Minor Improvements


This page is for suggestions of minor improvements to cycling provision in and around Ely. Minor improvements could be a dropped kerb, removing a barrier, some additional cycle parking, etc.

If you have a suggestion leave a comment at the bottom of the page and we’ll add it to the list and mark it on the map.


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Suggestions (click column heading to re-order)

ID Description Location Added Priority Status
1 Remove the barrier and add a dropped kerb at the Witchford Road end of the outer ring route Ely 2012-10 medium  barrier was removed
2 Connect outer ring route at West Fen Road Ely 2012-10 high
3 Clarify and sign cycle routes through the city centre Ely 2012-10 medium
4 Add dropped kerbs to chicanes on Field End Witchford Witchford 2012-10 medium
5 Remove parking place on Church Rd Ely 2012-10 medium
6 Clarify access on path from St Johns Road to Tower Court. Ely 2012-10 high
7 Better signage and marking of the Mepal the Sutton route Sutton 2012-10 low
8 Connect Redman Close to Byway Ely 2012-10 medium
9 Connect Summer Hayes to Merivale Way Ely 2012-10 high
10 Improve path between Henley Way and Sycamore Lane Ely 2012-10 high
11 Allow cycling along the river Ely 2012-10 high  completed
12 Remove barrier at end of path from Felton Way onto High Barns Road Ely 2012-10 medium
13 Remove barrier at end of path from Wilford Drive onto High Barns Road Ely 2012-10 medium
14 Remove barrier at end of path from Queen Emma Walk to Lynn Road Ely 2012-10 medium
15 Remove barriers on paths from Common Road via Briars End to Victoria Green in Witchford Witchford 2012-10 medium
16 Make the one way section of Bray’s Lane ‘except cycles’ Ely 2012-10 high
17 Make the one way section of The Gallery ‘except cycles’ Ely 2012-10 high
18 Remove barrier and add drop kerbs on The Chase Ely 2012-10 medium
19 Remove barrier and add dropped kerb on corner of Upherd’s Lane Ely 2012-10 medium
20 Put a back gate into Spring Meadow and St Mary’s schools to allow access from Cathedral View development. Ely 2012-10 high school doesn’t want it
21 Remove parking spaces on Kings Avenue which block cycle lane. Ely 2012-10 high
22 Connect the Downham Road crossing opposite Ely college to Columbine Road Ely 2012-10 medium
23 Connect Wensum Way to the path past the Rugby pitch leading to Lynn Road Ely 2012-10 low
24 Church Road – reverse the direction of the one-way flow or make it a no-through road. Ely 2012-10 high
25 Restore red strip corner of Station Road near Gas Lane Ely 2012-10 low
26 Add red strip to Station Road between station and roundabout Ely 2012-10 low
27 Add red strip to Back Hill / Station Road junction going uphill Ely 2012-10 medium
28 Resurface Back Hill Ely 2012-10 high
29 Make path opposite Prince Albert on Silver St shared use Ely 2012-10 low
30 Remove parking spaces on Station Road between Broad St and Annesdale to create a continuous cycle lane Ely 2012-10 high
31 Remove no cycling sign between Jubilee Terrace and the Cutter Ely 2012-10 high completed
32 Clarify access on path around eastern end of the cathedral Ely 2012-10 low
33 Make driveways give way to shared use path along Witchford Road Ely 2012-10 high
34 Widen and extend the new cycle lane at the Lisle Lane Waterside junction Ely 2012-10 high
35 Allow cycling along river between Tea Room and Pocket Park Ely 2012-10 medium completed
36 Add shared use path to car park at end of Willow Way Ely 2012-10 low
37 Reduce speed limit in car park at end of Willow Way Ely 2012-10 low
38 Connect Willows Grove with Creswells Lane Ely 2012-10 medium
39 Make path from Lisle Lane (opp. Springhead Lane) to Kiln Lane shared use Ely 2012-10 medium
40 Make path from Kiln Lane with Queen Adelaide Way shared use Ely 2012-10 medium
41 Make bridge at end of Kiln Lane cycle friendly Ely 2012-10 low
42 Connect Lisle Lane with Springhead Lane Ely 2012-10 medium
43 Connect the south-eastern (sharp) corner of The Vineyards with western end of Bell Holt Ely 2012-10 medium
44 Improve muddy bit behind Sainsburys by the lorry entrance on the way to Pocket Park Ely 2012-10 medium Paths now surfaced with wood-chip
45 Remove cobbles at entrance to Waitrose car park Ely 2012-10 low
46 Remove barrier at the end of Cresswells Lane as it’s impossible to get through with a trailer Ely 2013-09 medium


