A cycle chicane installed on the guided busway bridge entrance to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus only last week is to be removed after widespread public outcry and strong support for a petition started by Liberal Democrat councillors, which attracted over 1,500 signatures.
The cycle chicane, at the bottom of the slope leading from the busway to the junction with Francis Crick Avenue, was installed by the Biomedical Campus management and was agreed by the County Council. This was in response to three incidents where cyclists either hit or had near misses with cars as they crossed the road.
The barrier came as an unpleasant surprise to hundreds of cycle commuters as they returned to work on the Addenbrooke’s site after the Christmas break and also to local councillors, who were not consulted in advance and were suddenly inundated with emails from concerned members of the public.
Within hours, a petition was started and meetings were arranged to get to the bottom of it. Advice and support came from local cycling group Camcycle and on Thursday morning, a site meeting took place to agree on the way ahead.
County Council officers were persuaded by the arguments put forward that the barriers blocking the path were difficult to see and presented far more danger to cyclists traveling at a normal speed than they avoided by slowing down a small minority, and have agreed to remove the barriers as soon as possible.
County Councillor for Trumpington Barbara Ashwood said: “I am grateful to everyone who supported this campaign. Promoting safe and convenient cycling is a real priority in our area. These barriers are incredibly hard to see and are far more likely to cause a collation than avoid one. We’re not quite there yet, but I’m hoping the barriers will be gone within a few days.”
City Councillor for Queen Edith’s Colin McGerty added: “This has been an unfortunate example of the council not utilising the skills available to us in the local community and in groups like Camcycle. We must ensure they engage with people better to avoid this kind of mistake.”
It is anticipated that the chicane barriers will be removed within a few days and a more collaborative engagement held on any further changes at the junction with Francis Crick Avenue.