[Discuss] use of rail and road corridors for cycle routes

Anne Marie Garvey annemgarvey at ntlworld.com
Mon Jul 28 16:44:24 BST 2014


My comment is that I wholeheartedly support both the spirit and the practicality of your proposals.

The general overview , that cycling should be a priority with special consideration for routes away from cars and motor traffic.

This is the future. Cyclists need safety. Cyclists who take to the road do so when they feel safe, currently many people are put off by the danger they face. And whilst I sympathise with the perceived danger of sharing pavements, the figures for pedestrians injured by cyclists is minuscule compared to the danger from cars to pedestrians. If people and particularly parents and young people felt safer on the paths and roads then more would join them and there would be a real transformation .

I secondly support the details of your suggestions and wholeheartedly applaud these proposals to make links between cyclewasy. I am a member of Sustrans, but their very existence has been threatened by cuts, and we must move to our local authorities to represent everyone in a travel plan, not just motorists who currently command far too much time and attention, quite disproportionate to their numbers.

Walking and cycling, public transport are the future, they are the future all over Europe. The era of the private car is over and it's going to be a slow business but it will come about and a more healthy communal and fun way of getting around will become the norm

I endorse all your details for the remedy of past missed opportunities and for the future sophistication of the network of cycleways ,

Yours Anne
On 26 Jul 2014, at 23:15, Simon Norton wrote:

> This email is motivated by a discussion on one of the forums to which it is
> being posted of the bridge over the river Cam that forms part of the Chisholm
> Trail.
> Rail corridors can be used as cycle and pedestrian routes in 3 ways. (I should,
> incidentally, say that I am not thinking in terms of high speed cycling, rather
> leisure and utility cycling by people who find road cycling too stressful, and
> which is suitable for the type of bike that can be safely left on Cambridge's
> streets.)
> 1. Build new routes alongside existing rail corridors. An example is the
> "Genome Trail" (does it have an official name ?) between Addenbrookes and
> Shelford.
> 2. Build cycle and pedestrian routes in conjunction with the conversion of
> disused rail corridors to busways or all purpose roads. The Cambs Guided Busway
> is of course the archetypal example.
> 3. Convert disused rail routes to dedicated cycle and pedestrian routes. An
> example is the route between Chatteris and Somersham most of which is now a
> public bridleway.
> In addition, when major road building is planned, the provision of parallel 
> cycle routes alongside often seems to be used as a "sweetener" -- the current
> A14 proposals being an excellent example. Some of us also felt that this applied
> when the St Ives line, which we wanted reopened as a main line railway, was
> instead converted to a busway.
> I believe that one of our greatest needs is for high quality cycle and walking
> routes that have tranquillity. Routes alongside major roads don't; routes
> alongside railways and busways do have some; but it is free standing routes
> (i.e. 3 above) that perform best in this respect.
> Yet there has been very little progress with 1 or 3.
> As far as 1 is concerned, there is a window of opportunity to act when it is
> proposed to widen rail formations. A route between Huntingdon and Peterborough
> would be really useful in conjunction with the proposal to increase trackage
> through the East Coast Main Line upgrade. It could form part of the Great Fen
> project, improving access between the 3 nearby National Nature Reserves (Monks
> Wood, Woodwalton Fen and Holme Fen). Also, some time ago Virgin wanted to take
> over the East Coast Main Line and proposed to electrify the stretch between Ely
> and Peterborough. I was unable to find out whether this would entail widening
> the causeway across the Ouse Washes to provide room for the overhead masts, but
> if so a cycle and walking route between Manea and Pymore would be an attractive
> add on.
> There's also Ely-Soham which is soon to be upgraded to double track. There's a
> minor road south of Barway level crossing so only the section north thereof is
> really needed.
> Another possible example would be between Shelford and Royston, which would
> provide a more attractive route for cycling than the A10, for which a campaign
> currently exists.
> As for type 3, our county is full of missed opportunities. The Cambridge to
> Mildenhall route used to be cyclable from the city boundary to Lode. As far as I
> know it still is beyond Honey Hill, though the section from there towards the
> city has been breached by the A14.
> The A14 also breached the western end of the route between St Ives and
> Huntingdon, but the rest of this stretch would have made a really lovely cycling
> and walking route. Once it was decided to convert St Ives-Cambridge to guided
> busway there would have been no future in reopening this stretch, and it's a
> great pity it wasn't converted to a cycle and walking route. Could this still be
> done ?
> Other potentially useful routes include Cambridge to Sandy, Huntingdon to
> Thrapston, Shelford to Haverhill and Somersham to St Ives (or to Needingworth
> plus a ferry at Holywell to link to the guided busway at Fen Drayton).
> The closing date for comments on Cambs CC's long term transport strategy is 31
> July, so there is still time for people to include these ideas in their
> responses. Meanwhile, does anyone have any comments before I compile mine ?
> Simon Norton
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