This article was published in 1996, in Newsletter 5.
As announced in the last newsletter, the Road Traffic Reduction Bill Tour came to Cambridge on 11th March. It was encouraging to see Fisher Hall packed as we listened to the impressive speakers. Charles Secrett (director, Friends of the Earth) and David Taylor (principal speaker, The Green Party) both gave well reasoned, impassioned presentations of why we need the Bill so badly. Ron Bailey (parliamentary officer of FoE) explained some of the ways in which we can help make this Bill succeed in order to get past the significant vested interested groups who’ll resist it. And Barry Louth (not speaking for the City Council!) gave us a slide show of particular local problems, and how they related to the “Local Plan”.
Congratulations to Lindsay Travis, of our local FoE, for such a well organised event. If you’ve not yet signed the petition supporting the Bill, come by the stall on a Saturday where we have a copy.
Some rather dinky cattle grids have appeared on Midsummer Common. They’re another attempt to solve the problem of keeping the cows in but allowing cyclists through. I think they’re a huge improvement over trying to negotiate swinging gates or the pram handles but it’s a pity they’re not wide enough to let cyclists pass in opposite directions. The Cycle Campaign wasn’t consulted over their design. If you use them, why not let us know what you think? And, on closer examination, they do indeed have little ramps to let hedgehogs crawl out if they fall in!
City Centre Survey
If you live outside the city, you should have received a postal questionnaire soliciting your views about access to the City Centre. Why not take this opportunity to let Lydia Bowman, the City Centre Manager, know of your opinions as a cyclist.
There is a local Critical Mass which happens on the last Friday of the month, meeting on Parker’s Piece at 5:30pm This event isn’t organised by the Campaign, indeed it isn’t organised by anyone. It’s just a gathering of cyclists demonstrating, by their weight of numbers, the inequitable and unreasonable effect of cars traffic on our roads and in our cities.
That Sunday Feeling
Paul Rosen, local cycling activist, sent in the following request: “Lazy companions wanted for short, slow Sunday rides (eg. 10-30 miles), with plenty of time for chatting, tea stops, admiring the scenery, fixing punctures, etc.”. You can contact Paul on 312751.
Milton Road “Improvements”
The long-debated changes to Milton Road are currently being put in place. The aim is to cut the journey time for the “Park & Ride” buses by putting in a bus lane, thereby encouraging more motorists to leave their cars up at Cowley Road. But, because of a huge campaign against chopping down the trees (together with a change in the political balance at the County Council), this has happened at the expense of the cycle lanes. Cyclists share both ways: with the buses in the bus lane, and with pedestrians on the new “shared-use” cyclepath. This really isn’t convenient for anyone.
Initial reports from several people suggest this is something we should be looking into. In the meantime, if you’ve personal experience of the changes, do write to the County Council and send a copy to the Campaign. Thanks.