59 thoughts on “Minor Improvements

  1. Ross Burton

    Suggestion: Clarify access on path from St Johns Road to Cambridge Road via Tower Court. Signage says no cycling, but it appears on the new cycle map as a cycle route.

  2. Neil Jones

    I would much welcome removal of the cobbles on the ramps on the speed tables in Silver Street, Barton Square, and The Gallery (or at least the provision of a section on the left part of each ramp which has a smooth surface).

  3. Christine Jones

    Take away the parking spaces on Kings Avenue (Cathedral view/Barratt development) where they currently have strips of cycle lanes that end in parking spaces. There should be a cycle lane all the way along or not at all. The current situation is impossible to use as if you cycled on the path you would crash into the back of parked cars.
    They have painted parking spaces with the cycle path either side, the idea being to stop the cars from parking on the cycle path but actually allocating spaces. In effect, on the cycle path was as good as letting down the tyres of the cyclists trying to use the path. People rarely park on the older part of kings avenue whereas on the new development residents park on the road rather than bothering to drive round the back of where they live or don’t instruct visitors where to park. The way the development was designed there should be no parking along Kings Avenue but now it’s dangerous to drive or cycle because of the number of parked cars blocking your way.

  4. marknokkert

    Restore the now almost nearly lost red cycle ‘strip’ on the corner, coming from the roundabout on the A142 (N corner of Tesco car park) into Station Road, between Gas Lane and Annesdale. Making this a clear cycle path (dotted line, though, so cars can still use this as well) may help prevent stupid car drivers thinking they can overtake in that corner whilst from the other side a double line of cars is forming – just needs one wide 4×4 or a truck amongst these to get you as a cyclist squashed between a car and the kerb.

  5. marknokkert

    Create a separate, 1.5 m wide (red?) lane from the station to Bridge Lane (on the Tesco side of this road) – in the peak coming off the trains, this will help cyclists pass by the long queue of cars geting out of the station forecourt. The road is wide enough here to create this

      1. marknokkert

        Hi Andy,

        Where you put it is a separate one, which would of course also be useful. Where I meant was on the station forecourt, the east-west ‘station entry road’ parallel to Tesco’s car park (southern side). Having a red cycle lane here of minimal 2 m wide on the Tesco side of the road (probably starting where the second, easternmost pedestrian cut through is to the Tesco car park) would help the traffic flow going out of the station at peak afternoon times. With the cycle lane then continuing all the way to the roundabout with the A142 would be even better – then car drivers should be less likely to cut cyclists off who want to go straight ahead into Back Hill, whereas most cars turn left into the A142. If all of this could be arranged, it then also needs a big red cycle advance box (or whatever these are called) at the roundabout, so it should be even clearer for car drivers that many cyclists will want to go straight ahead.

  6. marknokkert

    On Back Hill (coming from the station), create a bright (red?) coloured cycle strip between just before Potters Lane and beyond Broad Street. Especially since Sainsbury’s is in operation, a lot more traffic goes right here than before. This means that, as a cyclist you want to go straighta ahead, one is waiting behind cars for nothing. There would be space for cycilsts to pass on the left-hand side, if all cars queue up along the central line. Creating a clear ccyle path here might actually ensure cars do just that.

