This article was published in 1998, in Newsletter 21.
I sometimes cycle into Cambridge from Little Wilbraham and thought you might be interested in an update on the A14’s Quy interchange. This is my most direct route into Cambridge, but when travelling during the morning rush-hour I now take the longer, but much more pleasant, route through Fulbourn (via the Robin Hood junction, Walpole Road, Radegund Road and the Carter Bridge over the railway). Recent road works along Fulbourn’s Cambridge Road have forced me onto the Fulbourn Old Drift cycle route – now much improved. It is a wiggly route, but the more I use it, the more I enjoy it.
Why not use the direct route? These are the difficulties I have experienced recently:
- The usual rules for roundabouts do not apply. Drivers coming off the A14 and onto the A1303 for Cambridge (Newmarket Road) no longer have to give way to traffic from the right: the slip road flows directly into the left-hand lane of the A1303. But drivers going onto the roundabout (for the Burwell and Newmarket exit) do have to give way to all vehicles from the right, except pedal cycles. Drivers are understandably confused and hesitant.
- Traffic sometimes flows more smoothly. But this has been achieved by condoning and encouraging the use of high speeds off the A14 straight on to the slip road and A1303. Yet there is supposed to be a national movement towards speed reduction. At really peak times (like a wet Monday after the school half-term break) there is still slow-moving traffic on the approach road from Burwell and on the A1303 exit, therefore a shunt-type accident is just as likely to occur as before.
- There is a tiny strip of cycle lane on the roundabout itself, then nowhere for the cyclist to go. We wait for a gap (which I admit isn’t as difficult as I thought it might be) then cycle into a lane of traffic which is travelling at 60-70 mph straight off the A14.
In the interests of making reports to Cambridge Cycling Campaign, and for a fast journey time, I continue to experiment with this route. But in general I choose to cycle through the villages. Cyclists from Lode and Bottisham don’t have that option.