A14 works in connection with
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:
Histon Road / A14 junction
This has an update lower down showing part of the actual plan for
this site. It looks hopeless inadequate for cyclists, as you might
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.
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)
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
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.
This turned out just as badly as I'd feared. You can see it here.
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.
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.
For other stuff hosted on this server, click here.