The Greater Cambridge Partnership is currently consulting on proposals for better public transport, walking and cycling journeys along Histon Road and we encourage all Camcycle members and supporters to have their say. Whether you use the road regularly, occasionally or very rarely, it is a key transport corridor into the city from the villages of Histon, Impington and Cottenham and it's important that any improvements made are designed to achieve the best outcomes for cyclists and pedestrians. We generally support most of the current proposals, but believe they could go much further in order to break down some significant barriers to cycling along the route, particular in areas with high volumes of fast-moving motor traffic.
The deadline for responses to the consultation is Monday 2 July. You can either fill out the online survey on the GCP website or customise and send the sample email below to email@example.com. We encourage you to add points and examples to illustrate your own perspective.
I/we as cyclists, walkers and supporters of sustainable transport in and around Cambridge support the proposed improvements to Histon Road, but recommend the following changes to the current designs to maximise safety for all road users:
1) Increase the amount of continuous, segregated cycle facilities in areas of fast-moving motor traffic
- The King’s Hedges Road junction should be redesigned with a fully segregated cycleway to remove barriers to cycling from the villages of Histon, Impington and Cottenham. Widening the on-road cycle lane is not sufficient for a junction with a high volume of motor traffic and a 40mph speed limit.
- The Darwin Green junction should also be redesigned to incorporate segregated cycleways.
- Additional protection from fast-moving traffic is needed for the cycle lane north of Gilbert Road and attention given to sufficient width of the footway in all areas.
2) Ensure designs allow for sufficient capacity of cycle traffic and meet the needs of a wide variety of cycle types
- More than 250 people cycle across the Histon Road/Victoria Road junction per hour and this is likely to increase following improvements to the cycle facilities. Therefore, the cycleway should be widened where it approaches stop lines to accommodate larger groups of people queuing at the traffic signal and broader types of cycle including cargo bikes and trailers.
- The segregated cycleway towards the protected junction at Gilbert Road should also be widened to allow for sufficient capacity of cycles.
3) Provide a continuous linked-up cycle route with smooth transitions between cycle facilities
- Improvements are recommended to the transitions on and off the raised Castle Street cycleway and transition onto the Histon Road raised cycleway for cyclists turning right from Victoria Road.
- There should also be a lead-in advisory lane on Victoria Road that leads on to the protected cycleway.
- The programming of traffic signals must be both safe and convenient, not causing excessive delays for people walking and cycling. Huntingdon Road, at the junction with Victoria Road, would benefit from having a green light head-start for cyclists. The Gilbert Road junction can be made safer and better by having an additional short green phase for cycling between two motor traffic phases, as well as the planned 'scramble' phase.
- For clarity and longevity, cycleways and lanes should be surfaced in machine-laid red-mac.
4) Prioritise the needs of pedestrians at crossings and side roads
- Single-stage crossings would be preferable to staggered crossings around the Huntingdon Road junction to make it easier to navigate for those with wheelchairs or prams.
- Zebra markings should be placed on the cycleway next to each pedestrian landing at the Gilbert Road junction to clearly indicate the pedestrian crossing zone.
- Safer crossings are required at Darwin Green, Carisbrooke Road and Borrowdale.
- All smaller side roads (including the junction for the off-street parking by the post office) should have continuous footways to encourage people driving motor vehicles to give way to pedestrians.
5) Discourage inconsiderate parking that blocks the safe passage of bus and cycle traffic
- Ensure all advisory cycle lanes also have double yellow lines.
- Extend the ‘no stopping’ zig-zag marks for the pedestrian crossing near the post office back to the junction with Windsor Road to prevent parking in the raised cycleway and on the pavement.
- Consider a bi-directional cycleway, leading to the primary school, between the trees on Warwick Road to discourage parking in the proposed advisory cycle lanes.
6) Reduce opportunities for conflict between road users
Potential areas of conflict between motor vehicles and other road users should be redesigned to improve safety. These include:
- the painted advisory cycle lane across the junction of Victoria Road and Histon Road (where motorists will be turning left at speed and in high volumes)
- the left-turn lane from Huntingdon Road to Victoria Road (widening it to a full car width as soon as possible would discourage motor vehicles from blocking of the cycle lane when queuing)
- the design of the pay and display parking area (where vehicle doors will be opened directly into the cycleway)
- the suggested tree location at Blackhall Road (which would reduce the visibility of cycle traffic from motor traffic turning onto Histon Road).