  7. marknokkert

    BackHill (coming from the station), the stretch just past Dovehouse Close: the surface here is terrible – either one hugs the gutter, or one has to go in the middle of the lane. Needs resrfacing (and perhaps a cycle strip (dotted line and/or coloured strip)) as well

  8. marknokkert

    Silver Street, just W of Church Lane (opp. the pub): here is the small pedestrianised connection to the car park. I use this in the morning to go to the station – only alternative if you do not want to go illegally conra-flow through Silver Street.
    It is, however, not clear whether cycling through here is allowed. Cars are parked in this bit sometimes as well, so I assume it is. Would be helpful to have a sign from either end showing that cyclists are permitted

      1. marknokkert

        Yes, but only on the Silver Street side; although after a bit of practice one can take it in one graceful curve – although have not tried with a trailer yet; would certainly benefit from redesigning – I would think just moving the second barrier one metre further north might do the job (and cheapest option)

  9. marknokkert

    Back Hill, coming from the centre towards the station: there is a little & narrow designated cycle lane on-road between Broad Street and Castlehythe. The lower end, however, ends in parked cars! (which, most of the time, are there). This creates highly dangerous situations, in particular cyclists coming at high speed down Back Hill, and with busy car traffic here. Either: get rid of all parkings paces here and create a continous cycle path instead (probably not going to be popular with the locals), or create some MAJOR white arrows on the road, making it clear that cyclists will merge into the remainder of the road lane (or some other solution I have not yet thought off). At the moment, an accident waiting to happen…

  10. marknokkert

    Riverside, next to the pub, just N of Victoria Street: there is a narrowish connecting stretch parallel to the pub’s car park, connecting the riverside with Jubilee Terrace. This is on the NCN11 route, BUT there is a sign ‘no cycling’ here. It is narrow, but wide enough I think to allow cyclists – could this not be replaced with a different sign, allowing people to cycle through, but giving way to pedestrians when needed (similar to signs along the waterside, under and near the railbridge, a bit further south). Also, I have never come across a pedestrian here whilst cycling trough, so this sign seems unnecessary anyway.

  11. marknokkert

    Cathedral: the path going around its eastern side; between the car park to the cathedral’s south entrance and the gates into the High Street: I know cars drive through here regularly to park near the public toilets; it is however, not clear whether cyclists are allowed – I assume they are. It would be good to have some signage on either end, explaining the situation. This would ensure that pedestrians may make more effort to give some space (after repeatedly ringing the bell, still delibrately ignoring you, as they think you should not be there may then be a thing of the past). Of course, through the gate into High Street, people should give way to pedestrians, and probably even come off their bikes. The rest should be cyclable though.

      1. marknokkert

        Yes, absolutely.There is of course the issue that the gate at the High Street end of this route gets locked at 6:30 each night. Not quite sure why that is, I assume some old ‘safety’ issue for the King’s School? Perhaps the timing of closing could be reconsidered as well?

    1. Wobbly John

      The path aound the back of the Catherdral is open to cyclists. It is owned by the Dean & Chapter who are not keen on having it signed as a cycle route.

      Sustrans asked as it was the sensible way to get into Ely city centre from NCN 11 heading North, but permission was refused.

      It is also Dean & Chapter who have control of the Sacerists gate locking.

  12. marknokkert

    I think this might already have been covered, but just in case: High Street, on the corner with (former) Starbucks: there is a no entry sign here. I do not see why one could not have a contra-flow for cyclists here. A simple blue? sign undreneath saying ‘cyclists allowed’ would be enough. Same for entrances to semi-pedestrianised roads on corner of Costa and in the NE corner of the market place

  13. marknokkert

    Witchford Road, between A10 and The Chase: there is a shared cycle/footpath along the road. BUT at all, perhaps except one, crossings with side roads and house entrances cyclists have to give way to cars – for side roads: arguable; for drives: NO! What about two parallel dotted lines on the drive (on the house side of the cycle path and next to the road) making it clear that cars should give way to cyclists and pedestrians entring and exiting their drives

