New traffic lights at Mill Road and Gwydir Street are now working (see previous Newsletter). Work is underway in Newmarket Road and will shortly start in Barton Road. But there are some more measures being considered beyond that, which will help cyclists in particular places.
Changes to the layout of Kings Parade, limiting parking and access for motor vehicles, are moving forward again. The original ideas were floated at the same time as St Andrew’s Street was changed two years ago, but disagreements with the colleges, money, and other work in hand delayed this scheme. The firmer plans should be fairly neutral for cyclists – better lighting, less traffic, freer movement by the Senate House, but slightly less road space.
Mill Road / Perne Road
The mini-roundabout at the out-of-town end of Mill Road (Brookfields) will in all probability be changed to traffic lights. Details have still to be worked out, but the decision has been made in principle. This junction is at the top of this year’s list for accident remedial work (the list is based on a scoring system which takes into account things like severity and number of casualties, convenience for all users, environmental impact and so on).
Money spent on speed cameras appears to be very cost effective in reducing accidents. The effect in Newmarket Road has been remarkable – in fact to such an extent that the Ditton Fields junction, which is nevertheless still high on the list, has had work on it deferred until the wider effect of the cameras and the bus lanes (see Newmarket Road – keeping the Dulux dog busy) can be assessed. But there should be some money for more speed cameras.
In the meantime, we wrote to the Roads Minister, Baroness Hayman, asking for money from speed camera fines to be ploughed back into more cameras to avoid the funding problems in installing and operating them and help overcome the increased load on the court system. We received a sadly lukewarm response.
City cycling corridors
As well as the bus lanes, Newmarket Road is one of three corridors to be reviewed next year specifically with cycling provision in mind. The others are Madingley Road and the vestigial Sustrans route from the City Centre to the south (specifically Addenbrooke’s). It seems crazy that the bus priority measures and cycle improvements couldn’t be considered together, but there lies the ways of bureaucracy. However, this is more than just looking at these roads: it will take in the whole corridor. For Newmarket Road this would include, for example, Riverside and possibly onward towards Quy. We’ve already been involved from the Sustrans end of things, and we’ll continue to work with the County Council in looking at these corridors as a whole.
Clarendon Street is the road which runs between the traffic lights at the north-east corner of Parker’s Piece towards the Grafton Centre. It seems quite likely that this will be shut to motor traffic by left open for cyclists at some time in the next year or so. Details are not available yet, but news here as we get it.