Where is Arbury Park ?
The new housing estate at Arbury Park is being built on land which for many years looked to be suitable only for industrial or retail use due to being rather unpleasant due to its proximity to the A14 and the noise and fumes that the site suffers from as a result. It's also soon to be disrupted by the widening of the A14.

Despite the name, very little of it is actually within the city boundary. None of it is in Arbury, though some of it is in Kings Hedges.

Regardless of all this, selling of the Arbury Park development is now well underway.

If you are in any way considering living there, take a look first at "The Quills" nearby in Girton to see what the result is of cramming in houses with inadequate space for car parking etc. and maybe read some house buying tips.

Note that this web page shows the Arbury Park / Arbury Camp development in the early stages of building. For pictures of what we have now, showing the many problems that the roads have caused for cyclists, try this page about Arbury Park.

What the photos on this page do still show very well is just how extensive the works have been. Roads have been doubled in width, to the detriment of cyclists and pedestrians.

Arbury Camp works and the effect on the Roads near it

The works around Arbury Camp are the most significant new road developments near Cambridge for some time. That such widening of roads can be carried out with no consultation or regard for the effects, especially on cyclists, is disgraceful.

Note that this document remains a14.html as that's what I've linked to it as. However, it now discusses much more than just the A14 changes taking place. The A14 changes have been moved to the end of this document.

There is also a map here.


Kings Hedges Road and Histon / Cambridge Road to the A14 junction

This junction is being significantly widened and the turn left into Kings Hedges Road looks likely to have a much greater radius. Both these changes are likely to make conditions worse for cyclists. Taken in November 2005:


View east along Kings Hedges Road from the junction.

Similar view on the 14th of December with tar on the road


The view west towards the junction. The truck shows the scale of this. This shows the likely radius of the corner, much wider and faster and less safe for cyclists.

Photo taken 11th December 2005 showing the kerb in place.



View north from the junction. It looks very much like we can expect an increase from two lanes southbound to at least 3 at this point. Not good for cyclists.


A second view north.


Third view now that the kerbs are in place (11th December 2005)


14th of December. We now have tar on the surface.


11th February 2006. The first work I saw on the path was on Friday the 3rd of February. When I went back on the 11th, that first section was already open to the public ! Obviously this isn't being built to nearly the same standard as the road, which still isn't finished or open, but was started back in November.

Note that the thin layer of tar is being laid immediately on top of soil. So, roots of plants will come straight through the path. The lack of foundations also means that the first truck to park on the pavement will make ruts in it. The road was not constructed in this way, and Sustrans (and others) guidelines for paths seem to suggest that some kind of foundations just might be a good idea.


11th February 2006. The central reservation for people crossing Cambridge Road is being taken out. Note also the great care taken to completely block the pavement on the west side of Cambridge Road.

Crossing this road will take much more time in future:

The currently most popular direction for crossing is B to A. To do this in future, one will have to walk from B to D and then use no fewer than four toucan crossings to cross from D to A. Similar routes are just as badly affected. For instance, cyclists heading into town from Histon will be expected to operate no fewer than 3 toucan crossings to get from C to A, then ride along the pavement for a while before re-joining the carriageway.


11th February 2006. And the trees have gone... This is a little way before the temporary traffic light completely blocks the path that the blue signs refer to.


11th December 2005 photo showing the new line of the kerb at the turning from Hills Road on the right into Kings Hedges Road on the lft.


A view south. Note that the new bit of road to the left is wider than the existing road, and that the existing pavement will presumably also be taken into the new road. This will result in a road over twice as wide as the existing one.

Photo showing the position of the new kerb 11th December 2005


Photo showing the standard of construction of the road vs. the pavement. My prediction that the rough bit at the edge would be for the shared use path came true. So, as ever, the pavement has substandard foundations.

14th of December 2005, with a tarred surface for the road


The view East. This shows how there appears to be work ahead to substantially increase the size of the exit from the A14.


I've been sent a link to a plan for the site. This shows that it is indeed true that we'll have 3 lanes of traffic into Cambridge and 2 our along Histon Road / Cambridge Road. Also, it is apparently the case that the safety auditors have decided that the shared use path will be adequate for all cyclists, even though it is likely to be narrow, badly surfaced, require cyclists to give way a lot, and provide no good way of continuing southbound directly into Cambridge:



This work is having wider implications than just the bit shown in the plan above. At least three other entrances to the Arbury Camp area are being worked on. For instance:

Between Histon Road and Arbury Road.



Rather a sharp turn at this junction.


After that junction, the road is still widened considerably


Leading up to the junction with Arbury Road. This is is already multi-lane and can be daunting to cyclists, but it looks like we'll see an incredibly wide junction in future - the like of which isn't present anywhere else in Cambridge.

14th of December: Tarring the road


The view from Arbury Road, showing the width of this entrance to the Arbury Camp site.


The view back towards Arbury Road. The distance between the two kerbs either side of the photo is about 40m (measured as paces. I don't have a tape measure that long).


The view west showing the widening of Kings Hedges Road which is planned here.


Another entrance between Buchan Street and Northfield Avenue. This looks to be designed to have a slip road which is 30m long. For cyclists, this will be like passing a motorway off ramp. It is bad enough having one of these in the opposite direction for Northfield Avenue. We don't need another.


16th December 2005. The entrance to this road is again huge and involved widening of Kings Hedges Road.

16th December 2005: Width of the new side road.

16th December 2005. Facing west at the same location. It seems that there is a long slip road this side of the junction too.


A14 works in connection with Arbury Camp

A14 widening
While supposedly the go-ahead for widening the A14 hasn't happened yet, considerable work is already taking place right now (November / December 2005) to widen it:







The men standing with the digger provide scale.


The width of the widening is more than two lanes of traffic on the existing A14.

This amount of earthmoving is enormously expensive and almost certainly costs the equivalent of many years worth of cycle provision. All this for something which hasn't actually been sanctioned yet. For comparison, see this following photo of £250K worth of cycle facility under construction near Histon. This is construction of a path to well below the recommended standard. Very much on the cheap in comparison with speculative work for the A14:



Some updated information about Arbury Park (as Arbury Camp has now been renamed).

More about Cambridge.
Compare with The Netherlands.

London's cycle route design guide, which is remarkably high quality for the UK. If all provision stuck to this, we'd be a lot better off: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cycles/company/standards.shtml

Read The Truth about Cambridge which I wrote after four years living in the Netherlands and reflecting on how Cambridge had not changed at all when we visited the city.
Dutch Bike Bits - a shop specialising in tried and tested bicycle parts.