Your streets this month

Joined-up thinking, please

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Green Dragon Bridge. A new ‘Cyclists Dismount’ sign defeats the purpose of installing the cattle grid

New advisory signs bearing the words ‘No Cycling – Cyclists Dismount’ have appeared at the Green Dragon Bridge across the River Cam in Chesterton. These new signs are the result of an initiative by County Council engineers, and have been installed two years after City Council engineers constructed a cattle grid here specifically to avoid the need for cyclists to dismount and open a swing gate.

The result is to send conflicting signals to cyclists using this bridge. The City Council (which controls the commons) is helping you to stay on your bike, whilst the County Council (which controls the bridges) is telling you to dismount.

The new rectangular blue signs are advisory; the absence of circular red no-cycling signs suggests that cycling is not actually prohibited. This bridge is 2 m wide – the same width as the shared-use cycle track currently under construction on Newmarket Road, and wider than many shared-use paths elsewhere in the city.

Approved

The Cambridge Environment and Transport Area Joint Committee has reluctantly approved detailed plans for a cycle/pedestrian bridge alongside the railway bridge on Coldham’s Lane, despite the narrowness of the bridge and the total inadequacy of the arrangements for access to each end of it. See article.

A traffic calming scheme for the Chesterton High Street area has also been approved by councillors. A series of raised tables at junctions along High Street, Church Street and St Andrew’s Road will help slow traffic overall, but a general narrowing of the High Street to 7.2m will be bad news for cyclists. We had strongly objected to this during the consultation. Officers claim they will address our concerns during the ‘safety audit’ process. We shall see.


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St Andrew’s Road

As part of the Chesterton traffic calming scheme, councillors have decided to advertise the closure of St Andrew’s Road to motor vehicles at its junction with Elizabeth Way.

We have now seen the plans for the new toucan crossing across East Road at Norfolk Street and Burleigh Street. The proposals, which have now been approved, will do little more than legalise cyclists who ride across the existing pelican crossing. The main change is that the pavement on the Norfolk Street side is to be formally designated as shared-use, and made wider by the removal of some planting.

A number of cycle measures for Newmarket Road have been approved. These were described in Newsletter 38 . Two alternative options had been proposed for the widening of the existing shared-use pavement between Swann’s Road and Ditton Lane. In the event, both officers and councillors chose the option we had preferred, which is to remove the U-turn lane and use the road space to provide a widened pavement cycleway whilst retaining the on-road cycle lane.

A series of measures in the Emmanuel Road area have been approved by councillors, including a new cycle route between Midsummer Common and King Street, and possible new pinch points on Short Street and Drummer Street. See article.

Deferred

Councillors have decided not to go ahead with the proposal, reported in Newsletter 37, to make Tennis Court Road one-way to motor vehicles at the city centre end. Although this would have increased the safety of cyclists, forcing motor vehicles to exit via Fitzwilliam Street instead would have caused problems for construction vehicles from a nearby building site, and the proposal has been deferred until at least 2003.

The approval of a short length of bus lane in Madingley Road near Conduit Head Road has been deferred by councillors because of a row over police opposition to a 30 mph limit. A separate section of bus lane by the M11 junction has been approved. See Madingley Road Bus Lane.

Proposed

There is to be a ‘streetscape review’ of Green End Road. The Milton Road end of this road has caused difficulties for cyclists ever since it was deliberately narrowed to 6.5 m about ten years ago as part of the original Chesterton traffic calming scheme. We will be asking for the road to be widened to a more comfortable width by reducing the size of the over-generous parking bays on the north side.

Consultations will be held on a traffic-calming scheme for the Bateman Street area. We haven’t seen detailed plans yet, but the main proposal is an upgrade to the eastbound contraflow cycle route along Bateman street by removing parking and introducing a contraflow cycle lane. Westbound traffic speeds will be reduced by the introduction of speed cushions as in Grange Road, ‘with islands either side to protect cyclists’. Speed cushions are also proposed for Norwich Street and a raised table is proposed for the Bateman Street/Panton Street junction.