Barton Road

This article was published in 1996, in Newsletter 7.

The County Council has allocated funds this year to improve cycling provision on Barton Road from the City Boundary to the City Centre. The section further out, to Barton, was improved a couple of years ago with a fairly wide and well-surfaced dual-use path, and the contrast with the City part – a narrow and badly-surfaced footpath – is now rather obvious, even if the new bit has some serious maintenance problems and relegates cyclists priority.

This has given us the opportunity to make suggestions. We met at Barton Road to look at possibilities, and noted that the road has two distinct sections: a very wide part from Lammas Land to Grantchester Road, and a much narrower bit further out. Also the junction at Lammas Land is difficult, and indeed there was a fatal accident there not long ago; and cyclists need to be able to get in and out of Grange Road, Newnham in general, and onto the existing path at the City Boundary. With these conditions on the ground, and the desire to maintain the same priority for cyclists as for other vehicles on Barton Road, we came up with the following suggestions:

  • put traffic signals on the junction at the corner of Lammas Land, or if this is not possible, at least close of entry into Grantchester Street, the main source of conflict between cyclists (who are mostly coming on and off Lammas Land into Barton Road) and motor vehicles.

  • put physically segregated cycle lanes on both sides of the road (with suitable forward stop lines etc. at the Lammas Land end) in the eastern section. These would be either separate tracks, or separated from traffic by a kerb, but in either case this becomes part of the normal road across junctions.

  • utilise the signals at Grange Road to cross over if traffic lights are not possible here also.

  • make an island in Barton Road at Grantchester Road, with suitable markings to allow westbound cyclists to cross over.

  • provide a two-way cycle track on the wide verge from Grantchester Road out to the boundary. This would be adjacent to the road, but meander slightly to allow trees to be avoided. The existing footway would revert to pedestrians only, though we recognised a much less desirable compromise position that this footway might be ploughed up and the new path be shared. The new path must form part of the main carriageway to cross one side road.

Dave Earl