration of the road closure, Stagecoach will be operating regular shuttle services from the bridge to key exchange points for onward connections. For more detailed information and the full timetable please visit the Stagecoach website: www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/east/mill-road-closure
GTR has also made arrangements with Cambridge Dial-a-Ride scheme to assist residents free-of-charge who would otherwise find it difficult to use the revised public transport provisions. Dial-a-Ride operates a door-to-door service, and, for the duration of the bridge closure, this will be available to residents who are unable to use the revised bus service and will be adversely affected by the closure.
Project Manager Bethany Martinson said: “We’d remind people that, for eight weeks from 1 July to 25 August inclusive, Mill Road Bridge has to close to vehicles. Diversionary routes will be in place and motorists should allow more time.
“This work is necessary and unavoidable to help improve rail services for Cambridge. We care very much about the impact it will have on the community which is why we have sought to maintain pedestrian access as much as possible despite the very real challenges we faced.”
Notes to editors
The upgrade is part of the government-sponsored £7 billion Thameslink Programme, to increase the number of Thameslink services to and from the City from as far afield as Brighton and Gatwick Airport, boosting the local economy.
Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
- Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
- Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
- Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
- Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria