Queen Edith’s Way and Cherry Hinton Road pavements

The County Council has launched a consultation on pedestrian and cycle arrangements on Queen Ediths’ Way and Cherry Hinton Road.

dual useThe 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.

 

 

Hills Road segregated cycleway work has started.

Cambridgeshire County Council is starting to build new segregated and raised cycle lanes on Hills Road. The works are taking place off-peak between 930 and 330pm. The new cycleways are set to be completed in the autumn.

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:Floating Bus stop leaflet_main page

Hills Rd 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

Cycle lanes_C_5040001_HW_EL_012_REV G-2

Cycle lanes_C_5040001_HW_EL_011_REV G-3

Cycle lanes_C_5040001_HW_EL_010_REV G-5

Cambridge cycle routes

dual useDo 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.

 

Success for Fendon Road roundabout campaign

fendon_7875_WEBThe Lib Dem campaign for remedial work on theFendon Road roundabout has resulted in allocation of transport funding by the Cambridgeshire County Council..

The roundabout connects Queen Edith’s Way, Fendon Road and Mowbray Road and is ua key route to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. It is used by more than 300 cyclists an hour, yet has the second worst cycle accident record in the city. It is also so difficult to cross for pedestrians that some people even take a taxi to the hospital rather than risk their lives crossing the road.

Queen Edith’s City Councillor, George Pippas has been campaigning for a crossing and Cllr Tim Moore ran a traffic count about this time last year, covering the morning and evening rush hours. In just one hour he witnessed two near-miss accidents involving pedestrians and a further incident where a cyclist was forced to jump on the pavement to avoid being hit by a vehicle.

Yesterday Tim attended the County Council’s Economy and Environment Committee to describe his findings and to support the project.

Now the junction, which is a main route for children going to school and students heading for the city’s sixth form colleges, will be improved with a share of a £2.3 million Cambridgeshire County Council improvement fund, which will also pay for improvements to Cherry Hinton Road and Queen Edith’s Way, where the current dual use for cyclists and pedestrians causes many conflicts.

I am relieved that we are finally going to get improvements and a crossing that are so desperately needed at this junction to keep cyclists and pedestrians safe. I am pleased our concerns have been heard and acted upon so that we can put in place safety measures and hopefully reduce the accident risk at this junction.

Are you ready for the Tour de France?

le-tour-riders2012In less than seven weeks, the Tour de France comes to Cambridge on Monday July 7th. All very exciting for those who follow competitive cycling – but even if you’re not a fan, have you thought about how you’ll get out about that day?

There are several road closures that day, including Hills Road and Trumpington Road, and many schools are closed for the day, including Morley Memorial, Netherhall, St Bede’s and Coleridge. Schools are announcing changes as I write, so I will update this page as I receive new information. (more…)

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

Advice surgery with an armadillo

armadillo-7657The Liberal Democrats in Queen Edith’s hold a regular advice surgery once a month. It’s my turn this Saturday, and I shall be at St James’s Church in Wulfstan Way between 10.30 and 11.30am. Our surgery craftily coincides with the church’s own coffee morning / bring & buy sale on too, so you can have a drink and a cake at the same time.

Please come with any questions about local issues, or ideas. As a county councillor, I have best access to the county council officers handling education, transport, libraries, social care and children’s services but I’ll do my best to help with any other matters too.

If I don’t have the answers on the spot, I’ll do my best to find out or share your question with someone who knows more than I do.

So where does the armadillo come in?

The Government has given Cambridge £8.2 million of  funding for investment in Dutch-style cycling, with the objective of getting more people cycling. One of the projects the Council is considering is segregated cycle lanes on Hills Road between the Cherry Hinton and Long Road junctions. Others are in Huntingdon Road and Trumpington Road.

I’ve been talking to transport officers at the County Council, particularly about the Hills Road scheme. They’ll be starting a two-stage Royal College Stconsultation on the proposals soon, once options have been costed. Initially they are looking for information on journey patterns, routes etc and will then draw up detailed proposals taking into account people’s comments. They’ll be consulting residents, also businesses and other institutions.

The cycle lanes would be marked by traffic separators, dubbed ‘armadillos’ by cycling afficionados. They keep cars out of the cycle lanes but because they are spaced out they allow cyclists to go into the main part of the road when they need to. Here is an example of them in use in Royal College Street, Camden.

Intrigued, I asked to see an armadillo. I concede it’s a similar shape to the Dasypodidae, and hopefully it’s as tough. It was certainly very heavy, asarmadillo I found out when I carried it home! I’ll be bringing one along to my surgery on Saturday: if you’re interested in the segregated cycle scheme, please call in for a chat.

Second Saturday of the month, 10.30-11.30am. At St James’s Wulfstan Way when they have a coffee morning on, otherwise at the Coffee House.

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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