Our members views of the new cycle approach to the station

Our members views of the new cycle approach to the station

Our members views of the new cycle approach to the station

new_underpass

 

The work has now finished on the road past the station and under the underpass towards Soham. It’s not what we campaigned for.

Here’s a selection of views from our members.

“I fail to see how the infrastructure either improves access to the station for cyclists or increases their safety”
I cycled to the station for the first time in a while this morning. Although the red bit of tarmac looks nice, all it seems to do is miss the roundabout out and not the lights. I’ve never had a problem with the roundabout, it’s been the run up to it from Broad Street, and between it and the station turning where I’ve been put in more danger by overtaking (and undertaking) cars, so I decided to stick with what I know.
I followed two vehicles on the road and the lights went green just as the front vehicle approached. I’m not sure if the lights have sensors on, and if they do whether they detect cycles, but I didn’t have to come to a complete stop at the lights which was helpful on a windy day like today.
As I passed the lights I noticed that the red tarmac stops there, I think giving cyclists two options – either to come out into traffic and cross a lane to turn right, or cross at the lights onto the path the other side and then cross two lanes of traffic to get back onto the road leading to the station. Both of these options mean crossing at least one lane of traffic and the second mixes cyclists with pedestrians, so I was glad I stayed with the traffic on the road.
The car at the front of the line of traffic indicated left and turned into the car wash site, and the white van that was following went underneath the bridge – straight through a red light! I can see this happening in future with drivers risking the red if they can’t see traffic the other end and I think accidents will happen here. It made me think what a missed opportunity it was to not close the underpass to motor vehicles entirely, creating a safe path to and from the station for cyclists and pedestrians.
On a positive note, I think it has improved pedestrian access as there is now a lowered kerb either side of the entrance making it safer for pedestrians to cross. However I fail to see how the infrastructure either improves access to the station for cyclists or increases their safety.
I’d be happy to be proved wrong of course, and would like to hear from anyone who has used the red path as a way of getting to the station.
On a related note, I cycled back from the station and noticed the white lines and hatchings haven’t been repainted at the entrance to Annesdale. It could make turning right into Annesdale very dangerous for cycles if they’re not repainted soon.
“… my wife was overtaken between the end of the bike path and the station entrance by a car racing to catch the green lights leading under the bridge … So while at first I thought the bike lane was inadequate but harmless, now I’m quite concerned about this new layout”
I use the cycle path (red bit) to bypass the roundabout. I quite like that aspect of it. Then, like the vast majority of cyclists, I join the road and turn right into the station. This is not ideal of course. It certainly gives the impression that whoever designed this really had no idea what was needed here since the bike lane simply stops short of where people need to be.
I have not had any problems turning into the station. However the other day my wife was overtaken between the end of the bike path and the station entrance by a car racing to catch the green lights leading under the bridge. This really could have been a disaster since 99% of cyclists will be turning right into the station. With idiots in cars rushing to get the lights thinking they can overtake here I think it is a recipe for disaster. So while at first I thought the bike lane was inadequate but harmless, now I’m quite concerned about this new layout.
Regarding pedestrian access, yes the dropped kerbs will be good for prams/wheelchairs/mobility scooters, but pedestrians still have to run the gauntlet to cross the station entrance, and of course there is still no safe route through the car park from Tesco. In that regard the station access for pedestrians has only been improved very slightly, by the addition of dropped kerbs at the entrance.
“… as ever, it seems a great opportunity has been wasted”
I haven’t cycled it, but have walked to and from the station & haven’t taken everything in yet, so much of this is impression only & I would like to know what others think. But, as ever, it seems a great opportunity has been wasted – especially the pedestrian/bike crossing. The cycle lane on the north-west side (Standen’s) ends abruptly, so segregation effectively ends there. Most cyclists will not dismount. They will either try to merge into the road traffic (hazardous) or carry on and mingle with the pedestrians waiting to cross (thereby perpetuating the conflict between those on foot and those on two wheels). The lights now show it as a dual purpose crossing, but cyclists then getting across to the south-east (Tesco’s) side will find the same old jumble, with no real clear distinction between foot and bike. Pedestrian provision at the actual road leading up to the station is still an absolute disgrace. No safe crossing point and with cars parked on that stretch and/or queuing to get onto Station Road, pedestrians are unsighted, with both bikes and cars turning into that road at speed.
On the other side of the underpass there is still inadequate pedestrian and cycle provision, the idea seeming to be that you are supposed to cross back and forth across the A127. There is  a bizarre direction sign for Network 11 showing straight ahead for Cawdle Fen (when a right turn is coming up) and left into Ely along the river for Stuntey, which is actually straight ahead – not that I would recommend cycling it anyway. A 90 deg adjustment to the sign is needed I would suggest.
On both sides there are signs directing over-height lorries who have missed the warning signs to go towards the old level crossing and turn. But there is no turning space (except on the Station Rd side if the car wash is open & will accommodate them). Just hope the trucking companies have updated all their sat-navs…
“Overall I would describe the station approach as dangerous for cyclists, especially less experienced ones”
I cycled into the station car park this afternoon and like others found the new red area marginally helpful but it finishes very abruptly and you still have to take your chances cycling across to the station competing with a varying degree of motorised traffic. The approach roads of Back Hill and Station road, I note still have very worn out cycle motifs on the road and I experienced a couple of “close passes” as cars hurried pass me here.
Overall I would describe the station approach as dangerous for cyclists, especially less experienced ones.

One thought on “Our members views of the new cycle approach to the station

  1. Pingback: Why not close the station underpass to motorised traffic? | Ely & District Progressives

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