Hobson Street: Some Possible Changes

This article was published in 2006, in Newsletter 65.

An officer of Cambridgeshire County Council asked to meet, on site, representatives of the Campaign to discuss possible changes in Hobson Street.

Principally the proposal is to modify a ‘build out’ and move some cycle parking to give more room where buses pass unloading vehicles. We agreed it should be possible to change some of the most southerly racks from 90° to 45° yet not reduce the numbers, giving an extra half a metre at this narrow point. We also discussed the possibility of changes to the arrangement of loading bays and better road marking of the cycle contraflow. We were also able to discuss other concerns in this area detailed below.

The Campaign has great concerns about the narrow southern end of this street where many buses and taxis fail to make allowance for the legal ‘contra-flow cyclists’. We recommended a notice adjacent to Lloyds Bank similar to that in Bene’t Street which says ‘Oncoming cyclists’. We also suggested that minor streetscape changes might improve the line taken by buses at this pinch point. This last item would have to wait until the major changes that will be proposed in the St Andrews streetscape.

We were also able to visit the King Street end, and several buses kindly demonstrated the overrunning of the blockwork contraflow cycleway at this tight corner. We believe that moving some of the motorcycle parking on the outside of this bend and putting it in place of nearby on-road car parking would greatly reduce this problem. We were promised that the use of these spaces would be monitored, and our suggestions considered.

We’ve found this form of informal on-site discussion with Officers very useful, and although we would never expect to agree on all issues, hope that some of our suggestions find their way into schemes, and that we can forestall unnecessary changes that would inconvenience or endanger cyclists.

Jim Chisholm