Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Lighting the Busway - a follow up

Just a month ago, I posted an entry about proposals to light the southern section of the Busway. I said then that the plans were very much on track. What a difference a month makes!

Yesterday's meeting of the County Council's Economy and Environment Committee considered the proposal. Actually, the proposal covered both the northern and southern city sections. I can't easily summarise the details, but will instead provide a link to the relevant agenda item, and the council officer's report. The key issue, though, is that instead of the £100,000 provisionally set aside in December 2012 for the southern section, detailed costings have come in at £400,000 [sic]. Council officers made clear, though, that there was enough unspent money from the pot of "developer contributions" (the levy that larger developments have to contribute to general infrastructure - NB, that's only my personal definition!) to meet the additional cost.

We'll know exactly what happened at the meeting when the official minutes are posted on the County Council website. But there's no reason to doubt the veracity of the Cambridge News report. Here's a taste:

Cllr Amanda Taylor, who represents Queen Edith’s, said it would improve safety and encourage more people to use the track, but councillors from outside the city expressed misgivings about allocating this much money when streetlamps in their areas were being removed or dimmed.

This prompted Petersfield’s Cllr Ashley Walsh to attack what he described as “petty-minded parochialism”, but Roman Bank and Peckover’s Cllr Alan Lay recalled blackouts during the Second World War and questioned why there was now “a lot of fuss saying we must have lights”.
 Something to keep in mind next time you're cycling in the dark along the southern section.

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  2. What's wrong with cycling in the dark? We've got bike lights? No more light pollution in rural areas please. If the townies are afraid of the dark, stay in towns!

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  3. I think the issue is (the fear of) seclusion - at least on an unlit road, there are passing cars and other things to detect "nefarious activities". The busway after dark, when buses stop running, is a Black Hole. I may be wrong, though...

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