Cambridge Area Cycling Liaison Group

We have met three times now, each time taking up a whole Monday morning.

By the time you read this, the Cambridge Traffic Management Joint Sub Committee (‘Joint-Sub’ for short) will have met and voted on the first formal document written by the liaison group. This sets out two options for the Barton Road cycleway improvement, one being more or less the scheme the Campaign’s subgroup planned out earlier this summer.

Our scheme is for mandatory cycle lanes where the road is wide enough, a separate cycle track beside the road where it isn’t, and for traffic lights at the Grantchester Street junction. The traffic lights have been separated from the rest of the scheme, because they’re expensive, and come out of a different budget. They’ll be one item on the Joint-Sub agenda, and one which would not have been there at all without the Campaign’s proposal. The rest of the Campaign’s scheme is under ‘option A’ in a report which forms another item. An ‘option B’ (widen the existing, inadequate shared-use path) has been costed as an alternative. All but one of the liaison group supported the Campaign’s plans, which will use more than this year’s budget. They’ll also take more than one year to finish, so will take up a chunk of next year’s money. They provide a better ‘level of service’ than the alternative.

It has been interesting to learn how strongly the representatives of the Pedestrians Association, Ramblers Association and Camsight feel about shared- use pavements. The only people who like them at all are the three councils’ officials. Even they find only one thing in favour of shared-use paths: they are cheap.

Slim presented the ‘footway buildouts’ subgroup report to the last meeting of the liaison group. We expect County and City councils to circulate the report to their relevant engineers and planners.

Specifications for the other two cycle routes being planned at present, Milton-Waterbeach and Milton- Impington, have been sent to W S Atkins. (This is the firm of civil engineers who have the roads contract for Cambridgeshire at present.) They still haven’t appointed a contractor to build the last cycle route sent to them, Comberton to Toft. South Cambridgeshire District Council’s representative on the liaison group wasn’t at all pleased about that delay, because his council paid for that route (before the Cycling Campaign even existed).

Atkins have also been given the design brief for a new crossing for the Huntingdon Road and Girton Road junction (near Girton College). Work on this crossing and a new bus lane there should start in January.

Mark