One week after they were installed without warning, we are pleased to see that the exclusionary chicane barriers on the cycleway between Warren Road and Eastfield have been removed. Thanks to everyone who helped us achieve such a fast result and to Cambridgeshire County Council for their removal. A new bollard is due to be put in place at the top of the path to prevent access by cars, as that had been reported as a problem by local residents.
We are concerned about the lack of process which led to these barriers being installed as there appeared to have been no consultation or paper trail. How is it possible that we struggle for years to get a decent cycle route and then it can be obstructed in a day without any communication from the council?
It’s long past time for all types of discriminatory barriers to be removed. Cycle routes must be fully accessible to people of all abilities, and they should be fully accessible to families with cargo cycles and trailers too. LTN 1/20 provides the guidance for designing access control to stop cars and lorries without excluding legitimate users, and there is no excuse for councils to use anything else. It also provides guidance for designing road junctions and crossings with ample visibility and clear markings that everyone can understand. When there’s a problem with a junction or crossing, the answer is to go back and ensure the design is in compliance with LTN 1/20 and possibly do some maintenance if needed.
The city, county and Greater Cambridge Partnership keep talking about modal shift, about getting more people out of cars and onto sustainable modes of transport like cycling. They want to build more routes to encourage and enable more people to cycle. This is all well and good, and we look forward to such efforts. However, they need to ensure that knowledge and application of LTN 1/20 is embedded at every level of each local authority or else all their efforts will be continually stymied by obstructive barriers and features that exclude families and disabled cyclists. We campaign for cycle routes that are usable by everyone and will continue to lobby for the removal of barriers like this and the adoption of policy that ensures no further unnecessary obstructions are installed.
Read Camcycle’s policy on access controls and obstructions here. If there is an exclusionary barrier on a route near you that you’d like to see removed, please get in touch. We’d like to gather a list of barriers that need to be removed. Wheels for Wellbeing, the inclusive cycling charity, has written a blog providing more information on the reasons behind the need to remove these obstructions.