Twenty thousand cycle journeys across the River Cam each week-day

This article was published in 2004, in Newsletter 55.

Every year the County Council records the flow of motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians on all the bridges over the river Cam in Cambridge. These counts are usually carried out during April in school term but out of University term. We’ve sometimes reproduced some figures from the County Council’s ‘Traffic Monitoring’ report but, given the changes currently taking place, we thought it would be interesting to produce some more detailed figures from the counts conducted last year before the closure of Pye’s bridge (often known as Cutter Ferry bridge).

Data for Cycles Crossing the Cam from April 2003
Hour Totals CF FC MLW SS GHL BS JLW VA FSG P EW GD
07:00 805 41 60 16 47 34 163 115 82 50 55 142 145
08:00 2352 150 202 65 122 172 516 289 155 241 144 296 339
09:00 1944 65 185 102 161 199 398 210 146 172 96 210 178
10:00 1234 36 114 45 140 131 233 132 90 125 75 113 90
11:00 1073 22 77 45 147 103 206 133 98 86 64 92 90
12:00 1300 30 92 89 227 170 218 141 81 71 65 116 98
13:00 1493 37 123 86 212 211 250 165 104 127 51 127 135
14:00 1372 49 105 83 209 157 242 159 108 102 45 113 138
15:00 1529 46 125 95 183 177 228 198 131 142 77 127 125
16:00 1945 110 163 100 248 221 324 195 161 153 95 175 208
17:00 2385 83 194 125 195 202 510 299 194 230 93 260 310
18:00 1710 27 147 42 157 184 385 201 155 142 87 183 197
Totals 19142 696 1587 893 2048 1961 3673 2237 1505 1641 947 1954 2053

Chart showing cycle flows over the river Cam by hour of day

Chart showing 12-hour cycle flow results of flow counts

Mill Lane weir is one of the screen line counting locations
Image as described adjacent

Thanks are due to the County Council, and to Graham Amis in particular, for supplying the data from which these tables and graphs were produced.

The original data also record whether cycles were being pushed or ridden.

Some 7,000 cyclists were using bridges where ‘no cycling’ notices were displayed, and some 4,000 cycles were being pushed. With changes now implemented at Fort St George and improvements proposed at other bridges, perhaps we can hope that fewer cyclists will need to have their trips disrupted by the need to dismount and push their bikes.

And yes, I know my headline says 20,000 and the total in the table is only 19,142, but as the counts only covered the hours between 7am and 7pm, I’m sure there would have been at least another 858 in the remaining 12 hours.

Jim Chisholm