General Greenway FAQs

    What is a Greenway?

    The Greater Cambridge Greenways will be a network of walkingcycling and, where appropriate, horse-riding routes. They follow off-road paths, quiet streets or use facilities alongside busier roads to help more people reach more of Greater Cambridge with cheaper, cleaner and greener journeys.   

    What are the benefits of a Greenway?

    The Greenways will: 

    • Provide better, safer and greener cycling and walking and, where appropriate, horse riding routes, to and from Cambridge and the surrounding villages and other settlements 
    • Improve access to jobs and opportunities, education, healthcare, leisure and other services. 
    • Help to reduce the impact of traffic congestion and growing traffic levels 
    • Improve our health by enabling more active travel and helping to reduce air pollution.
    • Provide safe active travel routes that all ages and abilities can use.

    How many Greenways are there?

    A network of twelve Greenways have been agreed as part of the City Deal investment to design more affordable and more sustainable ways to make journeys. These are: 

    • Barton
    • Bottisham  
    • Comberton  
    • Fulbourn  
    • Haslingfield  
    • Horningsea  
    • Linton (under construction through Cambridge South East Transport scheme) 
    • Melbourn  
    • Sawston  
    • St Ives 
    • Swaffhams 
    • Waterbeach 

    The proposed network of routes was developed from 2016 and approved by the GCP Executive board in 2020. We are now seeking public feedback on designs for the routes and key decisions on certain sections of them. 

    More information about the Greenway routes can be found on the Greenways webpage

    How were these routes decided?

    In 2015, the Greater Cambridge Partnership received £500million to make vital improvements to Greater Cambridge’s walking, cycling and public transport network.  

    The Greenway routes were initially proposed to GCP partner, Cambridgeshire County Council, by Nigel Brigham associates in a report that was commissioned in 2016. They have since been revised following public consultations between 2017 and 2019. 

    The routes and potential types of intervention were agreed following this consultation and at meetings of the GCP Executive Board throughout 2020.   

    We are now focused on designs for the routes with the help of local communities.  

    Where is the funding for these projects coming from?

    The Greenways were approved for funding by the GCP Executive Board in 2020 as part of the City Deal investment programme. The City Deal was set-up to invest in transport, skills and housing to support and unlock growth in Greater Cambridge and more broadly benefiting the UK economy and wider society.

    Small sections of some routes may be funded by, or built as part of, new developments that already have planning permission (called Section 106 agreements). 

    When does building on the Greenways start?

    There is an aspiration to complete construction of all Greenways by December 2025. Where possible, GCP are pushing forward with sections of routes that can be delivered sooner. For example, the Linton Greenway is currently under construction.

    After the engagement period closes, further detailed work is needed, based upon feedback received, before construction can start.

    Throughout Summer 2022 to Winter 2022/23, public engagement sessions are taking place to capture further feedback on proposed designs for each Greenway. Designs will then be developed in detail alongside other preparatory works, such as ecological surveys and obtaining planning consents before construction and building can begin. 

    We will then start building the Greenways in different phases on a rolling basis. This may mean some sections of Greenways will be open and available to use before the whole route is complete, ensuring some benefit is delivered to certain places sooner, depending on planning consents, ecology, complexity of construction or landowner requirements.

    How will the Greenways be maintained and by whom?

    The Greenways will be adopted by Cambridgeshire County Council as part of the Highways network and be managed accordingly.

    What is the current public engagement?

    We have been running a rolling programme of public engagement and public consultation on routes since summer 2022. Meetings are being held with the public, key stakeholders, community groups and Parish Councils to present the technical design and gather feedback on the design of the routes. 

    For further information on the specific route engagement events, please head to the GCP Greenways webpage and select the Greenway you wish to find out more. 

    How can I have my say on helping shape the Greenways projects?

    The Linton Greenway is currently under construction and we have conducted public engagement on six of the 11 remaining Greenways: 

    • Comberton (Summer 2022) 

    • Haslingfield (Summer 2022) 

    • Melbourn (Autumn 2022) 

    • Barton (Autumn 2022) 

    • Sawston (Autumn 2022) 

    • Horningsea (Winter 2022) 

    We will conduct public engagement on the remaining five in 2023, including: 

    • St Ives 

    • Swaffhams 

    • Bottisham 

    • Waterbeach 

    • Fulbourn 

    In addition, we also will hold a further public consultation on the Grantchester section of the Haslingfield Greenway in 2023. 

