Bournemouth council urged: think again about Richmond Hill cycle lanes before someone is killed (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Bournemouth council urged: think again about Richmond Hill cycle lanes before someone is killed
NEW cycle lanes at Bournemouth’s Richmond Hill roundabout could put lives in danger, it has been claimed.
Cycling expert Jason Falconer said large vehicles will have ‘no option’ but to encroach into a cycle lane in order to negotiate a corner.
And he said cyclists also face the prospect of having to cross in front of vehicles, depending on which direction they intend to travel.
Now he has urged Bournemouth council to think again before someone is killed.
His comments come as a major road safety campaign is launched in London following six deaths in less than two weeks.
Left-turning lorries have been involved in several deaths and Jason, a member of the Bournemouth Cycling Forum, said he fears the same could happen in Bournemouth.
New road markings indicate that cyclists travelling from Cemetery Junction towards the roundabout should be positioned in a cycle lane between two other lanes of traffic, one to go right or to Richmond Hill and the other to turn left on to the Wessex Way sliproad.
But Jason said: “An 18-wheeler would have to take up the whole cycle lane to be able to turn left. “The only thing that could get round there safely would be a Smart car.
“If a cyclist wanted to turn left they would have to be super quick to cross in front of other road users.”
He said he welcomes moves to accommodate cyclists but added: “I am urging them to look at the experience of London and start to try and make schemes which are really innovative, but worth doing.
“They need to think about it a bit more.
“It is not just about spending the money, it’s about spending it properly.”
Councillor Michael Filer, Cabinet Member for Transport, Cleansing and Waste, said: “The Richmond Hill roundabout improvements have essentially been completed and the scheme is fully operating.
"The new design includes new traffic signals while improving cycle safety with new cycle lanes which meet the required width of two metres.
“We are currently using temporary traffic signals at the roundabout while we wait to receive the permanent ones.
“There has unfortunately been a delay in them arriving, however this will not affect cyclists or motorists when using the new improved layout.”
He added: "Before finalising the cycle line markings not only did the councils own Road Safety Team work on the format but in addition there was full consultation with Bournemouth Cycling Forum both at their regular meeting and also separately with their Chairman and other members on two occasions in the Town Hall to be sure that all possible safety aspects were considered and included."
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