Your streets this month

This article was published in 2005, in Newsletter 61.

Cycle contraflows get go-ahead

Councillors have supported proposals to convert a number of one-way streets in Cambridge to allow two-way cycling. These streets will be made into two-way streets with an access restriction at one end to prevent motor vehicles entering. The streets concerned are all in the Petersfield and Newtown areas:

  • Willis Road and Mackenzie Road (no motor vehicles signs will be introduced at the Mill Road end)
  • Kingston Street (The planting box at the Mill Road end would be removed to allow a cycle slip to be constructed.)
  • Mawson Road (cycle slip at the Mill Road end)
  • Covent Garden (no motor vehicles signs at the Mill Road end)
  • Panton Street (cycle slip at the Lensfield Road end)
  • Brookside (no motor vehicles signs at the Pemberton Terrace junction)
Panton Street
Image as described adjacent
Covent Garden
Image as described adjacent

Formal consultation will take place in September, with any objections being considered by councillors in October. In addition to these changes, councillors have confirmed that Wheeler Street (behind the Guildhall) will become two-way for cyclists as part of the Grand Arcade scheme.

Your bridges this month

Improvements for cyclists using Hills Road Railway Bridge have taken a step further following the approval by councillors to take four alternative schemes to public consultation. The alternatives are:

Hills Road railway bridge
Image as described adjacent
  1. Converting the existing pavements to shared-use pavement cycleways. These would be 2.44m wide, shared by cyclists and pedestrians.
  2. Removing the central reservation and using the space saved to allow the provision of slightly wider shared-use pavement cycleways. These would be 2.9m wide, shared by cyclists and pedestrians.
  3. Widening the bridge on the east side to allow cycleways on each side to be provided which are separate from pedestrians. The one on the west side would be 2.75m and would be intended to be used by cyclists in both directions to help cyclists wanting to turn right to Homerton Street. The one on the east side would be 1.7m and intended for use by cyclists in one direction only.
  4. Constructing a new structure for pedestrians on the west side of the bridge. As with option D this would segregate cyclists and pedestrians with cycle path widths of 1.75m on the west and 2.44m wide on the east side. In this case there would no provision for cyclists turning right into Homerton Street.

Consultation with stakeholders including the Cambridge Cycling Campaign will take place in August. Public consultation is expected in the autumn.

The proposed ‘Bridge of Reeds’ (courtesy LDA Design)
Image as described adjacent

A quasi-official organisation called Landmark East has announced plans to construct a new cycle/pedestrian bridge called the Bridge of Reeds across the A14 east of Fen Ditton. The new bridge is intended to be a striking landmark for drivers passing underneath and is on the line of the old railway line between High Ditch Road and Lode. The design is described as a ‘dramatic 177ft tall sculpture inspired by the wind blown reeds and flights of birds of the East of England landscape.’

At present such a bridge wouldn’t lead to anywhere that a cyclist would want to go: the railway trackbed is not currently a cycle route and past efforts to persuade landowners to allow cycle access through the area have been unsuccessful. Nevertheless there are long-term plans to establish the area between here and Wicken Fen as an area of nature conservation and it is intended that a network of paths and cycle routes will emerge in time.

We’ve been shown engineering drawings for the proposed replacement bridge at Sheep’s Green. The width is 2.75m between handrails and the height is less than a metre greater than the old one. Approach ramps and spans give a gradual slope much better suited to cycling than the existing arrangement. This bridge is costing more than expected meaning that some other ‘South Cambridge’ cycleway improvements (see Newsletter 59) are likely to be delayed.