    You can contact us at any time to share your thoughts on the Greenways project by emailing us at link)(External link) or via phone: 01223 699906  

    How will my feedback be used? What happens after the public engagement?

    Your feedback will be used by the project team to update current designs for these Greenways, before they are progressed to detailed design and approved for further development by the GCP Executive Board. 

    Designs will be developed in detail alongside other preparatory works, such as ecological surveys and obtaining planning consents before construction and building can begin.  

    What type of signage will be used along the Greenway Routes?

    All signage included along the Greenway Routes will be set out in a prescribed way, in accordance with the latest guidance and in line with the latest version of the Highway Code. This includes signage to advise users of the presence of pedestrians, cyclists and, where appropriate, horse riders, along the Greenway Network.

    We are also preparing a wayfinding strategy, that will detail the types and signs to be used to way find along the route and signpost people to locations and destinations.

    A detailed schedule of proposed signage, including types of signage and locations, will be included as part of the detailed drawings in the next stages of the design.

    We are happy to receive feedback and comments from the public and stakeholders as part of this engagement process, on any signage which we should consider.

    What is a Topographical Survey? How will this help?

    Topographical surveys help us to ascertain ground levels, features and existing layout of the ground in an area. This will help to inform the feasibility of the design.

    These are mostly undertaken using 3D laser scanning. GCP are working with landowners to help undertake these and ensure our proposals complement existing features and minimise impacts.  

    What is a Watercourse Survey? How will this help?

    Watercourse surveys need to be undertaken to look at the potential impact of the scheme on watercourses. 

    Watercourse surveys provide information on the structures and the levels along the watercourse so that these can be included in a hydraulic model of the watercourse. The results of the hydraulic model will inform the design of the structures along the watercourses, such as new bridges or improvements to existing ones, or any proposed modifications to riverbanks and other features to manage flood risk.  

    What Traffic and Parking Surveys are being done? How will this help?

    Traffic surveys will help us to determine existing traffic flows, speeds and the number of pedestrians and / or cyclists that use an existing road, crossing point or existing footpath. This data will help us to determine where we could improve safety and what impact this may have. 

    We are also undertaking parking surveys to look in detail at how parking is used along sections of the routesTo make the routes safer for walking and cycling, it may be necessary to alter, move or remove some parking along certain sections of the routes. 

    The number and location of parking bays to be changed will be determined by surveys at the next stage of design. 

    How will the Greenways support accessibility needs?

    We encourage feedback from disabled people on these designs to help ensure we are accommodating different needs.

    We will also be engaging local disability forums on the Greenways network, to understand how we can make the designs accessible and more inclusive. 

    The routes are being designed to be fully accessible for wheelchairs. This will include widening of paths, step-free access and hard surfaces and ensuring any ramps that replace steps have gentle gradients. 

     An Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) will be conducted for each route to ensure that our actions and decisions for each route are fair and do not present barriers or disadvantage any protected group. 

    Will any further future links be considered as part of this Greenway Network, other than what is shown?

    GCP are aware of further opportunities to provide additional links to the Greenway Network, other than what is shown as part of this engagement process.

    However, funding for the scheme is currently limited to the design and delivery of the set routes as illustrated on the 12 Greenways Network Map, which has been included as part of this engagement process.

    GCP are in regular contact with Cambridgeshire County Council’s Development Control Team to understand what development is coming forward in future years where connections could be made, and explore opportunities for future connections.

    What is the environmental impact of the scheme? Has the carbon impact been calculated?

    We are committed to ensuring minimal disruption to the areas surrounding the greenways including existing trees, hedgerows, and other vegetation.

     The off-road sections are being designed to enhance the landscape for wildlife and help people reach greenspaces.

     We have commissioned a number of environmental surveys which will allow us to ensure that any impact on sensitive ecological features is kept to a minimum and to confirm areas where we can contribute positively to biodiversity. GCP are also working with their contractors to ensure impacts are kept to a minimum throughout the construction and operational phases of the project.

    Of course, there will be carbon cost to construction and the materials we use. However, we are discussing materials and any potential to reduce carbon during construction with our contractors. 

