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Gilligan on Oxford & Cambridge

10th July 2018

Parker's Piece, Cambridge

Parker's Piece, Cambridge

Andrew Gilligan is putting forward cycling as a solution to transport problems in Oxford and Cambridge. He has written a report for the National Infrastructure Commission, in which he says that protected bike lanes are needed to stop the cities seizing up.

129,00 new jobs and 135,000 new houses are planned in and around the two cities in the next ten years, but they are both congested.

The intellectual centres are planning light rail, busways, and rapid transit networks, but Gilligan believes that cycling is the real rapid transit network. 'New roadbuilding within these cities is impossible. Light rail is expensive and slow to deliver. There isn't even room in the centres of these cities for more buses. But one simple answer is staring Oxford and Cambridge in the face: the bicycle. Getting more people to cycle is the quickest, cheapest, and least disruptive way to relieve pressure on their roads.'

He says that 43% of journeys entirely within Cambridge are by bike, and the corresponding figure for Oxford is 27%. In Oxford's case, there has been no help from local authorities to encourage cycling. Cambridge is better, but has relied on off-road and side-street routes, while the main roads are designed for cars and are awful for cycling. In both cities, there is scope for much more travel by bike.

Gilligan recommends £200 million for improvements, which he says is a lot by cycling standards, but not by any other standards. The government is spending five times more on a single road project near Cambridge.

The former London cycling commissioner wants to see five high-quality segregated or low-traffic routes in and around Oxford, continuing out to Eynsham, Kidlington, and Wheatley; an improvement to the standard of main road routes in Cambridge, and new cross-country routes serving the villages around the city; and congestion charging or some other traffic reduction measures.

Gilligan's report also deals with Milton Keynes, where he suggests the creation of an east-west city centre route.

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CWIS consultation

17th March 2018

Bicycle traffic lights, Leeds-Bradford route

Jesse Norman, minister for cycling at the DfT, is asking for ideas to make cycling and walking safer. Probably the DfT should know how to do this already - after all, organisations like British Cycling and Cycling UK have been telling them for years, but unfortunately they haven't been listening. Will the DfT actually act on what they're told? Who knows, but if you have any interest in active travel, you should respond.

Read about the CWIS consultation, and follow the link to the consultation.

Santander bikes, London Cycle Superhighway, LondonSantander bikes near King's Cross

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