Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Thursday, 5 February 2009

More gritting for cyclists plea

Cyclists in Cambridge want their paths gritted in icy weather

Cyclists and pedestrians are at risk because Cambridgeshire fails to grit footpaths and cycle ways in icy weather, a campaign group claims.

Cambridge Cycling Campaign said a stringent county council check list decides when to grit paths, meaning they go untreated causing accidents.

A county council spokesman said: "Generally we do not grit paths - not many places do."

However he said many paths are salted as council gritting lorries pass by.

A group of councillors is also calling for an immediate review of Cambridgeshire County Council's gritting policy of not salting unless temperatures fall below freezing on five consecutive days.

Sian Reid, Cambridge City Council's executive councillor for change and growth, said: "This is absolute madness. We are putting people's safety at risk because their needs don't meet a county council check list.

"Key cycle routes should be treated as a precautionary measure in the same way as key car routes. "

Reviewing policy

According to the Cycling Campaign 20% of all journeys in Cambridge are by bike.

Coordinator Martin Lucas-Smith said: "We have certainly had a lot of emails from people - many of them saying the path along Riverside is very dangerous.

"One man said his girlfriend who is eight months pregnant had nearly fallen there while walking."

A county council spokesman said: "We are reviewing the gritting policy for cycle ways and paths but clearly if we do it for Cambridge we have to do it for the rest of the county.

"We have already spent 1m this year on gritting, so it would increase costs considerably and, with the national salt shortage, if we gritted all the paths and cycle ways we wouldn't have enough for the roads."

Cambridge was recently made a Cycle Demonstration City by the government entitling it to a share of 100m funding to improve conditions for cyclists.

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