    Additionally, the Greenways are just one part of a package of measures helping us to leave the car at home and travel in ways that do not harm the environment for many years to come – transport is currently the largest single source of carbon emissions from Greater Cambridge

     We will be using Cambridgeshire County Council’s recently adopted Carbon Calculator to assess the carbon impact of the scheme. The Carbon Calculator is set to be a standardised tool used for all Council’s projects and suppliers. This approach will provide transparency, enable carbon emissions to be quantified and reduce environmental implications.

    What Environmental Surveys are being undertaken? How will this help?

    We are committed to minimising any potential impacts on the local environment and enhancing it where possible.

    We have a commitment to increase and enhance biodiversity overall by 20 per cent.  To ensure that all environmental constraints and considered, and to assess the possible effects of the proposals on the environment and local ecology, we are undertaking tree, ecological and hedgerow assessments. These surveys will allow us to ensure impact on sensitive ecological features are kept to a minimum and confirm areas where we can contribute positively to biodiversity.

    These surveys are non-intrusive and allow us to inspect and map trees and tree structures, habitats on site, any legally protected or notable species and hedgerows.

    What surface materials are proposed? Will these be environmentally-friendly?

    Generally, the new routes will be made from a hard, smooth surface such as asphalt. In more rural locations, we will introduce appropriate surface treatment that is sensitive to the local environment.

    We are working to ensure that any materials used as part of the Greenways Network will be fit-for-purpose, environmentally-friendly, durable and long-lasting, and meet County Highway’s maintenance requirements.

    GCP are in regular contact with the Highways Teams to discuss any ongoing maintenance and highways issues as part of the proposed Greenway Network.

    Any proposed materials will be subject to feedback that we receive from the public and stakeholders as part of this engagement process

    Are there any plans to have vegetation along the grass strip?

    There are no plans for continuous vegetation (such as hedges, trees or other plants) along the grass strip. As part of the next stage of design, we would consider planting in certain locations for a range of different reasons, as part of the wider landscaping strategy. Those locations will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and could be to screen the path from private land, or a busy road, or to support wildlife and biodiversity, for example. 

    How will trees and hedgerows be treated?

    Trees and hedgerows are important for local wildlife and provide shade and shelter for people on the Greenways.  

    As such, we are designing the route so that impacts on trees and hedgerows are minimised. The Greenways will provide a minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain. 

    During the next phase of work, detailed, non-invasive tree and hedgerow surveys will be undertaken to determine the precise impact of the Greenway on any existing trees and hedgerows. A tree specialist will recommend ways to mitigate these impacts during construction, including root protection plans and good practice construction methods, for example. They will also identify any further planting or enhancements required to increase biodiversity and meet the 10% net gain requirement. 

    What is the purpose of the grass strip next to the main path, is it for specific users only?

    The  grass verge is available for all soft surface users, such as horse riders, walkers and joggers. 

    Is there a plan for lighting on along the Greenway?

    We are looking at lighting for the routes as part of the next stage of design.  

    We will undertake a lighting assessment, which will consider all aspects of lighting along the Greenway.  

    It may not be practical to provide lighting along the entire length of the Greenway since lighting can have an adverse impact on wildlife. In some sections we are considering low level lighting, which illuminates the path without impacting wildlife, for example through use of solar studs. 

    Our designers will engage an ecologist during the planning and design stage of the route to explore what technology could be used to light certain sections. As a general principle, lighting would be provided wherever the Greenway meets the public roads, or where road safety concerns exist. Any street lighting proposals will be discussed with the Cambridgeshire County Council. 

    Are there plans for regular spots for people to sit down?

    The landscape designs for the Greenway will consider the inclusion of street furniture such as benches at appropriate locations and will need to include consideration of funding and maintenance for these. 

    Can horse riders use shared use paths?

    The current legal position is that horse riders do not have the right to use routes marked with the blue “pedestrian/cycle only” or cycle stencil sign. In order to allow equestrians on existing routes which are currently signed as “pedestrian/cycle only”, the Department for Transport would need to change the current definition of a “pedestrian/cycle only” share use path.  

    There are currently two signs in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 relating to shared use paths.

