Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hills Road Bridge Consultation

I visited the County Council's consultation exhibition on the plans for Hills Road bridge last night.

Whilst the trial I think has generally been popular - it is worth pointing out that the plans currently being considered are different to the current trial layout in a number of ways:

Firstly, a new pedestrian crossing is planned for the north part of the bridge, to avoid the problems with pedestrians crossing outside the Earl of Derby pub - this will also provide access for cyclists to the Guided Bus route towards Addenbrokes and Trumpington, so will help to take some traffic off Hills Road completely.

Secondly, the plans are being considered in conjunction with the 'Cambridge Gateway' plans, where funding has been obtained for a new bus and cycle route from the station to Hills Rd joining opposite Brooklands avenue.

But the final change from the trial layout is a proposal to create a wide central cycle lane coming off the bridge towards the City Centre, and guide all cyclists going straight on into this lane (double click on the plans above to see details). This removes the need for the 'straight on' cycle lane at the lights, that many cyclists ignore anyway as it is usually quicker to move into the straight on road lane. There are a number of advantages to this layout (not least it will allow more room for cyclists/cars heading southbound near the Earl of Derby), but I have a couple of potential concerns - firstly in terms of whether less confident cyclists will be happy cycling in a cycle lane in the middle of the road (even if it is a wide cycle lane), and also that it increases the number of crossovers between cars turning left and cyclists going straight ahead.

None of these changes affect the general principles of the scheme, that seem to be working well, but if you are a regular user of the bridge, I would recommend the final County Council consultation exhibition to be held as follows: Mon 30th Nov 5.00 – 7.30pm, Science Lecture Room, Hills Road Sixth Form College, or visit the County Council's website.

1 comment:

Frugal Dougal said...

I have to admit, when cycling in town I try to avoid Hills Road and Mill Road if I possibly can, especially when they're busy - which is the case in Mill Road far more often than Hills Road.