  14. marknokkert

    Where Lisle Lane changes into Forehill, on the sharp corner with Waterside: the on-road cycle strip they made with S106 monies from the Sainsbury devlopment is generally fine, except in this corner. Today I got nearly crushed by a car coming out of Waterside and stopping too late, thus having the front of the car way into the road already, entirely covering the cycle lane. I came from Sainsbury’s way, folowing the main road into Forehill. At the same time there was a car trying to overtake me in this sharp corner. The problem here is that the cyclepath drastically narrows IN THE CORNER! and then disappears 3 metres further altogether. Clearly a job done from the laptop by someone who does not cycle… This creates a dangerous situation. SOLUTION: widen the cyclelane to teh same width as on teh rest of Lisle Lane and extend further towards the NW. Plus create a big wide arrow on the road indicating taht cyclists will move into the centre of the lane, thereby making it clear to cars that they should not overtake in this corner.

  15. marknokkert

    Although possibly already covered with the ‘allow cycling allong the river’ blue pin, it seems to me that it is already allowed on the stretch between the tea room, past the Babylon gallery until the Pocket Park car park.
    Again, signage is the real issue here: make it clear what is and what is not allowed. Suggestion: shared pedestrian/cyclists path, with ‘cyclists give way’ sign added. Arguably the bit around the galery cyclists should dismount, but a ‘give way’ sign should hopefully be enough.

  16. marknokkert

    Pocket Park car park: the formerly very muddy car park for the Pocket Park has now thankfully got a hard surface. However, it has since also become busier here, with more cars going in and out of the car park. As a pedestrian/cyclists one does not feel 100% safe crossing the car park from one end to the other, from the end of Willow Walk/path alongside the river to the Pocket Park itself. A simple and low-cost solution would be to add a thin layer of dust/gravel/etc along the western side of the car park in a bright colour, distinct from the dark grey surface it has now- at least 2.5 m wide, and have it rolled into the surface. Make this a shared two-way path. This would make pedestrians and cyclists feel safer, and make it clearer to cars leaving and entering to look out for vulnerable road users.

  17. marknokkert

    Connect Willows Grove with Creswells Lane (ca. opp. new Sainsbury’s entrance point). There is a small bit of scrub/woodland here (don’t know who owns it; possibly a governmental organisation, perhaps part of the water recyling facilities to the east?)- a shared foot/cyclepath could perhaps be created here. this would, without a doubt, become popular as an alternative to get to the Pocket Park and beyond, and vice versa to the river side.

  18. marknokkert

    Path connection Lisle Lane (opp. Springhead Lane) with Kiln Lane (exit point near rail crossing). This path is now nice and wide, and not muddy anymore, since resurfacing 1.5 years ago. BUT is still a footpath only. Perhaps we could argue/apply for upgrading this path to a bridleway or such. Of course, the gates on either side then also need replacing, allowing easy access for cyclists (and don’t forget wide enough for trailers). Perfect path for chilren to learn to cycle for first time!

  19. marknokkert

    Similar to previous post, path connecting the eastern end of Kiln Lane with Queen Adelaide Way. Although narrow in most places, it is perfectly cyclable. However, it is a footpath only. Perhaps we could get this upgraded to a bridleway? (thus allowing cyclists as long as they give way).

  20. marknokkert

    Related to teh previous post: this path ends, just before Queen Adelaide Way, at a wide bridge over the river Great Ouse. If this path can be upgraded so that cyclists can also start using it legally, we should then also ask for metal ‘guides’ on the steps on either side of the bridge (those things they have on the steps for the new bridge at Cambridge station, whatever they are called)

  21. marknokkert

    Connecting Lisle Lane (opp. the – now only – footpath into the Pocket Park etc – next to Peck -) with Springhead Lane.There is a stretch of some 80 m length here, relatively steep uphill, which shows some tarmac patches etc through the grass. It is used by pedestrians at the moment. I would not be surprised if there is a full tarmac path underneath most of the grass already. Would be fabulous connection to cut off the corner Lisle Lane & Prickwillow Road, and create a further cyclists’ link with the Pocket Park etc.

