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
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
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
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.
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
There is also a map
Kings Hedges Road and
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
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
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
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
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
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.