Azara Blog: Cambridge cycling news

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Date published: 2006/12/29

The Cambridge Evening News says:

A "dangerous" cycle route in Cambridge has been slammed by residents.

After city councillors criticised the poor provision for cyclists in King's Hedges Road, Cambridgeshire County Council has agreed to meet with users to improve safety on the busy road.

Coun Tim Ward, chairman of Cambridge City Council's north area committee, said the gaps between traffic islands and the cycle lanes are too narrow, and the cycle route cuts across the pavement and road, confusing users.

He said: "The north area committee has been successful in listening to the residents and making sure that action is taken.

"The cycleway on King's Hedges Road is clearly unsafe and we are working with county councillors to make the cycleway safe."

Coun Julian Huppert, the county councillor who has been liaising with transport chiefs, said: "The county council is now admitting that they made significant mistakes when designing the cycleway on King's Hedges Road. It involves dangerous pinch-points that put cyclists in danger. Now action is needed to make the route safe."

Yes, congratulations to the Cambridge transport bureaucrats for turning a relatively safe cycling road with a 60 mph limit into a relatively dangerous cycling road with a 30 mph limit. It's hard to make a slower road more dangerous but with their brilliant design they have succeeded. And it's not just the idiotic pinch points, it's also the crazy way they have quarter-added a cycle path on the north side of the road (it stops for no reason) and not completed the cycle path on the south side (at one spot there is a gap for no reason) and they have also managed to make the remodeled intersection of King's Hedges Road and Histon Road more dangerous for cyclists by the way they have designed the turnings. Cambridge would be a lot better off if they just sacked anyone who had anything to do with transport planning.

Meanwhile, the Cambridge Evening News also says:

A new £2 million bridge for cyclists could be replaced as part of plans to create a new town.

The Jane Coston bridge links Milton to the north of Cambridge and was opened in May 2004 following a campaign for a life-saving crossing to stop pedestrians and cyclists having to cross the potentially lethal A14 roundabout.

But less than three years after its opening developer Barton Willmore Partnerhip has applied to Cambridge City Council to replace it with a new bridge for bus, pedestrian and cycle use.

Jane Coston, the Milton parish councillor whose name the bridge bears, said:

"The bridge is packed during peak times and when the roads are blocked it is the only way people from Milton can get to services such as the park and ride. It took an awful long time to get and then build, and it was designed to stay there for years."

The developer claims the council told it earlier no planning permission would be needed for the move and now it wants an official ruling on the issue.

The scheme is part of plans for Mereham, a town of 5,000 houses which could be built between Ely and Cambridge.

Construction giant Multiplex Stannifer is behind the scheme which was turned down by East Cambridgeshire District Council earlier this year. The company has lodged an appeal against that decision.

Unbelievable, only in England. Build a perfectly good bridge at great expense and then demolish it a few years later. This is a perfect example of the non-functioning of the English planning system. Of course the local councils are all against the plans for Mereham (as they are pretty much against plans for anything), so the developer's plans could well come to nothing.

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