GCP persists with dangerous busway proposals for Adams Road

Camcycle is disappointed to see the new Cambourne-to-Cambridge proposals which will be presented to the Greater Cambridge Partnership Joint Assembly.

Almost 6,000 people per day cycle along Adams Road, peaking at over 800 people per hour on busy days. The anticipated expansion of the West Cambridge site will further increase this number. We support all forms of sustainable transport. However, we are gravely concerned about the safety risks of running the anticipated figure of 30 buses per hour on a road that already has very large numbers of people cycling. Adams Road is simply not wide enough to fit buses and maintain safe space for people cycling.

Along the proposed busway, the bus drivers will be able to travel at speeds of up to 55mph. Yet, when they arrive at narrow Adams Road, they will be expected to slow down for safety’s sake to 10mph and carefully follow behind the large groups of people who are typically cycling there. Past experience with similar situations on a shared section of the Guided Busway route gives us cause for concern, such as the incident on 21st June 2017 when a bus driver attempted to pass some cyclists and drove the bus into a wall. We will be asking the Joint Assembly to give careful consideration to the implications of the report’s recommendations and whether the project is cutting costs by inappropriately shifting injury risk onto members of the public.

Public transport and cycling should complement each other, not be crowded into the same space. Our recommendation is that the GCP should proceed with implementing measures to reduce the private car traffic that is congesting Cambridge roads, delaying buses and polluting our air. Following the recommendations of the Citizen’s Assembly such as implementing road closures, introducing road charging schemes and reducing car parking would be a good start. Resolving road design issues further upstream such as the Girton Interchange should also be pursued.

Nearly 3,000 people have signed a petition calling for the GCP to “Stop Cambridge’s busiest cycle route becoming a Busway”. The petition was organised by Adams Road residents including Dan Strauss who said “The GCP’s own traffic survey revealed 5,900 cyclists use the road every day, that’s 1 million a year. The problem is, the road isn’t wide enough to cope with 220 buses a day and thousands of cyclists. Every time a bus passes a vehicle it will be cyclists who will suffer as they’re squeezed into the kerb. The 3000 signatories of our petition know the very real dangers of turning Adams Road into a busway. Their voices have not been listened to. Elsewhere in Cambridge the GCP prides itself on local consultation and listening to stakeholders, but Adams Road has been the victim of a last-minute panic with officers determined to show they can spend government funding fast.”

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner joined Camcycle and local campaigners at the Adams Road to show support for the petition and campaign to save Cambridge’s busiest cycle route. He said “I warned a decade ago that building Cambourne without building proper transport infrastructure was a mistake and today we are still paying the price. We must improve public transport to, and around, Cambridge, but this must not be done to the detriment of the many people who are already doing their bit for our city by cycling and walking. The status quo on Adam’s Road is not perfect, with so many parked cars down both sides of the road and we should make the best use of available road space so cyclists get safe, segregated routes.”

Take Action

Sign the ‘Save your cycle route’ petition.

Read more about Adams Road including our briefing paper.

Email members of the Joint Assembly and let them know your concerns.
timothy.wotherspoon@cambridgeshire.gov.uk
timbick01@gmail.com
nicky.massey@cambridge.gov.uk
mike.davey@cambridge.gov.uk
cllr.wilson@scambs.gov.uk
cllr.sollom@scambs.gov.uk
cllr.williamsh@scambs.gov.uk
noel.kavanagh@cambridgeshire.gov.uk
john.williams@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

Use contactus@greatercambridge.org.uk for the attention of:

Jo Sainsbury – iMET / Cambridge Regional College
Christopher Walkinshaw – Marshall of Cambridge Ltd.
Helen Valentine – Anglia Ruskin University
Dr Jonathan Wells – Cancer Research Cambridge
Andy Williams – AstraZeneca
Heather Richards – Verint (VP Product Strategy)

Full Press Release from Save Your Cycle Route

The GCP‘s decision to turn the busiest cycle route in Cambridge into a Busway is a dark day for the thousands of cyclists who use the road.

The GCP’s own traffic survey revealed 5,900 cyclists use the road every day, that’s 1 million a year. The problem is, the road isn’t wide enough to cope with 220 buses a day and thousands of cyclists. Every time a bus passes a vehicle it will be cyclists who will suffer as they’re squeezed into the kerb.

The 3000 signatories of our petition know the very real dangers of turning Adams Road into a busway. Their voices have not been listened to.

Elsewhere in Cambridge the GCP prides itself on local consultation and listening to stakeholders, but Adams Road has been the victim of a last-minute panic with officers determined to show they can spend government funding fast.

What happened to the dream of the segregated Busway? What’s going to happen to passenger journey times when 30 buses an hour meet the busiest cycle route in Cambridge? How can the GCP claim to be encouraging cycling when thousands will have their journeys disrupted by sharing a narrow carriageway with up to 30 buses an hour?

On the same day as the GCP issued their decision, they finally sent us the raw data from their traffic survey (the last one was six years ago). This was typical of the shabby way Adams Road cyclists have been treated: last-minute inclusion, decisions based on out of date data, information revealed after numerous requests.

We call on the Joint Assembly and the Executive Board to halt these disastrous plans and put time into thoughtful research and consultation which will give cyclists and pedestrians equal consideration with bus commuters.

“This route will destroy a large amount of wildlife habitat, endanger large numbers of cyclists and spread noise and pollution into areas that at the moment are relatively free of it. Why not simply run the Busway along the main road?”

JC, one of almost 3000 people who signed our petition