Shropshire Star

'Bemused' cyclists urge re-think over 'dangerous' cycle lanes

New cycle paths have been described as "dangerous" by a local resident and campaigner.

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Councillor Pat McCarthy has urged Telford & Wrekin Council to reconsider the cycle lanes introduced on Haygate Road.

Telford & Wrekin Council has brought in a new cycle path scheme on Haygate Road in Wellington in recent months, but a number of residents, and local cycling group 'Propel', have called for a re-think.

They claim the road is too narrow to safely operate as a carriageway for cars, and bicycles at the road's edge – with large vehicles frequently crossing into the cycle lanes.

Nearly 300 people have signed a petition over the changes, and local Green Party Co-ordinator, Pat McCarthy, has written to the council asking it to reconsider.

But Telford & Wrekin Council has said there are no plans for changes, adding that "so far, the scheme appears to be working".

Mr McCarthy said those who had backed the petition were concerned about safety.

He said: "We received 295 off and online signatures from the residents living on Haygate Road and the roads radiating from it.

"The most common comment was that it was dangerous for both vehicle users and cyclists.

"The narrowing of the two vehicle lanes due to these wide cycle paths is distracting for the vehicle driver who whilst trying to avoid encroaching onto the cycle lane is also sensitive to oncoming vehicles, especially those with a wide wheelbase that might enter their lane."

The complaints have echoes of issues raised over cycle lanes introduced on Bellpit Road and Colliers Way at The Rock earlier this year.

In that case the new road markings were removed within the space of a few weeks, after residents complained they were not safe.

Mr McCarthy added: "Cyclists are also bemused by cycle lanes that offer no barrier from motor vehicles and often only extend to a fraction of the road's length.

"The public are aware that the council abandoned a similar scheme in The Rock due to public outcry and cannot understand why the markings are still present on Haygate Road."

When asked about the Haygate road markings, Telford and Wrekin Council, said that it has no plans to make any changes – and added that the scheme had been through a stringent process of review and assessment.

But, a road safety spokesman for the authority said the council would continue to review the scheme.

He said: "All schemes implemented in Telford and Wrekin, undergo a stringent process of review and assessment.

"This is based on potential impact and effectiveness new measures will have, with a view to making the highway network as safe as possible.

"This is also the case with Haygate Road where there are no plans to change the scheme currently. The scheme has been in place for some time now and installed at the request of residents. So far, the scheme appears to be working.

"It also forms part of a wider scheme that residents were consulted about to reduce congestion at both ends of Haygate Road and improve safety outside of Bowring Park.

"As with all schemes we implement, we will continue to monitor and amend if necessary."

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