Cycling up and up

This article was published in 2008, in Newsletter 78.

Two automatic counter sites for cyclists are reported in Cambridge – apparently 2,314 cyclists in 24 hours at Garret Hostel Bridge.
Image as described adjacent

Cambridgeshire’s Traffic Monitoring Report for 2007 has recently been published. A recent innovation, as a mandatory requirement by the Department of Transport, is a measure of the overall change in levels of cycling.

This is being done from a baseline of the 2004 and 2005 counts, being a mixture of manual and automatic ones at 205 locations. In 2006 the figures were up by some 5.8%, and in 2007 it rose by a further 8.2%.

One of the issues with cycle counts is that they may vary according to the weather
Image as described adjacent

One of the issues with cycle counts is that they may vary according to the weather, so although ‘Cam Screenline’ counts are spread over a week, a lovely fine week one year, followed by a cold and wet one the following one, can suggest a slowdown or even a fall in cycle use. The aggregation of a number of counts should reduce any such variance, but I do have concerns. Within a year or so we’ll have two additional major cycle routes away from traffic alongside the guided bus route. This is likely both to divert some trips and create others. How will such new routes be added to the sample? We’ll be asking the County about the details of this process.

Although automatic counter sites for cyclists are reported only two within Cambridge are listed. I’d heard that such counters can’t cope with the ‘shoals’ of cyclists in Cambridge, 2,314 in 24 hours at Garret Hostel Bridge, although 56 at Godmanchester might be accurate.

For years we’ve had ‘Cam Screenline’ counts made just before start of Cambridge University ‘Easter’ term, as well as a Cambridge ‘radial cordon’ count in October, but now we’ve also an ‘Inner cordon’ which should count all those entering the area bounded by the inner ring road. This again is part of a DFT requirement to count motor vehicles entering the central area. Although ‘cyclists’ are included in this figure, this cannot be a realistic estimate of cyclists entering the central area, and I suspect it only includes those on routes that also carry motor vehicles and hence could be misleading.

So are there any other ‘headline’ figures for 2007 worth quoting?

Cambridge Inner Cordon Inbound AM traffic:

Total (motor?) vehicles: 8,256, PSVs: 435, cyclists: 3,535?

Cambridge radial cordon 6,655 (up 9%)

Cam Screenline 19,894 (up 2%)

Jim Chisholm