Cambridge 'barometer' could count city's bike journeys

Car and cyclist, Cambridge The "cycling barometer" would be seen by motorists at the Gonville Place junction with Parker's Piece

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A "cycling barometer" could be fitted at a junction in Cambridge to count the number of bikes which pass through.

The continuously updated results would be displayed on electronic screens at the Gonville Place junction.

Its aim is to promote the "benefits of cycling in the city" to motorists stuck in traffic along Parker's Piece.

The £11,000 proposal is a Cambridgeshire County Council scheme but would require approval by Cambridge City Council to go ahead.

About 2% of adults in England usually travel to work by bicycle, with the highest proportion, 18%, being in Cambridge, according to the 2011 Census.

Ian Bates, county council cabinet member for growth and planning, said: "The proposal is to install this equipment on a very busy cycle route in Cambridge to illustrate the level and benefits of cycling in the city.

"The counter would be continuously updated to show the number of cyclists using the route and passing the site without being delayed."

If approved, the "barometer" would be funded by £9,000 from the European Union's Bike Friendly Cities project and £2,000 from Marshall's of Cambridge.

Mr Bates said as a result "the equipment can be installed at no cost to Cambridgeshire council tax payers".

Robin Heydon, a spokesperson for the Cambridge Cycling Campaign which lobbies for safer cycle routes, said: "We've seen them over in Copenhagen and in Bremen and they are a great way of communicating the true popularity of cycling."

If the public and the city council approve the proposal, the county council will decide whether to implement it later this year.

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