The County Council has recently published its Traffic Monitoring report for 2004. In the past I’ve been confused by the section that tabulates flows across the ‘Cambridge Radial Cordon’ (i.e. traffic entering Cambridge). This was because some of the Park and Ride sites were within the cordon and others were outside it. That is now being changed, not because of my confusion, but because expansion on the ‘Urban Fringe’ means that, within a few years, ‘city’ developments will take place outside the existing cordon, and the new cordon monitoring points have been placed closer to the M11/A14 boundary and outside the proposed Southern and Eastern Fringe developments. For a couple of years, flows across both cordons will be measured, giving an opportunity for some inferences.
This now means that bicycles crossing the ‘new’ cordon must come from the ‘necklace’ villages around Cambridge and not from Trumpington or the Park and Ride sites. The ‘new’ figure for bicycles is 5861 whereas the number crossing the ‘old’ cordon is 7189. I suspect that we don’t have 1300 cycle trips to and from Trumpington, but that increasing numbers of people who drive to Park and Ride sites have found that the cheapest and most reliable mode for the final leg of their journey is the bicycle. A quick evening count suggests that about 200 bikes remain overnight at the Trumpington and Babraham Road Park and Ride sites. From observation, others use folding bicycles brought in by car. If the pattern is repeated at other sites, some 1000 trips by bike could be generated from and to all the Park and Ride sites. This compares with some 8000 trips by Park and Ride bus. We will be asking if any monitoring of such trips was done, and if such figures can be included in future years.
Of note is the fact that some 30% of buses entering the city are on Park and Ride services. Jim’s back-of-the-envelope calculation based on the third power of the axle weight suggests that these 700 Park and Ride buses per day do as much damage to the city roads as 700 million cyclists!