The Corpus Clock, a popular tourist spot Louis Ashworth

A temporary barrier north of Bene’t Street is to be put in place to minimise harm in the event of a vehicle approaching at high speed. The road could be closed for up to 18 months.

The decision comes in light of the continued national UK terror threat level of severe, as police forces across the country have offered advice to councils to increase local security.

Labour councillor Richard Roberston, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources at the city council, told the Cambridge Independent, “We will provide funding for a temporary barrier and associated installation and signage works, to close King’s Parade during an experimental period.”

“£35,000 will be allocated from the reserves and the remaining 50 per cent will be met by the Greater Cambridge Partnership.”

Lib Dem members of the Cambridge Joint Area Committee voted against the proposal in March, causing the scheme to be paused. They are now calling for the City Council to rethink the type of barrier used, expressing concerns that it will impact cyclists and pedestrians.

Liberal Democrat Market Ward Councillor Nichola Harrison expressed concerns that there will not be enough space for safe travel. She suggested that the City Council should consider other designs that “would cause less disruption whilst performing the same function” such as a traffic-slowing curve in the road, known as a chicane.

Lib Dem Cllr Anthony Martinelli said that Councillors for the West Central Cambridge Area were “unanimous that this scheme was not appropriate in its current form”, and that he has written to the Executive Councillor and the Chief Executive to the Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee to “request reconsideration”.


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King’s College, having been contacted by the council, said they have not been told of any decision relating to when the barrier will be put in place. They said it is as of yet unclear whether the closure will affect vehicle and delivery access to the college.

The college did say that the closure should not affect students at the college or University, stating that “pedestrian and cycle access into King’s Parade should be as it is now.”

Although there is no specific threat to Cambridge, King’s Parade attracts over eight million visitors each year. It is at the centre of the university, making it a concerning area for the police counter terrorism unit (CTU). In particular, large numbers of people gather at the Corpus Clock at the corner of the parade with Bene’t Street and Trumpington Street.

While other comparably busy cities such as London, Oxford and York have already taken counter-terror measures, Cambridge is yet to follow suit. 

In 2017, a controlled explosion of a suspicious suitcase was carried out on the famous street. It was later confirmed to be of an unthreatening nature, containing books.

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