Azara Blog: Cambridge Cycle Campaign whines about Gilbert Road yet again

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Date published: 2011/02/18

The Cambridge News says:

Cyclists have welcomed the completion of controversial bike lanes in Cambridge-s Gilbert Road - but raised concerns about the lack of speed reduction measures.

Hundreds of residents opposed the plans to create 1.7m-wide cycle lanes along the road, with double lines preventing cars parking in them and on the verge.

But the £150,000 scheme was approved with support from cyclists and transport chiefs who said much of the parking - at the Milton Road end at least - was commuter-related.

Klaas Brümann, a member of the Gilbert Road group of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, said: "Cycling along Gilbert Road is now much more pleasant, faster and feels safer. Car traffic also seems to be travelling at more even speeds."
He said: "The original proposal for the cycle lanes on Gilbert Road included speed reduction measures and bollards to avoid cars going into the cycle lane. These measures were taken out by Cambridgeshire County Council's cabinet.

"Unfortunately some drivers use the cycle lane for queue-jumping."

He added: "As before the implementation of uninterrupted cycle lanes, many pupils coming from Gurney Way use the pavement up to the pedestrian crossing at the Chesterton Community entrance.

"In the absence of speed reduction measures and traffic lights or a toucan crossing at Gurney Way this may have been encouraged by their parents.

"However, it is illegal and with cars reversing out of driveways, is dangerous."
Mike Davies, programme manager of Cycle Cambridge, said the traffic calming measures had been removed from the scheme because of fears they would shift rat-running to other roads in Arbury, and concern about noise.

He said speed survey results would be analysed to see if the measures were necessary.

It is unfortunate that the Cambridge Cycling Campaign (CCC) is still whining about Gilbert Road. The whole thing could have indeed been designed much better, but not in the way the CCC wanted it. So it could have included a fair amount of parking, as well as the dedicated cycle lane. Unfortunately the council listened far too much to the CCC.

Brümann is being particularly ridiculous. So he says it "feels safer" and yet wants to whine that the extremist measures that the CCC were pushing for were not introduced. Of course the CCC does not care about the rat-running issue because it is not a problem for them. The CCC is just a typical special interest pressure group that tries to bludgeon the rest of society into putting the interests of the CCC (which is not even the same thing as the interests of cyclists) above the interests of society as a whole. As such, they should largely be ignored.

And on the Gurney way front, it is obvious to anyone that the speed, or not, of the traffic has nothing to do with the issue. The traffic is at a complete standstill during the rush hour and yet nobody with any sense would want to cross the road twice even then. A toucan crossing would help but not that much (you could just about walk the distance in the same time as it would take to wait for two sets of lights to go green).

Far better all around would have been for the council to provide a pedestrian/cycle route from Ascham Road through to Courtney Way / Metcalfe Road. They could have done so at the time that Lady Adrian School was being expanded into Castle School, and before the new Milton Road school site was developed. Unfortunately that would have taken some vision, and that is sorely lacking in Cambridge transport policy, whose only goal seems to be to make the lives of motorists as miserable as possible.

Along these lines, it is unfortunate that the "transport chiefs" need to perpetually denigrate drivers who park their cars on roads, especially, it seems, when this is "commuter-related". Commuters are the workers who pay the taxes to keep the useless transport bureaucrats in business. Of course, at the other end of Gilbert Road, the main people who parked their car in the road were the residents (and their visitors) and yet the transport bureaucrats also denigrated them, this time for allegedly being selfish for not wanting to have their parking taken away with nothing given back in compensation.

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