Howarth welcomes trial which gives greater protection to cyclists

January 8, 2010 2:24 PM
no entry to vehicles sign

The original sign which caused confusion for motorists

MP David Howarth has welcomed the news that Cambridge has been chosen for a national trial which will give greater protection to cyclists.

He claims the decision to trial new signage in Mawson Road declaring "no entry" with a panel below saying "except cyclists", is a victory for the city.

Mr Howarth, a member of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, has fought for many years for changes to the signage and government recognition of cycling as a viable alternative to car travel.

But until now, the city has been forced to use the poorly understood signs carrying a picture of a motorcycle above a car. The result was that drivers made illegal turns into Mawson Road.

It is hoped the new signs will make it clear that drivers and motorcyclists can enter the road from only one direction with cyclists still being able to travel in both directions. Trials of the new signs, which will also be run in Brighton, Kensington and Chelsea, begin in March.

Mr Howarth said: "We have campaigned tirelessly to get the government and other road users to recognise that cyclists should be respected on the roads.

"With one in four journeys to work being made by bike in Cambridge, cyclists have a presence in the city and it is imperative that the government allows local authorities to make sensible decisions to protect them."

Cambridge County Councillor, Nichola Harrison, who has been pushing government ministers to give the go-ahead for this change over the last few years, said: "Contraflow cycling is an important way to make cycling safer and more convenient, but the government's refusal to allow proper 'no entry' signs with an 'except cyclists' panel has for many years made it difficult to prevent motorists making illegal turns into one-way streets.

"I fully expect this trial to be successful and I want to see no entry except cyclists signs extended to other streets including Kingston Street and Covent Garden as soon as possible."

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