This article was published in 2001, in Newsletter 38.
Cambridge continues to develop a large network of routes that allow cycling away from the busy main roads. These routes can help encourage people, including young families, to get out of their cars. Although restricted access points are often required to prevent use by motor vehicles or to reduce conflict between cyclists and pedestrians, there are many examples where barriers are unnecessary or poorly designed. A classic example is at the Devonshire Road end of the station cycle bridge, where three pillars force any cyclist with a trailer bike (and most other cyclists for that matter) to enter the bridge on the wrong side of the bike path so risking a collision. Another example is the link between Marmora Road and Coleridge Road where excessively narrow barriers make it so difficult for access with a child seat or large basket that one may as well cycle along the parallel Mill Road. Finally, why, where a route is blocked to motor vehicles, is it necessary to force heavy two-way cycle traffic through a single narrow chicane? This occurs in many situations, including the junction between Rustat Road and Greville Road.
There appears to be a lot of inconsistency in the design of these barriers, even when they are placed on routes specifically designed for cyclists. At an initial meeting, we will put our heads together to discuss the whole issue. If you are interested, meet at 140 Cherry Hinton Road at 7.30 pm, 18 October. For further details contact me.