This article was published in 2002, in Newsletter 43.
Paths not much fun on a trike
I just wanted to say how much I agree with your article on cycle paths (Newsletter 42). They are very useful for encouraging people to use their bikes and also in hazardous areas but there is no way you can travel on a shared path at a reasonable speed without unsettling pedestrians and repetitive strain injury from the poor surfaces.
It is ironic that cycle paths are most useless at dangerous junctions. For example, the Long Road junction mentioned. Now I use a tricycle it has got even more difficult. The Cherry Hinton road path from Queen Edith’s to the Cherry Hinton Hall park crossing (on the side into town) has loads of steep road crossings, is narrow and at an appalling camber. I don’t suppose its much fun on an ordinary bike either.
What is the point of these lanes?
I live on Shelford Road in Trumpington not far from Waitrose and the traffic light junction. Every morning I see a stream of cars driving down the cycle lane (a solid white mandatory lane).
It is not just traffic turning left that does this, but also drivers who then U-turn at Waitrose and head into Cambridge, using it as a way of jumping the queue. It seems to me that few drivers are willing to obey the law and queue.
This behaviour puts cyclists and other car drivers at risk. From my bedroom window I notice that it is not just young impatient men doing this, but also ‘respectable’ looking middle aged women! Clearly the police are not willing to enforce the lane markings, and few people seem willing to obey the law voluntarily. I wonder what the point of any of these cycle lanes is?
We are going to try to make a point about this particular lane soon – see ‘Ground work’ in this Newsletter.
Tins bridge going back a bit
I suspect that the humps and steep approaches to the Tins bridge began in the 1960s when the original curved bridge (as in the photo, from 1957) was replaced by the present flat-bottomed ‘second-hand’ structure. This was originally at St Ives station and had to be installed a foot or so higher to allow clearance for trains.
It surely ought to be a simple job to rectify these minor problems and at the same time smooth out the sharp bends at the approaches to the bridge.
Note the cyclist on the bridge.
See ‘Fiasco on the Tins’ in Newsletter 42.
|The old Tins bridge in 1957, in the days when the cement works alongside was still going strong. That site is only now being redeveloped.