Cherry Hinton Road

Cambridgeshire County Council is running a consultation on its proposals for changes to Cherry Hinton Road. Their aim is to make the road safer and more attractive for pedestrians (2000 a day) and cyclists (1500 a day).

The Council has arranged two drop-in events at Rock Road Library to display the plans and talk to residents. One took place on Tuesday and the next will be on Wednesday 5th June, 6-8pm. Last week’s session was busy, with about 50 people visiting, and a number of issues were raised.

A big concern was about what will happen to the bus stops on Cherry Hinton Road, as some of the existing stops don’t appear on the Council’s map. When questioned, the council officers explained that all bus stops are staying put, but the only ones they’ve marked are the ones that they want to convert to ‘floating bus stops’.

Floating bus stops themselves prompted questions too, about their suitability for this road and in some cases about their siting.

There are mixed views about the removal of the parking bays outside the shops, as although the parked cars reduce the width of the road, the parking bays are used by people visiting the café, the shops and the bank.

Questions were asked about the different categories of cycle lane: mandatory (solid white line) and advisory (dashed white line). The advisory ones are not as good for cyclists, but the road is not wide enough for mandatory lanes along its full length — and there are concerns about whether the narrower carriageway will be wide enough for buses.

Shops and woman

Cherry Hinton Road

It’s important to get this right as there are many different types of users and journeys on Cherry Hinton Road: trips to shops, schools, places of work, doctors and chemists, community and leisure facilities, so please visit if you can to have a look.

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 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.

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

Not just for children…

trim trailNightingale Recreation Ground is going to have a trim trail, which will give people of all ages the opportunity to keep fit in the open air.

This is being funded by building developers’ ‘Section 106’ contributions.

A trim trail was one of the ideas put forward by residents at a seminar last autumn on ideas for improving the local community, and Cambridge City Council is consulting on the specifics, such as the location within the park, and what equipment should be included.

Your views are valuable whether you are a possible user of the trim trail, or a user of the existing facilities. Please have a look at the on line survey, and say what you think:

https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/fitness-equipment-consultation

and please share the survey with anyone you know who lives in the area. Closing date is 12th July.

What is a ‘trim trail’? 

The term ‘trim trail’ usually means a series of wooden exercise stations, scattered in parkland or other locations beside a jogging or walking trail, which can be used to develop balance, strength and co-ordination. They are suitable for both adults and children, and the individual stations are scientifically designed to provide a range of exercise. Most have simple instructions attached and can include balance beams, sit-up bars, chin-up bars, parallel bars, and more challenging feats such as pole climbs and ladder walks.

You can see trim trails locally at Romsey Recreation Ground and Cherry Hinton Hall.

 

Light the cycleway! 230-name petition presented to Shire Hall Conservatives

Today I presented the petition for lighting the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway to the Conservative Cabinet of Cambridgeshire County Council. It closed on just over 230 signatures, 150 on line and 80+ on paper. A great show of support.

The petition’s main focus was on low-level lighting for safety reasons, but it included requests for signs and a dividing line.

I proposed these things should be funded by ‘developer contributions’, money for transport projects, contributed by developers as part of their planning obligations.

Here is the text of my speech:

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