Good in parts
After collecting dust for some 18 months since completion with government funding, the Addenbrooke’s Road (as it is now known), is open and connected to the Addenbrooke’s site by the recently finished Boulevard now named Francis Crick Way.
I’ve been cycling past this construction site for years, and although the Campaign has been involved in consultations the devil is often in the detail. We rarely see any construction drawings, so I’ve been interested to see how the routes are on the ground and on a bike.
The junction with Hauxton Road is clearly terrible. The Campaign had high hopes that the alternative routes, being a new link from near Hauxton Mill using a concrete farm road and an accommodation bridge over the M11, linked to the path adjacent to the Guided Bus track, would have been available by now. The route forms part of the planning permission for Trumpington Meadows, and the Campaign clearly missed a trick by not requesting that the route be a condition for the start of main works. Few cyclists will be happy using any junction of this size, and we need to apply pressure for the alternative route to be made available as soon as possible.
There have been discussions at many levels regarding hybrid lanes, shared-use paths and on-road lanes, but although we’ve no hybrid lanes, Addenbrooke’s Road does have both 1.5 m on-road lanes and a segregated shared-use path complete with marked priority over planned side roads. Once housing development is completed, the shared-use paths on the north side should give easy access to schools and shops without the need to cross Addenbrooke’s Road.
Francis Crick Way should, I believe be a 20 mph road, but I can see no sign. The original proposals here were for shared-use paths, but with a road which will have many side turnings, such facilities are poor, and on a 20 mph route should be unnecessary. 1.5 m on-road lanes are now provided, but for short lengths adjacent to the guided bus crossing, shared-use paths are also available. These will permit cyclists to either decant onto the footway for a right turn with pedestrians, or to turn left avoiding the red light.
So, if it is ‘good in parts,’ what do I like?
- Mandatory on-road cycle lanes with the option to leave the road easily if life gets too difficult.
- Cycle lanes that stop short of the roundabouts, such that right-turning cyclists don’t feel forced to keep left.
- Shared-use paths adjacent to proposed housing developments to help with short trips, and allow young children to make unaccompanied trips.
And which bad bits need fixing to make it a ‘good egg’?
- Speed limits on Addenbrooke’s Road need reducing to 30 mph.
- The link from the Shelford to Addenbrooke’s cycleway to Francis Crick Way needs lighting.
- Modifications are needed where cyclists travelling south leave Francis Crick Way to join the National Cycle Route.
There are some other items on a ‘snagging list’ and some Campaign members have offered to help with an audit of these routes. Yet more routes in this area will become available (perhaps in spring) once the path by the Guided Bus to Cambridge station is complete.