Campaigners say traffic island will make road “more dangerous” for cyclists

The new traffic islands at the entrance to Witchford.

The new traffic islands at the entrance to Witchford. - Credit: Archant

A cycling group has criticised a traffic island installed in Witchford, saying it will make the road “significantly more dangerous” for cyclists.

The Ely Cycling Campaign says the new island, installed at the entrance to the village, in Main Street, will force cars closer to the kerb and, therefore, potentially into the path of cyclists.

The group says the islands also mark the end of the 30mph limit and the start of the 60mph limit, meaning cars will be accelerating as they pass.

The islands were designed to reduce the speed of traffic coming into the village but the cycling campaigns says the county council’s own guidelines show that this is untrue.

Campaign chairman, Andy Shaw said: “Central islands of this type force the motor traffic out towards the edge of the carriageway into the area of the carriageway used by cyclists.

“The negative effect in this case is magnified due to the position of the island. The position is on the transition out of the 30 mph zone and so will mean traffic leaving the village at that point will be accelerating, the island will then direct that accelerating traffic into the path of any cyclists using the road.”

Mr Shaw said the island “creates a nasty pinch point for anyone cycling along the road” and has demanded to know why concerns raised by the group at the planning stage were ignored.

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A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “This was a request from Witchford Parish Council who, representing the views of the local community, wanted a gateway feature to slow vehicles coming in and out of the village.

“As with all schemes we will assess and modify them and we are looking at whether we can further improve conditions for cyclists while also achieving the road safety aims of the parish council who helped pay for the scheme.

“There is already a cycle path running adjacent to the carriageway that starts before the traffic feature when exiting the village for use by cyclists both leaving and entering the development.”