Today, Cambridgeshire County Council gave the green light to two local transport campaigns:
Both campaigns were initiated by local people who wanted to improve conditions for cycling and walking:
My own Light the Cycleway petition asked for lighting on the bridleway that runs alongside the Guided Busway, to make it safe to use at all hours. At present it is pitch black both in the mornings and evenings, and there have been several accidents, including falls, bumps and serious injuries such as a sprained wrist and smashed teeth. There is also the personal safety issue for women – something that has been raised with county council transport officers.
Together with Trumpington councillors Caroline Shepherd and Andy Blackhurst as well as the support of my trade union UNITE, I launched a Light the Cycleway! petition asking Cambridgeshire County Council to install lighting along the cycle path in Queen Edith’s and Trumpington. The petition garnered 230 signatures and I presented it to Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet on 22nd May.
The transport officers at the County advised their councillors:
The Guided Busway from the City Rail Station to the Trumpington Park and Ride Site is not lit. A petition was submitted raising this matter as a concern, and feasibility work is currently underway to examine options. The matter is an important issue and needs to be considered strategically with key stakeholders including South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council and the local communities that the CGB runs through. The Area Committee agreed that lighting the busway cycleway is a top priority and this scored highly in terms of value for money and as such is being recommended for funding. Lighting could significantly improve safety at night and increase pedestrian and cycle usage at night. The cost of electricity for the lights would be covered by the Busway access charge.
Sam Davies of Long Road ran a petition asking for improvements to the cycleways on Long Road – in her words, ‘to improve safety for the thousands of people who walk or cycle along Long Road every day, many of them pupils on their way to or from school or college’. She is calling for a wider, safer and better maintained shared-use path, which will also be able to cope with increased pedestrian and cycle traffic from new housing and business developments in the south of Cambridge.
The poor condition of the cyleway in places has been raised as a concern. This proposal involves improving the existing shared use paths on both sides of Long Road by widening and resurfacing where appropriate, and relocating street furniture, which is a safety hazard to cyclists, between Trumpington Road and Hills Road as appropriate. These works will improve access to the hospital and Sixth Form College. All works are within the highway at an estimated cost of £100,000.
I attended the County’s Cabinet meeting this morning and am pleased to report that both projects have been approved for funding.