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Councillor calls decision an "unnecessary cop-out"...

Despite successful implementation across Europe and in London, and widespread approval during recent planning consultation, it doesn’t look like segregated bike lanes and ‘floating’ bus stops will be coming to Cambridge any time soon. Councillors yesterday postponed a decision on a implementing a £1.8 million bike path project citing concerns about  “kamikaze” cyclists.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s were debating plans for improved cycling facilities on Hills Road and Huntingdon Road, but called for revised plans to be submitted in July, despite warnings from council officers that Government funding for the scheme had to be spent by May.

Chris Havergal of Cambridge News reports that councillors expressed concern that the proposed floating bus stops, which allow cyclists to safely pass stationary busses, would be a hazard for pedestrians who would have to cross cycle lanes to board and disembark.

Red lights

John Williams, Liberal Democrat councillor for Fulbourn, said: “I can’t tell you how often I see cyclists disobeying red lights and not stopping at pedestrians crossings and pelican crossings.

“I don’t have any confidence cyclists will give way to pedestrians moving to the bus stop because of what I see going on in this city with cyclists.

“Unless we make pedestrians the priority at these bus stops, I have serious concerns there will be an accident.”

Kamikaze cyclists

Williams’ fellow Liberal Democrat, David Jenkins, councillor for Histon, said: “I’m concerned about cyclists’ behaviour. It’s only a small minority, but it’s a significant small minority of kamikaze cyclists in the city and they are intolerant of other road users, and there has to be some way of policing them.

“Simply allowing them to have priority means less confident bus users will be stranded on the island as these guys go past.”

However, Jenkins later wrote on his blog that he was nevertheless in favour of the plans. He voted against the postponement of the decision, which he described as “an unnecessary cop-out.”

Common sense

Independent John Hipkin, councillor for the Castle ward which includes Huntingdon Road, said bus users would be able to make sense of island stops.

He said: “No traffic scheme can entirely discount common sense and every traffic scheme relies on common sense to make it work.

“I think this is a project which, on balance, I support. I fully support some of the misgiving of my residents but on balance I shall support it.”

Frustrating

Cambridge Cycling Campaign described councillors’ decision as “very frustrating”.

Martin Lucas-Smith, the organisation’s chairman, had told the committee that floating bus stops had been used across Europe and elsewhere in the UK with no major problems.

He added: “These schemes are crucial if Cambridge isn’t to grind to a halt. It isn’t about giving cyclists favours, it’s encouraging more people to cycle.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

37 comments

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jmaccelari [241 posts] 2 years ago
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Once again, cyclists are their own worst enemies...

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Paul J [885 posts] 2 years ago
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I can’t tell you how often I see motorists speeding, disobeying red lights, not stopping at pedestrians crossings and using mobile phones while driving.

In Glasgow city I am absolutely sure that motorists are the number 1 red light jumpers around. I'm also sure that, across the UK, *all* speeding is done by motorists - causing considerable danger to other road users. Further, the overwhelming majority of serious injuries and fatalities on our roads involve motor vehicles. Very often poor driving by the motor vehicle operator is a major - if not *sole* - factor in these KSIs.

Yet somehow, motorists are not their own worst enemies.

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HKCambridge [222 posts] 2 years ago
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jmaccelari wrote:

Once again, cyclists are their own worst enemies...

We're about to spend £1.5 billion on an upgrade of the A14 just beyond Huntingdon Road, one of the roads in this scheme. Want to guess how often dangerous overtaking, tailgating, changing lane without indicating and speeding have been mentioned as arguments against the upgrade?

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HKCambridge [222 posts] 2 years ago
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I don't even follow the bizarre logic of these councillors. Cyclists won't stop for pedestrians, so we'll design the bus stops so that pedestrians can expect them to stop when they don't? How does that work?

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HKCambridge [222 posts] 2 years ago
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I am also looking forward to permanent pedestrian green at all traffic lights in the city, where cars have to trigger the light changes to cross, since they're suddenly all for pedestrian priority.

