West Cambridge

This article was published in 2000, in Newsletter 28.

After looking at the plans for cycle routes to Cambridge University’s development site in West Cambridge, we have had a meeting with Hannah Reed, the consultants working on the University’s behalf.

‘The proposals look good…and they recognise…the high standard of route that will be required’

The plans, which are long-term with no clear dates in them, propose developing cycle routes along two corridors. Plans are furthest advanced for improving the existing route from the Coton Footpath to Adams Road, Burrell’s Walk and Garret Hostel Lane. There are also more tentative plans for an entirely new route across open land. This would join Grange Road near the Rugby Ground and then use West Road and Queens’ Green to reach Silver Street, which may in the distant future be closed to motor traffic.

In general, the proposals look good: they are suitably ambitious, and they recognise both the large numbers of cyclists that will use these routes and the high standard of route that will be required. They include converting the Burrell’s Walk-Queen’s Road pelican crossing into a proper cycle crossing, and introducing signals at the West Road-Queen’s Road junction. This would allow cyclists to get between West Road and an improved path across Queen’s Green to Silver Street.

We were much less impressed by the proposals for Madingley Road. Here, the University proposes installing traffic signals at the main entrance to the site (where the entrance to the Cavendish Laboratory is now). However, the plans include left-turn-only lanes in each direction, and there is no mention of advance stop lines or of cycle lanes. The consultants told us that ‘most cyclists use the pavement anyway’. We will be able to refute this assertion following a traffic count we carried out last month, which showed that most cyclists on Madingley Road were using the main carriageway.

The West Cambridge subgroup has re-formed to respond to these proposals; for details see Subgroups.

Nigel Deakin