Co-ordinator’s comment

This article was published in 2009, in Newsletter 86.



Cycling Demonstration Town programme hots up

On 1st September, Mike Davies, who is the Programme Manager for the Cambridge Cycling Demonstration Town, spoke to the Campaign’s monthly meeting on the range of schemes that are currently being worked on. Those of us on the Committee have been aware of these schemes, and it is very pleasing to see so many of them coming to fruition more publicly.

It was also particularly heartening to hear that an interim cycle-lane scheme on Hills Road bridge has been agreed on. I am sure this must have involved a significant amount of internal discussion within the County Council, and we are grateful to Mike and his colleagues for ensuring that the layout did not simply revert to the previous four lanes of cars, a layout which was almost as cycle-hostile as the two-lane arrangement that drivers and cyclists have recently had to endure.

Also coming forward recently are a large number of schemes in South Cambridgeshire. These are intended particularly to benefit those living in the villages surrounding Cambridge. Mike is keen to seek early feedback on the proposals, so please do have a look at them if you are able. The documents outlining the proposals can be found at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport/projects/south/.

The County Council are also working with CycleStreets (the offshoot of the Cycling Campaign which runs and develops the online journey planner and photomap) to create a website to which to submit suggestions for places for cycle parking and removal of obstructions anywhere in Cambridge and the surrounding villages. More news to follow in due course.

The new Tesco store on Mill Road.
Image as described adjacent

Planning in control?

There have been two high-profile development control issues recently on which we have campaigned, both with some success.

Firstly, the issue of Tesco on Mill Road. We have no views on the issues of independent shops that has been so publicly raised in the pages of the Cambridge News. However, we were concerned to ensure that the already very poor delivery situation on Mill Road was not made worse. As we report later in this Newsletter, Tesco eventually made a significant last-minute U-turn, undertaking not to deliver from Mill Road. This was actually a condition of the planning permission they had obtained. Like others, we will be watching them to ensure they keep their word, given the problems their lorries are already creating on Sedgwick Street. If serious difficulties arise, the City Council will need to step in, this time rather more forcefully.

Obstruction to cycle lane on Parker’s Piece.
Image as described adjacent

Secondly, we responded to plans for the ice rink on Parker’s Piece, due to return this winter. Many members wrote to us last year about the problems they experienced, particularly with regard to poor cycle parking and the use of the paths by the Christmas Market in a way which did not reflect a compromise between the competing uses of Parker’s Piece: transport and leisure. We spoke at the Planning Committee, in an attempt to ensure that these issues would be dealt with without stopping the event going ahead. The operators have made efforts to deal with these problems, for which we are grateful. As a result, we are hopeful that the attraction will go ahead without problems this time.

Martin Lucas-Smith