Cambridge MP Julian Huppert will welcome the extra funding and opportunities the City Deal brings but warn that plans should not damage the character of Cambridge when he attends the first meeting of the Greater Cambridge City Deal Assembly this afternoon (Monday, January 12),
In particular, he will highlight concerns at proposed changes to Milton Road, being considered in the first round of funding released under the City Deal. Julian fears that there may be a resurrection of previous Tory plans to cut down the trees and create a dual carriageway that would damage the appearance of the road and city and divide the community.
“The City Deal gives us an excellent opportunity to achieve a step change for Cambridge’s overcrowded transport system, and it was a pleasure to work on it with former City Council Leader Tim Bick and others. I was delighted when Nick Clegg announced it would be going ahead. In total, in will bring £1 billion of much needed investment, starting with this initial £100 million from Government.
“We do need to make improvements to Milton Road to ease congestion, and support bus travel, walking and cycling, to allow our city to grow and thrive,” said Julian, “but we have a duty to get this right to protect the character of Cambridge.
“I want to see the Milton Road maintained as a tree-lined avenue. Over the years, we have fought long and hard to make sure that diseased trees are replaced to maintain the character of this part of Cambridge.
“The previous Tory plans to cut down the trees and make this road a dual carriageway are seriously flawed. It would not only cause irreparable damage the character of Milton Road but it would divide the community, making it very hard for people to get across the road.
“The City Deal offers enormous potential for dramatic improvements to transport across our city but we have to make sure that projects enhance and improve Cambridge rather than detract from its special character. I hope the members of the Assembly will listen to my case and ensure that their proposals are well thought through and protect our city as well as improving traffic flow.”
Julian will be launching a petition to protect the Milton Road trees.