Hills Road cycle lanes layout: residents’ feedback prompts changes

hills roadIt is fair to say that views on the Hills Road cycle scheme are mixed, at least amongst local residents.

Council consultation results show Queen Edith’s residents split 50-50 between those who support the new segregated lanes and those who fear that the scheme will improve safety for cyclists at the expense of more vulnerable pedestrians.

Residents raised a number of concerns about safety, rat-running and access to properties. Councillors shared these concerns and asked County Council Highways officers to do further work to address safety issues. A number of changes have been made to the original proposals and the scheme will go back to councillors on 8th July.

Here is the report that they will receive. cycle lanes

  • There is now a clearer division between footway, bus stop and cycleway.
  • All the bus stop islands will be at least 2 metres wide and all waiting facilities will be on the island, so passengers won’t have to cross the cycleway as the bus arrives.
  • As the cycle lane approaches the bus stop it will veer left and narrow to 1.5 metres; there will then be a short ramp up to the level pedestrian crossing point, which will have tactile paving and be a different colour to the cycle lane. These differences are to alert cyclists of the need to be mindful of pedestrians.
  • The kerbs will now be sloped to allow cyclists to mount more easily should the need to leave the carriageway arise.
  • Although there will be double yellow lines, there will not be a loading ban to allow commercial vehicles to park briefly.
  • New gullies will be installed and a full CCTV drainage survey carried out to identify any necessary repairs.

There are concerns that if there are additional traffic hold-ups, motorists may evade them by using smaller streets off Hills Road – four of which have schools/ nursery schools. It is hard to predict the effect in advance, but I shall be asking for a traffic survey to be carried out before and after the scheme is input.

Cycle Theft Alert

The local police have just sent out the following eCops alert:
We have received 17 reports of cycles being stolen in Cambridge over the last 24 hours at the following locations:-

North –Arbury Court

South – 2 x Speedwell Close, Wulfstan Way, George IV Street, Lucerne Close, Hills Road and Gresham Road

East – Argyle Street, Beehive Centre and Clifton Way

West – Storeys Way, Cockcroft Place and Grange Road

City – Park Terrace, Queens Lane and Burleigh Street

Eight of the thefts occurred overnight, the other nine were daytime offences. Most of the cycles were locked to cycle racks.

Please remember:

• Park your bike where everyone can see it – other people will also see if someone is trying to steal it

• Don’t leave your bike in the same place every day

• Lock ‘tight’ so that your bike is hard to move around when parked

• Lock both wheels and the frame to a bike stand or other immoveable object and fill the lock with as much of the bike as possible, or a thief may steal the bike and leave the wheels behind. Also, make sure the post can’t be cut through or the bike lifted off it

• Locks can be picked, so face the lock to the ground (but not resting on it) so it can’t easily be turned upwards for picking

• Take with you any items that can be removed without tools such as wheels, lights, pump, saddle etc

You can security mark and register your bike at www.bikeregister.com and www.immobilise.com . It’s also a good idea to place a sticker on your bike to advertise the fact that it is traceable.

For more information on cycle security please visit www.camb-police.co.uk .

If you see something suspicious please call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Kate Thwaites
Community Safety Officer – Cambridge City

Floating bus stops, what do you think?

floatingbusstopHills Road is to benefit from over a million pounds of government funding for a new road layout that aims to improve conditions for pedestrians, bus users and cyclists. There is a plan for segregated cycle lanes in three of the main roads into the city: Hills Road, Trumpington Road and Huntingdon Road.

An innovative feature of the scheme will be ‘floating bus stops’, which have proved successful in Brighton and London. This will avoid the danger of cyclists overtaking buses at stops, but it will be important to make sure it is safe for bus passengers.

The County Council is running a consultation begins next week, with exhibitions and events at various local centres. There has already been one at St John’s Church and there are more at Addenbrooke’s (Friday March 14th, 11.00am-2pm) and the Perse School ( Wednesday March 26th, 6,30-8.30pm).

For full details, see http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/CMSWebsite/Apps/News/Details.aspx?ref=1330

The meeting will also include a presentation from the neighbourhood police and planning applications, including one for flats in Queen Edith’s Way – yes, more flats.

The meeting begins at 7pm, with an Open Forum, at which anyone can ask questions or make statements.

Long Road Cycleway Improvements

Long-Road_7888_webWork is set to begin in February on improving the Long Road pavements and cycleways. This is the result of a campaign run by a local resident, with the support of the Lib Dem Focus Team, who helped her present the project as a candidate for Section 106 funding — money contributed by building developers as part of their planning obligations. The project was supported by both the South Area committee and the County Council Cabinet and £180,000 was allocated to it.

This will be good news for the many hundreds of pedestrians and cyclists who use Long Road every day, many of them going to school or college.

The path will be widened and provide a more level surface for walking and cycling. There will also be more space for crossing Sedley Taylor Road.

As part of the scheme, there will be a tidy-up of vegetation, and improvements to drainage.

