The awkward junction at Adrian Way/Long Road

This article was published in 2014, in Newsletter 114.

Location plan
Image as described adjacent

When I first started working at Addenbrooke’s, Adrian Way was marked ‘no entry for private vehicles’. Since I figured a cycle isn’t a vehicle, and it was a private road anyway, I just ignored this – probably a couple of times after I first cycled to work from my home in Cherry Hinton. This was after I’d decided that the main roundabout, the second ‘flagpole’ roundabout and the main drive were too vile ever to cycle on again, and I worked out I could come along Long Road, turn left onto the site and reverse that in the evening, which felt much safer and easier. Now I live in the north of the city and so approach the site via Hills Road, it is still far preferable in both directions. When I recently had to take the route across car park H to survey some bike racks, I realised a) how bad getting from car park H onto Hills Road is and b) how unpleasant the Hills Road/Long Road traffic lights are for northbound cyclists, unless you want to sit at the back of a long queue of traffic. The various options for getting onto site from Hills Road in the morning are even more ghastly compared to using Adrian Way.

Ever since the new multistorey car park near the blood transfusion centre was built about five or six years ago, I’ve been doing a forbidden right turn to get home every night. At about the same time the car park was built, Adrian Way became a route for cars to get to the car park, and right turns onto Long Road were banned, presumably to prevent cars from the new car park using Adrian Way to proceed to the city centre. At first, I’d say the number of cyclists doing what I do every evening reduced, but it has gradually gone up as people vote with their pedals for what they feel is the safest and most convenient route to get off site, especially if heading for the city centre. Anecdotally, this appears to be a popular route used by many of those who work on the campus.

Campaign surveyor at work.
Image as described adjacent
Cyclists turning right out of Adrian Way. Indication of the county council’s solution shown superimposed on photograph.
Image as described adjacent

This topic has been a frequent topic of discussion at the Addenbrooke’s Bicycle User Walking Action Group (BUG-WAG) with little progress so far – I have notes going back at least as far as summer 2010. At the October meeting last year, we were even shown a draft plan to alter the junction. Since then nothing has happened. As we seemed to be in a state of impasse on this matter, I thought some hard data on the need for allowing right turns were needed. I asked Simon Nuttall if I could borrow the Campaign’s set of tally counters, and decided when I was free to spend an hour sitting on Long Road counting. In the end, on Monday 24 March, Simon came along with the stall bike and had useful chats with several people as well as taking some decent photos while I counted traffic. (See the table for the counts.) We were going to do an early morning count too, on the basis that those turning left going in in the morning would want to turn right going out in the evening, but the dataset we got with just our evening hour we felt was persuasive enough. When will Adrian Way be not just a permitted but a recommended route for cycling on and off the Addenbrooke’s site?

Data Table – evening

times pm. Motors to West Motors to East Cycles to West Cycles to East
4.30 4.45 16 0 0 7
4.45 5.00 13 4 0 8
5.00 5.15 19 1 4 26
5.15 5.30 20 3 0 27
5.30 5.45 13 2 3 14
5.45 6.00 7 2 0 14
totals 88 12 7 96

Motors = anything that’s not a bicycle
Motors to West = motors that turn LEFT out of Adrian Way (to Trumpington)
Motors to East = motors that turn RIGHT out of Adrian Way (to Hills Road direction)
Cycles to West = Cycles that turn LEFT out of Adrian Way (to Trumpington)
Cycles to East = Cycles that turn RIGHT out of Adrian Way (to Hills Road direction)
Bicycles were counted whether on the road or on the pavement and however they did the right turn (to left of island, over top of island, to right of island, or left and then U-turn which at least one did).

Heather Coleman