Briefly

Many people have been asking us about the Cambridge cycle route map that we are producing jointly with the County Council. Although it’s taking longer than we expected, we’re hopeful that it will be ready during October. All Cycling Campaign members will be entitled to a free copy – watch out for news of how to get yours!

Cambridgeshire Trading Standards Officers examined 342 hire bikes in July, and found only 81 were fault free when checked for compliance with the British Standard on cycle safety. The most common faults were inadequate reflectors and lights, poorly adjusted brakes and slack chains – all safety hazards – and the same faults which are most commonly featured in police accident reports. Linda Morrison Allsopp, Road Safety Officer, Cambridgeshire County Council, said: ‘It is shocking that three-quarters of hire bikes fall below a safe standard . The one saving grace is that the hire firms have responded positively to the initiative and put things right.’

Ten sixth form colleges and independent schools in the south of Cambridge have, with help from the County Council, prepared a campaign this autumn to encourage students to use buses, walk, cycle and use trains, rather than add their cars to the city’s traffic congestion. The emphasis is on bus use. There are 6 000 students between the ten establishments. The Cambridge Evening News reported after one week that the scheme had persuaded only ten students to switch to park and ride.

Contractors have started strengthening work on Cambridge’s Long Road railway bridge to upgrade it for 40 tonne lorries. Work will continue until March. This is the last of the three bridges on Long Road to undergo strengthening work.

The publishers of Bycycle and Bike Culture Quarterly have launched a new national Compensation and Advice Service for Cycling Accidents (CASCA). This gives cyclists legal protection, on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. It is an initiative of the Bycycle Club, but is available to all cyclists. The CASCA legal advice freephone is 0800 542 0196. For further info on CASCA and the Bycycle Club phone 01904 654654
e-mail bycycleclub@thepartnershipforum.com (http://www.bycycle.com/).

Mark Irving

Grange Road

The proposals for traffic calming in Grange Road include a northbound cycle lane and an upgrade of the existing shared-use southbound. At one point, the road is already so narrow that to make a continuous cycle lane, the road would have to have only one car lane. Rather than make it one-way, the proposal is that this alternates over a 60 m section, controlled by traffic lights (which wouldn’t affect northbound cycles). This would also serve, of course, to control traffic speed and discourage some of the traffic altogether.

It’s not clear whether this part of the proposal can get the support it needs to go ahead. If there is to be a cycle priority scheme, then it really must be continuous to be effective. Abandoning the cyclist just where it gets hard is all too often a problem. The City Council (who are co-ordinating this) would very much like to hear your views on this, especially if you work in the area or regularly travel through it (residents will be circulated anyway).

Chesterton Road-Elizabeth Way roundabout

The County Council is considering safety improvements at the roundabout at the north end of Elizabeth Way. This is one of the ten or so remaining large roundabouts in the City that because of their size, approach angles and traffic volume, are highly intimidating for cyclists.

The proposal we have seen would:

  • very slightly enlarge the central island,
  • reduce the circulating width of the roundabout to a uniform size,
  • mark the circulating space into two lanes,
  • reduce all entries to two lanes and exits to single lanes, and
  • have much sharper entries and exits.

All that is intended to keep speeds down.

Interesting also is that there could be bypasses, set well back from the roundabout itself (separated by wide verges constructed in the space freed up by the much reduced roundabout), which allow left-turning cyclists never to have to go onto the roundabout at all.

We would be very interested to hear whether you think this approach is preferable, for example, to installing traffic lights (which has been the solution of preference in most places, but is limited by the high cost of the equipment and the capacity of the resulting junction). If you would like to see a plan or help us with detailed comments, please do get in touch.

David Earl