Azara Blog: Little thought given to cyclists at Histon Road and King's Hedges Road

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Date published: 2006/10/07

The Cambridge transport planners do not seem to have a clue about cycling, in spite of the fact that allegedly they are keen to promote cycling.

The city has recently re-designed the intersection of Histon Road (well the B1049) and King's Hedges Road. This was because of the new development at Arbury Park (Arbury Camp). The result could hardly have been worse for cyclists.

Coming into town from the roundabout over the A14 there is a wide cycle path on the pavement. Only if you are going straight ahead up Histon Road you would not want to use it, because it involves using several pedestrian crossings rather than a straight-through ride parallel to the cars. So instead you are of course going to stay on the road with the cars.

On the other hand if you turn left onto King's Hedges Road you can stay on the cycle path. Only it ends not that much further on. After that you are forced on the road. Even worse, as part of their attempt to slow cars down, they have introduced various pinch points (with central reservations for pedestrians) along that section of King's Hedges Road. Since there is no cycle path, cyclists have to share the road with the cars, and this makes cyclists particularly vulnerable in these spots.

It really is that bad. Why could they not have put in a cycle path along both sides along the entire stretch of the road?

And the poor design does not stop there. If, heading out of town, you want to turn right from Histon Road onto King's Hedges Road, you are either forced to cycle past the intersection to a pedestrian crossing (which no self-respecting cyclist would use) or turn right with the cars. If you turn with the cars you cannot get on the cycle path which immediately presents itself, the brilliant planners have put a tall curb in the way all along the road. (Well, that cycle path does finish rather soon, but presumably some day it will indeed be extended.)

How did this design ever get past anybody? Do these bureaucrats not have a clue how cyclists cycle?

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