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24 September 2014

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You are in: Cambridgeshire > Travel > Features > Building bridges... and closing roads

Roadworks notice - Hills Rd, Cambridge

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.

Hills Road bridge, 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:

  • No right turn from Hills Road south into Cherry Hinton Road
  • No right turn from Hills Road north into Brookland's Avenue
  • No right turn from Brookland's Avenue onto Hills Road Bridge

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 Road bridge

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."

"It's a balance between how much of the road we leave open to traffic and how much space we give the contractor to work"

Bob Menzies, Guided Busway

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.

Alternatives?

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
created: 06/05/2008

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Peter Barkas
I live in Over, will the guided busway pick up in Over or do I have to get to Swavesey?This is too far for my son to walk so do we have to drive to a park and ride? If so, it seems that by the time we have done that, using the guided busway would be a waste of time.

Bill LE BHERZ
I DRIVE the O BAHN IN ADELAIDE SOUTH AUSTRALIA IT HAS BEEN RUNNING 23 YRS 2ND MARCH 09 ITS THE BEST MODE OF TRANSPORT IT MOVES MORE PASSENGERS IN PEAK HOUR THAN ALL THE TRAINS BECAUSE ITS A BUS IT MORE FLEXABLE THAN A TRAIN IF A BUS BREAKDOWN 0N BUSWAY YOU CAN DRIVE ON THE ROAD AROUND IT PEOPLE WILL THINK ITS A WASTE OF MONEY ITS NOT ITS THE BEST THING FOR ADELAIDE ONLY WISH THE WOULD BUILD A BUSWAY SOUTH OF ADELAIDE CONGRATULATIONS IN BUILDING THE BUSWAY ONE DAY I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT AFTER ITS OPENED .I WORK AT ST AGNES BUS DEPOT NTH EAST ADELAIDE I DRIVE ON THE BUSWAY OVER 14 YEARS

John Knight
Just another gigantic ego trip.

Michael Adams
I can't see why 'they' have chosen this route for a 'guided' bus only. The restrictions that this creates would suggest that the whole excercise is a complete waste of money. Surely a new road allowing taxis, buses, cyclists and the emergency services would have been a better utilisation of the time and money involved and give the new space to a much wider range of transport. But then that is too sensible an answer for a local authority to contemplate. I can see the busway being ripped up and tarmaced for this very reason in years to come.

Russ Long
The closure of Long Road allowed for a new bridge to be constructed for the Guided Busway. A similar approach was possible here!

Lisa Mckenna
Why didn't the counsil wait until the new link road to Addenbrookes was ready it seems to be tarmaced already and surely it would have reduced the amount of traffic heading towards the hills road bridge and therefore reduced disruption. There just doesn't seem to be any planning involved and the counsil are behaving in a very arrogant manner with the whole guiding bus scheme. I can't see how it is going to work.

Martin Goode
Have the traffic lights been re-phased to accomodate the adjustments to the junction of Hills Road and Brooklands Ave? I doubt it! that'd be common sense prevailing!!!!

--
it's a loads of rubbish no one is going to use it!!

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