Last year the county council submitted a bid to the Department for Transport (DfT) for money from the ‘Local Sustainable Transport Fund’ (LSTF). That bid failed.
To be sustainable, one major requirement is that when the funding ceases the benefits continue. Obviously, constructing new cycle routes that are then well used is a good example, and funding the running cost of an otherwise uneconomic bus service is a bad example.
A revised bid was submitted at the end of February and fuller details are available at bit.ly/GNaZQx
So briefly what might we, and others wishing to cycle, get?
This bid concentrates on alternative access and travel planning in both the A10 and A14 corridors. This includes improving cycle access, and cycle parking, hence making cycling more viable as an alternative to the car.
If approved, we should get more cycle parking at locations on the Guided Bus route where existing racks are full, as well as extra cycle parking at Ely, Waterbeach and Huntingdon stations. It also includes some loosely defined new links, which gives some flexibility should some prove difficult to achieve.
Of course, we know the devil is in the detail but, assuming the county wins this bid, we will endeavour to work effectively with county officers to get the best possible schemes.
There has also been a second bid for DfT funding, which we have just heard has been successful. This is for money from a Better Bus Access Fund (BBAF). Some of you will know that I am an enthusiastic supporter of buses as a solution to some transport problems, although not as much as Simon Norton who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of buses not only in Cambridge but also elsewhere.
BUT some components of this bid should also benefit those on bikes. The £1.7 million for the Better Bus Area Fund means we should expect that car parking will be removed from Jesus Lane, Histon Road and Station Road by the end of this year. It is at just such locations that bikes and buses can find themselves fighting for the same bit of roadspace. Remove the parked cars and you very significantly reduce the opportunity for conflict, as well as reducing delays for both buses and bikes.
There are also proposals to further restrict access for non-essential traffic to St Andrew’s St, and hence Hobson St and King St. The taxi rank will go from St Andrew’s Street by the early in 2014. Better enforcement of traffic regulations, to reduce delay is also proposed. Bringing into force Part 6 of the TMA will make such enforcement easier.
We wrote a letter of support for both these bids.