Long-awaited improvements to the Fendon Road roundabout will be voted on by county councillors at the Economy & Environment committee next Thursday. The proposal is to remodel the roundabout to provide crossings on all four arms as part of a ‘Dutch-style’ design. The committee will also consider a linked proposal for cycle lanes for Queen Edith’s Way.
We are expecting the green light for the roundabout and a flashing amber light for the cycle lanes so that further local consultation can take place, to ensure a safe walking and cycling environment for all ages.You can read the qew-cycle-lanes-_ee-nov-16on the County Council’s website, or download my pdf here.qew-cycle-lanes-_ee-nov-16
The one that is of greatest relevance to us in Queen Edith’s focuses on the Long Road-Queen Edith’s Way- Hills Road junction, a key route for schools, sixth form colleges and Addenbrooke’s Hospital. It’s a difficult junction to negotiate by bike or on foot, with fast-moving traffic coming from all directions and it’s a known accident cluster, as shown on the County Council’s map. I have lost count of the times people have said the latest new cycle lane being built on Hills Road should have started at this junction, rather than just after it.
It’s an expensive project, and the money on the table is from the City Deal, a government-funded infrastructure programme granted by Nick Clegg when Deputy Prime Minister during the coalition government.
There is a programme of exhibitions showing the proposals, and two are in our area: Addenbrooke’s on 18th January, and St John’s Church on 3rd February. Alternatively, you can see plans and comment on line, on the City Deal website. The consultation is open until 15th February.
* Not, as it looks, a description of the city or the cyclists – better with a hyphen, I think!
At long last, work has begun to instal lights on the bridleway along the Guided Busway.
This is the culmination of a campaign that started in 2012, with a LightTheCycleway! petition presented to the Conservative County Council Cabinet requesting lighting on the southern section of the Busway, between the railway station and Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
Trenching work began on Monday near the Hauxton Road bridge, and column positions have been marked out this week. The plan is to complete the lighting by the autumn, in time for the darker evenings. Here’s a County Council document with more information.
The aim is to address safety concerns over the shared use pavements, whereby cyclists may legally ride on the pavement. Many do so to keep out of the way of heavy – and sometimes fast – motor traffic. This is entirely understandable – but ironically, in avoiding cars and vans, cyclists themselves pose a hazard to an even more vulnerable class of traveller – the pedestrians who use the pavements. It is a particular problem for people with disabilities, especially the visually impaired, who cannot see bikes coming or report incidents easily.
Cambridgeshire County Council conducted a trial of the shared use arrangement in the late 90s and despite strong local opposition, made the ‘trial’ permanent. It still doesn’t work terribly well: in Queen Edith’s Way, the combination of schoolchildren at one end of the road and a high proportion of older people in nearby Wulfstan Way frequently leads to conflict, with cyclists sometimes failing to slow down or stop when they encounter pedestrians. Many cycling campaigners would agree that shared use is a cheap compromise that satisfies no one, and that demarcated space is to be preferred.
So local councillors have asked the County Council to spend some of its transport fund on a solution in both these roads. The money comes from Section 106 funds – payments by building developers as part of their planning conditions to offset the traffic impact of their developments.
At this stage the County Council is asking residents and other road users for information on which areas they find particularly dangerous and what options they would consider. There’s an on line questionnaire to complete. It is important that the County hears from everybody, so if you know of places or groups of people who would appreciate printed copies, let me know.
There will be cones and temporary traffic lights during these times to create a safe working area. Whenever possible a cycle lane will be kept open throughout the road works.
Some weekend closures of the side roads will also be necessary to enable the works to be carried out with the least disruption to motor traffic — but not until the spring. Here is a list of planned closures:
As part of the scheme, all the bus stops along this stretch will have new bus shelters.
Concerns have been raised recently about the amount of grass verge being lost, as well as the siting of the new bus stops. A group of Hills Road residents and I met the Cycling Team last week and discussed various issues.
For changes to the original scheme to address safety concerns, see my previous post here.
If you did not get to one of thepublic exhibitions showing the plans, here are some technical drawings of the road layouts, as displayed
Since September, I have been chairing the Cambridge Joint Area Committee (CJAC for short) is a joint County/City Council committee that handles a number of traffic-related matters in the City of Cambridge, including:
Determining priorities for the Local Highway Improvement Initiative
Traffic management, parking regulation, cycle and pedestrian schemes
Advising on on-street and off-street parking charges.
Advise on priorities for Section 106 funding for traffic management and other transport schemes
Determining objections to Traffic Regulation Orders
Resolving detailed design issues for traffic management proposals
The next meeting is on Tuesday 22nd 20th January, and councillors will be taking decisions on new parking restrictions on the Accordia Estate, cycle parking in Thoday Street, and pavement café licences in the city centre. To view the agenda, click here.
Do you know where you can cycle and not cycle in the city centre?
Many don’t, as the signage is not exactly clear.
Sergeant Ian Wood of Cambridgeshire Police and his colleagues at Cambridgeshire Police are working to make sure more people are aware of which streets are OK to cycle in. He has asked us to share the excellent cycling map produced by the Cambridge Cycling Campaign. Useful information for pedestrians and motorists as well as cyclists.
And for those who like lists easier to take in than maps, here is a link to streets where you can cycle and where you can’t: http://www.camcycle.org.uk/resources/citycentre/#signs.
Cambridge City Council’s planning committee this week discussed the relocation of Papworth hospital to the Addenbrooke’s site. The application is for a New Papworth Hospital, allowing relocation from the hospital’s current site in Papworth Everard, 13 miles from Cambridge. The hospital is the largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital in the UK and includes the country’s main heart and lung transplant centre.
This would be built on the land to the west and south west of the Addenbrooke’s Campus in Robinson Way, Cambridge and the proposals is for a new hospital and associated amenity space, planting, a vehicle drop-off area, cycle parking, an energy centre/plant room and servicing area.
Although councillors welcomed the new development, Queen Edith’s councillor George Pippas expressed concerns that the travel plan and parking arrangements for staff and visitors will not be sufficient to meet the needs of the new development. He and others argued that Addenbrooke’s has not been a good neighbour when it comes to parking, and the pressure on the local Queen Edith’s community will only increase if the relevant measures are not taken. One of the suggestions George made was to reduce the staff car park charges to make it affordable and attractive to be used by the staff. He also called on Addenbrooke’s to take responsibility for cleaning the cigarette ends and coffee cups from the perimeter of the hospital.
The application was passed by 6 councillors voting in favour but George abstained, because his requests fell on deaf ears!
Tomorrow (Thursday 20th November), Cambridgeshire County Council will be at Rock Road Library, presenting the designs for the new road layout on Hills Road. If you looked at the Council’s original cycle lanes designs you should notice some changes from what the Council proposed earlier this year.
Residents raised a number of concerns with the original scheme, about safety, rat-running and access to properties. Councillors communicated these concerns to the Council and asked County Council Highways officers to do further work to address safety issues. A number of changes were made to the original proposals before the scheme was approved, to address concerns about conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists. There are full details on the County Council website but here are the key points: http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/hills-road
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.