Vanessa is a Senior Project Officer in the Cycling Projects team at Cambridgeshire County Council. Her main focus is on delivering new cycling infrastructure in Cambridge but she also does a lot of work to help promote cycling as an inclusive, everyday activity, constantly pushing to ensure cycling has a central role in the county’s transport strategy. Her passion is working on innovative cycleway designs - high quality, segregated cycleway schemes on arterial routes connecting Cambridge city centre with new residential areas or employment sites. The city is growing rapidly and new residents who may be inexperienced and unconfident need to be persuaded to take up cycling.
Vanessa played an integral part in the design of the new sloping Cambridge kerb that allows cyclists to leave or join the cycleway at any point and cars to move over to let emergency vehicles through. She’s currently working on the first Dutch-style roundabout in the UK where cyclists and pedestrians have priority over drivers, due in place by Spring 2019.
Vanessa has been passionate about cycling since the age of eight. She and her husband even moved to Holland in 2001 with their young daughters so they could experience the freedom and independence that comes from being able to cycle everywhere safely. When they returned two years later, they choose Cambridge for its cycling culture.
I love seeing all sorts of cyclists using the cycle lanes I worked so hard on to deliver.
Vanessa says, “The job I now love came directly out of my campaigning for better cycling provision in that city. I could be found standing on windy spots handing out homemade leaflets objecting to changes that would make conditions worse for cyclists. I became a committee member of Camcycle in the mid-2000s, and then worked as a project manager on three Workplace Cycle Challenges between 2010 and 2013.
“As part of my current job, I’ve spoken at a number of conferences including two Cycle City Active City conferences, and attended the regular Cycle City Ambition meetings with officers from the other eight cities who also received DfT funding – seeing and hearing firsthand what other cities are doing to improve cycling is very exciting and moaning about the difficulties is very reassuring!
“I love seeing all sorts of cyclists using the cycle lanes I worked so hard on to deliver. And the number of cargo bikes now in Cambridge has to be seen to be believed!”