National Cycling Awards

This article was published in 1998, in Newsletter 20.

We have nominated a local cycling feature in each category of the National Cycling Awards, as promoted by the Cyclists’ Touring Club. The awards will be made at the CTC-LCC-CCN conference in London on 10 October.

Best Facility: Carter Bridge

(Cambridgeshire County Council)

Carter Bridge, which has just had its security cameras replaced
Image as described adjacent

Although finished in 1991, we felt this bridge still deserves recognition. It cost £2 million to build and provides cyclists with a high-quality alternative to a busy and hazardous road bridge. British Rail imposed tight constraints on the bridge, meaning that it had to span 16 tracks at a height of 6.28 m, enough to clear the electrification catenary. Thus the main span of the bridge, 86.4 m long, is suspended by four cables from one side of a tower. Two more cables connect to an underground counterweight on the other side of the tower. The tower is hinged at its base, and so the main span is held up by the counterweight, each cable carrying a load of 58 tonnes. The walk and cycleway is completely enclosed in a transparent polycarbonate tube. Eight security cameras monitor the bridge, and pictures are transmitted by microwave link from the top of the tower. The approaches to the bridge rise at 1 in 20 and are heated to prevent the formation of ice. The bridge was named the Carter Bridge in recognition of county councillor Tony Carter’s work in promoting the scheme from its inception in 1985.

Best Route: Cambridge South East Cycle Route

(Cambridgeshire County Council)

The Carter Bridge is part of this route which now delivers cyclists from a wide area of the south east of the city into the centre. It features traffic-calmed routes, cycle lanes, cycle crossings and traffic lights with a cycle phase. I feel this route is under-publicised. I certainly didn’t know it had such a grand name. It’s far from straight, and features many junctions, four with traffic lights. However, it had the advantage of a publicity brochure that I could submit with the award nomination.

Most Effective Complementary Activity: Cycle Friendly Employers

(Cambridge and Huntingdon Health Authority and Friends)

This organisation employs a cycle promoter to actively encourage local employers to provide facilities for cyclists. It gives advice on insurance for pooled bikes and conducts travel surveys.

It is hard to know exactly what is meant by complementary activity: we could have suggested the cattle grids on Midsummer Common, lockers at the Park and Ride sites, or the green cycle-filter lights on Newmarket Road.

Simon Nuttall