After the months of misery for users of this route it is at last possible to appreciate the original objectives. All of the route has its final surface, and at least for a couple of weeks around Christmas there have not even been contractors to obstruct it.
|Trumpington Road nearing completion. A narrow cycle lane inside the bus lane on one side, and a segregated shared-use path replacing the narrow path on the other|
It’s now possible to have a relaxing ride from Trumpington to Brooklands Avenue, and although the width of the segregated sections is only just sufficient for overtaking slower cyclists, the surface and lack of obstructions mean that over much of the route the ride is still pleasant and smooth at 25 km/h (15 mph).
There are, at the time of writing, a number of incomplete items, such as lines delineating pedestrian and cycle parts of segregated sections, and ‘Give Way’ markings. In addition there is a list of snagging items, which we hope will be resolved before you read this. I find it surprising that at least ten new street lights have either failed or never worked, and that even though standards for flush kerbs should by now be well known, dropped kerbs are installed and later have to be ‘made flush’. Signing of the limits of the shared use path in the locality of Chaucer Road is very confusing and I’m hoping this is in error rather than design. I’m more concerned that errors in laying a section of segregated path on Shelford Road have yet to be corrected even though they were reported to the Consulting Engineers over two months ago.
Even though the County Council must ultimately take the responsibility, much of the blame for problems on this work must be placed at the door of the Contractors and of the Consulting Engineers, WS Atkins. Given the generous timescale, it is difficult to see why the cycle route could not have been completed prior to the start of work to create bus lanes. Codes of Practice for Road Works (see article), which will be enforced from February, place much firmer responsibilities on those conducting road works to make provision for vulnerable road users. The County Council recognises that much went wrong on these contracts, and it is hoped to provide much better guidance for similar jobs in the future. The Campaign has been consulted over this issue and we expect to be further involved.
We will also be involved with an audit and review of the route. Items to be raised here will include:
- Parking on the cycleway,
- the lack of a Toucan crossing at the Chaucer Road exit,
- the pinch point created at a new Toucan crossing in Trumpington,
- the appalling route past the new Park and Ride site and
- poor ironwork in ‘Stage 1’ advisory cycle lanes through Trumpington.
For the County Council’s benefit I should say the final quality of provision here is infinitely better than the conditions I witnessed on Woodstock Road in Oxford recently, where cyclists have also been forced off the road to make way for a bus lane.