We arranged to talk to the Parish Council and emailed the County Council officers to raise the following concerns.
1. It will make the road significantly more dangerous for cyclists.
Central islands of this type force the motor traffic out towards the edge of the carriageway into the area of the carriageway used by cyclists.
The negative effect in this case is magnified due the to the position of the proposed island. The proposed position is on the transition out of the 30 mph zone and so will mean traffic leaving the village at that point will be accelerating, the proposed island will then direct that accelerating traffic into the path of any cyclists using the road.
2. It will not have the desired effect of reducing traffic speed.
Cambridgeshire County Council’s advice on speed calming measures* describes the effectiveness of central islands in reducing speed as:
“Not very effective as a speed reduction measure on its own (2-3 mph)”
Furthermore it recommends them for:
“Traffic islands are a useful and cost effective way to provide some carriageway narrowing, to focus the attention of drivers and to provide crossing facilities for pedestrians.”
There are no pedestrian crossing requirements at the location of the proposed island.
*Cambrigdeshire County Council’s advice has been removed from their website it was online here – http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport/trafficmanagement/policy/speed_reduction_measures.htm
We were told there would be a working party and asked to be involved. We heard nothing.
Last month we discovered (buried in the Parish Council minutes) that a second island for the other end of the village was planned similar to the one already ordered. Note we had not been contacted by any of the County Highways engineers responsible for this island despite raising concerns.
Today the County Council installed the island and as predicted by us it creates a nasty pinch point for anyone cycling along the road, which many people do because the alternative is a narrow, windy, badly maintained, unlit shared use path.
We’d like to know
- Why our reasonable concerns were ignored?
- How this obviously unsafe design passed a safety audit?
- Whether the County’s Cycling Officers were even consulted?