A new, two way cycleway, between Brooklands Avenue and Bateman Street along the boundary of the Botanic Gardens was included in Cambridgeshire County Council’s application to central government for a “Cycle City Ambition Grant”. The grant application was successful, and £4.1m has been announced to “shift cycling up a gear” in the Greater Cambridge area.
It has already been revealed that consultation on the details of another project, Dutch Style Cycleways for Huntingdon Road, is expected shortly, presumably progress on the others, including Trumpington Road, will follow soon as well.
The description of the project in the grant application states:
Trumpington Road two-way ‘Dutch-style’ segregation
Trumpington Road, is a well used route for cyclists close to the city centre. There are currently 1.4 metre wide advisory lanes placed in a relatively hostile position adjacent to parked cars. There is also a relatively wide shared use path on the city-bound side. Many cyclists use this stretch between Bateman Street and Brooklands Avenue as part of a link for journeys to school and to the station. Often cyclists choose to ride illegally on the out-bound side in both directions as this stretch is a well used link with no side roads or accesses crossing it, staying on this side of the road saves time by not having to cross the road twice to use the other shared use path or stay on road. It is proposed to relocate the parked cars, introduce a kerbed island and thus introduce 2.4 metre wide, bi directional cycle lanes that are segregated from motor traffic and that segregate cyclists from pedestrians. There would be no breaks in the island as there are no private accesses or side roads in this length. A width of 2.4 metres allows faster cyclists to overtake slower cyclists in busier conditions and allows for cyclists to ride two abreast in quieter conditions. Providing a two way segregated facility would reflect demand for users and allow for a safe, uninterrupted, convenient facility.
- The proposed two way cycle lane is to be 2.5m wide in total (so the plan says, text above says 2.4,). If it’s going to be split in half with a line down it that leaves just 1.2m lanes each way which isn’t very wide. Cambridge Cycling Campaign have collated guidance on cycle lane widths which shows a consensus for a recommended 2m width and minimum 1.5m
- It appears thee existing grass bank may be lost in this scheme. I’d like to see it retained if possible. An alternative way of dealing with the height difference between the roadway and the existing footpath might be a concrete wall, which would detract from the appearance of the area.
- I wonder if this will be funded by developer taxes raised in relation to the Accordia development which councillors levied without having a clear idea of what they would spend them on? (The central government grant was conditional on other sources of funding being used too). A better connection between the development and local schools appears the main immediate impact of the proposal.
- My own views of the main cycling issues in this area are:
- Motor traffic crossing the cycleway in the middle of the road for cyclists heading out of town on Trumpington Road across the Brooklands Avenue Junction. This feels unsafe to me as a cyclist and as a driver.
- Crossing Trumpington Road can be slow at the Bateman Street junction (the traffic light controlled crossing would perhaps be better moved to the junction, and for it to be have a cycle element added).
- If built this would be a rather isolated piece of infrastructure, leading on to the shared use cycleways on the Brooklands Avenue pavements. The junctions at either end of the stretch would ideally need remodelling to improve them for cyclists as part of the scheme.
- The proposal involves digging away at the levy holding Hobson’s Conduit; care will need to be taken not to break that.
- The car parking is useful for those visiting Botanic Gardens by car. It’s not clear where it will be relocated.
- The proposals involve reducing the width for motor vehicles by 40cm; this is the only proposal which includes a narrowing of the main carriageway
I added this article as the one I wrote on Dutch Style Cycleways for Huntingdon Road got a lot of readers and I’m following that “success”/interest.