There is a busy and fast T-junction next to the A14 roundabout at Quy where the old Newmarket Road – now the A1303 – joins the B1102 to Quy and Burwell. The County Council is proposing to make changes here, mostly aimed at helping cyclists. In August Wookey and I went to look at an exhibition of the proposals. We think the changes should be beneficial, not only to cyclists but to everyone using that junction. Wookey is currently preparing a Cycling Campaign response.
The most important benefit for cyclists, in my opinion, is not the junction changes themselves, but the fact that they go hand in hand with improvements to the cycleway to Bottisham. Without the cycleway the scheme would be of limited benefit because there is no allowance for cyclists using the A14 island or the A1303. The improved cycleway will leave me with no good reason to remain on that rather dangerous 60 mph roadway but the junction needs to accommodate those who do. At the same time, the path from the other side of the A14 to Airport Way roundabout near the Park and Ride site will be upgraded to a proper cycle track.
|Looking towards the A14 roundabout, you can see how fast cars leave the Newmarket Road to head for Quy because many are in the middle of the road like this one. Taken from the site of the new crossing, you can see it is just inside the speed limit|
Lights at the junction will be used to control three streams of traffic: from Quy towards Cambridge and the A14 roundabout, from Newmarket towards Cambridge and from Cambridge towards Newmarket. Traffic bearing left from Cambridge to Quy and turning left from Quy towards Newmarket will not be controlled.
The cycle and foot path that runs along the church wall on the triangle formed by the junction will curve around before reaching the Quy end and cross a bare patch of ground where windscreen fitters and ambulances wait at present. Where it joins the B1102 there will be a push-button activated Toucan crossing which meets up with a new pathway to the road leading to Quy Mill and the tunnel under the A14. Motor vehicles will still use the old turn into this road.
The crossing is very close to the start of the Quy 40 mph area, so can still expect to have 60 mph traffic across it, making it potentially hazardous. The sight line from the island to the lights is going to be crucial, and great caution will be needed when emerging from any queuing traffic in Church Road onto the part of the Toucan exposed to free-moving traffic. However, the surface leading to the Toucan will be high-grip, and the Council will consider putting in mild rumble strips, to reinforce awareness of the hazard.
|The cycleway to Bottisham has scope for improvement|
On the side of the crossing nearest the church, there is a tight turn to negotiate to reach the crossing edge, which (at Wookey’s request) they will look at easing. There is some scope for re-alignment of the path leading up to it without encroaching onto the Council-owned area used for church parking. We have also requested sensors in the cycle path in addition to the push-buttons.
Overall it looks like a well thought out scheme that should reduce the queuing on the Quy road, which is also to cyclists’ benefit if coming from that direction. However, although this road runs past my front door, when the Bottisham cycleway has been improved, I’ll be using that in preference to the B1102.
One more interesting point emerged. The A14 tunnel is the responsibility of the Highway Authority. So now I am going to have to find out who to complain to about the nettles, and the mud and gravel on the turning into it.
We counted cyclists morning (7.50-8.50) and evening (16.50-19.20) at this junction to see what they did. Weather was good on both days. The figures show that most people heading for Quy and beyond use the tunnel but many on the A1303 use the roundabout. It will be interesting to see whether improvements off road change this behaviour.