Radegund Road planning

This article was published in 2001, in Newsletter 36.

Radegund Road is an attractive, tree-lined road on the major cycle route from Fulbourn and Cherry Hinton into town via the cycle bridge. The road is bordered by houses, set well back and each with its own parking spaces, and by a secondary school (Coleridge Community College).

On 4 April this year we attended a meeting organised by Cambridge City Council to discuss the traffic problems on this road and to make suggestions for resolving them. Those at the meeting included local councillors, police, teachers and residents as well as officials including a County Council official responsible for safe routes to schools.

Map

The main problems identified at the meeting were the volume and speed of the traffic, the number and variety of people who need to cross the road (for example, school pupils, the elderly, evening class students and people attending social events at the school), the lack of any provision for cyclists and the dangers of the Radegund Road-Coleridge Road-Davy Road junction.

Traffic volumes-pedestrian, cycle and vehicle-are likely to increase substantially in the near future for the following reasons:

  • Romsey Junior School and Sedley Infants School will be closing and a new primary school will be built in the grounds of Coleridge College with access from Radegund Road. Coleridge College has over 400 students and the new primary school will add over 200 to this number.
  • The Cattle Market redevelopment is due to start in the next few weeks. A multiplex cinema with 1700 seats, a 28-lane bowling centre, a health and fitness centre, 2600 square metres of themed restaurants, a 120-bed hotel and 31 flats are to be built. Limited vehicle parking is being provided on site-about half of normal national standards-which is likely to mean that cycle use will be high. Radegund Road will be an important cycle access route to the new development via the recently-constructed pedestrian and cycle path from Rustat Road.
  • The floor area of the Junction will be doubled in size. Because the Junction is used mainly by young people, cycle usage is high.
  • 262 new dwelling units are proposed for the Leica site in Rustat Road.
  • The very large railway station development-offices, hotel, retail and dwellings-on the town side of the cycle bridge will increase traffic over the cycle bridge, much of which will use Radegund Road.

We believe that these developments will substantially increase all forms of traffic in Radegund Road, but that the increase in cycle traffic will be proportionately the greatest.

We have thought long and hard about what cycle and other provisions would be appropriate for Radegund Road and here are our suggestions on which we very much welcome comments.

Toucan

We suggest a toucan crossing about 30 yards from the junction with Perne Road. The crossing would be the same distance away from the roundabout as the existing Perne Road crossing just south of the roundabout. If the crossing is to be usable by elderly residents of John Conder Court and, more generally, by pedestrians walking along the west side of Perne Road, it must not be further up Radegund Road than this. The proximity of the present Perne Road crossing to the roundabout does not seem to cause serious traffic-backup problems and there is little evidence to suggest that a Radegund Road crossing a similar distance from the roundabout would do so, either.

‘ the increase in cycle traffic will be proportionately the greatest’

Humps

We suggest that speed reduction should be accomplished by a series of flat-topped humps, like those in Green End Road. These humps, unlike many others in Cambridge, are quite easy to cycle over. We suggest one hump should be built at each end of the school frontage and another at each side of the junction with Golding Road and Suez Road. We would be strongly opposed to any buildouts because they force on-road cyclists into the path of vehicles and therefore are, we believe, a wholly inappropriate solution to the problem of excessive vehicle speed on an important cycle route.

Cycle path

Most important of all, we suggest a segregated on-pavement red cycle path, similar to the Barton Road one, on each side of Radegund Road and continuing along each side of Davy Road. The cycle path would be alongside the existing pavement and would use the inner edge of the green verge. The residual verge would still be wide. No trees would be affected (apart, possibly, from two or three newly-planted silver birches which could be moved). The small loss of amenity for residents would be outweighed by a considerable safety and amenity benefit for pedestrians and cyclists, especially for children cycling to school. Radegund Road is the central ‘spine’ of the catchment areas for the Coleridge Community College and the new primary school. A high proportion of children cycling to school will be coming in from one or other side of Radegund Road and then cycling along Radegund Road to get to school. If the cycling routes are safe, many children will cycle who otherwise would not do so.

We do not, at present, advocate on-road cycle lanes for Radegund Road either additionally or instead of on-pavement lanes. The reason is that non-mandatory cycle lanes are pointless and it is unlikely that parking would be prohibited along this road. In addition, the number of children who are taken to school by car is high and setting-down points along the school frontage would be hazardous for on-road cycle lane users, especially for child cyclists. There are a few road junctions along Radegund and Davy Roads which the on-pavement cycle lanes would have to cross. We think that these crossings should be raised and similar in type to those along the Barton Road cycle lane.

Traffic lights

The Radegund Road-Davy Road-Coleridge Road junction is, in our opinion, dangerous. This is especially true for cyclists travelling north (towards Mill Road) along Coleridge Road and turning right into Radegund Road, and for cyclists travelling west along Radegund Road and turning right into Coleridge Road. The only safe solution is, we feel, to install traffic lights at this junction with advance stop lines for on-road cyclists. Because of the quantity of turning traffic, we think that it is essential that the lights should have a pedestrian/cycle phase, perhaps button operated. We would like to see the car stop lines placed well back so that the Radegund Road and Davy Road cycle lanes can be taken directly across Coleridge Road.

Reinstate cycle link

We consider that a cycle route should be built along Golding Road and Ashbury Close. (We remember our sense of outrage when some thirty years ago this cycle route was blocked. Now that local authority attitudes are more cycle friendly, it should be reopened.) It should be an important component of a safe-routes-to-school plan for the Coleridge Community College.

Reopen college entrance

At present, the rear gate to the College from Montreal Road is not used. We would like to see a tarmac path constructed around the playing field so that this entrance can be opened up for cyclists and pedestrians, perhaps as part of the Safe Routes to School Initiative.

James and Lisa Woodburn