Histon Road proposals

This article was published in 2013, in Newsletter 109.

The county council is proposing to make changes to Histon Road between Victoria Road and Gilbert Road.

Paid for out of a bus fund, the intention is, apparently, to reduce delays from buses ‘stuck’ behind cyclists. Because of its origin outside the Cycle Projects team, it does not live up to the improved standards that other similar changes have in recent years.

There are very welcome changes to the Gilbert Road junction, with wide approach lanes and red surfacing. And there would be red surfacing across side roads.

However, for the rest of the length, the proposal is for narrow (mostly 1.3m wide) advisory cycle lanes in which parking will be allowed from the evening to the early morning. To do this they will have to fight the parking lobby, as all daytime car parking would be removed on this stretch of Histon Road.

The removal of car parking will undoubtedly mean much improved cycling, but we are very disappointed indeed by what would replace it. 1.3m lanes mean that these buses they want to speed up will pass extremely close to cyclists; the lane markings encourage traffic not to move over where they would do otherwise. 1.3m is also way below the County Council’s minimum width for cycle lanes agreed last year.

While the scheme has positive aspects, it does seem disappointing overall on a road that is crying out for better cycle provision. Perhaps, given its width (it is by-and-large narrower than Gilbert Road, where 1.7m lanes were possible), only a much more radical solution would actually improve things here.

David Earl