ARERA monitors the impact of Histon Road closure


Histon Road has been closed to inbound traffic while improvements are made with City Deal funding. The Greater Cambridge Partnership says that its project “aims to provide better bus, walking and cycling facilities for those travelling on this busy key route into Cambridge”, see Closures are expected to last for 12 months.

Traffic entering Cambridge from the Histon roundabout on the A14 is currently being signposted down Kings Hedges Road. ARERA had asked the GCP to prevent this diverted traffic from using Arbury Road since, before the onset of COVID, its staff had warned ARERA that the result of diversion was likely to be “carnage” for those of us who live, work or learn here. But no such signage has been put in place. Members of ARERA have been busy this week monitoring traffic on Kings Hedges and Arbury Roads so that we have evidence about how the diversion is affecting traffic flows on the two roads. Preliminary analysis shows that more traffic is using Arbury Road than Kings Hedges Road, including almost all cyclists and pedestrians. ARERA is sharing the collected data with our elected councillors and with the residents association for the Hurst Park Estate. HPERA are worried that the diversion will cause additional rat running via Leys Road. The collected data is being assembled to present to the GCP as part of our case for additional signage directing diverted traffic away from Arbury Road. Once the traffic data has been fully analysed, we will share our report with residents, businesses and schools on Arbury Road and with our elected councillors. Look out for further updates on the ARERA website.


Grape Britannia endorses the benefits of a modal filter trial


At Grape Britannia, we can see the benefits of the modal filter. With our licence extended to allow drinking outside on our forecourt, the reduction in traffic noise and pollution from its introduction will, we hope, lead to a more positive environment for our patrons.

Best wishes


Grape Britannia website

NOTE: Grape Britannia bar is reopening from Saturday 11th July! Initially it will be 12-10 Friday and Saturday only

Grape Britannia now have a licence for tables outside the shop

Elaine’s Hair Fashions believes the modal filter will be healthier for us all


Elaine’s has been in Arbury road for 34 years now it would be great to encourage more walking and cycling for those that can, there is a lot of pollution with the volume of traffic. We have now experienced less pollution because of the lock down and the air has been so much healthier so for the residents the schools and us shop keepers I think the modal filter would be safer and healthier for us all . Elaine

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