A £1.2 million scheme to encourage cycling and improve safety is due to start Monday, January 26 on Hills Road, Cambridge.

The Cambridgeshire County Council scheme will help improve safety and make it easier for cyclists to use this busy area which already sees 4,000 cycle journeys a day. It has also been the scene of 75 accidents since 2008, 55 per cent of incidents involved cyclists.

These works are part of a major programme of schemes to encourage more people on their bikes which improves health, reduces congestion and gives a boost to local jobs and the economy.

The scheme includes 2.3m wide raised cycle lanes on both sides of Hills Road between Long Road and Cherry Hinton Road. The new scheme will also link into existing cycle routes.

A new type of bus stop will also be introduced to separate cyclists from buses and traffic, and the shared-use cycle and footway on the west side will be converted to a footway only.

These works will take place off-peak Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 3.30pm. Traffic management with cones and sometimes temporary traffic lights will be necessary during these times to create a safe working area. Some weekend closures of the side roads will also be necessary to enable the works to be carried out with the least disruption.

Whenever possible a cycle lane will be kept open throughout the road works. The new cycleways will be completed in the autumn.

Councillor Noel Kavanagh, the County's Cycling Champion and Councillor for Coleridge said: "The new cycleways will be a step forward for cycle infrastructure in Cambridge and encourage more people to get on their bike. We apologise for the disruption while these works are carried out but the result will mean much safer facilities for pedestrians and cyclists."

Councillor Amanda Taylor, County Councillor for Queen Edith's said: "I would like to thank all the residents who have given their views on this scheme, especially about safety. The County has taken on board many of our concerns and made changes to improve safety, especially at the well used bus stops on Hills Road. It will be good to have wide cycle lanes keeping cyclists separate from pedestrians and motor traffic."

The new cycleways are being funded by a £4.1m grant Cambridgeshire County Council secured from the Department for Transport's Cycle City Ambition Fund.

The aim of the Cycle City Ambition Fund is to provide separate cycle lanes on the main roads into the city and to create good quality cycleways to employment areas in South Cambridgeshire.

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