This article was published in 2001, in Newsletter 39.


Responses (from David Earl) are interleaved with this letter in italics.

I would like to comment that, while the Münster experience clearly puts UK efforts to shame, there are certain features of Cambridge – particularly Central Cambridge – that cause genuine problems. I would like to know just how useful a comparison Münster is. For instance:

Is Münster’s city centre as busy as Cambridge’s on a Saturday and are bikes allowed in then?

It looked like it, on Saturday morning, but it was perhaps not so busy later on. Bikes are banned at certain times in some key streets, pretty much as in Cambridge. On the other hand, the central ring and the penetration of the streets you can use arguably makes the impact of this less.

Are the city-centre streets as narrow as in Cambridge?

Some of them, yes. Pretty similar in many ways I’d say – except for the cobbles.

Are there limitations to access – e.g. the Backs and only a few river crossings?

No, not really for the City Centre, though further out the railway line and further out still the motorways do, in much the same way as Cambridge.

How many tourists does Münster get? Foreign Language students?

Quite a lot of tourists, many on bikes (in fact we had problems renting bikes because of the demand that weekend). I don’t know about Foreign Language Students.

Are there many dormitory towns near Münster, beyond easy cycling distance, as for instance Comberton, Bar Hill etc.

Yes. It is quite similar to Cambridge in that respect.

I’m sure there is a lot to learn from Münster but I can’t really put these lessons properly into a Cambridge context from what I’ve read. The main message seems to be that Münster drivers respect cyclists and that may be a tricky thing to change in the UK.

Hugh Hunt


Image as described adjacent
Short stay cycle parking outside Trinity College.

The cycle parking trial and survey currently underway doesn’t seem to address the matter of cycle-parking density. In some areas, for example outside Sainsbury’s and elsewhere in town, there are so many bikes that, pleasant though many of the proposed stands are, there is not enough provision for bike parking. In places where space is lacking there is a case for providing less-secure, high-density short-stay parking. Sure, have some secure, well-spaced stands too, reserved for those with special needs. The stands outside Trinity, for instance, are remarkably easy to get bikes in and out of, not damaging to wheels, very high density and while you can’t secure your bike to the rack it is fine for short stay, not great for overnight. More of the same, please, elsewhere in Cambridge.

Hugh Hunt

Simon Nuttall says: the Triangle 10 and 20 near the Talos statue on Guildhall Street were chosen to address the issue of capacity. Like the Trinity stands they have a high and low position and provide a secure anchor for the frame; they have, though, not proved popular.

An obstruction

Dear Obstruction Group People

I’m happy that you exist and it looks like your achievements can already be enjoyed in various places. Thank you!

Do you have anything going on this? Travel on bike or on foot from Burrell’s Walk (past the University Library) and then cross Queen’s Road to get to Garret Hostel Lane. The obstructions (posts and a fence) especially on the UL side make it so difficult – and sometimes impossible – for a ‘larger’ number of people (more than three) to pass in the few seconds of green light that everybody waits for a long time.

Estheranna Stäuble