Going Dutch: setting the Campaign's expectations of cycle infrastructure in Cambridge – motion to our AGM

This article was published in 2014, in Newsletter 116.

At the AGM, members will be asked to consider the following motion which the Committee is putting forward:

Cambridge Cycling Campaign adopts its document ‘Making Space For Cycling’ as formally defining the principles and standards which we expect highways schemes and planning applications to meet. This guide emphasises the need for high-quality cycle infrastructure which is desirable for people of all ages and abilities, and which will both encourage new people to cycle and actively benefit those who already cycle. We will assess all schemes against the principles and standards in the guide when considering whether to give support.

We reviewed our new Making Space for Cycling document in Newsletter 114. We have now issued it to every city councillor, and will shortly do so to every county councillor and those in key areas of South Cambridgeshire District Council.

The motion aims to provide, for the first time, a proper and clear benchmark against which we judge highways schemes and planning applications. Although we have been judging such schemes against these principles for a year or so now, this motion aims to give the Committee a more formal backing when making its judgements, even if in some cases compromise might still be required. The motion also aims to signal to the county council the standards we want to see, so that our responses to proposals are not unexpected.

As we previously noted, the guide explains how the key to enabling high cycling levels is excellent quality infrastructure, appropriate to the location, as well as bicycle parking. This guide covers the design principles required, from main roads down to local streets, as well as complementary measures such as cycle parking. The 36 pages aim to change developers’ and decision-makers’ view of cycling, showing it to be a mainstream and desirable mode of transport.

The guide stresses the importance of infrastructure suitable for everyone – whether people new to cycling or those who wish to cycle at speed without hindrance. It steers well clear of the failed model of the British ‘dual network’ approach (where ‘less confident’ cyclists have to put up with inconvenient shared-use pavements mixed with pedestrians, and ‘confident’ cyclists are deemed to be happy mixing with hostile traffic). Instead, it argues much more strongly for the Dutch and Danish approach whereby people of any ability can start to cycle and do so easily and efficiently.

You can read it online (or download a PDF) at www.makingspaceforcycling.org and we can send out paper copies.

Please do attend the AGM. Your Committee hopes that members will enthusiastically back the motion.

Martin Lucas-Smith