Tuesday 25 November 2014

Improvements in Kings Hedges and Arbury - Part 3

A keen reader may recall that I recently discussed plans to improve cycling in the North of Cambridge. This is my third and I hope final contribution on the subject - feel free to tear me down now, but read part 1 and part 2 first.

Essentially, there is plenty of space along much of the Northern length of Arbury Road for good quality segregated cycling provision - and we should ask for that from the School heading Northwards. But further South we've a problem with old, established hedgerows that unlike many of the blandscaped tree planting that blights many of our city streets actually supports a wide range of plant and animal species, as well as shielding homes from the relentless noise of the traffic. 

The route I outlined in part 2, which bypasses the hedge thats the biggest problem and which makes uses of quiet, excellent space to cycle on can be shown thus:

In case you're concerned about whether there's space to construct this route, take a walk with me from Nicholson Way, looking back to Arbury Road, up towards Ashvale:

And at the other end, here's how much space there is to give us a good route to and from the School from the end of Ashvale:

Taming the Abury Road/Mere Way junction is a good idea, but I entirely reject the notion that budget for active transport ought to be spent on this unless we also get some good infrastructure for cycling and walking. I accept that alongside some of the older hedgerows on Arbury Road, hedges that clearly pre-date the building of the estate, that might not be easy - but here we've got a very clear example of low-hanging fruit, and massive space to install high class cycling provision at low cost in effectively unoccupied space. Its a no brainer - replace the mini-roundabout with a raised junction and give us a good cycle route too.

Further details from part 2 (joining up to the shared use facility and, ideally, doing something with the dogs dinner of a junction joining on with Kings Hedges Road) are simple enough.

I also reject the notion that simple maintenance work (resurfacing the paths around the Rec ground) should be funded this way - by all means, give us new surfaces on the paths, but lets not wrap that up with a small amount of widening and insult us by calling it an investment. Its not, its subverting developer funds for maintenance, call it what it is.

Lastly, there is massive scope for further improvement for cycling in this part of the city - if I may, would any of the folk from the County care to come for a ride with me (and perhaps someone else from Cambridge Cycling Campaign) and have a look see?

1 comment:

  1. To travel the 4.73kmbetween Cambridge Road in Impington to Newmarket Road (near the sheds and the many centres of employment and consumption) takes less than 20min by bike down Arbury Road - http://cycle.st/j806454 . Cars are not really competitive on such journeys. While there could be a lot more demand for cycling on Arbury Road, it needs many improvements along Arbury Road, but also Ring Fort Path needs to be built as a cycle path and not just stairs http://iitm.be/OrchardPath