    The sign indicating a shared route for bicycles, horses and pedestrians must only be placed to indicate the effect of an Act, order, regulation, bylaw, resolution or notice which prohibits or restricts the traffic on the road.   

    Allowing equestrians to use routes that are currently shared cycle and pedestrian use only, would require a change which Cambridge County Council Members would need to approve. This could be done on a case-by-case basis where it is appropriate. However, there would need to be consideration about the width of the route, additional head height clearance required and what crossing facilities are in place at any formal crossing points, as these should include provisions suitable for horses. 

    In order to legally change an existing “pedestrian and cycle only” route to allow equestrians, the route would need to be re-dedicated by way of a notice and updated to include the “bicycle, equestrian and pedestrian”. This would have a cost implication to make the changes, particularly if changes are required at crossing points or additional height clearance or width is required.  Given the current financial climate unfortunately there are no County Council funds available to progress any changes on existing routes at this time.   

    The BHS have delivered an information session for County Council officers to help them identify these issues for future schemes.

    What type of signage will be used along the Greenway Routes? 

    All signage included along the Greenway Routes will be set out in a prescribed way, in accordance with the latest guidance and in line with the latest version of the Highway Code. This includes signage to advise users of the presence of pedestrians, cyclists and, where appropriate, horse riders, along the Greenway Network.   

    We are also preparing a wayfinding strategy, that will detail the types and signs to be used to way find along the route and signpost people to locations and destinations.   

    A detailed schedule of proposed signage, including types of signage and locations, will be included as part of the detailed drawings in the next stages of the design.  

    We are happy to receive feedback and comments from the public and stakeholders as part of this engagement process, on any signage which we should consider.

General Swaffham and Bottisham Greenway

    Who is being included as part of the Swaffhams and Bottisham Greenway engagement process?

    Public engagement for these two Greenways will run for four weeks from 27th February to 24th March 2023. 

    We will be engaging with members of the public virtually via Microsoft Teams on the Thursday 9th March 2023.  

    We will be hosting two in-person engagement events, the details of which are below:   

    • Tuesday 14 March, 16:00 – 19:00pm, Stow Cum Quy Village Hall  

    • Thursday 16 March, 16:00 – 19:00pm, Swaffham Prior Village Hall 

    We have and will continue to meet with key stakeholders including our Non-Motorised User forum (walking, cycling and horse-riding representatives), relevant Parish Councils and Landowners. 

    There will be opportunities for further engagement before construction starts. 

    Is the proposed route alignment for the Swaffhams and Bottisham Greenway fixed?

    Yes, the proposed routes were approved by the GCP Executive Board in June 2020, following feedback received during the 2019 consultation. 

    Your feedback in this engagement will be considered as the designs are progressed and landowners will continue to be engaged where their agreement is needed to deliver the route. 

    Since the previous consultation in 2019, the Bottisham Greenway route alignment has been extended further west towards the Cutter Ferry Bridge. Localised improvements are also proposed along the existing bridge for pedestrians and cyclists that links Cutter Ferry Lane with Midsummer Common 

    When is construction due to take place?

    Construction of the Bottisham and Swaffhams Greenway is due to commence in 2025. 

    The plan is subject to planning applications, the outcome of Traffic Regulation Orders, land negotiations, potential Compulsory Purchase Orders longer term, and agreement of permits by Cambridgeshire County Council Street Works for proposed construction periods. The designs may also alter depending on the feedback of the current round of engagement. 

    What is happening on the routes now?

    The purpose of this engagement is to update you on the scheme design proposals for the Swaffhams and Bottisham Greenways and invite feedback before they are progressed to a more detailed design stage.  

    Public consultation on the proposed route alignments was held in 2018/19. Further design work on the routes was approved by Councillors at the GCP Executive Board in June 2020. You can find more details on our Greenways webpage at:  

    To progress the schemes, GCP have commissioned site surveys along the planned route, and instructed consultants to progress designs for the alignment agreed by the GCP Executive Board. 

Bottisham Greenway

    What junction improvements are proposed along the Bottisham Greenway?

