A cycle route is not a lorry park

This article was published in 2006, in Newsletter 68.

The Jane Coston bridge crosses the A14 to provide a cycle link between Cambridge and Milton. For quite some time now Milton Parish Council has been pressing Cambridgeshire County Council to do something about the northern end of the bridge where cyclists have to cross the road which leads to the industrial estate and Milton Country Park.

Part of the cycling route to Milton Country Park!
Image as described adjacent

Although some local drivers think the solution is to stop cyclists coming off the bridge at any speed (chicanes and so on have been demanded) the line the Parish Council has been following is the need for double yellow lines to prevent vehicles, especially lorries, parking on the south side of the road immediately to the east of the bridge, blocking visibility to the right for cyclists as they come off the bridge.

‘Vehicles should not be permitted right up to the junction with the cycle bridge. Car parking should be prohibited for the same distance as at any normal road junction.’

There is a triangular warning sign with a cycle in it and a sign indicating a road hump on the approach to the junction but this can be totally obscured if an HGV parks there, as often happens.

There have been several near misses as a result of this bad parking, including the husband of a parish councillor who allegedly came close to having his front wheel taken off by a van.

This burger van customer’s parked car obstructs the cycle bridge over the A14 at Milton.
Image as described adjacent

In May, at a meeting of the Milton Parish Council, a County Council officer confirmed that the county proposes to do nothing more about this. It was pretty clear that the only thing that would change them in this view was when someone got killed or seriously injured.

The Cycling Campaign thinks this is unacceptable. There should be proper visibility. Vehicles coming out along the road from the country park should not be permitted to park right up to the junction with the cycle bridge. It means that, in effect, the junction is not being treated as a junction. Car parking should be prohibited for the same distance as at a road junction.

Paul Oldham and James Woodburn