The experimental cycle ban on Burleigh Street and Fitzroy Street (outside the Grafton Centre) has now been made permanent. This is despite a report presented by council officers to the Transport Services committee which recommended that the ban should be lifted. The Cycling Campaign had also submitted a response arguing for the lifting of the ban (see Issue 2).
The report noted that 55% of cyclists passing along streets when the ban was in force were observed to be riding rather than pushing their bikes. Though they did recommend that, due to weight of pedestrian numbers, the ban should stay in force on Saturdays.
The Transport Services committee, however, voted (13 to 5) to keep the ban in place: between 10am and 4pm, Mondays to Saturdays. They had similarly ignored the officers recommendation not to have the ban in the first place.
Councillor Dave Kelleway (Lab) is reported in the Cambridge Evening News (19/1/96) as saying that ‘the situation before the ban was “unacceptable”‘ and that there was an ‘easy alternative route’. The Campaign would strongly disagree with him, as we’ve already stated in our letter against the ban:
There was no problem before the ban since the safety record was excellent and the DoT featured the streets as an example of how well pedestrians and cyclist can mix.
The alternative route is both unsatisfactory (cyclists are forced to dismount as the route crosses the pedestrianized zone) and dangerous (as it winds round the back of the Grafton shops through loading bays).
What Do You Think?
So what should the Campaign do now on this issue? Either bring your ideas along to the next meeting, or drop us a line at the usual address.
At last month’s meeting, we discussed what line the Campaign takes on the existing city-centre ban. We’ve clearly been opposed to the experimental ban at the Grafton Centre, and after some discussion we now have a clear policy on the other ban:
We oppose the existing city-centre ban on principle, and we would actively oppose any extension to this ban.
The remodelling of both Kings Parade and the Robert Sayle/Bradwells Court area could give the council an opportunity to extend the ban. Particularly in the light of the decision on the Grafton ban, we must be extra vigilant that this doesn’t happen.