Support Downing Street changes for those cycling and walking

We’re delighted to see that the junction of Downing Street and St Andrew’s Street is due to be improved as part of the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s City Access project. A consultation on the proposed changes opened this week and we encourage you to respond before the deadline on Wednesday 19 February.

Downing Street junction

Downing Street is a key access point for cyclists travelling into the city, particularly those using the Grand Arcade cycle park. We have long campaigned for improvements to this junction including a wider entry point to the contraflow cycle lane and a safer way for cyclists to turn right into the road when approaching from St Andrew’s Street. The road layout and phasing of the lights creates unnecessary conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians and there have also been ongoing problems with delivery drivers obstructing the cycle lane. We’ve been campaigning for enforcement on this for over 20 years.

Last year, we met with officers from the county council to discuss ways to improve the junction and are pleased that our input has led to the following proposals:

Downing Street junction proposals

Changes to road layout
  • The bollard island that was requirement for the installation of the contraflow cycle lane many years ago will now be removed. This will provide more space for wider cycles such as cargo bikes, trailers and tricycles.
  • The footway will be widened on the south side of the junction to allow more space on this busy corner for waiting pedestrians.
Changes to road markings
  • The advanced stop line areas for cycles in Downing Street and St Andrew’s Street (southbound) will be extended to 5m in length.
  • Double yellow lines and ‘no loading’ markings will be added along the south side of Downing Street. These will be supported by signs clarifying the hours of the loading restriction (7.30am to 12am).
Changes to signalling
  • The pedestrian phase will be changed so that it comes after vehicles have completed their exit from Downing Street. ‘Density detection’ will be added so that the crossing time can be extended if there are a large number of people using the crossing.
  • An advanced green light for cycles will give people cycling a head start when leaving Downing Street.
  • The traffic light to vehicles travelling northbound on St Andrew’s Street will turn green a few seconds after the one for vehicles travelling southbound to help cycles turning right into Downing Street.
  • New low-level cycle signals will help cyclists exiting Downing Street to see the lights even when they are at the front of the advanced stop box.

Camcycle welcomes these changes which will make this junction a more pleasant place for those cycling and walking and reduce conflicts for all road users. However, we’d like to see additional physical protection for the contraflow cycle lane to ensure it is kept free of delivery vehicles and safe for cyclists of all ages and abilities.

We’d also like to see more of these small but significant improvements across the city in 2020 to help deliver better journeys for those choosing active modes of travel and to encourage more people to walk and cycle around Cambridge.

Submit your comments on the Downing Street proposal on the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s consultation website.
(One question only, no log-in required).

Get in touch to let us know your ideas for simple improvements to your cycling and walking journeys.