Chesterton Road Crossing


Monday, June 18th, 2007. 2:29pm

Malcolm Mugridge, (Lead Engineer, Road Safety Engineering, Cambridgeshire County Council)

First I’d like to express my concern that the new A428 was closed due to flooding last week and hope that there will be an appropriate response.
However primarily I’m writing to comment on the “New plans for Chesterton Road, Cambridge” published at:
http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport/safety/accidents/safety+scheme+for+chesterton+road+cambridge.htm (Since changed)

1. Comments on the consultation process:

  • The plans were not brought to Cambridge City Council’s North Area Committee on 30th May 2007 despite two other “safety schemes” in the area being brought to that committee. (St. Kilda Ave. Crossing and Harvey Goodwin Ave Traffic Calming)
  • I haven’t seen any notices at the site itsself publicising the current consultation.
  • I believe the statement: “There have been 31 reported personal injury accidents between 01/01/2001 and 31/08/2006. ”
    Is if not inaccurate, potentially misleading as according to Cambridgeshire’s Mapped accident data there was only one accident causing slight injury in 2006 and no fatal or serious accidents.
    Accidents_2006_fat_ser_slt: 0 0 1
    Accidents_2005_fat_ser_slt: 0 1 7
    Accidents_2004_fat_ser_slt: 0 2 6
    http://map1.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/mapportal/mappage.asp?application=tars
    Giving the figure for the last five years does not reveal the trend within the the last five years. (Though the currency of the mapped data is not
    published)
  • Is there actually a high number of accidents in this region given the high level of usage of the crossing. Is it an accident cluster site primarily because it’s a busy crossing? There is no claim that the number of accidents is disproportionate to the crossing’s usage, merely that that the number of incidents is high.
  • There is no direct link made between the accidents and the suggested improvements. For example questions such as how many accidents involved car doors being opened into the path of cyclists are not addressed.
  • The map accompanying the proposals do not clearly mark the existing cycle lanes, the cycle symbols are present but not the other features (lines? and colourings which means the maps don’t show the extent of the cycle lanes).
  • The consultation is not listed at:
    http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/council/involved/consultations/
    This is the page linked through out Cambridgeshire County Council’s website for “Have your say” and “Consultations”. And a search for “Chesterton Road” on the council’s website does not obviously include the consultation in its results.

2. Comments on the proposed scheme:

  • Many users of the pedestrian crossing are cyclists, these plans appear to me to be designed to impede the flow of cyclists and make their use of the crossing more difficult/dangerous.
    Carlyle Avenue is part of Cambridge’s signed primary on road cycling network, there are many cyclists who use the crossing go between Carlyle
    avenue and the footbridge to Jesus Green. I would like to see any changes to the crossing recognise the fact that many users are cyclists and incorporate a safe path (which would be likely to be used) for cyclists (cycling or pushing their bikes) to cross.
  • I am concerned that the plan as proposed may result in cyclists approaching from Carlyle Avenue cycling/walking or “scooting” to the crossing on Chesterton Road against the traffic to avoid the new barrier on the pavement, as the currently popular/natural route up the dropped curb directly to the crossing will have been blocked.
  • I can’t see how widening the parking bays and narrowing the road will be an improvement as this will not necessarily keep parked cars further away from cyclists; to achieve the aim of separating cyclists from car doors a hatched door opening zone would be required as is found outside the boathouse public house on Mitcham’s Corner. However I believe separating the moving traffic on the road from bikes is more important, and giving more space to parked cars will mean there is less for the moving traffic – bringing the bikes and cars etc. on the road closer together.
  • I believe to do nothing would be massively preferable to the plans proposed.
  • I support the proposal to install larger, brighter belisha beacons at the zebra crossing. I would also support any other improved signage / lighting.
  • I do not require a reply.

    Richard Taylor

    Update:

    Following the consultation the decision made was in line with my comments, improved lighting of the crossing was the only element of proposals implemented:

    Thank you for your comments regarding the proposals for the Chesterton Road zebra crossing.

    On the basis of the responses we have received regarding the proposals we have decided to carry out the following: -

    • Replace the existing belisha beacon globes with a Westcotec Zebrite belisha beacons.
    • Monitor the situation at this location.

    Should you require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Yours Sincerely,

    M Mugridge

    I later wrote to Mr Mugridge on another issue and said:

    “… on the Chesterton Road Crossing; which resulted in the installation of the fantastically bright LED orange halos around the belisha beacons – which I think are excellent”

    he replied:

    “Thank you for your comments on the new belisha globes which seem to be receiving universal approval.”

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.
    Please consider saying where you are from eg. "Cambridge".
    Required fields are marked *

    *

    Powered by WP Hashcash