— Richard Taylor (@RTaylorUK) July 7, 2017
In January 2015 councillors remodelling Milton Road their top priority for spending under the Greater Cambridge City Deal investment and allocated £23.04m to the project.
Now, over two years on a “final concept” design for the remodelling is due to be put in front of a board meeting of the Greater Cambridge City Deal organisation, the Greater Cambridge Partnership on the 26th of July 2017. The plans officers are recommending the board endorse provide stretches of excellent safe cycling facilities with cyclists and pedestrians separated from motor vehicles by trees and verges however there are areas where safety concerns, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians who are particularly vulnerable road users, remain, including:
- Cyclists are not physically protected from motor traffic inbound at the roundabout with Elizabeth Way. This is a current injury causing accident blackspot and its not clear the changes will make the situation significantly better.
- On the approach to Mitcham’s Corner a cycle lane is proposed between car parking and a bus lane.
- A cycle lane is proposed next to a bus lane with no significant segregation from the Elizabeth Way roundabout to Gilbert Road.
- The connection between Milton Road and Mitcham’s Corner has not been considered.
I think the best approach would be for the board to leave open the possibility to amend the plans in light of the results of a safety audit which they are already intending to carry out as part of the planning process. The safety audit should be used to inform decisions and not just as a checkbox at the end of the process.
The full benefits of the excellent stretches of segregated cycle lanes proposed will not be realised if there are still parts of the road it is risky to ride along.
I have submitted the following public question to the board meeting on the 26th of July 2017:
“I am surprised the results of a safety assessment are not available to inform today’s decision on remodelling Milton Road. When a safety audit is carried out will it take account of risks to pedestrians and cyclists and will it be possible to amend the plans to implement any changes arising as a result of the safety audit process?
Also In relation to Milton Road could we please have clarity on :
- which, if any, elements of the plans are fixed today and what remains up for discussion
- who will be able to participate in and observe proposed workshops to discuss elements such as tree selection, bus stops, crossings and loading bays
As well as urging careful consideration of safety considerations I’ve also taken the opportunity to call for additional clarity over the decision, and next steps.