CONTROVERSIAL plans to spend £650,000 creating new cycle lanes along one of Bournemouth’s busiest roads will go on display today.
The money will be spent improving a key stretch of Castle Lane West, in the hope of encouraging more school children to walk or cycle to school.
But one councillor has questioned the demand for cycle lanes and fears motorists will suffer months of disruptive roadworks for little benefit.
The £650,000 government-funded scheme which will see new walking and cycling routes created between the Broadway roundabout and Yeoman’s Way at Castlepoint. A cycle bypass will help cyclists travelling through the East Way junction and bus stops will be upgraded.
The area has been chosen because of the large number of school pupils that travel through there to Bournemouth’s two grammar schools, Queen’s Park infant and junior schools and the Bishop of Winchester Academy.
Cllr Michael Filer, cabinet member for transport, said: “Some 25 per cent of the town’s primary and secondary school children attend schools in and around this section of Castle Lane and it is vital to give confidence to both our children and parents that this route will be a safer option for pedestrians and cyclists.
“In doing so we will be able to reduce car journeys along Castle Lane West and reduce congestion.”
But Cllr Anne Rey, whose Throop and Muscliff ward includes the northern side of Castle Lane, said: “Nobody has ever rung us up and said they need a cycle lane along Castle Lane so leave it alone.
“Why don’t they ask residents what they want before approving these schemes? It’s like the Richmond Hill roundabout, that was fine before and it didn’t need changing.”
Cllr John Trickett, whose Strouden Park ward includes the southern side of Castle Lane, said he believed there was a real demand for safe cycling routes.
“There are huge benefits to getting more children to cycle to school,” he said. “We have to have safe cycle routes and the plans currently being proposed are just the beginning of that strategy.”
Council officers will be displaying the plans and answering residents’ questions at Castlepoint between 10am and 7pm today.
Anyone wishing to give feedback on the plans can do so by visiting bournemouth.go v.uk/castlelanewest Work is set to start at the beginning of summer and finish by September.