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I am just about to hit submit on a survey at http://www.cambstransportcommission.co.uk/default.aspx?sID=5, however I feel that my voluminous suggestions will fall on deaf ears. So, I'm posting them here. Discuss!
What kind of discussion would you like? Most of the below seem sensible and accurate; a few I'm not bothered by; do you want me to try to pick holes in the couple of suggestions that I might disagree with? :) --AC
Go for it. Free-for-all encouraged. --Admiral
These comments are available on the site as response number 960.


Buses should be subject to regularity targets and penalties, in a similar manner to trains being subject to timetable targets and penalties. The issue is not whether a bus is on time according to the timetable, but whether they are regular. Stagecoach for example has invested much in tracking technology, but refuses to take the smallest step towards preventing buses bunching together and creating large gaps in service. Such gaps, where one might wait for half an hour for a supposedly ten-minutely service, are what drives travellers away from public transport.

The policy of closing roads to traffic in order to relieve congestion should be reversed. The roads that are left simply cannot cope with the traffic that is dumped on them, and it makes navigating in Cambridge difficult.

The cycle lanes along Gilbert Road should be made mandatory, with a solid white line, which would prevent cars from parking in the cycle lane. Cyclists having to go around parked cars in such systems is a major source of danger.

All cycle lanes being constructed and in existence around Cambridge should be vetted by a sensible cyclist appointed by the Cambridge Cycling Campaign.

Better coordination between highway maintenance and services that need to dig up the road should be fostered, to avoid the situation on many of our roads, that get resurfaced only to be dug up a month later.

Strict standards should apply to services that need to dig up roads. The road surface should be clear and flat afterwards, and should last at least as long as the road itself. A record should be kept of the work that is done. A hotline should be set up for the public to report bodged patches, and stiff penalties should be given for non-flat patches, or if a patch fails earlier than the surrounding road surface.

Parking on some particularly narrow and busy roads (like East Road) should be abolished. Local residents can be given passes for local car parks. Some existing double yellow lines should be converted to London-style double red lines, to disallow parking under any circumstances.

Roads which do not meet the national guidelines for cycling safety, mainly the minimum gap between parking spaces and cycle lanes, should be widened if possible, or have the cycle lanes removed. An example of this is Carlton Way, by the school.

Gonville Place desperately needs cycle lanes in both directions. It is a busy road for both cars and cycles, and vehicles tend to hug the curb, which is a cycle accident waiting to happen. Either the road should be widened enough for cycle lanes to be put in, or the multiple lanes should be reduced to fewer lanes to allow cycle lanes.

The use of shared use pavements/cycle lanes should be discouraged. They are unsuitable for adults who wish to cycle at a reasonable speed (which causes a danger to pedestrians), and cause problems with priorities at junctions. Meanwhile, children cycling to school generally cycle on the pavement regardless of whether there is a cycle lane or not. A proposal would be to abolish shared use pavements/cycle lanes, and instead permit cycling on all pavements at a maximum speed of seven miles an hour or so. This would also eliminate the confusion caused by insufficient, confusing, or just wrong signage, which can be the difference between legal cycling, and a 500 fine. This would be a massive simplification in the law, and would result in millions less being spent on planning, signs and coloured tarmac.

It would be difficult for me the cyclist to be able to tell if I am breaking the speed limit, and the law would also be difficult to enforce. I agree with the principle but perhaps a (quite young) age cutoff would be simpler than a speed limit? - MoonShadow
Agreed it's a bit arbitrary. Sort of a "if the pedestrian feels unsafe, you're too fast" rule. Yes, it would be hard to enforce, but the general pedestrians can be relied on to complain at someone for going too fast much more than they can be relied on to enforce some random government-made-up rule of "don't cycle on the pavements" like it is now. Because, you know, their own safety is the issue. The problem with an age cut-off is that it would prevent parents escorting their young kids to school on bike, and some adults want to cycle slowly, so it would be fine for them.

At the moment, car parks cause a large proportion of the congestion on Cambridge's roads, simply because of the queues that form in front of the entrances. These queues can tail back to important junctions (for example Elizabeth Way roundabout, from the Grafton Centre car park), effectively causing gridlock, and affecting other roads. This is caused by the entrance to the car parks not being able to handle the incoming traffic as fast as the road leading to it can deliver it. The entrances need to be upgraded. In addition, the capacity is far short of that required on busy days, and this means that the entrance cannot let in vehicles at a sufficient rate. This problem is harder to solve - the road system needs to turn vehicles away when the car park is full, way before they get near the car park. Unfortunately, human nature will make the vehicles try and go to the car park even if it is full, so the best solution is to increase capacity. Currently the disincentive of waiting in a long queue is much too low compared to the impact on the transport network of lots of cars doing so.

The simple fact is that people will want to buy large items, and will not want to walk far with such large items to get them home. Maybe shops that provide such items should be encouraged to concentrate outside the city centre, where car transport is more feasible. Connecting the Newmarket Road area to the rest of the city's outskirts would be a good idea for this reason.

In general, the different outskirts of Cambridge are hard to travel between. A better ring road would be helpful.


The cycle lanes along Gilbert Road should be made mandatory, with a solid white line, which would prevent cars from parking in the cycle lane. Cyclists having to go around parked cars in such systems is a major source of danger.

A plan to remedy this is now in full swing. From the web site http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport/projects/cambridge/City+Cycleway+Improvements.htm however, the consultation is now over. It would have been nice if they had told me the consultation was starting, as I would have participated.

Have a look at http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/1DB22B04-3E2A-4148-B45F-4619A654628C/0/5085663_HW_CP_001RevA.pdf (a large-print PDF). My first response is to wonder whether the county council wants to knock me off my bike, wreck my car, and really annoy the local residents.

The proposal is to put double yellow lines down the entire length of Gilbert Road, widen the cycle lanes (still advisory) to 1.5m, and ban parking on the grass verge. It also includes several sets of speed cushions along the road, with an area to the side for cyclists to pass. In addition, the junctions will be raised, like on Grange Road.

My main objection is to the use of speed cushions. In my view they are dangerous to cyclists, as they cause motor vehicles to swerve, particularly if there is a gap at the side for parking or a cycle lane, as happens often on Carlton Way. They do not slow down all vehicles (particularly wide vehicles like buses and lorries, which need it the most), and they cause significant damage to the suspension system of cars, even if the cars go over the speed cushions at a low speed. The complete parking ban will be bad for the local residents - although most of the residents have two off-road parking spaces, visitors and those that do not need to be allowed for.

If the council really needs to slow the traffic through Gilbert Road, then it should use normal wide speed bumps rather than speed cushions. In an ideal world the 30 limit on the road would be enough, but some people do speed excessively along that road. However, the simple fact is that Gilbert Road is a comparatively busy road. Putting too many barriers in the way will ruin yet another decent structural road, and cause further congestion elsewhere - a trend that has been going on for a while. The main car lanes cannot be made much narrower. For this reason, some of the verge may need to be sacrificed. I suggest shifting the entire road a little to one side, giving room on the other side for a single row of parking bays, which will be placed where the verge is currently in-between the trees. The parking must have the standard minimum gap between parked cars the the cycle lane which will go alongside it, between the parking and the main road lane. The parking will therefore be properly off the road. Trumpington Street is an example of this road layout, which has been praised by various organisations and people.


OP = Admiral
CategoryTransport

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