Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hill Road Bridge to fully reopen Sept 7th

The County Council have confirmed that the Guided Bus works on Hills Road bridge will finally be completed on 6th September. The County Council will then work overnight to implement a trial road layout to help cyclists across the bridge, that will be in place from Monday 7th. From their press release:

The safety trial will segregate cyclists and motorists using the bridge with temporary kerbs and a raised white line, known as a rumble strip. The trial is expected to be in place for up to four months."

Busway contractor, BAM Nuttall, has informed the Council they will finish all the work on the bridge this Sunday. Currently there are around 4,000 cycle trips each day over the bridge and it is hoped the new scheme will help cyclists and motorists as well as encouraging more people to use their bike.

Mike Davies, Programme Manager for Cycle Cambridge, said: "The aim of the trial is to show how the new cycle lanes could improve the safety of this busy route. Each day 4,000 people ride their bike over the bridge and by making it safer even more people will choose to cycle, rather than drive. Less cars on the road means good news for everybody.

"During the trial we will assess traffic flows at the junctions at either end of the bridge, queue lengths and driver behaviour before making a decision whether to make the cycle lanes permanent."

During the trial the bridge will return to two lanes in each direction, however the uphill sections will be reserved for cyclists only. We do not envisage the set-up of the trial causing any delays as we will be doing this overnight and the bridge will remain open.

If the trial is successful, the new cycle lanes could be made permanent as early as next year to coincide with the Cambridge Gateway construction, a £3 million project to improve public transport and safety for pedestrians and cyclists travelling to and from the station area.

Anyone with comments on the Hills Road Bridge cycle lane trial and the Cambridge Gateway project is encouraged to attend one of the consultation events. These are being held on Tuesday 8 September at Hills Road Sixth Form College, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, and Thursday 10 September at St Paul's Church (Lower Hall), Hills Road, from 4.30pm to 7pm.

Further information on both projects, including a plan of the layout of the new cycle lane and a feedback form, is available by logging on to

I hope this trial is a success - it is excellent news for the many cyclists on the bridge, and indirectly for pedestrians who are less likely to encounter cyclists on the pavements, and car drivers who could benefit from fewer cars if more people cycle! I am also particularly pleased that the County Council has arranged for the trial to go in immediately rather than having another separate set of works shortly after the Guided Bus works finished - this was something I had been asking for for a long while, and should give the trial the best possible chance of success.

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