    Three junctions would be improved as part of the Bottisham Greenway: 

    We are proposing to realign the Albert Road junction with Newmarket Road, to allow for a safer and direct crossing over Albert Road. The proposal will involve realigning the carriageway at Albert Road to curve more towards westallowing Albert Road to meet Newmarket Road at a 90-degree angle, providing improved visibility and a smoother transition. A three-metre-wide central refuge island will allow for a safe crossing. White painted give-way markings on the carriageway are proposed on the approach to the junction, allowing vehicles to give way to pedestrians and cyclists travelling east to west and slow down vehicular traffic joining Newmarket Road. In addition, new wayfinding signage and lighting are proposed to guide users and highlight the greenway. This proposal would be subject to landowner agreement. 

    We are also proposing a parallel crossing over Fison Road, to enable cyclists and pedestrians to cross with the same level of priority as a zebra crossing but with a dedicated parallel cycle crossing alongside the zebra crossing for pedestrians 

    Currently, the Bell Road High Street junction provides ambiguity in terms of priority for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. To resolve this issue, raised tables with give way markings are proposed (along with block-paving surface) to highlight the provision of a shared surface for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles progressing onto the High Street. Signage is proposed to ensure that vehicles are cautious of cyclists and pedestrians.

    What work has been proposed along quiet streets of the Bottisham Greenway?

    There are two sections of quiet street on the GreenwayLode Road and Bell Road. 

    On Lode Road we are proposing to introduce a reduced speed limit of 20mph, cycle symbol road markings at regular intervals and red asphalt surfacing on the carriageway, with the aim of highlighting the primary position of the cyclist in the centre of the traffic lane.  

    The proposal for Bell Road is to widen the existing shared use path on the western side of Bell Road to three metres (where possible) up until the existing farm access, whilst retaining a grass verge buffer to separate the shared path from the farmland. At this point, cyclists travelling north will transition onto the proposed quiet street via a buildout. This has been proposed to allow for a safer movement for cyclists in and out of the quiet street, by giving them priority over motorised vehicles using give way markings. Wayfinding signage and lighting will also be implemented to guide users and highlight the Greenway. On Bell Road, the existing speed limit is 30mph on the approach to Bottisham. This 30mph speed limit would be retained up to the buildout, where the speed limit is proposed to be reduced to 20mph. This speed reduction allows for non-motorised users to safely transition from the shared use path to the proposed quiet street. The speed limit of 20mph is then maintained until the Bell Road junction with High Street and Lode Road, where the quiet street environment continues.  

    A14 Underpass: 

    The Bottisham Greenway would use the existing shared use provision at the A14 underpass.  

    Currently, the ramp at the northern end of the underpass onto the Quy Mill Hotel Access Road is quite steep. As such, the proposals will seek to reduce the ramp gradient to make it safer and easier to use. This will involve extending the northern approach ramp into the underpass, which will also help address drainage issues such as water ponding during periods of heavy rainfall.  We are also proposing to slow down vehicle speeds at the northern end of the underpass where cyclists exit onto the carriageway to make it safer.  

    At the southern end of the underpass, we propose to provide a more direct route for pedestrians and cyclists entering the underpass and improve onward visibility through the underpass. This will involve straightening the approach alignment and clearing some of the vegetation in front of the underpass. Where visibility is restricted or there are blind spots, mirrors will be implemented to allow Greenway users to see further ahead. We would also upgrade the lighting within the underpass to provide better sightlines and improve visibility 


    A quiet street environment is proposed throughout Riverside, this would be achieved via the existing speed limit of 20mph, cycle symbol road markings at regular intervals and red asphalt surfacing on the carriageway, to allow cyclists to take a primary position in the centre of the traffic lane. Most parking bays along this section of the route will be retained, with the addition of a proposed safety buffer zone, to ensure there is sufficient space for drivers to get out of their vehicles without colliding with the cyclists on the carriageway. Formalised parking bays are proposed for residents and users of Stourbridge Common. Wayfinding signage will also be proposed to guide users and highlight the Greenway. 

    When is construction of the Bottisham Greenway due to take place?

    Construction of the Bottisham Greenway is due to commence in 2025.  

    This plan is subject to planning applications, the outcome of Traffic Regulation Orders, land negotiations, potential Compulsory Purchase Orders longer term, and agreement of permits by Cambridgeshire County Council Street Works for proposed construction periods. The designs may also alter depending on the feedback of the current round of engagement. 

