Tuesday, 26 August 2014

St Ives crossing time allocation.

St Ives in Huntingdonshire is at the end of the Guided Busway that leads to Cambridge.

The Busway itself ends to the east of the town, with the final hop into the town centre on a bus only road that crosses the A1096. Cycle Streets has a good picture.

As reported in the Hunts Post:
Traffic light loophole may have been exploited by St Ives cyclists

The story is:  
Buses get priority traffic lights across the A1096, while pedestrians and cycles next to it do not. Frustrated with the crossing times, folk on bikes managed to trigger the bus sensors to get across with less delay.

The national theme here is that pedestrians and cyclists are treated as second class citizens and traffic light junctions and have to experience large delays compared to their overall journey times.


Since the Busway began, there have been many complaints about traffic queues building up on the A1096 whilst waiting at the red lights.

The Hunts Post story reports:
In 2012, the traffic was investigated by a transport and environment working group, made up of volunteers, which reported to St Ives Town Council that in the morning peak (7am-9am), the Harrison Way lights turned red every two minutes. The survey said each time the lights were red for an average of 21 seconds – creating a period of at least 23 minutes during the two-hour morning peak when vehicles were forced to stop.
23 minutes (of 120) is 19% of the time spent red for motor vehicles using the A1096.

Separately, the St Ives Transport Strategy says:
In 2005, approximately 73% of journeys in St. Ives town centre were made by car, 9% by bus, 3% by cycle, 7% on foot and 8% by goods vehicles.
[These are not figures for those using the crossing, but its the best snapshot I have to hand]

Adding bus, cycle and foot percentages together gives, well what a coincidence, 19%.  So 19% of the traffic gets 19% of the time.

That seems fair if you want to maintain the current proportion of traffic.  Unfortunately, 19% of time has been achieved by a loop hole now to be closed.  The question is, how much will pedestrians and cycles get screwed over to improve motor vehicle flow?