Media Watch

This article was published in 1996, in Newsletter 6.

Oliver writes: Cambridge Cycling Campaign had excellent press coverage this month, with a full page in the Cambridge Evening News on 25 April (with a picture of our David), and another full page spread on 15 April featuring Anne Taylor and the Cycle Friendly Employers’ Scheme. Our Grand Bike Ride, launched by Anne Campbell MP, on 28 April resulted in two items the following day, one with a photo and useful quotes from Councillor Bradford, and the other in Christopher South’s column who said he’s too scared to cycle in Cambridge because of the traffic. On 24 April there was a good sized article on Road Danger Reduction prior to our public meeting on 2 April, and David commented on 21 March on new county council figures showing that 52% of accidents last year involved cyclists.

News coverage included on 3 May Coun. Littlewood’s plans for a joint cycle and bus lane on the old St. Ives- Cambridge line, and the launch of CRACA (Cambridge Retail and Commercial Assoc.) where they demanded a ring of car parks within 400 metres of the city centre, and requesting an end to the council’s “anti-car vendetta”. On 27 March approval for the trial scheme of cycle rickshaws for tourists on a route around the town centre was announced [this should please Critical Mass!]; there are similar plans in Oxford. The county council’s £600,000 scheme for new rural cyclepaths received coverage on 21 March and 12 April; as was Coun. Coston’s petition for an A14 cycle bridge on 28 March. Coun. Knowles complaints, on 10 April, about the Chesterton Lock crossing resulted, within weeks and without consultation, in a cycle-unfriendly constriction being put in – Cambridge Cycling Campaign is acting on this. Plans to ban parking on the Backs were revealed on 8 April, and lively correspondence followed.

There were no accidents reported, but on 22 March a Mrs Brown wrote to the Cambridge Evening News for witnesses when she was knocked off her bike by a bus in Drummer Street.

Letters to Cambridge Evening News this month have commented on many of the above news stories, plus complaints for and against cyclists passing cars in a queue on the left. Specific locations featured in letters have been Coldham’s Lane bridge, Hills Road/ Gonville Place junction, Lensfield Road/Trumpington road junctions (proposal to replace mini-roundabouts back to traffic lights), Green End Road/Milton Road footpath, and the danger at the Arbury Road/Milton Road junction caused by the new bus lane. Ring me on 01223 354600 if you’d like a copy of any item

Oliver Merrington