For more information, see here: Long Road briefing note

Roundabout survey this Thursday: can you help?

Amanda at Fendon Rd roundabout

Amanda at Fendon Rd roundabout

The Fendon Road roundabout near Addenbrooke’s Hospital is a cause of concern to many local residents, and we have been asked for a pedestrian crossing, as well as safety improvements to the roundabout, which has one of the worst accident records in the city (34 crashes in one 5-year period).

Local campaigner Dr Tim Moore monitored traffic one morning during rush hour. In just one hour, he saw more than 300 cyclists pass through the area and more than 150 pedestrians, many of them school and college students. He also witnessed two near-miss accidents involving pedestrians and a further incident where a cyclist was forced to jump onto the pavement to avoid being hit by a vehicle.

Here is a video taken by cycling teacher Rad Wagon, showing the volume and speed of traffic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLB8aKMmqZU

Dr Moore is working with me and fellow local councillor George Pippas, and we are working on Cambridgeshire County Council to make safety improvements.

To provide evidence, we shall be carrying out a traffic survey this Thursday, counting vehicles, bikes and pedestrians, covering Fendon Road, Mowbray Road and Queen Edith’s Way during both rush hours. We’ll present our findings to Cambridgeshire County Council highways officers.

Thank you to all those who have offered to help. We could still do with a few more people. Could you spare 15-30 minutes on Thursday afternoon? If you can, please email our Survey Co-ordinator, Dr Tim Moore: [email protected], or phone him on 07973 882121.

Hills Road resurfacing: you’ll need to consider your route

IMAG0002_COVER-1-1Hills Road is to be resurfaced this month, all the way between Cherry Hinton Road and Fendon Road. This is the result of a campaign by former county councillor Geoff Heathcock – a great result to conclude his time in office!

It is badly needed, as anyone who drives or cycles along Hills Road knows only too well.

The Council is carrying out the work in August, when Hills Road is quieter, or at least less busy than at other times of the year. Works are scheduled to commence approximately 12th August and finish around the 30th.

During this time there will be a one-way system allowing traffic to travel down Hills Road into the City from the Addenbrooke’s direction. All southbound traffic will be diverted along Cherry Hinton Road, Mowbray Road and Fendon Road.Potholes

The bus stops on Hills Road will not be served during 6a.m. and 3.30p.m. and and passengers will need to use the Addenbrooke’s bus interchange or stops on Queen Edith’s Way and Cherry Hinton Road. Please see Stagecoach’s website for full details.

Some cycle lanes are closed, though we assume the on-pavement ones will be as normal.

Please check for updates, as we know from experience that County Council plans can change!

Trilingual cycling in Cambridge

Bike&BagEuropean funds have been used to produce a new map of Cambridge for cyclists.

What’s different about the new map is that it includes French and Spanish as well as English. It gives information on cycle hire and tours, as well as recommending a cycle tour of the city centre and routes out to Grantchester and Ely.

Tourists – and locals – can pick up the map at the Tourist Information Centre, or the railway station. It’s also being given to local hotels and cycle-hire and tour companies.

The maps are being funded for by the European ‘Bike Friendly Cities’ project, so it is apt that they will be helping European visitors. However, it will be to everyone’s benefit if we can increase understanding of where you can cycle and where not, and what the cycling rules are.

I’m pleased we are producing the map in other languages. English speakers are well catered for abroad, and I would like to see more material in other languages for the benefit of visitors from abroad.

Cycling projects: time for the County Council to decide

Cyclists, hold your breath.

Two big cycling improvement projects are being recommended to Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet next week:

And campaigners, take heart.

Both schemes are the direct result of people campaiging for the improvements they believed were needed:

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Weekly police report for Queen Edith’s

Cycle theft continues to be a problem in Queen Edith’s, with thefts in Marshall Road and Wulfstan Way, as well as near Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Netherhall School.

There has been one domestic burglary in Queen Edith’s Way. Once again, the burglar got access with a gardening implement taken from the shed. Police recommend locking garages and sheds to avoid this happening amongst their home security tips.

PCSO Chris Blewett will be holding a police surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital on Monday November 26th, between 12pm and 1pm

Liberal Democrats propose 1,000 new cycle parking spaces

One challenge faced both by Cambridge cyclists and motorists is finding somewhere to park in central Cambridge. The lack of places to lock a bike up securely in town is one of the key factors in the high level of bike theft in Cambridge, so I am pleased that the Lib Dems on the Council are proposing an extra 1,000 more spaces.

The proposal is to spend half a million pounds on parking for up to 1,000 bikes in on-street or ‘just off’ street locations, and to identify places for a third new cycle park like the one in the Grand Arcade, which is wonderful – but often full up.

As Cllr Tim Ward, the councillor with responsibility for environmental matters, says, more cycle parking will benefit pedestrians as well as cyclists, reducing the number of bikes parked in the street, often getting in people’s way.

If approved, the project will be funded by housebuilders.