Coldhams Lane and Vinery Road

Coldhams Lane

What is proposed?

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Option 1: an experimental bus gate modal filter at the foot of the Coldhams Lane railway bridge (east side).

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Option 2: an experimental bus gate modal filter on Coldhams Lane between Brampton Road and Cromwell Road.

In both cases, a ‘bus gate modal filter’ means a camera-controlled section of roadway where only buses and non-motorised road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and mobility scooter users are permitted to pass.

Our thoughts and position

The section of Coldhams Lane under consideration passes through the residential neighbourhood between Cromwell Road and the Sainsbury’s roundabout. Right now it has extremely narrow cycle lanes that are well below standard and much more motor traffic than is appropriate for a residential road that is not even designated as an A or B road. This makes it a difficult road for cycling as well as for pedestrians trying to cross. The proposed scheme has two options but each has the same goal, which is to remove regional motor traffic from this section of the road while local motor traffic may still access properties and buses may pass through. This would have the major benefit of turning Coldhams Lane into a safe residential street overnight, reducing traffic in the entire area, and also cutting congestion for buses and emergency vehicles. The only downside is that some motor vehicle journeys might take a few minutes longer, but this has to balanced against the fact that local car journeys will no longer get caught in congestion.

Of the two options, we believe Option 1 is superior because it firmly cuts off any rat-running possibilities. Option 2 will require significantly more work because it is possible to circumvent that particular placement of the experimental bus gate modal filter by rat-running through local side streets, or Mill Road. While this also permits local journeys to bypass the restriction, it may be too attractive for regional motorists, and it is unclear whether any combination of traffic calming additions can stop them. If Option 2 is taken forward then we recommend that a second modal filter is considered, possibly on Cromwell Road or Fairfax Road, in order to prevent rat-running.

Does the proposal meet DfT guidelines?

In our view, both options constitute significant road space reallocation and would qualify for funding according to the DfT’s requirements.

What would we like to see?

We believe Option 1 is the simplest and clearest option.

If for any reason neither option goes ahead, we feel it is very important that Coldhams Lane is treated as very high priority for measures to improve cycling and to reduce the effects of traffic on residents.

We believe it is important to see such a scheme in the context of the overall need for traffic reduction around Cambridge. We strongly urge the County Council to publish a clear network plan and proposals for upgrading of all major roads to improve cycling and public transport.

Vinery Road

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What is proposed?

The county council is proposing an experimental modal filter on Vinery Road just north of the junction with Vinery Way and the St Philips school driveway, exactly where there is currently a width restriction. The proposal is to turn the width restriction into a modal filter by inserting additional (removable) bollards.

Our thoughts and position

This would have the benefit of maintaining motor vehicle access to all properties while opening up the street for safer walking and cycling, especially near the school, and stopping rat-running between Coldhams Lane and Mill Road. It is one of the last streets in this area of Romsey that has not had measures to stop rat-running, and so this inconsistency should rightly be addressed. A local school streets programme has been popular here for the past year and an experimental modal filter would be a natural complement. We strongly support this experiment.

An additional suggestion from a local resident and Camcycle member:

The school streets team and the school would be really pleased for the modal filter to be installed. To help it run smoothly it would be beneficial to reverse the direction of traffic on the one-way section of Vinery Road. Currently a lot of delivery vehicles for the post office come from Coldhams Lane down Vinery Way then, after delivery, they have to U-turn at the modal filter. This often means reversing into the school drive to help with the turn. This is currently the only entrance and exit for the school and is very narrow so not ideal. If the one-way street is able to take traffic away from the modal filter it removes the need for some motor traffic to turn around at that point.

Does the proposal meet DfT guidelines?

Yes, experimental modal filters are explicitly mentioned as road changes that would qualify for funding.