Cambridge danger junction' to get £900,000 revamp but cycle campaigners unimpressed with plans

Redesign of junction doesn't do enough to give cyclists priority say campaigners

by Sarah Barth   March 9, 2013  

Bikes outside Pembroke College Cambridge

Cambridge cyclists could have a dedicated traffic light allowing them to move off first at one of the city's most difficult junctions as part of a £900,000 redesign.

The junction that crosses Hills Road, Gonville Place, Lensfield Road and Regent Street has been the site of a number of collisions, and this week was given the go-ahead by Cambridgeshire County Council to be changed to improve safety, pending funding.

On the Hills Road the central reservation will be removed to create a priority cycle lane, and the kerb will be reduced to make it easier for large vehicles to turn.

The left hand lanes on Hills Road and Regent Street will be removed.

There will be Trixi mirrors fixed to traffic lights to help lorry drivers see cyclists.

The Cambridge Cycling Campaign has said though that the plans don't go far enough,  and that priority cycle lanes are needed from every approach.

Cambridge Cycling Campaign chairman Martin Lucas-Smith told the Cambridge News outside the council meeting: “Stuffing evermore traffic through this accident-prone junction clearly remains the priority.

“We think this is totally inappropriate for a ‘cycling city’, and against its own policy to favour cycling and walking.

“The scheme is better than the current junction design, but it would be hard to make it otherwise.”

Cllr Martin Curtis, the council’s cycling tsar, told the meeting the changes would make the junction safer for all road users.

He said: “If we take this that step further in terms of what Cambridge Cycling Campaign is looking at, the impact on road traffic would be significant and my view is that if we did that we would start to get a situation where the junction is even more unsafe.”

 

6 user comments

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The layout is bizarre and, as ccc say, less than what's needed. What's the betting that they'll count this as 900k of cycling infrastructure, though?

posted by a.jumper [700 posts]
9th March 2013 - 11:30

3 Likes

Doesn't Bow Roundabout already have them?

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/bow-roundabout-is-better-but-not-b...

Two “bike only” lights have been installed at Bow roundabout to allow cyclists to move forward a few seconds before vehicles...

If it's a UK first it must be a different idea.

posted by horizontal dropout [148 posts]
9th March 2013 - 16:04

3 Likes

the Bow roundabout ones are in a segregated lane I think? This is suggesting having them on the main lane (wth an ASL)

posted by Al__S [547 posts]
9th March 2013 - 20:35

3 Likes

An easy junction to avoid by taking existing cycle routes on paths along Parker's Piece when you're going in the Regent Street to Hills Road direction. The other direction is more difficult to find an easy way around although it is possible with some minor detours. It's a pretty straightforward junction though. You can't compare it to anything in London. I can think of a lot better ways to spend nearly a million quid.

posted by Alan Tullett [1455 posts]
9th March 2013 - 21:24

1 Like

Yes, you can avoid the junction. The cycling campaign's point is that they want the ring road to become a primary route for cyclists, not a route to avoid by taking longer, less convenient side roads, and the plan does little to enable this. For the Council, taking road space away from cars is too radical.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1344 posts]
10th March 2013 - 0:27

2 Likes

Not mentioned in the story is the County Council is expecting to take £450k from the DfT cycling safety pot to fund this.

This is the 4th most dangerous junction in Cambridge by cycling accident figures. I do not see how the redesign does much to stop this being a dangerous junction.

The fact that so little is being done to improve it is bad enough. Taking national cycling safety money to fund a junction which has to be upgraded anyway because the lights are at the end of their working life is an absolute insult.

I am sure this will be reported in govt figures as £450k cycle safety improvements. It is not, it is the council desperately trying to get a necessary cost off their budget, and figuring taking cycling money is the easiest way to do that.

posted by HKCambridge [137 posts]
11th March 2013 - 17:30

2 Likes