Cllr Tim Ward on Cambridge City Centre Cycling Ban

Thursday, October 10th, 2013. 12:33am

A member of the public addressed Cambridge City Council’s environment scrutiny committee on the 8th of October 2013 and called for a complete ban on cycles in central Cambridge. He requested a ban on riding, and even parking, bikes in the city centre; justifying this on the grounds of the impact cyclists have on disabled people.

I didn’t manage to video the public speaker’s call for a ban, but I did capture the response of Executive Councillor Tim Ward (Liberal Democrat) who said:

On keeping bicycles out of the city centre, there was for a few years a ban on cycling around the city centre which was introduced though due democratic process and some years later that was rescinded again through due democratic process. It’s open to anybody to start another campaign to get the County Council to reintroduce that I suppose.

The public speaker’s comments were made in relation to proposals for more cycle parking spaces for the city centre. In my view the new cycle parking can reasonably be expected to reduce the number of fly-parked bikes causing obstructions on the pavements, compared to the number which there would be without the extra racks.

The design of the new racks should help ensure bikes are parked neatly on them, and reduce the obstructions caused by bikes protruding from racks. The overall impact of the scheme will I think, and hope, be reduced dangerous and obstructive street clutter.

While the public speaker in this instance was rather extreme in terms of what he was calling for; it is a regular occurrence for people to turn up to council meetings asking for cyclists to be prevented from cycling in parts of the core of the city centre; or more generally complaining about the behaviour of cyclists both as they’re riding and in relation to where they park their bikes.

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