Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (and cyclists)

This article was published in 2007, in Newsletter 71.

Some items have appeared in the press regarding this work, including the official start of construction.

Several members of Cambridge Cycling Campaign have been involved in consultations at a local level, and I’ve been involved in RoW (Rights of Way) meetings. This scheme should provide some excellent cycleways which will avoid busy roads and junctions and make many trips shorter and even more trips possible by less confident cyclists. Construction will cause considerable disruption at a number of locations over the next two years, especially at the Hills Road bridge.

Construction has just started on a bridge which will connect the Guided Bus route to Addenbrooke’s, and provide the first of two railway crossings for cyclists in the area. [see map in article 3]
Image as described adjacent

As part of the scheme it will deliver a surfaced cycle route from Trumpington Park & Ride site through two of the areas to be developed as part of the Southern Fringe, with a branch to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. This will then go on under Hills Road Bridge and to the railway station. The busway will be alternate one-way in the Trumpington cutting to accommodate the cycle route and, adjacent to the old railway bridge under Long Road to be used by buses, a ‘box’ underpass for cyclists and pedestrians will also be provided. Although designs for the underpass beneath Hills Road are now fixed, the operation of the unguided section between the bridge and the station is not, and we believe it is essential that cyclists are permitted to use the road here, as the narrow pavements will probably carry many pedestrians.

Designs for the Guided Bus and cycle route underpass beneath Hills Road are now fixed, but the operation of the unguided section in this area between the bridge and the station is not.
Image as described adjacent

North of Cambridge, cyclists will get a surfaced route from Arbury Park, and the Science Park, via CRC (Cambridge Regional College) to Histon. This will provide good routes from Histon and Impington to the Science Park, and if a short new stretch of path can be provided adjacent to the football ground, a route to Impington Village College will be available that avoids crossing the main road in Impington.

Beyond Histon there are no current plans to tarmac the route as part of this scheme, but we need to ensure that funds are made available to do this work as part of the Northstowe development. Beyond that a surface will be provided that is similar to that on the Cam towpath to Waterbeach. Environment Agency concerns over surface runoff and flooding will make it more difficult to achieve a tarmac surface in this area, even though they will no doubt allow a vastly widened multi-lane A14 and feeder roads!

The final designs for the bus stops have yet to be agreed, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure that suitable amounts of secure parking for bikes are available.

There is still a question about which sections will receive what sort of lighting and how the lighting will be paid for, as it falls outside the Transport Works Act powers. We’ve written to Cambridgeshire County Council on this issue and believe funds should either come from the Local Transport Plan or ‘Section 106’ deals from developers of adjacent sites. It will be unacceptable for the busy sections of these cycle routes to be unlit. They will carry significant year round commuting cyclists, all the alternative roads will be lit, and bus headlights on the adjacent guideway risk dazzling cyclists. For both ‘Road’ and ‘Personal’ safety we believe these routes need lighting.

Jim Chisholm