Almost 100 per cent of of cyclists who used a controversial trial 'segregation' scheme on Hills Road Bridge in Cambridge said it improved their journey.
The £500,000 scheme, which was criticised last week for increasing risks to cyclists, has now been approved by Cambridgeshire County Council and will be made permanent.
The county council has revealed the results of a survey carried out during the trial, which saw the introduction of two metre-wide cycle lanes on the upward slopes of the bridge which are not a source of contention, and downward lanes which position bike riders in the middle of two lanes of motorised traffic.
On average 18,000 vehicles, 5,000 cyclists and 2,500 pedestrians use the bridge every day. When asked how the trial has affected their journey 86 per cent of the surveyed motorists claimed that the trial had either improved (34 per cent) or not affected (52 per cent) their journeys over the bridge. Ninety-four per cent of cyclists felt the trial had improved their journey with 51 per cent of all respondents stating the new road layout would encourage them to cycle over the bridge more often.
The results are in contrast to claims made by city councillor Alan Baker, who said the scheme could increase the risk of cyclists being involved in an accident, and also criticised the city council for approving the scheme without apparently carrying out full consultation.
However, Cambridge Cycling Campaign welcomed the scheme. Spokesman James Woodburn said: "We have experience of these plans in other parts of the city, such as the turning from Trumpington Road into Brooklands Avenue, and there have been no complaints.”
Construction of the new road layout will coincide with the Cambridge Gateway project, a scheme which will provide a link from Brooklands Avenue and Hills Rd Bridge through the new CB1 development to the station area. Work is likely to start in April.
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Roy Pegram, Cabinet Member for Growth, Infrastructure and Strategic Planning said: “This safety scheme shows Cambridgeshire County Council’s commitment to provide improved facilities for all road users. It’s great that this scheme has received such positive feedback.”
Face to face consultation events were held in September and November and feedback was also gathered online via the County’s website.
Hills Road Bridge safety scheme is part of Cambridgeshire County Council’s jointly-funded £7.2 million Cycle Cambridge initiative, in partnership with Cycling England to improve cycling routes, facilities and training across the county.