Recently, there's been a new junction installed in Cambridge at the intersection of Hills Road, Regent Street, Lensfield Road, and Gonville Place. It's a really busy junction with a large proportion of that travel either by bike or by foot.
Safety was considered an important part of the new junction design, and after consultation, the Cambridgeshire County Council came up with this design. Here's how that works in practise.
Of course the 5 second advanced light from the south is welcome. Although it only gave me 20 yards that was enough to be well ahead across the whole junction. Left hooks should stop, which is a big thing. And once across the street out is wide enough (without parking!).
But then the access to all the ASLs seems to be very dangerous to the point of not safe to do so. This means most of this change will do nothing for people cycling.
Now the costs of these "safety" improvements were estimated at a total of £900k with £450k coming from a cycling budget.
Although many local cycle advocates and the Cambridge Cycle Campaign said this was well below the needed safety changes, many local people who cycle approved of the change because it was at least better than the previous 1980s design. This seems to have moved into the 1990s safety wise with a useful but potentially very dangerous 2013 advance.
I'd suggest that the advance light might well encourage riders to do exactly as I demonstrated and try to pull alongside and past the left side of big vehicles. I did it well aware that I might need to jump off the bike onto the pavement at a moments notice. Will others think like this?
Some are already saying this needs additional work to make it safe, notably segregated lanes up to the lights. As I commented (on the clip):
This was brought up in the consultation, but it wasn't thought possible for the space and money. Many disgreed but the big important thing that needed to happen was to remove space from motor vehicles. This was baulked at by the council.Again, measuring this against a £10 per head budget, this would have swallowed 36% of that. And this has delivered very little safety for that investment. David Hembrow brings up this ludicrous level of cost (on the clip):