LETTER: Cambridgeshire County Council has created ‘potential disaster area’

In last week’s issue of the Ely Standard you had an article and map of ‘road improvements’ for the High Barns area.

Bearing in mind the “improvements” made to the cycle way priorities by the junction between the Chase and Witchford Roads, might I suggest that someone who both drives and rides in that area should play close attention to the exhibition in the library.

The County Council “improved” the situation at this junction by creating a potential disaster area.

A cycle way has been given “main road” status about 6 yards from the main Witchford Road. This looks good on paper, but imagine the following scenes.

1. A car going from Ely to the Chase has to stop to watch on-coming traffic before turning into the Chase. His focus is obviously on the motor traffic, so when a gap in traffic occurs he makes the turn, only to be confronted by a cyclist almost on his bonnet that he couldn’t see because a cyclist going in the same direction would not be visible until it was too late.

2. Now imagine the same scene at night when very few cyclists have lights bright enough to be seen from the side.

3. Now place a car in the Chase waiting to pull out into Witchford Road at the same time – and this has happened to me – it is now totally impossible for the driver turning into the Chase to see the cyclist who has every right (thanks to the road improvement ) to cycle straight across the Chase as he is on the “main road”.

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4. Now put the school bus onto the junction making the same turn, and the bus is too long to stop at the cycle main road without leaving half the vehicle sticking out into the main Witchford Road.

5. A long vehicle such as a bus or car and trailer can’t stop in the Chase at the Witchford Rd. junction without stopping across the main cycle track.

This junction needs someone to investigate and get the priorities returned to their original state, but whether or not you follow this up, please try to find someone who can take a careful look at the planned improvements - and it must be someone who WILL be listened to.

I used to be on a planning committee, and when a chief officer has a “bee in his bonnet” on a scheme, the opinion of members of the public – and even members of the planning committee – are often ignored.

PETER SMITH

Via email

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