We have asked for cycles to be allowed to ride southbound along South Quay, St Margaret's Place, Priory Lane and Nelson Street (the green streets on the map below) because:
- it will be safer, both for cyclists and residents. The current alternative routes, including the official route marked in red, are mostly on 30mph streets through many poor junctions and cycle-collision hotspots (yellow or pink circles), so cyclists will be safer if the official through route is redirected along South Quay. Residents will be safer because formally allowing southbound cycling (which happens already) will reduce pavement cycling (according to experience from other places) and facilitate further enforcement action against anyone who still rides along the pavement. The streets are wide enough at 20mph for two-way cycling - other streets in town (highlighted in blue) are narrower and 30mph with two-way motor traffic. Similar streets in nearby Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds already allow two-way cycling relatively safely.
- it will be more convenient, both for residents and shoppers. At the moment, anyone cycling south or east from those streets is supposed to head in the opposite direction first and loop around through the Saturday Market Place, then pass through some hazardous junctions - or get off and push for half a mile through the High Street and New Conduit Street, which some less-able cyclists simply can't.
- it supports our most beautiful streets, both by showing them off to tourists (instead of the current official rideable route between derelict buildings and service yards) and by the increased numbers of people providing passive surveillance of the historic old town streets.
This is not about allowing pavement cycling, about allowing cycle races or about riding northbound up Queen Street. This is about making cycling safer for everyone, whether they walk or cycling, shopping or touring, by providing space for cycling away from both the pedestrianised zone and the fast Railway Road one-way system. Please support this change!
Yes, these streets have some problem cyclists at the moment, but if we give them positive instruction and direction about where to ride, it'll be safer for everyone and - based on experiences elsewhere - there will be fewer problem cyclists. However, if southbound cycling remains banned, the problem cyclists will continue to ignore it as before, and it will remain difficult for police to enforce the ban in line with Home Office guidance because people riding these streets can claim that they fear for their lives using the collision-prone official route. Finally, don't punish the majority of responsible riders for the misdeeds of a minority - who argues against new roads because some motorists break the law?