Actually...

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oozaveared [937 posts] 2 years ago
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Well if it's that dangerous crossing a bike lane, let's hope no one wanting to use the bus needs to cross from the other side of the road.

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don simon [763 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

“Unless we make pedestrians the priority at these bus stops, I have serious concerns there will be an accident.”

Stick with bikes having priority then and make sure the pedestrians have a good look before blindly stepping in front of oncoming cyclists.

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HKCambridge [222 posts] 2 years ago
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Also, you have to remember that on Hills Rd, there are already bus stops in the cycle lane on the shared-use path. The new design is just better for pedestrians and cyclists in every way.

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armb [100 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

let's hope no one wanting to use the bus needs to cross from the other side of the road

I went to school on one side of that road. Getting out well before the bus arrived at the stop on the other side of the road and seeing it leave, ten minutes later, still not having been able to cross the road, was fairly common. (There is a crossing with lights there now though.)

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ragtag [217 posts] 2 years ago
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jmaccelari wrote:

Once again, cyclists are their own worst enemies...

No, myths and prejudice are the enemy.

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congokid [263 posts] 2 years ago
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jmaccelari wrote:

Once again, cyclists are their own worst enemies...

Hundreds of thousands of car drivers break road rules every day - sometimes with devastating consequences: they are responsible for almost all of the death and serious injury on our roads - and the rest of us have to live with the aftermath.

In spite of this, drivers don't appear to have any trouble getting new infrastructure on which to drive (according to gov.uk more than 200 projects, the majority of them roads, are due to start construction in 2014 to 2015).

I've never heard of a local authority refusing to build roads unless drivers start to obey the rules.

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Mr Agreeable [172 posts] 2 years ago
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There's a very cool and collected analysis of this on Rachel Aldred's blog.

http://rachelaldred.org/writing/cambridgeshire-councillors-block-space-f...

As she says, it's insane for a scheme like this, which is aimed at broadening the demographic of users who can cycle, to be axed because of a tiny few who already do.

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nowasps [429 posts] 2 years ago
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Fair play... If cyclists are making suicide attacks on the local populace, what can you expect?

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Mr Agreeable [172 posts] 2 years ago
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And another thing. It's maddening how frequently concerns over the safety of the disabled and the elderly are used to attack schemes like this, as was the case here. You've only got to look across the North Sea to see how cycle provision can give those with limited mobility their independence back.

http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/independent-mobility/

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I love my bike [148 posts] 2 years ago
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Indeed, just replace the word Cyclists with Motorists in the councilors' comments!

So buses and cars will continue to be delayed because of the worry that bus passengers won't look before crossing back to the pavement? I suppose it's also cyclists' fault that the M25 is so often a carpark & petrol costs so much!

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mrmo [2077 posts] 2 years ago
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I guess Cambridge will ban cars, and some of the things buses do....

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Leodis [403 posts] 2 years ago
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I can imagine been stuck behind some 5mph bearded CTC member, trapped in a segregated cycle lane...

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Username [179 posts] 2 years ago
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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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Usual crap.

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Rupert [189 posts] 2 years ago
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Probably best they don't waste the money on cycle lanes and just move on to the next obvious stage and reduce the speed of motor vehicles in built up places to 20mph or even 10 mph.

I know this idea would not be popular with the petrol heads but it would be the correct way to reduce deaths and manage traffic in city centres.

My experience of cycle lanes is that they are restrictive to cyclist and dangerous to pedestrians.
Cycle lanes also give some motor vehicle drivers the attitude that you should be using the cycle lane at all times.

My experience is based on living in Brighton where the mixing of pedestrian walk ways and cycle paths are bordering on the insanely dangerous. (just my opion, maybe)

So why aren't we looking into ways to slow down the motor vehicles in built up areas ? In this modern world of technology would it be that difficult to fit all cars lorries etc with speed limiters which automatically reduce the maximum speed of a vehicle in built up areas ?

