Sunday, 20 December 2015

The wrong kind of bollard?

This story goes back to a meeting of the City Council's South Area Committee on 5 October (and yes, I missed it at the time - although in my defence I was out of town...). As part of the "Open Forum" that's a standard item on area committee agendas, the minutes record the following:

"Mr Storer raised concerns regarding cyclists riding into bollards (generally in the dark) on the cycleway alongside the guided busway. He queried if the bollards were needed."

The minutes go on to record a few comments made on this topic, and a final action - writing a letter to the County Council, requesting further information.

So, now to the latest meeting of that committee (14 December). This generated a response from the County Council. This covers the status of the track adjacent to the Busway, and then goes on to address both the lighting and bollards used. One interesting sentence reads: "As a result of comments received about the bollards we have used a different design on the recently completed extension of the busway that will serve the new Cambridge North station." The number and location of bollards is also to be reviewed.

It's hard to read this, I think, without taking away from it a certain acceptance that the bollards already installed along the busway may not always be the most suitable - although you won't find any direct admission of that in the County's letter.

And then, in the Cambridge News of 17 December, comes an article giving details of a cyclist who was badly injured after hitting one of the bollards near the Hills Road bridge. At no point does the Cambridge News article refer to the South Area Committee's coverage of this issue - it may be that it's entirely coincidental timing that the article appeared just a few days after the committee heard from the County Council, but the balance of probability suggests otherwise.

Needless to say, if you want to know more about this topic - from the cyclists' perspective - then the Cambridge Cycling Campaign's latest newsletter has fuller coverage. Two articles, indeed.

Pending any changes, the message to cyclists using the bridleway/cycle track alongside the Busway appears to be: take care! I don't think that applies just to the bollards, though...

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