This article was published in 2001, in Newsletter 34.
Last year David Green described his journey from Queen Edith’s Road to Chesterton, a journey that coincides with trips I regularly make, though not in one go and not in the rush hour. However, David seems to delight in busy roads and horrific roundabouts while I prefer the more peaceful back streets and I take a rather different route.
My journey on the latest occasion started from the direction of the Shelfords and ended in the centre of the city, but involved a slight diversion to deliver newsletters in Queen Edith’s.
Having puffed and panted to the top of Granham’s Road (walking!), it’s a welcome downhill roll virtually all the way to the bottom of Beaumont Road [A] where I turn left into Queen Edith’s Way, using the shared-use footpath to nip into Heron’s Close nearby. Like David, I would not like to use it for more than a few yards. However, I avoid the necessity to do so and I avoid the unpleasant roundabout at the end of Queen Edith’s Way by cruising down Strangeways Road almost opposite Beaumont Road [B].
I continue the roll, turning right into Godwin Way and then left down Gunhild Way to Wulfstan Way having missed the nasty bends this road contains [C]. I now have a straight run [D] down to Cherry Hinton Road with a few yards of shared-use pavement round the corner [E]. Here there is a pelican crossing [F] (cyclists dismount) and a walk past Budgens. This part of the route will, hopefully, soon be improved with a contra-flow for bicycles.
I now arrive at another pelican crossing [G] onto the cycle lane in Perne Road. I have now avoided another roundabout. Perne Road to Radegund Road is relatively simple, but I often avoid the main road and the next roundabout by turning left up Perne Avenue and squeezing through the ‘pram handles’ at the end of Gisborne Road [H], coming out into Radegund Road opposite Coleridge School.
Unlike David, I find the crossing from Radegund Road into Davy Road difficult and dangerous. Cars often move too fast down Coleridge Road and parked cars block the view from the right. Instead I turn right off Radegund Road into Suez Road where you can cycle through the barrier [I] and continue down to Marmora Road where I turn left and, with some difficulty, manoeuvre my rather large basket through what must be some of the worst ‘pram handles’ in the city. You will now realise the extent of my preference for back streets and even ‘pram handles’ to traffic and roundabouts.
I am now on the recommended cycle route to the cycle bridge, crossing Coleridge Road on a toucan crossing and on up Greville Road [K] to the bridge. (Stop to buy some nice Italian bread at the corner shop.)
Up to the top of the bridge with its view of the Gogs [L] (well, I remember it!) and down to Devonshire Road where the new kerb could well be better aligned [M]. Unlike David, I don’t automatically position myself in the middle of the road ready for a right turn ahead. It is usually possible, when emerging from the bridge, to judge one’s speed to arrive at a green light or get safely into the box while any cars are stationary.
I can’t imagine why David then wants to tackle Mill Road – the delight of the cycle bridge is that you can avoid it! For me it’s on down Lyndewode Road and Gresham Road to Parker’s Piece, hoping that there are not too many pedestrians wandering across the cycle crossing, leaving me with my back wheel on the road when the lights change. And so into town along the nicely resurfaced Regent Terrace [N].
Were I to go north from the cycle bridge to Chesterton, I would certainly take the route recommended on the Cambridge cycle route map, along St Barnabas Road, Gwydir Street, Ainsworth Street and York Street. Take the pelican crossing across Newmarket Road and continue along the river to the Green Dragon Bridge. A new bridge across the river from Riverside would cut the distance to West Chesterton. Of course, on a beautiful summer’s day Romsey Town to Coldham’s Common, Fen Ditton to Baits Bite Lock and back along the river makes a lovely start to the day!
Do you have a Way you would like to share? We have not heard much from people west and north-west so far, so if you come in from Barton, Newnham, Madingley or Dry Drayton, for example, we would love to hear from you.