    1. marknokkert

      Just to add to this information: it would need not just re-exposing of the former tarmac underneath the grass, and then resurfacing, it would also need the removal of part of the metal barrier at the bottom (Lisle Lane) end of this stretch, and replace this with a dropped kerb at this location.

  22. marknokkert

    Connect the south-eastern (sharp) corner of The Vineyards with western end of Bell Holt. One can already walk here, but with some minor improvements it would also be cycle-friendly (signage ‘cycling allowed’ would be necessary to not anger people). would create a nice and safe cycle route from the centre SEwards and vice versa, cutting off nasty parts of Forehill and Lisle Lane.

    1. mg

      What sort of improvements except for the signage? It’s basically a path through someones house – not much space to make changes I think…

      Vineyards -> Bell Holt -> past Sainsburys -> Pocket Park is my usual route and you are right that the Bell Holt bit and the short muddy bit behind Sainsburys are the bottle necks. I think the muddy bit would be very easy to improve, i.e. it just needs to have the wooden barrier removed and some gravel surface put in (tarmac would be better of course). But I can’t see a way to improve the Bell Holt part….

      1. marknokkert

        Hi Michael,

        We may be talking about different parts in the area. The stretch I talk about does not have any muddy bits, nor is it privately owned. In the far SE corner of The Vineyards is a wide footpath (fully tarmacked) linking The vIneyards with Bell Holt already. It has got its own street name even, ‘Vineyard Way’ and is probably some 40 metres long, first (from Vineyards) NW-SE for c25 metres, then sharp corner left and another 15 metres or so W-E to connect to Bell Holt. It is wide enough as it is for pedestrians and cyclists to use as a shared path (if cyclists give way to pedestrians when needed), and as I said is tarmacked and also in good condition.

        There are 3 things that are needed to ensure smooth and safe cycling here. The most important is the need for a dropped kerb at the Bell Holt end. Secondly, one of these round blue signs with cycle and pedestrian shown – make it clear that it is a shared path – needed at either end; thirdly (least necessary), drop the kerb slightly at Vineyard Way (but is just small height difference at the moment, so could be left out if funding is short). Finally, signage from Lisle Lane and from the Market square could indicate this quiet route as a safe cycle shortcut

        1. mg

          Ok thanks – sounds like a good plan!
          Sorry I wasn’t very clear: I meant the muddy bit behind Sainsburys by the lorry entrance on the way to Pocket Park which would be quite easy to improve (which you also mention in another post).

  23. marknokkert

    Last one for today (will add another 10 or so at another day): entry point to Waitrose car park. Not sure whether this is Highways or Waitrose-owned/responsibility. Regardless, the nasty pyramid-shaped ‘cobbles’ on the entry andd exit points are not funny! There is a token ‘cycle/ footpath’ on either side, of maybe 40 cm wide (if that). With sharp corners to tackle and cars wanting to overtake you at the same time, this is clearly not wide enough. Also, these ‘cobbles’ are an absolute horror with a trailer behind the bicycle. In addition, at the exit point, just before the token 40 cm smooth section at the edge of the cobbles, is very uneven surface cause by a tilted sewage lid. Thus one needs to cycle as a skiier to avoid both obstacles, which is difficult and dangerous with the said impatient cars wanting to overtake you at the same time. Flatten the ‘cobbles’ over a full 1 m wide on either end would be the logical solution here.

