Cambridge is set to become the first place in the UK to introduce new DfT approved ‘No entry except cycles’ signs on a permanent basis following a successful trial of the initiative last year – while. The scheme has been made possible by Cycle Cambridge successfully bidding for £370,000 of European funding under the 2 Seas: Bike Friendly Cities programme.
The new signs will replace current ones showing a motorbike on top of a car designed to show that the route is barred to motor vehicles, and are intended to make clear to all road users that bicycles are allowed, as well as increasing cyclists’ safety.
They will be used in narrow streets at junctions that are not wide enough for two-way motor traffic and will thereby save money on building ‘cycle bypasses.’ The new signs were trialled in February 2010 on Mawson Road with the approval of the Department for Transport and will now be extended to four other locations in the city.
Cycle Cambridge which has campaigned for the signs to be introduced says that the initiative is the first one to have been awarded funding under the 2 Seas: Bike Friendly Cities’ programme, which sees close collaboration between Cambridgeshire County Council and European partners in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, together with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and the sustainable transport charity, Sustrans.
Martin Lucas-Smith, Co-ordinator of Cambridge Cycling Campaign said:
"We strongly welcome this much clearer signage, and the County Council and the Department for Transport are to be congratulated for this long-awaited measure to reduce red-tape. Allowing two-way cycling has consistently been shown to be one of the most cost-effective improvements for safer and more convenient cycling. It will help get more people on their bikes and thereby reduce traffic congestion. This arrangement has been common on many similar streets in other cities throughout Europe for many years."
Councillor Steve Criswell, Cabinet Member for Community Infrastructure, commented: “Securing the 2 Seas funding will help continue the improvements for cyclists being carried out by Cambridgeshire County Council. Working together with partners in the UK and across Europe will help to maintain Cambridge as one the leading cycling cities in the UK.”
Councillor Nichola Harrison, Councillor for Petersfield, added: "This is not just a technicality about traffic sign regulations, it's about safe streets and safe cycling – two issues that are very important to thousands of people all over Cambridge. After years of campaigning the DfT to get this change accepted, at last we have a victory for common sense."
As road.cc commenters have pointed out, No Entry Except for Cyclists signs have been around for a number of years in other UK towns and cities including London, Bath and Worthing, none though were approved by the DfT so in theory they are open to challenge – Bath's signs clearly apply to the cycle lanes that run against the flow of motorised traffic coming in the other direction on certain one way streets in the city.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.