This article was published in 2011, in Newsletter 97.
Access to the station should be easier very soon, but why, oh why, can’t we use the new road to go westwards?
At the same time as the Busway opens on 7 August so will the new road between the Hills Road / Brooklands Avenue junction and the railway station. The new road is restricted to buses and cycles (unusually, especially given the destination, taxis aren’t going to be allowed to use it).
It runs at right angles to Hills Road for a short distance and then turns slightly to the right (south) to join the Busway (which doesn’t have guideway tracks at that point) at right angles. It then runs parallel to the railway up to the station where a new bus station is being constructed. You will also be able to turn right to head towards Trumpington. Incidentally, the space freed up at the old bus stop is to be given over to much needed cycle parking.
Throughout the planning of this junction the Campaign has consistently argued (and continues to do so) that cyclists must be permitted to ride from the new road, over Hills Road and into Brooklands Avenue. Going the other way will be permitted. We will continue to argue for this. There will be a few alternatives, but none of them anywhere near as convenient, and not for some time to come. The only viable alternative in the short term is to go through the Triangle site, turn left onto Hills Road and immediately right into Brooklands Avenue (an awkward manoeuvre in comparison with the new road) .
There should also be a further beneficial side-effect of the new road: there will be many fewer buses using Station Road. Currently, all buses to the station have to go both ways along Station Road, but when the new road opens they will only use it for one half of their journeys. This is offset to a limited extent by the additional Busway services which will then go along Station Road. Removing so many of the biggest vehicle movements on Station Road will really help the comfort and safety of cycling in Station Road.
For some time to come there will be construction sites on either side of the new road as the first phase of the CB1 development is built. Eventually there will be a road branching off to the left to serve the new flats (student accommodation) at the point where the new road bears right. There will also be a few small shops in the new buildings either side of the new road at the Hills Road end, together with some cycle parking.
In the even further future, there will be quite a lot of back ways threading between the new buildings. The planning application for the details of the second tranche further to the north has just been submitted.
You may have noticed the new pedestrian/cycle crossing on Hills Road bridge. On the railway side of this crossing there is a gap in the bridge parapet through which cyclists can ride, leading to ramps down both to the left and right. Currently these go nowhere, but as the new buildings open, they will form two alternative routes through the site.
Turn left and you will be able to go round the back of the Earl of Derby pub, cross the new road, go behind the Mill and come out onto Station Road. Turn right and you will skirt the signal box to come out on the Busway not far from the new tunnel under Hills Road bridge. This will be the most direct way to get onto the busway to go towards Long Road if you are coming from the south, though eventually there will also be a way onto it from Brooklands Avenue through the further new development currently underway alongside the University Press. Of course, if there were a ramp down to the south from the bridge, as we have advocated, there would be no need for this convoluted journey.