Fears over cycleway for Shrewsbury relief road

Campaign group Better Shrewsbury Transport says the proposed cycleway along the North West Relief Road is out of date.

The proposed North West Relief Road
The proposed North West Relief Road

According to the group, the proposed design in the planning application for the road is not in accordance with current standards and could prove to be a ‘deathtrap’.

Emma Bullard for Better Shrewsbury Transport (BeST) said: ‘We have campaigned against this road because it won’t solve Shrewsbury’s traffic congestion issues and, in many cases, will make things worse for motorists.

"But we’re also appalled to see that the road will be dangerous for cyclists. Despite recently amending its plans for the road, the council ignored our warnings over the cycleway. We are baffled by this. Why doesn’t Shropshire Council want the North West Relief Road to be safe for everyone?’

"Shropshire Council is ignoring the Government’s advice on how to build safe cycleways. One of the key issues is the lack of a proper buffer zone between cyclists and the road. For a 60mph single carriageway like the North West Relief Road, the government recommends a buffer zone of 2.5 metres to stop cyclists from being put in danger from vehicle slipstreams and debris.

"At no point on the seven kilometre cycleway is this provided. For most of the length the space is just half a metre. That is nowhere near enough to keep cyclists safe from serious accident and injury. Shropshire Council is building a deathtrap.

"To add insult to injury, it’s also ignoring key advice from the Department for Transport, the very people who are committing a £54m grant for the project. By doing this, the council is risking the Government’s financial backing for the project."

She added: "It feels as though Shropshire Council has totally lost control of this project. The road has sparked a huge number of public objections; its budget is based on an outdated business case; building it contradicts the council’s own climate emergency declaration; and the traffic models don’t add up. Now it turns out the road won’t even be safe for cyclists."

Shropshire Council has been asked to comment.

BeST is an alliance of local organisations and individuals campaigning for urgent action to promote active and sustainable modes of transport that they say are the only effective ways to reduce congestion, poor air quality and road deaths/injuries in the town whilst transforming all our lives for the better.

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