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Cambridge residents take action for improved cycling on Milton Road

By Ben Comber

Matt Danish and Maureen Mace on Milton Road regarding traffic problems. Picture: Keith Heppell
Matt Danish and Maureen Mace on Milton Road regarding traffic problems. Picture: Keith Heppell

A survey has highlighted residents’ demands for better cyclist provision in the Milton Road upgrade.

Residents of Milton Road made some compelling observations while carrying out a traffic survey of their street.

A '23million upgrade of the road is being planned, and residents undertook the survey to better inform plans.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership (formerly City Deal) is funding the upgrade of the road, which has been identified as an arterial route that needs to work better for residents and commuters.

Residents would like to see better cycle infrastructure along its length, but were dismayed when GCP consultants proposed plans that did not consider cycle traffic or pedestrians in its modelling.

Maureen Mace, of Milton Road Alliance, carried out the survey with Matt Danish. She said: 'We were also concerned to find that, after saying our plans would cause longer queues, the consultants had announced that their standard software was, in fact, unable to work with Dutch-style roundabouts.

'The City Deal announced that they would do a traffic survey during the summer. It has already been criticised for undertaking a survey during the school holidays when there is rarely any traffic congestion, and recently it stated that the survey is based on number plate recognition which does not count cyclists or pedestrians at all.

'In other words, they aren't counting people cycling in a city that is renowned for its cycling.'

The two members of the Milton Road Alliance sat in front of Caf' 121 on Milton Road, between the Elizabeth Way roundabout where a Dutch roundabout is now being considered and Union Lane where a 'no left turn' rule is recommended by consultants, with a video camera and counted the number of people walking and cycling past between 8am and 9am on June 21.

They found that 543 cyclists, of whom 123 were children, and 188 pedestrians, of whom 41 were children, passed by.

The following they took the video camera further up the road and counted people passing in front of a house nearby Kendal Way. Here they counted 414 cyclists of whom 48 were children and 93 pedestrians of whom 35 were children.

They also reported 547 motorised vehicles going northbound with fewer, 408, driving south into the city, indicating that more commutes along Milton Road are to the Science Park than to the city centre.

The GCP say they are planning for the long-term, with over 6500 new homes expected at Waterbeach, and therefore road capacity must be increased along Milton Road to accommodate for this influx. Although, developer Urban and Civic has said it is designing the Waterbeach new town to be appealing to Science Park employees.

The Milton Road upgrade plans run between the Science Park in the north and Mitcham's Corner in the south.

With these reports showing that more cycles enter the city along Milton Road than motorised vehicles, which may go some way to justifying residents' calls for a two-way cycle lane along Milton Road, separated by trees.

Find out more online at MiltonRoadAlliance.org.


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