In the “Traffic Signs Policy Paper” from October 2011 the Department for Transport suggests a number of measures to improve traffic signs for all road users and in particular for more vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.
We support most of these findings (see section 5, page 25) and we feel that the most beneficial traffic signs for Ely would be the ‘Share Space’ and directional cycle route signs.
Background and further information
Share Space signs
On page 30 of the above document the DFT recommends a sign saying that
there is a shared space scheme ahead and that motorists should give due attention to the needs of other road users. The Department’s new Local Transport Note 1/11, Shared Space, provides advice to practitioners on the design and provision of shared space.
We think such a sign would be very useful in many places in the Ely area, especially on routes into the city centre, such as Lynn Road, Downham Road and Cambridge Road where there are many ‘pinch points’ at traffic islands as well as near schools. Drivers in Ely aren’t as used to overtaking cyclists as drivers in Cambridge and often misjudge the room required for a safe overtaking maneuver.
Together with a 20mph speed limit these signs would be a low cost measure to improve living in Ely for everyone and to make walking and cycling much safer.
Directional Cycle Route signs
The council has recently opened a new section of cycling ring road running along the inside of the A10 from Cambridge Road to Downham Road. However, a informal survey of our members suggests that these cycle routes are not very well known even among experienced Ely cyclists. In order to encourage more people to cycle and walk instead of drive into the city centre we suggest the installation of directional signs to the different areas of Ely. For example there could be signs from the city centre to the College pointing along the Stour Green area/ Lantern primary school path saying 5min by bike, 15min walk.
We think this would encourage more people to choose to leave their car at home if they realise that it often takes longer to find somewhere to park than to walk or cycle to the city centre.