Sign our petition for safer walking and cycling on Arbury Road East during the COVID-19 and into the future

Our recent survey demonstrated how much our community was concerned with levels of traffic on Arbury Road East and particularly the consequent safety concerns due to traffic volume, speeding traffic, and pollution.

* 95% of you wanted action now due to serious safety concerns and pollution.

* 87% of you supported filtering the road to prevent through commuter traffic (whilst still allowing access for residents, taxis, deliveries, emergency vehicles and business users).

Now, since the current COVID-19 crisis began, the speeding problem has got much worse and made it even riskier for people walking and cycling here. We are trying to do our part to protect the NHS and keep a safe 2m physical distance from each other while walking to the shops or for daily exercise, but this is becoming increasingly difficult.

The pavements are too narrow and the road is often too dangerous because of the high-speed motor traffic passing through.

Our community needs more space to walk and cycle safely, while respecting physical distancing guidelines. Filtering is a solution that will open up more community space, stop the speeding through-traffic and protect key workers who are cycling on Arbury Road, all while ensuring that everyone’s essential services are accessible by any transport mode.

Many other parts of the country are working on ways to make their streets safer to help people who are making essential journeys on foot or bike. It makes a lot of sense and we need to get started before the problem gets any worse.

Let’s work together to ensure safe walking and cycling on Arbury Road East during the COVID-19 lock down and into the future.

Please support our proposal to filter Arbury Road by signing this petition

Please share this with your neighbours

Thank you!


Response to Cambridge Independent article ‘Road block plan will cut off our retirement community’ 24th June 2020

The article told a one-sided story from the perspective of group of Havenfield residents

However, many Arbury Road residents are pleased to support the idea of trialling a road closure and a recent Residents Group questionnaire showed that those who live on the road are ready and willing to try pilot schemes to develop proposals that would stop the rat-running, reduce pollution and bring our community together once again. Link:

The modal filter would be a temporary measure which could be reversed but we think that the effect would positively transformative for everyone

It doesn’t make sense to have “no change” to avoid a 5 min detour. We need to prioritise quality of life for the whole community

Those of us that live on the road see at first hand the problems of congestion, pollution and dangerous conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. Havenfield is set well back from Arbury Road so it is not in the front line

Secondly, many of the assertions of the article are incorrect:

Havenfield will not be cut off. They can have the closure either side of the Havenfield entrance. Worst case is a 5-minute detour if they go by car which is about how long it takes to queue at the traffic lights now!

On the question of emergency services access, Cllr Manning is arranging for a test. To state now that there may be a delay is jumping to conclusions and the test results need to be assessed against all the health benefits due to the scheme.

The proposal is for a modal filter and people can still access Arbury Road by car, no change there

The difference will be that Arbury Road will no longer be used by through traffic and this is what causes most of the pollution and the danger to pedestrians and cyclists because of the narrowness of the road and pavement

This danger has got worse under the pandemic due to speeding cars which has made it more difficult for pedestrians to pass each other

The block will help us maintain safe local distancing and contrary to Ms Purrs assertion this will be of benefit to elderly and infirm pedestrians who are particularly impacted by the current problem

Arbury Road residents have been talking about a scheme like this for some years and are really pleased that there is now some funding to try out the ideas

Survey and headline figures – 87% supported (from 63 households) filtering and with COVID-19 this figure has probably increased.

It was the most popular of proposed solutions:

ARERA press release – forthcoming modal filter on Arbury Road

Arbury Road East Residents Association (ARERA) welcomes the forthcoming experimental modal filter on Arbury Road, part of region-wide Government-supported measures to improve community health, prevent the spread of Covid-19, enable safe walking and cycling  and reduce levels of pollution, both air and noise.

For Arbury Road we expect that there will be a temporary barrier (a ‘modal filter’) placed in a way that keeps full motor vehicle access to all properties, while stopping rat-running. The road will become safe for people walking and cycling to spread out, and pollution levels will greatly reduce. Both of those effects will help prevent transmission of the virus.

Emergency vehicles will be able to pass through if needed.

We believe that this modal filter will be placed somewhere northwest of Leys Road and southeast of the Gurdwara just before Arbury Court. The experimental traffic order is expected to run for between 6 and 18 months and will open up a wide-ranging consultation between residents and all road users about the future of the road.

For the longer term, we envision a filter that will enable emergency vehicles and drivers with blue badges to pass directly through while still stopping rat-running.

During lockdown, the amount of motor traffic went down but the average speed went up. With lockdown easing, our road is again congested. Cyclists and pedestrians are being forced into narrow spaces, and pollution levels are rising. Many people, especially children, do not feel safe cycling on the road. For years Arbury Road has suffered from pollution and dangerous road conditions, with many crashes and injuries sustained people walking and cycling here as a result of speeding and excessive motor traffic. Now, we are in danger of things getting worse than they were before.

At the end of 2019, a survey of local residents and businesses found 87% of respondents preferred a modal filter as the best way to improve safety, reduce pollution and encourage walking and cycling.

We understand that for local car drivers there may be some extension to their journey times depending exactly where the barrier is and in which direction they need to travel, but such diversions are unlikely to take more than a few minutes and will soon become part of people’s journey planning. We recognise this is an inconvenience for some people, but on the balance, we find that the importance of protecting our community’s health is much more urgent.

