Changes to Castle St – Magdalene St junction

This article was published in 2014, in Newsletter 115.

As part of the routine updating of the traffic lights at the junction of Castle Street, Magdalene Street, Northampton Street and Chesterton Lane, some pedestrian and cycle improvements are being proposed by the county council.

This is not a cycling scheme and is not funded by cycling money; it is driven by the necessity of modernising the traffic lights. Nevertheless, the proposals are an improvement, if a modest one.

Currently there are no signals for pedestrians at this junction, so the biggest change will be for the benefit of pedestrians: two signalised crossings at the ends of Chesterton Lane and Northampton Street. The signals will stop traffic in all directions, so people can also cross Magdalene Street and Castle Street at this time as well.

The proposed features for cyclists are:

  • New Advanced Stop Box (ASB) on Chesterton Lane with advisory cycle lane lead-in.
  • Enlarged ASB on Castle Street, which will benefit inbound student riders in the morning rush-hour (needs DfT approval).
  • Advanced greens for bicycles on Magdalene Street and Castle Street (needs DfT approval).

The Campaign will highlight the need to remove the pedestrian island on Chesterton Lane, as it will no longer be necessary with a single-stage signalised crossing. Such pinch points endanger cyclists by encouraging close overtaking.

The council is currently consulting with stakeholder groups, including us. There will be no formal public consultation. Construction is intended to start in January 2015.

Hester Wells