    1. Wobbly John

      Reply received to request to Highways Dept on this matter:

      The team dealing with your fault has updated the record with the following information:
      “Dear Mr Jermy,
      Thank you for your email.
      The cover you refer to is an approved British Standard cover, used for many years nationwide. It is hinged and positioned in the manner it is because of the construction of the manhole. The steps to descend will be at the narrow end and the wide end is so that someone can get down into the Inspection cover.
      The triangular cover is not normally one used by this local highway authority, and this particular one has FW on it which indicates that it is a foul water sewer cover which is the responsibility of Anglian Water. It would be possible for them to change this to a non-hinged cover, but this is something you would need to take up with them. Their number is 08457 145 145.
      In the meantime, I have instructed our contractor to fill the gap at the hinge with temporary tarmac to remove the likelihood of a bike getting caught in it.
      Martin Gowler
      Highway Supervisor”

  24. marknokkert

    Silver Street: it would be good to have several small 20 repeater signs here. For cars coming from Backhill travelling through Silver Street they will only see the big 20 signs (‘Ely Porta Area’) signs just before the roundabout with Barton Road. That’s it. Living in Silver Street, I know that many cars DO speed through here, so reminding them of the 20 limit every 50 or 100 m or so (attached to one of the many street lamps) would be useful. Also, a sign at the end showing it is the end of the 20 zone is lacking – this in itself would also be useful for those people who might have thought that the 20 zone already ends after the Ely Porta!

  25. marknokkert

    Corner Downham Road with West Fen Road: Coming from St Mary’s Street and wanting to follow the main road through Downham Road, this corner is simply an accident waiting to happen!
    Very VERY often I have been cut up by a car driver going into West Fen Road, overtaking me and then cutting me up directly afterwards – if a cyclist does not indicate left here, car drivers should assume that they follow the MAIN road, and thus wait behind them to go left. As an experienced cyclist, I always anticipate this possibility, but a less experienced cyclist wil one day be hurt here, or worse.

    Simple SOLUTION is two-fold:
    1. provide a red-painted strip of at least the mandatory 1.5 m wide on this corner, ideally starting this already from the corner with St. Mary’s, and continuing it beyond the West Fen junction. This then will make a clear visual statement, that cyclists will follow this route, and that car drivers would run into them if they would overtake them. This will also alert drivers coming from the other direction and cutting the corner quickly, that they also have to look out for cyclists.
    2. Also, making the footpath wider on the south side of this junction and/or provide for a big island here would create a much narrower and sharper corner here (rather than the current oversized motorway-style entrance), so that car drivers wil naturally have to slow down to go into West Fen Road. Additional benefit: easier for pedestrians to cross – try now when you are on crutches or with a buggy!

  26. marknokkert

    Waitrose car park: SW corner. There is a gate here which is always locked. Directly behind here is the car park/delivery yard behind Iceland etc. I suggest that this gate is opened up, providing a good pedestrian & cyclists link between this side of the shopping centre and Newnham Street. There is already a footpath between here and Newnham Street; I believe there is ample space to create a separate cycle path as well, without interfering with space needed for delivery vans etc. Added bonus: although most of Newnham street is one-way, from this point one is allowed to go both ways (one-way starts directly south from here only).

  27. Mark

    On the north-east side of the bridge going over the river Great Ouse, on the A142 (Station Road) coming from Stuntney: there is a sign ‘cylists dismount’ – I do not see the need for this sign here, as the shared path alongside the road actually becomes wider right where this sign is placed! Propose to remove this sign altogether.

  28. Ross Burton

    Number 44 (end of Cresswells Lane) appears to be resolved now that they’ve surfaced the paths with woodchip. However the new barrier is incredibly difficult to negotiate with a trailer attached.

  29. Kevin Smith

    A very minor thing so hope ECDC might consider it. You’ve probably all seen the posters aimed at those on cycles and in cars appearing around towns. I was thinking that the “take the lane/ride central on narrow roads” poster would be helpful at the bottom of Silver Street. I’d always advise a cyclist to stay in the middle on Silver Street. There’s no safe place for a car to overtake you; they shouldn’t even try. It’s got high speed bumps and a 20mph limit for a reason – so having to follow a bike for a couple of hundred yards should be no hardship.

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