Plans approved for cycle route improvements in Cambridge

Council will listen to both sides in Gilbert Road debate

by Tom Henry   February 26, 2010  

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Council chiefs have approved plans to carry out improvements to cycle routes in Cambridge.

Cambridgeshire County Council's Cabinet have given the go ahead for cycle route improvements including the provision of new off-road cycle lanes, widening and resurfacing existing lanes in the city.

After listening to representations from cyclists and concerns from residents, Cabinet are looking into further options for a cycle safety scheme on Gilbert Road.

The routes are 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 in and around Cambridge.

Following consultation with local residents and stakeholders, the Cycle Cambridge team presented four cycle route improvements to the Cabinet; Cherry Hinton Road, Madingley Road, the Tins path and Gilbert Road.

Cherry Hinton Road will have a new on-road cycle lane to the roundabout at Perne Road, with improvements to the existing shared use path including priority crossing at some side roads. Similar improvements will be made on Madingley Road with amendments made to the shared use path and on-road cycle lane heading towards the Park and Ride site.

The Tins path, a well used route located at the bottom of Mill Road, off Brooke's Road, will be widened and resurfaced. This will provide a direct route from Cherry Hinton and Fulbourn to the Mill Road area.

Cabinet heard views of support from cyclists as well as concerns from residents on the proposal to improve the cycle lanes on Gilbert Road. This scheme would include introducing traffic calming measures. The £400,000 scheme in Gilbert Road involves stopping cars from parking in the cycle lane, along with a peak time loading ban to ensure the lane remains unobstructed, as well as resurfacing to ensure a smoother ride for cyclists.

Currently cyclists have to move out into the road to avoid parked cars, which the Cambridge Cycling Campaign argues is dangerous for all road users.

Traffic calming measures have also been suggested. But residents are divided over the plans, which some say would inconvenience people who live in and visit Gilbert Road.

After taking the views of both groups into consideration, Cabinet decided to look into further options for the cycle safety scheme before returning to Cabinet hopefully this April.

Leaflets were distributed to local residents for all routes to allow feedback into the consultation and exhibition events were also organised in various locations in Cambridge. Over 550 people gave feedback on the proposals.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Roy Pegram, Cabinet Member for Growth, Infrastructure and Strategic Planning said: “Cambridgeshire County Council is committed to providing improved facilities for environmentally friendly forms of transport such as cycling. The improvements to Cherry Hinton Road, Madingley Road and The Tins will provide cyclists with more safe routes
around Cambridge and encourage more people to get on their bikes. This process has been all about listening to the views of our communities, which is why after hearing the views of residents and cyclists we have taken the sensible decision to look into further options for Gilbert Road.”

The Cycle Cambridge project aims to encourage more bicycle journeys and increase the levels of cycling in Cambridge¹s surrounding villages and new developments to equivalent levels within the city. The programme is being managed and delivered by Cambridgeshire County Council in partnership with Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council.