Friday 3 November 2017

Arbury Road Cycle Lane (again)

So after badgering, and badgering, and FOI'ing, we've finally got the plans for part 2A (like, the bit they're already building) of the cycle lane scheme in Arbury Road. Here's a PDF file

A 1.9m cycle lane, not wide enough really, it should be 2m+ to conform to recommended standards. Rubbish.

We didn't get this plan at consultation time, nor when the project was approved, nor even prior to it being commenced. They're building it now - in fact here I am videoing them building it a couple of days ago before they released details about how wide it would be. 

Look, that can't be ok. My response to the initial consultation was 'yes if its wide enough' - this isn't wide enough, it should be 2m+. The one key thing you need to know about a cycle lane before deciding to support it is whether it'll be good enough to be worth the disruption and, crucially, worth abandoning all hope of getting a good facility any time in the next couple of decades - this one is close, but no cigar. And because there's still no reason to think we'll get a cycle lane on the Southern stretch of the road, the bit with the parked cars and close overtakes, I'd have sooner not bothered with this. What kind of mockery of openness is this? Detailed plans not released until after they started building it? You need to ask people about this during the consultation, not after the bulldozers turn up.

And as for all of the other concerns? Nope. Still nothing on re-planting native species under and around the hedges to fix the damage done when the wrong shrubs were put in, at the wrong time. This could have been such a boon for local ecology, but it is instead a complete failure.

I can only now state the obvious - Greater Cambridge as Cambridge City Deal are now known are an undemocratic, unaccountable body of County Council officers largely gone rogue in an effort to get enough money spent to secure the next slice. And they're willing to trample over anything necessary to achieve that - consultation processes, local ecology, wildlife, anything. They're building the Arbury Road scheme because its a relatively non-controversial place to spend money - they're not depriving people of on-street parking and they're mostly digging up hedges, but without continuous cycle lanes all down the length of Arbury Road the whole thing is conceptually flawed. 

We'd be better off if City Deal was stopped, but I really don't know how.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this informative post and so sorry to hear about the problem you faced. Hope they do stop the city deal, looking forward to hear more about this from you soon, keep posting.