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

But cyclists need reassurance of clear cycle route say campaigners

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.”

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