This article was published in 2003, in Newsletter 49.
Cycle lanes still under threat
The cycle lanes on Hills Road remain under threat despite the decision to abandon proposals to remove the cycle lanes from a long section between Cavendish Avenue and Long Road to make space for an outbound bus lane.
Following a period of consultation during which overwhelming public opposition was expressed, council officers have withdrawn both of their original proposals (the so-called options A and B) and have suggested a third option for a slightly shorter scheme which would keep the inbound cycle lane at a much-reduced width but still remove the outbound lane. Councillors have decided not to press ahead with public consultation on this third option but not to reject it either. Instead there are to be further measurements of bus delays in recognition of the poor quality of the information presented so far. A decision as to whether to hold public consultation on the third option will then be taken in October. See report.
Poor-quality cycle schemes approved
Councillors have voted to press ahead with a number of smaller road schemes intended to help cyclists, despite the opposition of Cambridge Cycling Campaign to many of their details (see article). In particular:
Coldham’s Lane is to have narrow, substandard, cycle lanes between the Brooks Road roundabout and the traffic signals at Cromwell Road, alongside the parked cars that line the pavements.
King’s Hedges Road is to have a mixture of on- and off-road cycle facilities between Northfield Avenue and Milton Road. Heading towards Milton Road, there will be narrow cycle lanes between King’s Hedges Drive and Milton Road. Heading away from Milton Road the cycle route is essentially on the pavement, weaving back onto the road at each side road to avoid the need to give way at every side road.
Yet more bus lane schemes
Initial public consultation has begun for a guided bus scheme known as the ‘rapid transit’ between Huntingdon and Trumpington via the City Centre and station. This may result in over 12 miles of cycle path along the new busway. However, it is also likely to mean more bus lanes in Cambridge, some with their familiar effect on cyclists. A bus lane is proposed for Station Road and for yet more of Milton Road, and short lengths are proposed for Histon Road and King’s Hedges Road. See article.
Mitcham’s Corner back on the map
Mitcham’s Corner has become a rather less intimidating junction following the completion of a major accident remedial scheme. The introduction of traffic signals on three of the approach roads has made the gyratory less of a ‘racetrack’ than before.
Wide, bright red cycle lanes have been marked on Chesterton Road making east-west movements along that road much easier. New pavement cycleways, supported by toucan crossings, mean that cyclists heading from Victoria Avenue to Milton Road, from Chesterton Road West to Victoria Avenue and from Chesterton Road West to Chesterton Road East will have a legal pavement alternative to the long and circuitous road route. Some minor points of detail, such as signposting, need to be fixed.
The scheme is somewhat watered-down from the original proposals and this junction remains a difficult one for many cycle movements. Nevertheless, this long-overdue scheme means that Mitcham’s Corner is now much less of a no-go area for cyclists, making this one of the best things the County Council has done for cyclists in Cambridge for quite a while. See report.
Good news in the city centre: councillors have voted in favour of allowing two-way cycling in Trinity Street between 10-4 Mondays to Saturdays (when almost all motor traffic is prohibited) as an experiment. There will be a period of public consultation before any such experiment goes ahead. Some legal obstacles also need to be resolved: Trinity Street is currently one way southbound at all times. Assuming this experiment goes ahead, it will offer a south-north route through the city centre during the hours when the normal route, through Sidney Street, is closed to cyclists. See article.