arrange for the DNA path, south of Addenbrookes, to be made wider and provided with overhead
lighting at night.
A recent serious bicycle collision has highlighted the need for improvements on the DNA path. Partly due to new facilities on this campus, use of the path has increased far beyond its original design objectives. Bicyclists with dim lights or none continue to be a serious hazard at night.
The paved surface is rather narrow (about 4 feet between the path lights, about 6 feet edge to edge). The distance from the edge of the path to the railroad fence is 9 feet and to the field fence is 8 feet, so a total of 17 feet could be added without moving any fences. It would be advisable to make a wider bridge as well. A wider path would allow better separation of pedestrians and bicycles, as well as between traffic going in opposite directions.
Overhead lighting (as on the guided busway path) would allow cyclists to see others at night and avoid collisions; pavement level lighting would not be sufficient. This is particularly important at the sharp turn just before the path reaches the first street in Shelford, which is particularly dark.
As the path is next to an active railway line, it is already not a quiet area for wildlife, and the lighting would only extend a few feet into the large fields on the other east side.
Therefore, we request that the path be widened to the extent possible and provided with overhead lighting, for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
The petition was received by Economy and Environment Committee on 5th March and following investigation of the issues by officers a response was sent to the Petition organiser on 24th March organiser from the Chairman of the Committee reading:
Many thanks for taking the
time to attend and present the above petition regarding the request to
provide overhead lighting at the DNA cycle path.
Cambridgeshire County Council
is aware that the DNA path has become increasingly popular since it was
installed. Given the proposals surrounding the new Cambridge South Station the
path will now be looked at as part of this development, which will itself further
increase demand for cycling capacity. We will therefore be looking at all
aspects of the path including its width and alignment to ensure it looks to
provide the necessary standard of infrastructure to cater for current and
Illumination of rural cycle
ways is a more challenging issue with numerous factors that need to be
considered and balanced against the benefit it provides. Consideration of the
risk of injury to cyclists and pedestrians is clearly of upmost importance.
This should be based on injury data and the severity of those injuries to
ensure that funding is prioritised to the highest risk areas. As you have
highlighted, this data is not always readily available, so it does make
quantifying the risk less straight forward, but the Council is not aware of a
significant ongoing issue along the DNA path.
There are also sensitivities
around lighting rural paths of this nature, as it is widely recognised to have
a significant impact on the environment, including wildlife habitat and it’s
ecological dependence on darkness.
Your suggestion of solar
powered lights is an interesting one, given the progression and development in
recent years. As you highlighted at Committee however, they still remain a very
expensive option in comparison to standard units. Our experience of a handful
of units that exist across the County is that they have been fraught with
maintenance difficulties. This has included battery capacity that doesn’t allow
for all night lighting capabilities and there have also been instances of theft
of the lighting units. The lack of major manufacturers mass producing
such lighting units does also make it very onerous to maintain this kind of
Taking all of the above into
account and given the future review of this path as part of the Cambridge South
Station development, considering the implementation of temporary solar lighting
is not recommended at this time.
Councillor Ian Bates
Chairman, Economy & Environment Committee