Cambridgeshire

Hula hoopers take over Cambridge Mill Road during bridge works

Hula hoopers on Mill Road, Cambridge Image copyright Dave Baigent
Image caption Hula hoopers took advantage of the lack of traffic on the road

Hula hoopers took over a stretch of a partially-closed road to encourage people to use local shops and take advantage of the lack of traffic while a bridge is closed for repairs.

The hoop workshop was one of a number of events planned for the Romsey stretch of Mill Road in Cambridge.

Organisers hope to entice more people to the area, which is one of the main roads to the city centre.

Live music and open air movies are also planned during the eight-week closure.

The events are part of Mill Road Summer - a new "festival" being organised by Labour city councillor for the ward, Dave Baigent, together with residents, cycling campaign group Camcycle and shop owners.

Image copyright Dave Baigent
Image caption The session was led by hoop artist Electric Chesh (kneeling)

Closures on Mill Road, which runs from Parker's Piece to Romsey, began on 1 July and work to strengthen the bridge is not expected to finish until the end of August, Cambridgeshire County Council said.

Image copyright Dave Baigent
Image caption The bridge links the Romsey side of the road with the city

"I've called it 'Romsey under siege' as we're completely cut off," Mr Baigent said.

Image copyright Dave Baigent
Image caption Members of hula group Cambridge Hoopers came along to help out with the classes
Image copyright Dave Baigent
Image caption Only local traffic is using the road since the bridge closed

However, he said it was "a revelation" to see how the road had changed without the through traffic.

About 80 people turned out for the hour-long "hugely successful" hula hooping classes on Monday evening, said Mr Baigent.

The Mill Road Summer committee is planning other events.

Piero D'angelico, from the Mill Road Traders' Association, said reaction among businesses to the closure had been "mixed".

"We have to remain positive and it's important to encourage as many local people as possible to come out and support their local shops."

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