Help us move forward on walking and cycling improvements in Chesterton

Many thanks to all those who attended the first meeting of the Chesterton Active Travel Group held at the Haymakers on 1 August. The meeting was well attended, with about 10-12 enthusiastic local residents turning up, including the County Councillor for Chesterton, and the meeting focused on collecting ideas for how to improve Chesterton for those walking and cycling. We also gathered feedback from the community at the Camcycle stall during the Chesterton Festival on Saturday 22 June.

There will certainly be more opportunities to add more potential improvements to the list, but the challenge now is how to move forward on these ideas, to turn ideas into firm plans, review the plans to check they will work and be popular, and to campaign to get the best and most viable ideas implemented. This will be the focus of our next meeting which will be on Wednesday 9 October, from 7pm to 8.30pm in the Annexe Room of St Andrew’s Hall.

Community ideas to be discussed:

Improvements to routes
  • The route for cyclists from the High Street near Church Street to the crossing on Elizabeth Way is unclear – when is it on or off pavement? Can it be improved and made easier and safer to follow?
  • Need a better Give Way at the Green Park Junction with Green End Road.
  • Need easier route between Hawthorn Way and Oaktree Avenue – too many chicanes/gates.
  • Lots of scope for improvement of the route from the Green Dragon bridge into the City along riverside used by a lot of Chesterton commuters – better surfacing on Riverside, easier access at the cattle grid between Stourbridge Common and Riverside, path alongside river on Stourbridge is over capacity with cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Scotland Road speed bumps too harsh and crumbling – need cycle bypass or reconsider road layout. Narrow road with marked parking between trees.
  • Chapel Street – constantly patched surface needs proper repair.
  • Repairs needed to pavements.
Barriers on the Hawthorn Avenue cycle route
Barriers on the Hawthorn Avenue cycle route
Ideas for areas that currently feel hostile to those walking and cycling
  • Nuffield Road between Green End Road and the cycle access to the Guided Busway could be much improved for cyclists and pedestrians. Lots of people submitted ideas for how to reduce the number of high speed cars and heavy lorries, and create a safe, convenient route for cyclists and pedestrians, with segregated cycle lanes.
  • Water Lane is very unfriendly for cycling – high speed vehicles, blocked drain, and a difficult turn from Water Street if coming from the Green Dragon.
  • Reduce the width and radius of the curvature of the kerb Scotland Road/Union Lane junction and Union Lane/High Street junctions so that its harder for vehicles to make high speed and unsafe turns at these junctions.
  • Chesterton Road from Elizabeth Way to Mitchams Corner could be significantly improved for cyclists with narrower car lanes and high quality segregated cycle lanes.
Montage of Chesterton Road with protected cycle lanes
Imagine what Chesterton Road could be like with protected cycle lanes
Filtered permeability (closing off rat runs and vehicle incursions)
  • How about a bollard or closure at one end of Church Street/Chapel Street at its junction with the High Street?
  • Need some bollards on the path from St Andrews Road to the Tesco footbridge to stop incursions by vehicles.
Chesterton links to the Chisholm Trail
  • When the Chisholm Trail is opened, could we have a new cycle route down Cam Causeway to link the new Green End Road Scheme to the Chisholm Trail route?
  • The route of the Chisholm Trail from the new bridge to Moss Bank is going to need lots of improvements including a safe crossing of Fen Road. Would be great to have local involvement in planning this.
Pavement parking in East Chesterton
How do we tackle the problem of pavement parking?
  • Need to tackle pavement parking.
  • Encourage all cyclists to comply with restrictions including enforcement of regulations.
  • Enforce 20mph speed limits, particularly problem roads like the High Street and Fen Road.

If you are a Camcycle member, you can discuss the ideas above further before the meeting using our online forum, Cyclescape. We have a dedicated discussion thread for the active travel group and there are existing threads for some of the issues such as enforcing 20mph speed limits and the Chisholm Trail. If you care about improving cycling and walking in Cambridge and aren’t yet a member, you can sign up as a member online – your support amplifies our voice in the community and helps us work towards our mission of more, better and safer cycling for all ages and abilities.

Potholes are an issue for both cyclists and pedestrians
Working together to improve Chesterton

We hope that regular meetings can be held every two to three months, with different people to lead or champion the issues that mean most to them. At our October meeting, we’ll try to identify any proposals that look good to move forward with (e.g. by scoring ideas), and discuss what approaches to use to start moving them forwards. For example, what would a best practice solution look like and how can we campaign for that? As well as people to champion issues in their local area, we also need help planning and promoting each meeting. Should we stick to one venue or move around the area? Should the format of the meeting be informal or more structured? How can we make sure we are inclusive to all members of the community? What other improvements or suggestions do you have?

Before the August meeting, we also printed a limited distribution of our first ever Chesterton Cycling News. It would be great if this could be a regular publication, with distribution covering as much as possible of the Chesterton area. Could you help us write or distribute this? Get in touch if you’d like to be involved in this way.