A meeting of the Ely Cycle Forum was held at the Cutter Inn on April 30th.
First up was an update from Abellio Greater Anglia regarding Ely Rail Station. Although Geraint Hughes had planned to attend, he sent his apologies and Patrick Joyce covered his points in his absence. Cycle parking is to be increased to 450, effectively doubling the current number of bike spaces. Double-height racks are to be installed, along with a secure storage area. Access to this will be free although a deposit will be required for a card or key. It is hoped that this will be in place by Autumn 2014, although it should definitely be completed by the end of this financial year. There will also be a shop with bike hire, sales and maintenance similar to the setup at Chelmsford station.
The next item was the Southern Bypass. A planning application has been lodged and it is hoped that this will be decided on in June or July this year. A public enquiry would delay this by a year, and would add another £3m onto the current expected budget of £30.1m. There was no mention of the route to Stuntney in the planning application, but it should go ahead whether or not bypass is built, and was discussed in the meeting.
A “ready to go” project is needed as part of the Local Sustainable Transport Funding, which would have 12 months to be completed once agreed. The best option is considered to be Ely to Witchford/Sutton, which would include the missing 1.5km from Wentworth to Witcham Toll and possibly cycle lanes through Witchford.
Other projects discussed were:
- Improving the junctions at Witchford Road and West Fen Road
- Improving the link between New Barns Avenue and Lynn Road by removing signs and creating segregated cycle and pedestrian paths
- Reducing the size of the Norfolk Road junction by about 15m in total and removing the central island
- Giving cyclists the unique opportunity of priority over a side road at the Chase
- Linking King’s Avenue estate by adding a bridge over the ditch at Henley Way
- Access to Spring Meadow school via Carey Close. This was discussed, but the school are not keen on the idea due to security reasons
- The barrier at High Barns has been adjusted allowing larger bicycles such as trailer bikes through
- There was also talk of a possible contraflow on Church Lane and maybe the Gallery
Finally, there is a large event taking place on Ely Market Square on Saturday 1st June from 10:30 to 4:30 as part of Bike Life 2014. This is a County Council initiative, for more information see our blog post here.