Susan van de Ven

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Bassingbourn, Melbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon Learn more

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Tour of Seven Villages

by Susan van de Ven on 18 January, 2019

A neighbour in Orwell writes:

My daily commute is a “Tour of Seven Villages” from Orwell to Duxford.  I do over 200km a week commuting by bicycle and can do it all year round.   I’ve been doing it for over 10 years now.

I work in industry and the mentality is that it’s unacceptable to have an accident.  All accidents are preventable and we all need to take responsibility for our own safety.   Most drivers, fellow cyclists and pedestrians are great.  It saddens me that some drivers get into conflict situations with cyclists.  There isn’t always the necessary consideration for vulnerable road users.   I have been encouraging some of the less visible pedestrians to walk on the right, wear hi viz and ideally also a light.   Some don’t realise how difficult they can be to spot.  I’m hoping that in future one in particular wears the hi viz vest that I’ve loaned him.

I am also a driver and some people question why I ride in the dark and cold.   Whilst the challenge is greater in the dark, with the correct hi viz equipment and lights, I actually consider I’m more visible to drivers in the dark.   Local wildlife can be a challenge and a delight.  It’s not uncommon to track a barn owl’s flight and have badgers, rabbits, foxes and other local residents cross my path!   Regarding weather, there’s no so thing as bad weather, only bad cloths!

The A10 cycle path has been a huge improvement to my commute.  The worse part of the ride is now the best part.  Previously the narrow pavement was unrideable between Foxton and Harston.   The new, wider path with the necessary maintenance is a delight.  Darkness brings an added challenge, particularly when riding southwards towards Foxton.   The issue is that the dipped beams of the approaching traffic shine right into the eyes of the cyclist.

Now with the edge marking lights on the cycle path, it’s still possible to see the cycle route ahead.   The numbers of cyclists using the route has certainly increased.   Many pedestrians wear hi viz jackets and I even saw an in-line skater riding it with a red rear light!   Recently, as I ride past, I’ve been thanking pedestrians who wear hi viz jackets on the route.  I do worry about the others, who can be invisible to the cyclists particularly when blinded by traffic.

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