I am not against cycle paths as such but my experience of them does not give me confidence that they save lives or are cost effective in stopping accidents between cyclist and other road users.

The reduction in speed of motor vehicles in city centres has been proved to reduce accidents and when accidents occur they have minor trauma.
Also reducing the speed of motor vehicles in built up areas persuades people to choose the bike rather than the car for short journeys.

Lets not think that there aren't kamikaze cyclist on our roads, there are and they like speeding motor vehicle drivers should be dealt with by the law. But lets not let the smoke screen of supposed safety of cycle lanes stop us from thinking of a better way to reduce accidents and make cycling and driving safer.

I guess I am saying that the money used on cycle lanes could be used to calm the speed of motor vehicles rather than seemingly bit by bit pushing cycling on to pavements and less than viable cycle lanes.

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Rupert [189 posts] 2 years ago
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Probably best they don't waste the money on cycle lanes and just move on to the next obvious stage and reduce the speed of motor vehicles in built up places to 20mph or even 10 mph.

I know this idea would not be popular with the petrol heads but it would be the correct way to reduce deaths and manage traffic in city centres.

My experience of cycle lanes is that they are restrictive to cyclist and dangerous to pedestrians.
Cycle lanes also give some motor vehicle drivers the attitude that you should be using the cycle lane at all times.

My experience is based on living in Brighton where the mixing of pedestrian walk ways and cycle paths are bordering on the insanely dangerous. (just my opion, maybe)

So why aren't we looking into ways to slow down the motor vehicles in built up areas ? In this modern world of technology would it be that difficult to fit all cars lorries etc with speed limiters which automatically reduce the maximum speed of a vehicle in built up areas ?

I am not against cycle paths as such but my experience of them does not give me confidence that they save lives or are cost effective in stopping accidents between cyclist and other road users.

The reduction in speed of motor vehicles in city centres has been proved to reduce accidents and when accidents occur they have minor trauma.
Also reducing the speed of motor vehicles in built up areas persuades people to choose the bike rather than the car for short journeys.

Lets not think that there aren't kamikaze cyclist on our roads, there are and they like speeding motor vehicle drivers should be dealt with by the law. But lets not let the smoke screen of supposed safety of cycle lanes stop us from thinking of a better way to reduce accidents and make cycling and driving safer.

I guess I am saying that the money used on cycle lanes could be used to calm the speed of motor vehicles rather than seemingly bit by bit pushing cycling on to pavements and less than viable cycle lanes.

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pique [20 posts] 2 years ago
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I was in Cambridge recently and shocked to see that all those cyclists were cycling in the gutter. I wonder if that's what the councillor meant?

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Al__S [1033 posts] 2 years ago
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Airzound wrote:

A lot of cyclists in Cambridge are total knobbers cycling with flat tyres, buckled wheels, no lights front or rear, wearing black at night with no lights, cycling whilst dialling and texting, jump red lights, ride through red lights at pedestrian crossings, ride the wrong way up one way streets, cycle on pavements causing peds to scatter, etc.,

The vast majority here aren't any of that.

Why on earth should those of us that are responsible cyclists- and the potential cyclists that don't because eg Huntingdon road is a threatening main road- have to suffer poor facilities because of a minority of idiots? THere's no chance of the A14 upgrade being delayed because of speeders, texting drivers, drivers of rusting hulks, drivers with faulty lights, red light jumping drivers (and bloody hell there's a lot of them) etc. Hell one of the places I've been closest to be knocked down was whilst walking on a pavement- van pulled up to a shop, onto the pavement, seemingly without looking. Lets cancel all road building till that guy behaves.

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badback [302 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm in Flanders at the moment and there's loads of bus stops like this. I haven't seen any kamikaze cyclists or pedestrians lying flat on their back after being knocked down either.

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teaboy [311 posts] 2 years ago
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People behave as dictated by the environment they are in. When you create an "every man for himself" environment on the road you shouldn't be surprised when people behave in such a way. Using that behaviour as an excuse not to change the environment to a safer, more relaxed one that encourages more relaxed behaviour is stupid.

