Government decision needed now on cycle contraflow

November 3, 2010 11:41 AM
Nichola Harrison

Nichola Harrison

An urgent call to the government to change road sign regulations to help the city's cyclists has come from leading Liberal Democrat Councillor, Nichola Harrison.

She has appealed to Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond to make an early decision on allowing contraflow cycling in one way streets.

And Cllr Harrison has copied her letter to Transport Under Secretaries, Mike Penning, who has responsibility for road safety, and Norman Baker, who has responsibility for cycling.

Cllr Harrison's call comes after a trial in Mawson Road in the Spring which allowed a sign declaring No Access to Motor Vehicles to be replaced with a No Entry Sign which allowed contraflow cycling.

In a letter to Mr Hammond, Cllr Harrison said: "This is a matter of real importance in Cambridge where contraflow cycling has proved over the years to be a very safe and highly effective way to improve conditions for cyclists.

"We badly want to introduce more of these contraflow arrangements but cannot do so unless, on the basis of an evaluation of the trail, a decision is made by your department to change the signage regulations accordingly."

Cllr Harrison added that unofficial reports received by the county council support the Lib Dems' view that motorists show far greater compliance with a No Entry sign and that this compliance is not affected by the addition of an "except cycles" sign.

She said that if the change in regulations were authorised, the county council could introduce new contraflow schemes at very low cost and with widespread public support, enabling cyclists to benefit from safer and more convenient routes.

Later Cllr Harrison said: "This trial was highly successful but we have waited several months to find out whether we can take it forward.

"We need the government to give us the go-ahead so that we can give cyclists in the city safer and more convenient routes."

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