Your streets this month

More bus lane blues

Formal consultation has now begun on the County Council’s proposal 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. We have prepared a leaflet explaining why both the proposed alternatives will make conditions worse for both cyclists and pedestrians, and a response card that people can use to indicate their objection. Hundreds of these cards and leaflets are being distributed to passing cyclists and local residents. See the campaigning update earlier in this newsletter and contact us if you can help.

Over ten years ago, cycle lanes were removed from a long section of Milton Road to make room for a bus lane. Now, the County Council proposes removing the cycle lanes that still survive between Woodhead Drive and King’s Hedges Road to allow the existing bus lane to be extended. Pavement cycleways will be provided instead. Comments to Bob Menzies.

The cycle lane on Newmarket Road inbound between Coldham’s Lane and the Abbey Street crossing is under threat by plans to widen the road and introduce a bus lane as part of a large housing and office development between the south side of the road and Harvest Way. Objections to Peter Studdert.

Mitcham’s Corner backtrack

Councillors have approved a revised safety scheme for Mitcham’s Corner. The scheme is greatly reduced from the original proposals, with fewer traffic signals and fewer pavement cycleways. As a result, only south-north and west-south cycle movements would get off-road facilities. A particular disappointment is that cyclists following Chesterton Road eastbound will still have to take a long and circuitous route via the one-way system. Nevertheless, the scheme is still a significant improvement over the present layout, with cyclists at last being able to take the direct route north from Victoria Avenue to Milton Road using a series of pavement cycleways linked by toucan crossings. The introduction of traffic signals on some approaches to the gyratory should also reduce the need for on-road cyclists to cope with merging streams of traffic. Even this limited scheme remains in doubt – the final scheme will be decided by councillors in January. Comments to Chris Creed.

Map of Mitcham's Corner proposals

Silver Street and Ring Road

Image as described adjacent
Gonville Place: Islands to be removed to create an extra lane.

The part-time closure of Silver Street (10 am to 4 pm and midnight to 6 am) has been approved by councillors, subject to one final round of consultation. Rising bollards will be installed in the wide section between the bridge and Queen’s Road. Cycles, buses and taxis will be allowed through at all times. The main decision remaining is whether to allow two-way traffic or ‘tidal’ flow through the closure point during the periods when the bollards are not in operation. Whichever option is finally chosen, two-way traffic will continue to be permitted at all times on either side of the closure point, and no streetscape changes are proposed for the narrow section east of the bridge. Comments to Richard Preston.

Measures have been approved to increase traffic capacity on the Ring Road, supposedly to compensate for the forthcoming restrictions in Silver Street, and subject to one final round of consultation.

The biggest change will be on Gonville Place, the busy road that runs along the edge of Parker’s Piece. Almost all of the central islands will be removed to create an extra lane for traffic heading west. The new central lane will be 3 metres wide, narrower than usual, to give more space in the outer lanes that tend to be used by cyclists. Nevertheless, we are worried that cyclists will be squeezed in the narrowed lanes, that the extended left-turn-only lane into Hills Road will make it more difficult for cyclists heading straight-ahead towards Lensfield Road, and that it will be more difficult for cyclists to make right-turns into, say, Gresham Road or the YMCA.

To increase traffic capacity on the Ring Road, new lane markings will also be introduced at the roundabouts on Madingley Road and Newnham Road to create two-lane approaches.

New crossings

There is some good news on the Ring Road, however: The pelican crossing where Garret Hostel Lane/Burrell’s Walk crosses Queen’s Road will at last be converted to a toucan cycle crossing, thereby legalising the actions of the thousands of cyclists who ride across every day. The awkward sharp turns on each side are to be removed and a wide crossing area provided to allow both cyclists and pedestrians to cross in a straight line. Separate crossing points will be provided for cyclists and pedestrians to help reduce conflict at this vital crossing.

The County Council is asking for views on where the proposed Riverside Cycle/Pedestrian Bridge should be sited. Four alternatives are proposed. See earlier article. Comments to Patrick Joyce.

Bob Menzies, Cambridge Network Manager, Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Castle Court, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP (Milton Road Bus Lane).

Peter Studdert, Director of Planning, Cambridge City Council, The Guildhall, Cambridge CB2 3LQ (Newmarket Road/Harvest Way development)

Patrick Joyce, Mailbox ET 1017 Cambridgeshire County Council, Shire Hall, Castle Hill, Cambridge CB3 0AP. (Riverside Cycle Bridge)

Chris Creed, Assistant Engineer, Cambridgeshire County Council, Mailbox ET1018, Cambridgeshire County Council, Castle Court, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP. (Mitcham’s Corner).

Richard Preston, Cambridge Projects Manager, Cambridgeshire County Council, Mailbox ET1018, Cambridgeshire County Council, Castle Court, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP (Silver Street and Ring Road).