Hills Road cycle lanes scheme: view new layout

floatingbusstopTomorrow (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.

3pm-7.30 pm, ROCK ROAD LIBRARY, 20th November.

What would be your top three choices for new mobility crossings?

18 years of dropped kerbs!

Could I have a dropped kerb on Blinco Grove, please?

That was the very first thing I was asked to do as a new councillor back in 1994 when I was first elected. The request came from a lady who used a wheelchair and needed a dropped kerb near her home, (‘mobility crossing’) in order to cross the road. I am sorry to say that I had a forest of bureaucracy to fight through before we got the dropped kerb. Nevertheless, it is a request that comes up time and time again.

I was pleased to help, but it was only when I tried to cross East Road wheeling a friend’s toddler in a pushchair that it really came home to me how difficult it is to do a simple thing like crossing the road if the varying levels of kerb and road mean your wheels don’t work. At the time, I drew a deep breath and heaved up the pushchair  – and thought about how much harder this would be for someone in a wheelchair.

Over the years I’ve been a councillor there have been many new dropped kerbs in Queen Edith’s. Although the public highways are really the responsibility of the County Council, the City Council has funded many dropped kerbs through its environmental improvements programmes. I think the most recent one round here is on Hills Road, to allow easier access from the hospital to Nightingale Avenue.

If you have ideas for new ones in the south of the city, please tell me or one of the other councillors. as there is a possibility we may have funding for a few new ones.