Cambridge is going dutch
Cambridgeshire County Council has been awarded £550,000 by the Department for Transport (DfT), United Kingdom to create the UK’s first Dutch-style roundabout at Fendon Road and Queen Edith’s Way in Cambridge. The new roundabout scheme will improve safety in the area by giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists over motorists. The Council secured the funding after submitting a proposal to the DfT in February this year, in a bid to win part of the £7 million capital funding allocated by the Government for the 2018-19 Cycle City Ambition Safety programme.
What is a Dutch-style roundabout?
The Dutch-style roundabout design for Fendon Road in Cambridge will seek to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians in a number of ways. One of the key elements is a change in carriageway width, designed to influence slower approach and departure speeds, thereby reducing the speed of drivers.
Larger or longer vehicles have to partially use an overunnable strip in the centre of the road, which causes these drivers in particular to travel very slowly through the junction. With speeds reduced, any accidents that do occur are likely to be of much lower severity.
Pedestrians will be provided with zebra crossings on each of the four roundabout entry/exit arms, and cyclists will be given their own cycle path, in contrasting red tarmac, to give them equal priority with pedestrians over each arm.
70 people have died on WA roads since January this year. That's 17 more than the WA Government's own strategy target and 38 more than what could be achieved through best practice.
In March 2009 the WA Government set itself a target of reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on WA roads by "a reduction of up to 40 per cent on the average number of people killed and seriously injured each year between 2005 and 2007." This target was included in the 'Towards Zero Strategy'.
The Towards Zero Strategy target is well below best practice rates achieved in western countries but is seen as a positive step in reducing road trauma in WA.
Sadly, we are missing both targets and WA continues to experience one of the worst road safety records in Australia.
To achieve a significant change we need a significant change in how we tackle the issue. We can't keep blaming drivers. We must adopt and implement the same strategies that have been implemented by those countries with an excellent road safety record. Blaming drivers and the different road environments in Australia is an excuse, not a strategy.
The Federal Government and the WA Government have adopted the best practice "Safe System" principle. We need to implement this to stop more deaths in a month on WA roads than by sharks in 10 years off the WA coast.
David Wilkins, Principal & Senior Traffic Engineer.