This article was published in 2003, in Newsletter 49.
While Councillors recently approved in principle the introduction of a new stretch of outbound bus lane on Milton Road (see Newsletter 48), there was a little more to the decision than we realised. In noting our concerns, the committee required further consultation on the design of the proposed pavement cycle path, and the legal process that goes with it. This will now happen over the summer.
This doesn’t, of course, have any bearing on our main concern – that cyclists are being forced off the road onto the pavement, especially in the opposite direction to the bus lane. We fear narrowed traffic lanes will have the same effect as further down Milton Road where motorists’ impatience means cyclists are abused, harassed and in some cases even assaulted. The additional consultation does, however, offer the opportunity for the alternative to be of a higher standard than originally proposed. We commend councillors for this concession.
Don’t hold your breath, however. There’s no reason to think that officers’ implacable opposition to giving cyclists priority at side roads will be in any way reduced by councillors sending the design back for further consultation.
Meanwhile, in a related decision, car traffic is being given a dedicated lane to get out of the Science Park and onto the A14. While the direct impact on cyclists is not likely to be great (most currently use the path on the other side of the road, and we expect nearly all of those will transfer to the new Milton bridge when it is opened) our concern is largely that this new lane will remove one of the disincentives to drive to the Science Park. Traffic will increase overall.