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Floating bus stops improving safety of Cambridge cyclists suggests report

No interactions with motor vehicles out of 3,656 cyclists observed passing the stops

A report commissioned by Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) and carried out by Sustrans has suggested that Cambridge’s ‘floating bus stops’ are improving safety for cyclists. After monitoring all interactions between road users at two such stops across 28 hours of CCTV footage, Sustrans rated all interactions as being ‘safe, normal behaviour’.

CCC are implementing a series of floating bus stops within the Cambridgeshire area. They asked Sustrans to review footage of the Hills Road and Huntingdon Road stops to see whether they were proving effective.

Sustrans looked at 28 hours of footage, spanning three days, with 2,456 cyclists observed passing the Hills Road stop and 1,200 passing the Huntingdon Road stop. No interactions were observed between cyclists and motor vehicles (including buses).

Furthermore, 99 per cent of cyclists were involved in no interaction with pedestrians. Of the 42 interactions that did occur between pedestrians and cyclists, all were at peak times, and all scored one or two on a five-point scale.

Level one was defined as: ‘Precautionary or anticipatory braking/slowing down when risk of collision is minimal’.

Level two was defined as: ‘Controlled braking, slowing down or stepping aside to avoid collision (but with ample time for manoeuvre)’.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, Chairman of the Economy and Environment Committee, told Cambridge News:

“The report’s findings are particularly pleasing, and give reassurance of the safety benefits offered by this new design of bus stop for Cambridge. The County Council is committed to providing safe networks for all road users. I welcome ongoing engagement with disability groups, pedestrians, cyclists and bus operators to see if the designs require any further enhancements.”

The report did however highlight one issue which Sustrans said could have future safety implications: large groups of pedestrians using the cycle lane as an extension of the pavement at Hills Road, especially when the bus stop was congested.

This seemed to be particularly common after school, with the report stating: “They usually do not appear to be as attentive to the flow of traffic with some students appearing to cross back and forth along the cycle lane without any apparent justifications for these movements.”

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