Your streets this month

This article was published in 2002, in Newsletter 43.

Very bad news

Cambridgeshire County Council has approved in principle a scheme to remove the cycle lanes from a long section of Hills Road between Cavendish Avenue and Long Road, and to use the road space to introduce an outbound bus lane. Cyclists would be expected to ride on the pavement in the inbound direction and, if one of the two alternative schemes were chosen, on the pavement outbound as well. See article.

Bad news

Work has just started to remove part of the cycle lane on Tenison Road and replace it with a buildout for a new pedestrian crossing. Although pedestrian crossing facilities are definitely needed here, why can’t they be designed to avoid making conditions worse for cyclists?

Traffic calming has been proposed for Ely Road, Milton (the northern end of the main road through the village). The main feature is a large buildout on the east side which will reduce the road to a single lane, with traffic entering the village having to give way to traffic leaving it. Nothing is proposed to help cyclists get past the buildout – a cycle gap is clearly needed here, but is being resisted by officers. Cyclists will be expected to use the pavement instead. There is currently a pavement cycleway southbound and a new section of pavement cycleway will be constructed northbound. There will also be two new central islands either side of the new buildout. The 30 mph speed limit will be extended.

Bidwells, the company that manages Cambridge Science Park, has submitted a planning application to close the informal access that currently exists from Garry Drive to the Science Park. This is the most direct route to the Science Park from most of King’s Hedges. The Campaign has submitted an objection on the grounds that the route continues to be well used by both cyclists and pedestrians and that the new access road near Cambridge Regional College is too far away and too cycle-unfriendly.

Good news

Street lighting has been installed on Babraham Road between the edge of the city and the Park and Ride site. This is good news for all cyclists, but will be particularly useful to cyclists using the cycle path who currently find it difficult to see the edge of the path in the dark. See article.

The new shared-use cycle path along the outbound side of Newmarket Road between the Airport Way roundabout and Bottisham is at last just about complete. On the unlit section between Quy and Bottisham the edges of the path are marked with white lines. As a result, this path, unusually for rural cycleways, might be usable in the dark.

Other news

A rather poor pavement cycleway is nearing completion in Maid’s Causeway and Short Street, near the Four Lamps roundabout. The idea is to allow cyclists to cross from the corner of Midsummer Common to King Street without the need to use the roundabout. Unfortunately this cycleway is little more than a few dropped kerbs and some white paint; cyclists heading for King Street will have to give way at five separate road crossings, ride on a narrow pavement, and make some sharp turns.

Image as described adjacent
Cycleway construction on Newmarket Road.

Construction has begun on a pavement cycleway along Newmarket Road outbound between Ditton Lane (by the cemetery) and Marshall’s. The width of 3 m (10′) looks reasonable, and there are some handy dropped kerbs to allow cyclists to get to and from the service road opposite.

Work is about to start to build a bus and cycle lane on Madingley Road at the edge of the city, immediately west of the junction with the M11. This lane will allow buses and cycles heading into Cambridge to bypass the M11 signals and its queue of morning, peak-time traffic. The start of the bus lane will be a very narrow 3 m before widening to a more acceptable 4.5 m. In this wider section, cyclists and buses will be sharing a segregated lane with a kerb on both sides, though a 1.5 m advisory cycle lane marking should help to reduce conflict. Outbound cyclists will see no change other than a general narrowing of the carriageway and a possible pinch point at the M11 signals. Additional street lighting will be installed and the speed limit will be reduced from 60 mph to 40 mph, both good news for cyclists. The existing inbound pavement cycleway will also be widened and the vegetation that often obstructs it will be cut back.

Letters, faxes and emails sent by ordinary people as comments on local authority proposals can have a huge effect. Even if you just repeat part of Cambridge Cycling Campaign’s policy, your response counts.

Hills Road bus lane: comments to Richard Preston, Team Leader (Cambridge Projects), Mailbox ET1018, Cambridgeshire County Council, Castle Court, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP.

Ely Road, Milton traffic calming: comments to Mike Davies, Transport and Environment department, Cambridgeshire County Council, Castle Court, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP

Garry Drive: send objections to The Director of Planning, South Cambridgeshire District Council, South Cambridgeshire Hall, 9-11 Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 1PB, quoting planning application S/1536/98/F.

Decisions are already taken on these schemes, but you can get more information about them from these contacts.

Tenison Road buildout: Graham Lowe, Deputy Chief Engineer, Cambridge City Council, The Guildhall, Cambridge CB2 3LQ

Maid’s Causeway/Short Street Cycleway and Madingley Road bus lane: Richard Preston.

Newmarket Road Cycleway (from Ditton Lane to Marshalls): John Isherwood, Senior Engineer, Cambridge City Council, The Guildhall, Cambridge CB2 3LQ.