Friday, 10 September 2010

New On-Street Parking from Cycle Cambridge

Magnifying glass, anyone?

In March 2010 the Cycle Cambridge Team at Cambridgeshire County Council announced plans for " City Cycle Parking Improvements ".  Although Cycle Cambridge claim on their webpage to have been "consulting" about the changes, it is not clear how, or with whom, the consultation exercise was conducted.  Formal orders from the Area Manager Traffic City and South Cambridgeshire dated 5th March 2010 (concerning the planned introduction of new "pedal cycle parking places") were displayed near to where the cycle racks were to be introduced.  However, the notices were so nondescript, and set in such a small font, that few members of the public will have paid them much attention.

As shown on the notice, new cycle racks are being introduced at 11 on-street locations across the city - something Cycle Cambridge claims will "ensure footpaths are kept clear for pedestrians as bikes will not need to park on street furniture".

So let's take a look at what's being introduced.  Here are the figures:

              Location                    Cycle Parking Length               Est. No. New Cycle Stands
          Brookside (E)                            19.5m                                            13
          Free School Lane                       9.0m                                               6
          Gwydir Street                            3.5m                                                2
          Harvey Road (N)                         8.5m                                               6
          Harvey Road (S)                         2.5m                                               2
          King Street                                8.5m                                               6
          Mawson Road                            8.5m                                               6
          Pound Hill                                  8.0m                                               6
          St Phillips Road (N)                    5.0m                                               3
          St Phillips Road (S)                  10.5m                                                7
          Trumpington Street                     7.5m                                                5

          Total                                                                                               62

That's right, a measly 120 or so extra on-street places for cyclists to park.  This should be seen in the context of Cambridge having being awarded National Cycling Town status in 2008, not to mention £3.6 million to be spent on cycling improvements in the city and surrounding villages.  Given that there are well over 10,000 cyclists in Cambridge and that some 300 bicycles a month are stolen, this new provision from Cycle Cambridge is meagre in the extreme.  Sadly, it would appear that Cycle Cambridge lacks the will and / or ambition to provide Cambridge with the level of cycling facilities commensurate with being a National Cycling Town.
New on-street cycle parking on King Street

Although only recently installed, the new cycle stands on King Street are already being regularly used and at peak times cyclists are forced to find alternative places to park which is often still against walls and street furniture. 

It is now possible for the public to make suggestions as to where extra cycle parking
could be provided in Cambridge via the website Cycling Sorted, which is run by Cycle Cambridge.  We can but hope that there is a strong response from the public and that Cycle Cambridge in future is minded to propose much more radical proposals to County Council transport bosses.

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