by Simon MacMichael July 11 2016
Cambridgeshire County Council’s cycling champion has won a commuter challenge today that pitched him against rivals on a bus and in a car – although there’s some head-scratching on Twitter about whether he could have completed the journey in the claimed time.
Whatever the actual distance and time, there was a serious point to today’s commuter race, which coincided with the start of a three-month consultation into an eight-point plan to tackle congestion in the city that has by far the highest levels of cycling in the UK, focused on the following issues.
1 – Better bus services and expanded use of Park & Ride in place before ‘virtual’ road closures
2 – Better pedestrian and cycling infrastructure
3 – Improved public space and air quality
4 – Peak-time Congestion Control Points – camera-enforced closures on key routes during rush hour for vehicles with the exception of buses, taxis, emergency vehicles and cyclists.
5 – Workplace Parking Levy – an annual fee on commuter parking spaces used by bigger business to help fund better alternative transport
6 – On-street parking Controls – including an expansion of Residents’ Parking Zones
7 – Smart technology – intelligent traffic signals and devices to make it easier to travel and move around the city
8 – Travel planning – expansion of the existing service to help people, schools and organisations adapt to any changes.
Councillor Lewis Herbert, chair of the City Deal executive board and leader of Cambridge City Council, commented: “We have to tackle congestion swiftly and decisively for everyone’s sake – for residents, businesses, for the bus passengers who sit idle in traffic jams, and the cyclists, pedestrians, old and young people who face sometimes toxic levels of air pollution when our roads are at gridlock.
“Assisted by responses during this period of consultation, we want to cut congestion from late 2017, not take another three to five years, and have a package of bus and wider improvements in place from the start, including by working closely with local operators.”
“Cambridge is a place for people – not for long queues of cars – and we’re confident this plan will reduce peak-time traffic levels all year round to that usually only seen in holiday periods. That means far more reliable and faster bus journeys, more pleasant cycling and walking conditions and better air quality.
“However, we recognise the potential impact of this proposal and that some people may be more affected than others; we want views on improvements people want to see from the start including local bus services.
He added: “It is vital that local residents, businesses and anyone who travels in, out or within Cambridge for work, study or leisure, and therefore likely to be affected by this plan, has their say before any final decisions are made.”
The consultation, which remains open until 10 October 2016 and will be supported by local events in and around Cambridge, can be found here