It looks like I’ve failed

For some time now I’ve been working with Highways England, specifically the A14 Integrated Delivery Team (IDT), and the County Council to get them to acknowledge that there is insufficient space at the southbound B1049/A14 junction for cyclists to be able to cross the on slip road safely. And then once they’ve done that to agree to a program of work to improve it with a view to emulating the situation at the northbound crossing (diametrically opposite).

It looks like I’ve failed. Despite the engineers responding to local pressure and delivering a wider path leading up to the junction they failed to understand that there’s a need for cyclists to swing through 90 degrees when they arrive at the slip road so that they can cross it safely. It’s a busy cycle route during the morning peak with hundreds of cyclists using it and there are often queues of cyclists waiting to cross and occasional conflict with northbound cyclists.

Because its engineers failed to factor the need for more space at the junction into their plans the IDT has gone ahead and ‘finished’ their build so that there will be a cost to making any changes. And they’ve told me that the best they can offer is an extra 0.7m which would cost approaching £100 thousand because of the need to relocate about 50m of safety barrier. The work is complicated by multiple services under the ground where the remedial work would need to be carried out.

The IDT also tell me that it’s had its safety engineer review the situations and that he’s pronounced it OK. So, it says, it’s not going to do anything.

I’ve asked CCC for its opinion and given that it’s spending £6 million to make Histon Road safer for cyclists does it make sense for it to turn a blind eye to a manifestly unsafe top end to the route?

Make of this as you will.

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