Advance notice on Hills Road Bridge
Building bridges... and closing roads
Hills Road bridge is the latest in Cambridge to be affected by construction work associated with the Guided Busway. Here's what you need to know to avoid the go slow...
More and more Cambridge residents and road users are finding their usual routes to work and home disrupted by essential works for the county's Guided Busway.
12th May - that's D-Day
Yes, that's the date when work will begin on the route from Cambridge railway station to Addenbrooke's and Trumpington. This is going to severely disrupt traffic along Hills Road, the bridge, Brookland's Avenue and Cherry Hinton Road. And that's pretty much the most direct route to and from the southern side of Cambridge.
Two lanes each way - for the moment!
In order to create an underpass to allow buses, cyclists and pedestrians to travel from the station to Addenbrooke's, one lane on each side of Hills Road bridge will be closed to traffic and the following restrictions will be put in place:
And it'll be that way for over ten months, which is the estimated time the construction will take!
Download the map
By clicking on the link below, you can see a full-size map of the bridge and route restrictions:
The official line
We spoke to Bob Menzies, from Cambridgeshire County Council's Guided Busway team and asked him how much disruption the bridge roadworks would cause:
"If everyone persists in driving their cars as they do now, then yes, we will have problems. If you can use the bus, walk or cycle, then that's probably a very good idea. If you have to use your car, then perhaps try and find an alternative route.
Work on guided bus under Hills Rd bridge
And Bob Menzies insists that this work is essential and that the roadworks were carefully thought out to minimise inconvenience to travellers: "We have to do this work. We have to get the guided bus through, under Hills Road bridge, parallel with the railway line.
"Ultimately, you'll be able to get a bus from the station to Addenbrooke's which will take you four minutes by the Guided Busway - so there's a real prize there in the long term."
He continues: "What we're talking about is some short-term disruption... We could have shut the road completely - that would have taken about four months with the road closed completely. As it is, in order to keep traffic moving and keep a lane open each way we've restricted the contractor to a very small working space. That means they're having to do small sections of work at a time which extends the period of time the work takes."
Bearing in mind that the builders are constructing an underpass, you can understand our confusion over why the bridge has to be half-closed. Well, it seems that the underpass for the busway has to be created from the top-down - hence the need to work on the actual bridge itself. So get ready for the sight of a drilling rig the height of a four storey building, which will be erected on the site to carry out the work.
Bob Menzies explained that the reasons for restricting access to adjacent roads is to ensure a smoother flow of traffic during the construction work.
At Brookland's Avenue - no right turn in or right turn out. This means that traffic heading out of town won't have to stop at that junction. And coming off the bridge, you'll only have to stop for traffic turning left into Brookland's.
On Hills Road - a temporary bus lane in front of the sixth form college up to the traffic lights will allow buses to get to the front of the queue.
The alternative is... you find an alternative route if you need to use your car, or you face "some quite lengthy diversions" as Bob Menzies admits himself.
The Guided Busway team have produced maps and information leaflets that you can get from the following website:
You can also download the roadworks map here:
last updated: 06/05/2008 at 15:18
Have Your Say
Bill LE BHERZ