Letter sent to Councillor Bailey today:
Ely Cycling Campaign is sometimes invited to comment on cycling-related projects. It is our experience that such invitations almost always come after the decisions have been made and those decision are poor. They are poor because the infrastructure is noncompliant with current design principles, being unsafe, unpleasant to use and do not connect places that people want to go. The facilities will be underused and therefore are a waste of money.
We have recently been ‘consulted’ on the cycling provision around the new Angel Drove Roundabout, at the western end of the Southern Bypass. The cycling and walking layout is a done deal and yet again, we believe that as an afterthought, the Campaign has been consulted so that some box can be ticked. We note that what has already been built does not take into account the role of infrastructure at the Roundabout in the overall provision for cycling in the District.
Another recent example involved Ely Leisure Village. Cycling access to the Village effectively stops at the underpass -cyclists have to dismount and walk the remaining 100 yards to the parking. We could have told you that stopping short like this was very unattractive to cyclists, putting them in conflict with pedestrians as well as being inconvenient. This is also a missed opportunity to begin a cycling connection between Little Downham and Ely. We were not consulted in the decision to cancel the planned Village cycleway. You have wasted money.
On the connectedness issue, we know that schemes must sometimes be staged. We see this with the shared route between Witchford and Sutton and are pleased to see that the Witchford end is now being upgraded. However, planning attention is often focussed on what is about to be built without considering how the current project fits into, for instance, the Local Plan.
Please can we meet up so we can look into improving the quality of input to highways projects, so you spend money effectively, building infrastructure that people will use. If we discuss just one scheme that will help us understand how to spend money better, then cycling access to the Railway Station might be a good case.