Cambridge to improve links to southern business parks with £1.7m new segregated cycle paths

Wide new lanes will safely take city residents to work south of the city

by Sarah Barth   November 30, 2013  

Cambridge bikes (CC licenced by fionaandneil:Flickr)

Cambridge is to benefit from three new cycle routes next year, costing £1.7m to construct.

The tracks, up to 2.5m wide in most places, will be separated from the road by a metre of grass verge, and will contect the city with business paths to the south, in the hope that commuters will choose to ride to work.

The longest will run from Whittlesford station to Granta Park, home to firms including Pfizer and TWI.

Babraham Research Campus will donate £200,000 to another route, creating completely segregated cycling from Cambridge to the site, in the hope of attracting new companies to the area.

The third, which will be shared with horse riders, links Swavesey to Buckingway Business Park and Cambridge Services.
Most of the funding is coming from Cambridge’s £4.1m Cycle City Ambition government funding.

Cllr Ian Bates, Cambridgeshire County Council’s cabinet member for growth, told Cambridge News: “Better transport links are vital in helping Cambridgeshire become a greener, healthier place to live, boosting our economy and reducing congestion. It’s great to see our ambitions as a county being recognised in this way by central government and to see local people and businesses benefit.”

Cambridge has the highest proportion of cyclists in the UK – half the people who live there cycle at least once a week, and one in five commuter trips are made by bicycle.

We reported earlier this summer how Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles claimed that parking charges in Cambridge are too high and disadvantage motorists, and suggested prioritising cyclists over motorists favours an “elite” rather than ordinary people who want to use cars to visit shops.

But Cambridge City Council said that local retailers support its transport policies, which are focused on improving cycling infrastructure as well as buses to make it easier for people to get around.

5 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

2.5m each way (just OK) or for both directions (bad)? Will the lanes have priority over side roads? Few answers in this report.

posted by a.jumper [679 posts]
1st December 2013 - 9:31

like this
Like (13)

Nice, especially the whittlesford stuff, the roads around there are a but sketchy.
But where are the 'headline' improvements? Hills road is a borderline death trap during rush hours sometimes. Wide segregated cycle paths will vastly improve that, though a solution for the traffic lights and junctions need to be found or I can see a rash of SMIDSYs as motorists turn across cyclists, and cyclist-pedestrian collisions as certain members of the wider cycling diaspora engage in their disregard for red lights.
I hope there is some effort to encourage slower cyclists to 'keep left' too, or alternatively a lane marking down the middle. 2.1m is wide enough to overtake safely, but if I, and others, are continually obstructed by dawdling sit ups in our way, we'll quickly revert to road riding. Probably to the annoyance of some motorists (though I can match or beat most of them down hills road in rush hour)!
Original plans for those who haven't seen them:
http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport/strategies/fundingbids/Cycle+...

posted by Cantab [56 posts]
1st December 2013 - 11:44

like this
Like (19)

Cantab wrote:

I hope there is some effort to encourage slower cyclists to 'keep left' too, or alternatively a lane marking down the middle. 2.1m is wide enough to overtake safely, but if I, and others, are continually obstructed by dawdling sit ups in our way, we'll quickly revert to road riding

A lot of slower riders, many of whom are inexperienced, find faster riders very intimidating. As witnessed in The Netherlands, these types of cycle path work best where everyone is travelling at more or less the same speed.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
1st December 2013 - 14:27

like this
Like (17)

Cantab wrote:
I hope there is some effort to encourage slower cyclists to 'keep left' too, or alternatively a lane marking down the middle. 2.1m is wide enough to overtake safely, but if I, and others, are continually obstructed by dawdling sit ups in our way, we'll quickly revert to road riding. Probably to the annoyance of some motorists (though I can match or beat most of them down hills road in rush hour)

I think you're right - the proposed 2.1m doesn't really look wide enough to me on Hills Road, given that there are usually a lot of the situp cyclists on there.

posted by kitsunegari [19 posts]
2nd December 2013 - 9:48

like this
Like (4)

the out-of-town paths are 2.5m two-way, shared use (though likely to be few pedestrians) pavements.

I've already moaned at the council officer, a couple of weeks ago.

As far as those "original plans" go, already the Trumpington Road ones are being massively reworked and the councillors are pushing hard for the Huntingdon Road scheme to go all the way to the city centre.

But, as other note, it's the junctions that are the issue. Any fellow Cambridge cyclists seen the latest horror on Cherry hinton Road, heading towards town, at the junction with Hills Road?

posted by Al__S [480 posts]
2nd December 2013 - 14:02

like this
Like (5)