Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Mandatory Cycle Lanes for Gilbert Road

It has been a very long time coming, but on 19 October 2010 the decision was finally made in favour of constructing 1.7m wide mandatory cycle lanes on Gilbert Road.  If you want to find when discussions first started about how to deal with the problem of cars parked in the advisory cycle lanes, you'll have to search records dating back to the last century.  The Cambridge Cycling Campaign has been working on this particular issue for 15 years.

Gilbert Road is an important transport route for motorists and cyclists alike, linking the Histon and Milton roads on the north side of the city.  It's therefore a busy road but ought to be safe and convenient for cyclists because it is also very wide.  Yet judging my the number of cyclists who choose to use the pavement, it's obvious that something is very wrong.

The main problem is that some commuters and/or residents choose to park their vehicles - perfectly legally - in the 1.3m wide advisory cycle lane.  This forces the ca. 900 cyclists who use Gilbert Road every day to move out into the centre of the road.  This is fine at quiet times but potentially dangerous in the early morning and late afternoon.  There have been six reported accidents involving cyclists on Gilbert Road in the last five years and many cyclists regard the road as dangerous. 

The new cycle lanes will be quite different from those that exist at the moment.  They will be 40cm wider, be clearly demarcated in colour and have double yellow (no parking) lines along their entire length.  This should make for a safer and more pleasant experience for cyclists and motorists alike.

Funding is available for this project through Cycling England, so it is to be hoped that work on this project will commence in the very near future.

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