Your streets this month

This article was published in 2002, in Newsletter 44.

Bad news

Cambridgeshire County Council’s plan to remove the cycle lanes from a long section of Hills Road (between Cavendish Avenue and Long Road) and use the road space to introduce an outbound bus lane has taken a further step forward. The council’s Cambridge Area Joint Committee has rubber-stamped an earlier decision by the council’s ruling ‘cabinet’ to proceed with the scheme. There will now be a period of public consultation before a final decision is taken later this year.

As reported in Newsletter 43, this scheme would remove the best cycle lanes in the city and replace them with very narrow traffic lanes shared with other traffic. Cyclists would instead 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.

Cambridge Cycling Campaign has formed a campaign to save these cycle lanes, and will be doing its utmost to explain how their removal would be bad news for cyclists, pedestrians and local residents. Can you help? See the article on page 3.

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Garry Drive: Planning permission refused to close this way into the Science Park.

Good news

A planning application by Bidwells, the company that manages Cambridge Science Park, to close the informal access from Garry Drive to the Science Park has been rejected by South Cambridgeshire District Council. The decision followed objections by Cambridge Cycling Campaign, Milton Parish Council and others. Cyclists and pedestrians will therefore be able to continue to use what is the most direct route to the Science Park from most of King’s Hedges. Bidwells do, however, have the right to introduce a gate here and restrict access outside of working hours.

Other news

Construction work continues on a traffic-calming scheme in the Chesterton High Street area. As part of this scheme, St Andrew’s Road was closed to motor vehicles at its junction with Elizabeth Way at the beginning of September.

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Construction continues in Bateman Street, with a really bright, almost orange, cycle lane, and pits ready to have speed bumps installed alongside the new islands.

Construction work also continues on a traffic calming scheme in the Bateman Street area.

The opening of a new Tesco supermarket on Newmarket Road has given cyclists two new routes between Newmarket Road and Riverside. The main route leads from the main vehicle entrance near Cheddar’s Lane (opposite the entrance to Cambridge Retail Park), past the east side of the store and down to Riverside. An alternative route leaves Newmarket Road a few hundred metres further west and leads past the west and north sides of the store before joining the main route down to Riverside. Unfortunately, both routes are obstructed by chicanes and are impassable to cyclists with trailers. The main route is also poorly integrated to the road network at each end. At Riverside there is no way off the pavement. At the Newmarket Road end most cyclists will need to skip the first section of the route and use the road instead.

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The cycle paths into the new Tesco store off Newmarket Road and Riverside are blocked by some of the fiercest chicanes we have seen, completely unusable with a trailer, and in a location which is likely to see more trailers than most.

At present, the main value of these routes is that they provide access to the supermarket itself. In future, however, they are likely to form part of a new north-south route leading from Chesterton, across a new river bridge, through the Tesco site, across Newmarket Road at the existing signals and then through existing and proposed retail parks to the Beehive roundabout on Coldham’s Lane. It is a pity, therefore, that the section of this route through Tesco has been designed to such a mediocre standard. Comments to: Peter Studdert, Cambridge City Council and to The Manager, Tesco Stores Ltd.

Long-overdue County Council proposals to improve Mitcham’s Corner for cyclists, reported in Newsletter 41, have been delayed by several months following a ‘mixed’ reception to the public consultation, with some people opposed to the introduction of traffic signals or to the removal of some car parking spaces to make space for a pavement cycleway. Comments to Chris Creed.

Peter Studdert, Director of Planning, Cambridge City Council, The Guildhall, Cambridge CB2 3LQ

The Manager, Tesco Stores Ltd, Newmarket Road, Cambridge CB5 1AA

Chris Creed, Assistant Engineer, Cambridgeshire County Council, Mailbox ET1018, Cambridgeshire County Council, Castle Court, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP