Objectors seek to scupper "important link" in Cambridge cycle network

But cyclists need reassurance of clear cycle route say campaigners

by Mark Appleton   October 16, 2010  

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Cambridge, long since known as one of the more cycle-friendly cities in Britain, nonetheless has its share of NIMBY anti-cycling diehards.

The Cambridge News reports that more than 230 residents have launched a last-ditch attempt to scupper a proposed cycle lane in the city.

Plans to create 1.7m-wide cycle lanes along Gilbert Road, with double yellow lines preventing cars parking in them and on the verge, were approved in June, says the newspaper.

The majority of local residents, however, were against the £150,000 scheme. Cyclists supported it while transport bosses said much of the parking at one end of the road was commuter-related.

The last barrier to work beginning is the requirement for a traffic regulation order, banning waiting at any time and prohibiting loading on weekdays from 7-10am, and 4-7pm on the affected stretch of road.

The News reports that members of the city’s traffic management area joint committee will hear that 238 people have objected to the granting of the order, 224 of whom live in Gilbert Road.

Objectors have raised concerns about access for healthcare workers and tradesmen, and argue peak-time only parking restrictions would be more appropriate.

But in a letter to the committee, James Woodburn, from Cambridge Cycling Campaign says: “Cyclists have to pull out around parked cars into relatively fast traffic and find this intimidating.

“There is no doubt that this has acted as a deterrent to many novices who would, if conditions were better, like to cycle.”

Graham Hughes, the county council’s infrastructure director, says benefit of the proposed lane outweighs the inconvenience for residents.

In a report to traffic management area joint committee he says: “The Gilbert Road scheme is part of the larger strategic cycle network in Cambridge and its hinterland, improvements to much of which are under way or complete.

“If this important link is missing, the benefit from the overall scheme will be diminished.”
 

3 user comments

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I live in Cambridge, And cycled Gilbert Rd everyday on my commute, until I moved to a different part of town. It doesn't need wholesale changes that the council are trying to hammer through, A peak parking restriction would work fine. The real reason they are so intent is it's a easy & cheap fix that makes the council look like its gives a ***k about cyclists. There are much more dangerous roads that would be more expensive & difficult to sort that are blanked.

If the safety measures are being putting in place to protect a high % of cambridge cyclists ie ipod wearing, phone txting, light jumping, you don't have to signal on a bike do you? . Then they are totally necessary.

posted by Dog72 [108 posts]
17th October 2010 - 8:56

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I disagree. Inexperienced cyclists feel safer in cycle lanes, and the relatively wide ones planned should encourage them. There are 1800 pupils in schools off Gilbert Road. Most houses on Gilbert Road have off street parking for one or two cars. And it is Cycle Cambridge who are pushing for changes on this road, not the Council, because it is such a useful link for cyclists.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1372 posts]
18th October 2010 - 6:37

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I dunno why the NIMBYs are worried.

We have lots of this sort of lane in Manchester, and motorists drive and park on them to their heart's content. There are occasional sightings of traffic wardens, but not enough to stop the use of the lanes as "emergency" parking, handy extra road space for undertaking queueing traffic, &c &c.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [422 posts]
18th October 2010 - 7:32

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