On Arbury Road, there are two schools, two recreation grounds and a residential home for older people – all of these facilities need to be taken into account when considering matters related to walking and cycling safety and the quality of the air we breathe. In the forthcoming consultation it is vital that all residents and users participate so that the best long term solution may be found.

We are calling for the experimental modal filter to be installed as soon as possible in order to protect the health of the people and families who live here and go to school on Arbury Road, so that we can spread out while walking and cycling, and so that the pollution levels stay low, in order to keep us safe from Covid-19.

Arbury Road East Residents Association

GCP Map of road changes- City access project for Covid-19 recovery JUNE 20

GCP Update – City access project and support for Covid-19 recovery JUNE 20

ARERA Satisfaction Survey Results Summary

Results from the Make Arbury Road better! ARERA Survey.


The Arbury Road East Residents Association (ARERA) was officially inaugurated on 9 December 2019. ARERA aims to provide a forum for discussion of issues affecting residents and business owners on Arbury road, and its side streets, from the North Cambridge Academy school to the junction at Milton Road.

Residents/business operators have come together to discuss options as it is felt that the use of Arbury Road as a through-route/cut through is not keeping with its designated status – e.g. 20mph designation, its narrow width, multiple schools, shops, popular cyclist route, and a pedestrian zone accessing homes/schools/shops/businesses etc.

Issues discussed at the meeting included:

  • views on whether cars should be actively discouraged in an era of climate emergency
  • views about lorries not being restricted by weight
  • views about bus services
  • views about safety and usage of pavements for cycling and parking
  • views about whether Arbury road, as currently configured, actually splits the community in two
  • views about the safety of Arbury Road junction with Milton Road specifically
  • whether people (perhaps older) avoid cycling and walking because they consider it too dangerous
  • views on pollution, vibration, and noise
  • impact of the Histon Road one-way development and the Milton Road development plans

In this survey, we want to collect your views concerning traffic and road usage from both residents and businesses on/just off Arbury Road, with the aim of trying to develop and present ideas for improvements to the County Council and the Greater Cambridge Partnership.


Question submitted to GCP on 4th June 2020 proposing point closure between Leys Road and the Cambridge North Academy on Arbury Road. Includes YouTube footage

Question submitted to Greater Cambridge Partnership Joint Assembly on 4th June 2020

Question regarding agenda item 10, ‘City Access Strategy, update and support for Covid-19 recovery’:

Arbury Road is a residential street with terraced homes close to narrow pavements in the easternmost section, and the 20mph speed limit is routinely flouted. It is an important link in the county cycle route network but the GCP installation of cycle lanes on the western part left a gap in cycle provision at the east end which remains dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists – especially acute when social distancing for Covid-19. The Histon Road project works are expected to flush additional cars down our street creating even more hazardous conditions and worsening air quality.

Agenda item 10 paras 3.5 and 3.6 says that the GCP is supporting work to identify measures to create more space for pedestrians and cyclists in response to Covid-19,  however Arbury Road does not appear on the list.

The Department for Transport expects councils to use pop-up and temporary interventions to create environments that are safe for walking and cycling. They expect measures like ‘point closures’ to be used to create low-traffic filtered neighbourhoods.

Our recent survey* shows that a large majority of those who live on the road are ready and willing to try experimental or temporary schemes that would stop rat-running, reduce air pollution and improve community health. A point closure between Leys Road and the Cambridge North Academy on Arbury Road would achieve that.

Will the Joint Assembly resolve to add Arbury Road, with description ‘prohibit through movements between Cambridge North Academy and Leys Road’, to the list of schemes prioritised for implementation to enable and encourage more walking and cycling between West and East Cambridge?

Here’s the video of the question being read out (the answer comes a bit later after all the questions are read out & the discussion occurs):

Arbury Road Poster Campaign

To support community aspirations for a safer and cleaner Arbury road, ARERA is launching a poster campaign to raise awareness of the traffic related issues that so many of you have highlighted to us via the survey and in person.

These could be placed in your windows, inside your parked cars and on fences and posts along Arbury road. (Next to your NHS rainbow for instance?)

We invite children to participate by drawing/painting pictures of how they envisage a clean and safe Arbury road – how we could better use the space for our community? They can be titled with simple 3-4 word slogans

Here are some examples:

Other slogans might be:

  • ‘A Greener Arbury Road’
  • Save us from the rat runners!
  • Road space for bikes!
  • No through road – give us our community back!
  • Slow down! Make Arbury Road Safe!
  • Communities not transport corridors!
  • ‘Clear Air for Arbury Road ‘
  • ‘Safer road for kids’

We have some materials available to create posters and we can help with printing so lets us know if we can help the creative process..

Please put up and send us a copy of your poster for us to print and distribute. Send to ‘’

There will be a prize for the best poster! 

Traffic speeding is getting worse on Arbury Road and we need visible community support for action!

Best wishes,


PS Remember to please sign the petition:

Use the files below to print posters and put them up in a visible place facing Arbury Road!!

Poster 1

Poster 2

Poster 3

Poster 4

Poster 5

Poster 6

Poster 7

Poster 8

Poster 9