    How does the proposal link to other Greenways?

    The Bottisham Greenway links to the Horningsea Greenway at the bowtie and links to Swaffhams Greenways at Church Road. These Greenways were previously consulted on, and the feedback received from residents and other local stakeholders in 2019 has informed the choice of route and shaped the proposals. The proposed routes have been approved by Councillors at the GCP Executive Board in June 2020. 

    The Swaffhams Greenway links to the Bottisham Greenways at the Quy Mill Hotel Access Road. 

    Why is there no longer an underpass proposed on the Ditton Lane crossing?

    In 2018, the proposals at Ditton Lane included a number of potential options, including using the existing signalised crossing with a continuous shared use path; an altered path alignment with a section of landscaping, and; an underpass beneath Ditton Lane.  

    Feasibility work has revealed significant challenges to deliver the underpass, such as utilities, flood risk and land acquisition. Concerns were also raised about the safety of underpasses in these areas which are isolated for use by pedestrians. 

    A high-pressure gas main was also identified within the vicinity of the proposed underpass alignment. We would have to relocate this gas main to build the underpass, resulting in extensive and very costly groundworks.  

    Underpasses would therefore represent poor value for money. Instead, we are proposing improved paths and improvements to existing street-level signalised crossings that would allow users to cross safely. 

    Why are you building Newmarket Road improvements as well as the Greenway parallel through the new development and along the river?

    Both routes serve different places and destinations in the city and will enhance the regions active travel network. 

Swaffhams Greenway

    Where are Quiet Streets being implemented?

    Quiet Streets are proposed along Orchard Street, Main Street and Quy Court in Stow-cum-Quy, and on Swaffham Prior High Street. A quiet street environment provides a safer on-carriageway environment for people cycling. This is achieved by introducing a 20mph speed limit, cycle symbol road markings at regular intervals and red asphalt surfacing on the carriageway to highlight the primary position of the cyclist in the centre of a traffic lane.  

    To transition from the off-carriageway sections of the Greenway to the Quiet Streets and vice versa, buildouts will be proposed along the route. These will allow cyclists to keep their priority and continue the route without forcing them to stop.  

    What work has been proposed along the B1102?

    The route seeks to provide a three-metre-wide shared use path, wherever possible, through widening of the existing footpath. At locations where the speed limits are 60mph, a grass verge with a minimum width of two metres is proposed to separate Greenway users from road traffic. However, for the section between Lode and Swaffham Prior we propose to reduce the speed limit to 40mph to improve safety on the greenway where only a one-metre safety verge between the shared use path and the carriageway is possible 

    Finally, the route will improve the lighting of the existing path along Colliers Lane, connecting Abbey Lane with Quy Court. 

    What junction improvements are proposed?

    At all five junctions along the Swaffhams Greenway, safety improvements are proposed. 

    Where applicable, priority will be given to people walking or cycling over motorised vehicles by using raised tables, 10-metre setbacks from the main carriageway and the appropriate priority signage and markings. A setback arrangement helps cyclists cross minor arms of junctions in a safe manner without losing priority. An example of what a setback arrangement may look like is shown below 

    Figure 1  Example of cycle priority at side roads (full setback, 5-metres or more) 

    The Greenway users will now face the crossings at 90-degrees with the carriageway, improving their visibility and comfortability. Furthermore, the radius of the junctions will be reduced to 10 metres, to discourage motorised vehicles from speeding. These locations include: 

    • Abbey Lane & Swaffham Road 

    • Commercial End & Green Bank Road 

    • White Droveway & Long Meadow Road 

    • Longmeadow & Swaffham Road (5-meter setback due to existing features) 

    • Lode Road & Quy Road 

    • Stow Road & Albert Road Junction 

     The Stow Road and Albert Road Junction will be the only junction which is to be upgraded to a quiet street environment, meaning that cyclists will be on the carriageway rather than on the shared use path. Therefore, the proposal will consist of providing only a visual narrowing of the carriageway (using road markings), helping to slow drivers. 

    Two improved crossings are proposed, the first on Stow Road and the second in front of Anglesey Abbey. The same principles apply to both. A new wider island would replace the existing one to provide more space for NMUs to wait on the island safely while waiting to cross the carriageway. The road would be widened to accommodate the new island.