This article was published in 2003, in Newsletter 49.
On 22 May we sat from 7 am to 7 pm beside Trumpington Road (on the Trumpington side of the Long Road junction) counting cyclists and pedestrians. We wanted to see what the changes were since our previous count at the same spot on 22 May 1997 (see Newsletter 13). The total number of cyclists observed travelling in both directions on road or on pavement was 1008, rather less than in 1997, but the interpretation of the results is difficult because this time it rained for a while and threatened rain for most of the day. The difference during the morning and evening peaks was less apparent than during the rest of the day. This suggests the possibility that rain, or the threat of rain, may not much deter the typical Cambridge commuter cyclist, but that some optional trips for shopping and so on may be deferred to another day.
We noted that a higher proportion of inbound cyclists were using the pavement cycleway than in 1997, which is what one would expect given the improvements to the pavement cycleway and the narrowing of the traffic lanes along this road. However, this finding is not relevant elsewhere in Cambridge. Trumpington Road is exceptional because there are relatively few side turnings or driveways, so pavement cycling there is much better than almost anywhere else. Outbound, a higher proportion of cyclists used the road because outbound road conditions are better and using a pavement cycleway on the wrong side of the road is less congenial. Interestingly we found that 32% of cyclists were wearing helmets, a higher figure than we had expected.
We hope to publish a fuller analysis of the figures at some point in the future. Thanks to all who helped in the counting.
James Woodburn, Lisa Woodburn, Jim Chisholm