Currently there are two options for crossing the A10 from Ely going to/from Witchford:
- Using the traffic island
Hardly anyone uses the traffic island. It requires crossing the 2×2 lanes of traffic, the worst one being the two lanes leaving the roundabout with cars speeding up to 60mph. It is unusable for children and anyone who can’t run for their lives to cross the road.
- On the road
It’s a junction of two of the busiest roads in East Cambs so only the most confident cyclists will use the roundabaout.
This means there is currently no safe way for anyone but the bravest to cycle from Witchford to Ely.
Recently the lane layout has been changed and traffic going straight on from Witchford to Ely has to go in the right hand lane. This has made the roundabout yet more dangerous as any cyclists using the new right-hand lane will be cut up by cars and lorries going straight on in the left-hand lane.
With the Ely North Development of 3000 extra houses the roundabout will be upgraded to improve traffic flow with a number of extra lanes. We think that pedestrians, cyclists and others (e.g. mobility scooters) will be unable to use the roundabout at all once the new lanes are in place essentially cutting off Witchford from Ely for anyone not in a car.
As the existing cycle path from Witchford to Ely is of quite a good standard, we think a bridge over the A10 linking up St Johns Road with the bridle way on the western side of the A10 would be the best and cheapest option which won’t affect traffic flow:
It is possible at the moment to go straight west from St Johns Road down an overgrown path to the A10 and then up on the other side. As there is quite a slope already, a bridge would simply have to slot in to cross the A10, there is no need to build any ramps to go up and down.
We think this would be better than a traffic light controlled crossing at the roundabout. Better for motorists as there won’t be an additional hold up at the roundabout from the traffic lights and therefore better for traffic flow.
From the bridge there would be two options for the path to continue:
Red: Go parallel to the A10 and connect to the petrol station and M+S and then go around the back of the hotel to connect to the existing A142 cycle path. The advantages are that people from the St Johns area could easily access M+S and the other shops and people from the hotel could easily walk into town. Plus the path will feel safe as it’s close to the shops especially in the dark.
Green: Follow the existing byway to the existing A142 cycle path further towards Witchford. The advantages here would be less pollution and a quieter route. However, as farm traffic seems to be using the path it would have to be tarmaced to make it usable year-round and it would probably also need lighting.