City Centre cycle ban survey

This article was published in 2002, in Newsletter 45.

In October 2001 the Cambridge Environment and Transport Area Joint Committee resolved that:

there should be a comprehensive review of cycling access in the city centre, with a view to minimising cycling restrictions whilst maximising pedestrian and cycling safety.

See Newsletter 39 for the background.

This review is now taking place, in the form of a survey about the current cycle restrictions.

The County Council has commissioned The Bostock Marketing Group, an independent market research agency, to carry out street interviews during November. Early in October we met with the County Council to discuss a draft of the questionnaire to be used in these interviews, and the principles behind them.

Our main points were:

  • The proposed start time of 9 am would miss out a significant number of regular users; we asked for the survey to start at 8 am instead. (We’re pleased to say that the Council has agreed to the 8 am start.)
  • The original proposal did not include surveying cyclists who were riding their bikes. Again, this would miss out a significant number of regular users (i.e. all cyclists using the city centre before the cycling ban started). We asked for some mechanism to be found to encourage cyclists to stop and give their views. (The Council has since said that many of the cyclists who have already been surveyed were either in the process of parking their bikes, wheeling them, or were waiting at the traffic lights in Malcolm Street, so plenty of cyclists have been included.)
  • We asked that the survey should not be conducted whilst the present road works in the city were being done. To do so would substantially affect the results, as route patterns have been demonstrably different during the road works. (The Council has said that the current road works did not have enough impact to delay the survey, but the final report would mention this as background. As someone who is currently avoiding the City Centre specifically because of the road works, I am very disappointed by the effect this will have on the survey results.)
  • We asked for the inclusion of a question on whether Trinity St and St John’s Street should be made two way, to gauge the strength of demand for such a route. (This point was not accepted, due to safety concerns.)

We made a number of other requests to clarify the wording of questions, and we were glad to see that these have all been incorporated into the final survey. The results will be reported to the Cambridge Environment and Transport Area Joint Committee next January.

Clare Macrae

Image as described adjacent
Use of the City Centre by bikes to be researched by independent company.