Two-way cycling in one-way streets: petition


Proposals have been put forward to allow contraflow cycling in three one-way streets in Petersfield. These are Kingston Street, Mackenzie Road, Willis Road. These streets are used not only by local residents, but also cyclists across Cambridge.

Some Councillors have generated support against the proposals. The proposals should in our view be uncontroversial, and are entirely in line with recent government policy.


Our petition of over 277 signatures, obtained within a 24 hour period, has now been submitted. (The final figure is subject to confirmation.)

Thanks to all who signed, returned the leaflet or e-mailed.

The exercise has demonstrated that there is certainly support from very many Petersfield people (and indeed from people around Cambridge) who use these streets.

Local support – map of petitioners

This map makes clear that there has been much local support for our position. Note the very heavy bunching of signatories in the Mill Road area.

Petitioner map

Key points

As printed in our letter distributed to residents.

  • Our area needs cycling solutions to ease the parking shortage and reduce traffic.
    Cycle-friendly proposals reduce the need for people to own and use cars. Councillors should be actively supporting cycling as a key component of solutions to ease road congestion and free up car parking spaces in Cambridge.
  • Government guidance favours two-way cycling in one-way streets.
    Cyclists need direct and convenient routes. A great deal of evidence has accumulated that two-way cycling in one-way streets can be safely accommodated. Draft government guidance issued in 2004 states: “Cyclists should be exempted from … one-way orders … unless there are overriding safety considerations that cannot be resolved.” [Local Transport Notes 1/04].
  • The evidence demonstrates lack of danger.
    Official Safety Audits for these schemes show no record of poor safety, despite heavy existing illegal contraflow use. Many nearby narrow streets allow two-way cycling without problems. Crucially, the proposals enable cyclists to legally avoid more dangerous roads.
  • Current arrangements simply have the effect of criminalising many local cyclists.
    Illegal cycling cannot be condoned. However, many ordinary people who live on or near these streets choose to cycle in the contraflow direction because it forms a natural desire line for them.
  • The Kingston Street route forms part of a key route for cyclists across Cambridge.
    Petersfield streets are used by people across Cambridge, not just local residents.
  • Pedestrians are not harmed by cycling in two directions.
    Two-way cycling (or traffic generally) is the norm in most streets. The proposals contain pedestrian crossing points, the design of which we have proposed to improve, as detailed in a letter about the proposed changes on our website at

Signatories on-street

Pages of signatories were collected in even the first hour at Kingston Street, one of the streets concerned.

Petition (issued 10th January 2007)

Petition to Cambridge Traffic Management Area Joint Committee: We, the undersigned, ask Members of the Committee to give backing to the proposals to allow two-way cycling in Kingston Street, Mackenzie Rd and Willis Rd.

Name(s) in capitals:


Full residential address incl. postcode:

If you agree with us, please sign our petition. Either print and drop the signed petition off at 35 Ainsworth Street or 80b York St by 8pm on Thursday 11th January if possible, though later would still be useful. Alternatively, e-mail the exact petition wording above, with your name and full address to (or post a completed petition to the address at the top of this letter).

We will not use your contact details for any purpose other than to reply, after submission of the petition, to tell you the outcome. However, please note that the Council may contact a sample of the respondents to check the validity of the petition.

Our letter of support

We have sent a our letter of support.

In it, we offer support but suggest improvements to the design around the pedestrian crossings.


Circulated with Newsletter 69 were some inserts about the proposals to permit 2 way cycling in 3 streets off Mill Road. This page contains copies of those documents.

Kingston St; see also photo

Mackenzie Road

Willis Road

Formal consultation document

The consultation document describes the proposals in full.