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Chuck [546 posts] 2 years ago
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badback wrote:

I'm in Flanders at the moment and there's loads of bus stops like this. I haven't seen any kamikaze cyclists or pedestrians lying flat on their back after being knocked down either.

It's a different cycling culture though. I suspect pedestrians have a different attitude towards bikes and an expectation that they'll be around which is lacking here. Similarly maybe cyclists don't tend to have that "sod you, it's a bike path so I'm not slowing down" attitude that you can get here. As Teaboy says above though attitudes like that are shaped by the environment people find themselves in.

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goggy [153 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Rupert wrote:

Probably best they don't waste the money on cycle lanes and just move on to the next obvious stage and reduce the speed of motor vehicles in built up places to 20mph or even 10 mph.

I know this idea would not be popular with the petrol heads but it would be the correct way to reduce deaths and manage traffic in city centres.

My experience of cycle lanes is that they are restrictive to cyclist and dangerous to pedestrians.
Cycle lanes also give some motor vehicle drivers the attitude that you should be using the cycle lane at all times.

My experience is based on living in Brighton where the mixing of pedestrian walk ways and cycle paths are bordering on the insanely dangerous. (just my opion, maybe)

So why aren't we looking into ways to slow down the motor vehicles in built up areas ? In this modern world of technology would it be that difficult to fit all cars lorries etc with speed limiters which automatically reduce the maximum speed of a vehicle in built up areas ?

I am not against cycle paths as such but my experience of them does not give me confidence that they save lives or are cost effective in stopping accidents between cyclist and other road users.

The reduction in speed of motor vehicles in city centres has been proved to reduce accidents and when accidents occur they have minor trauma.
Also reducing the speed of motor vehicles in built up areas persuades people to choose the bike rather than the car for short journeys.

Lets not think that there aren't kamikaze cyclist on our roads, there are and they like speeding motor vehicle drivers should be dealt with by the law. But lets not let the smoke screen of supposed safety of cycle lanes stop us from thinking of a better way to reduce accidents and make cycling and driving safer.

I guess I am saying that the money used on cycle lanes could be used to calm the speed of motor vehicles rather than seemingly bit by bit pushing cycling on to pavements and less than viable cycle lanes.

1) Mixed use on the pavements - yes, the seafront setup is crazy and unusable except on the quietest of days.
2) The reduction of the speed limit to 20moh in many areas of Brighton HAS made a difference. I believe that's the way to go
3) The main route into the town centre from the northeast, with it's segregated cycle lanes, seems to work well. Of course that's in the "faster" 30pmh zone!

I believe that Brighton is very progressive towards cyclists and are least making an effort.

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antigee [336 posts] 2 years ago
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teaboy wrote:

People behave as dictated by the environment they are in. When you create an "every man for himself" environment on the road you shouldn't be surprised when people behave in such a way. Using that behaviour as an excuse not to change the environment to a safer, more relaxed one that encourages more relaxed behaviour is stupid.

......hope that's not ©teaboy....spot on

since the solution is always more signs how about a prize for a sign that graphically describes the phrase "would you run your old mum over?"

now I know the answer for some people will be yes but I'd rather see a few more campaigning cyclist awareness posters / flyers around than countless "cyclist dismount" and "slow" signs

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Cantab [93 posts] 2 years ago
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Leodis wrote:

I can imagine been stuck behind some 5mph bearded CTC member, trapped in a segregated cycle lane...

The great thing about these plans is that the proposed cycleways are 1.8-2m wide, plenty of room for getting around dawdling beardies!

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HKCambridge [222 posts] 2 years ago
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Cantab wrote:
Leodis wrote:

I can imagine been stuck behind some 5mph bearded CTC member, trapped in a segregated cycle lane...

The great thing about these plans is that the proposed cycleways are 1.8-2m wide, plenty of room for getting around dawdling beardies!

Think you mean 2.8! 2.1m if segregated, but officers have rejected that option, despite consultation revelling it was the preferred public option.

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