Ideas Sought to Improve A Stretch of Milton Road

Monday, July 6th, 2009. 12:00am

Milton Road, Cambridge

This stretch of Milton Road in Cambridge could be made safer. The photograph shows faded and battered cycle lane signage.

At Cambridge City Council’s North Area Committee on the 2nd of July 2009 Cllr Boyce asked for ideas for how the council could spend some of its “Environmental Improvements” budget on Milton Road. I believe he was referring specifically to the area by the shops between Elizabeth Way and Arbury Road / Union Lane. He spoke about making the area safer for cyclists; specifically making it easier for cyclists to see and be seen which he said was currently a problem due to parked cars obstructing views. (I think the problem is obstructing the cycle paths generally, not really specifically views, but don’t know exactly where he was referring to.)

He asked the public, and his fellow councillors, for ideas to be sent to him, and the council’s Principal Landscape Architect Dinah Foley Norman. He also asked for the item to be put on the agenda for the next meeting of the North Area Committee, in August.

Last year the considered, but rejected, a £180,000 project to upgrade the Arbury Road/Milton Road shop forecourts. In my view major problem with that scheme was the amount of public money to be spent improving privately owned properties, I felt much of what was proposed it would not be appropriate to fund out of tax-payers money. Labour councillor, Mike Todd-Jones, made this argument at the North Area committee but the reason it was scrapped appeared to be mainly a lack of funds. Cllr Boyce is presumably suggesting coming-up with a smaller scheme.

Currently many of the cycle related signage and markings are very faded, and it is difficult to determine what is currently allowed. I believe there may be shared use pavements on both sides of the road at in this area. Many children cycle to and from school on the pavement in-front of the shops.

  • As you come into the city this is the area where Milton Road narrows, the shared use pavements also narrow and are less suited in my view to shared use. Could any improvement reduce the step-down in cycle provision in this area?
  • Could improvements be made to the junctions – both the roundabout and the Arbury Road / Milton Road junction?

In 2006 The Cambridge Cycling Campaign responded to a City Council Consultation on what to do with this stretch of road. Suggesting improvements to the roundabout they cited and example of good practice in the Netherlands with a marked cycle way on the road round the roundabout, with raised curbs protecting cyclists between roads coming off the roundabout. Photographs on the Cyclestreets photomap illustrate some of the problems.

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