Your streets this month

Please help us by sending comments to the person named at the end of each item, as well as to us.

New routes

The Eastern Corridor Transport Plan, just published for consultation by the City Council, includes a proposal for a cycle route beside the railway between the Station area and Chesterton (see article in this issue). It also contains a proposal for a new bridge over the river between Riverside and Chesterton. Comments are being actively sought by David Parkin.

Under construction

Whilst the rest of us have been enjoying our summer holidays, the road and cycle path builders of Cambridge have been busy.

The traffic cones are out in force on Newmarket Road between the Airport Way junction and the Airport itself. The main changes here are an extra lane for cars travelling to the Park and Ride site, additional bus priority for buses, and a reconstructed shared-use cycle path. Although construction is not yet complete, the quality of the new path looks disappointing, with a less-than-smooth surface, uneven crossings of side roads and numerous bends. See article; comments to Alan Middlebrook.

On Queen’s Road, a new central island near Trinity College is proving as bad as we feared, with cyclists being squeezed by overtaking motorists. Comments to Richard Preston.

Major construction in Grange Road is introducing what we hope will be a highly cycle-friendly traffic calming scheme. We awarded this scheme a ‘Golden Bell’: we hope it lives up to expectation. Comments to Richard Preston.

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Construction is well underway on the changes in Grange Road. This picture shows one of the several narrowings being constructed. After our strongly worded comments, the obstructions now have bypasses for cycles on both sides of a pair of bollards. There is a raised bump in the centre for motor vehicles to use, in one direction at a time only. These features should significantly lower traffic speeds. There will also be some raised ‘tables’, without any bollards, for all traffic. The reconstruction of the existing shared-use footway, which we also supported (so long as using it was a matter of choice rather than a necessity), is not being done because it would have cost too much. The pavement will remain shared, so that cyclists who want to use it still can.
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Just north of the Barton Road junction – note the very narrow cycle lanes

Elsewhere in Cambridge, construction work is taking place in Trumpington (see article) to introduce new and modified junctions, cycle lanes and traffic calming in the vicinity of the new supermarket, and on Coldham’s Lane to install traffic signals at the junction with Cromwell Road.

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On Hills Road, a new segregated cycle path is being constructed on the west side between Long Road and Purbeck Road. We are unconvinced that this is a good use of money, but at least the quality appears to be good, with a higher standard of construction than on Newmarket Road. In addition, the cycle lanes along this section have been resurfaced. The quality of these cycle lanes is good: they have a red surface for their entire length, the width is adequate, and they are unbroken at pelican crossings. Never mind the cycle path; these cycle lanes are now the best in the city. The cycle lanes and cycle path together give us a cycle superhighway along this section of Hills Road, with almost as much highway width devoted to cycles as to motor vehicles. Comments to Richard Preston. A short length of advisory lane has been constructed in Hobson Street, to make it more obvious to taxi and bus drivers that this narrow road is two-way for cyclists. We awarded Hobson Street a ‘Chocolate Chain’ earlier this year, and although this token improvement is very welcome, conflict between cyclists and oncoming traffic on this vital cycle route remains.
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Cherry Hinton High Street has also been resurfaced, including the cycle lanes here. Unfortunately, the many places where the route for cyclists departs from the main carriageway remain as bumpy as ever. Here the gap was simply too narrow for the surfacing machines.

Addresses for comments

David Parkin, Environment and Planning Department, Cambridge City Council, FREEPOST ANG6390 Cambridge CB2 3YA or The Guildhall, Cambridge CB2 3JQ.

Alan Middlebrook, Project Officer, Mailbox ET1017, Environment and Transport, Cambridgeshire County Council, Castle Court, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP.

Richard Preston, Team Leader (Cambridge Projects), Mailbox ET1018, Environment and Transport, Cambridgeshire County Council, Castle Court, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP.

John Isherwood, Senior Engineer, Cambridge City Council, The Guildhall, Cambridge CB2 3JQ.