Christ’s Lane and the Grand Arcade: not very grand for cycling customers

This article was published in 2008, in Newsletter 76.

John Lewis / Grand Arcade

This is obviously the kind of ‘Grand’ impression the Grand Arcade developers and John Lewis would like to promote: cycles left lying about (in this case even falling over) wherever space can be found. The new cycle park needs to be opened urgently.
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Our last Newsletter featured an article about the new John Lewis store which has no cycle parking, with its new cycle park locked shut. We subsequently received a lot of media coverage supporting us, including a BBC radio interview in which the John Lewis representative seemed unable to give a good reason why it was still not open, despite their having to get the car park opened.

We continue to receive e-mails from members of the public expressing disgust at the way cyclists are being treated as second-class customers.

“Oh, there’s no call for bike parking round here, people just leave their bikes leaning against railings everywhere.” John Lewis staff member, 19 November 2007

Our website contains a series of quotations and the official planning agreement concerned.

Latest news is that it will be opened by March 2008. Key points which must be addressed are:

  • The racks have been incorrectly installed. They are too close together, despite the clear diagram in the City’s cycle parking standards. This is the main deficiency that in our view must be corrected; once fixed the cycle park should open.
  • The vast majority of racks must be designated free for public use, i.e. not paid for; we need to receive reassurances and action on this.
  • No CCTV has yet been installed.
  • There is no cycle shop as previously promised. We have heard indications that progress is being made here.
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Please write to the developers and complain – there is a simple webform on their website at www.grandarcade.co.uk which can be used, or phone 01223 353861 to speak to them.

Also, please let the City Council know of your concerns. Write to emma.thornton@cambridge.gov.uk (01223 457446).

Christ’s Lane (formerly Bradwell’s Court)

Much of this development is now open. Shamefully, the developers were not required to provide cycle parking for shoppers, as a result of inadequate development control procedures which failed to ensure compliance with the City Council’s own Cycle Parking Standards, despite hard lobbying by us.

Surely there’s room for cycle parking here – there used to be so much more, on both sides of the road.
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There is a large area of space outside the new Christ’s Lane development, which could enable even more cycle parking than agreed to be installed.

The Cambridge Traffic Management Area Joint Committee (AJC) subsequently insisted on public cycle parking nearby as part of the Core Stage 4 scheme, and we thank Councillors who took a firm stand to ensure this.

Now that the buildings are in place, it is very clear that there is plenty of room available for cycle parking, perhaps more space even than Councillors had realised. The agreed cycle parking must be installed as soon as possible, and preferably more than previously agreed.

Martin Lucas-Smith, Co-ordinator