Bus shelters update

In mid-March we wrote to Cambridge City Council asking for urgent action over some newly-installed bus shelters whose advertising panels were creating a hazard for cyclists and bus passengers on shared-use pavements. This was reported in some detail in Newsletter 35. Here is an update on what has happened since.

At the end of March, the Council sent us a list of proposed changes to many of the shelters that Cllr Chris Howell and the Cycling Campaign had complained about. Most of the changes would involve moving shelters further back from the road, making it harder for people to walk out from the shelter into the path of a passing cyclist, and putting up warning notices for bus users. Also, a number of advertising end-panels would be removed altogether.

Image as described adjacent
This shelter, on Milton Road near the junction with Green End Road, will be replaced by one with transparent panels at both ends – but we still don’t know when.

We responded saying that the replacement of some shelters to eliminate the closed end-panels was very welcome news, but that we didn’t believe that guard-rails and warning notices would solve the fundamental visibility problems. We thought that guard-rails would be very unpopular with bus users, and wouldn’t prevent children from running out, unseen, into the path of a cyclist.

We have recently received final details of the planned changes, and dates for some of them too. Of the four locations that we said needed urgent action, these are the plans:

  • Milton Road/Green End Road : Adshel will be requested to provide a non-advertising shelter. Date not yet programmed.
  • Hills Road/Long Road : The advertising panels will remain, but the shelter will be moved back, a guard-rail will be installed, and a warning sign will be added, saying ‘Beware cycles when leaving shelter’. Programmed for 23 October.
  • Cherry Hinton Road (at Cherry Hinton Hall entrance) : The advertising panels will remain, but the shelter will be moved back, a guard-rail will be installed, and a warning sign will be added, saying ‘Beware cycles when leaving shelter’. Programmed for 23 October.
  • Trumpington Road (opposite Bentley Road) : The shelter will be replaced by one that is open at either end (a so-called ‘cantilever shelter’). Programmed for 24 October.

We are pleased to hear that much of the work is now scheduled to take place, but we find it appalling that Adshel have not yet replaced the shelter at the Milton Road-Green End Road junction, and that no date has yet been programmed for this work.

In our negotiations with the City Council over the matter, we made it clear that our concern was over the safety issue, and not with their commercial agreement with a private company. We very much hope, however, that any future commercial agreements will allow the City Council to resolve any safety problems much more promptly.

Clare Macrae