ANGRY residents have hit out at Bournemouth council for pressing ahead with plans for a short stretch of cycle lane that “nobody wants.”
The cycle lane planned for Ridley Road, Winton may only be 50 metres long but it’s creating a lot of upset, with residents accusing the council of refusing to listen to them.
It is part of the St Luke’s School 20mph zone scheme – a council initiative to improve safety around the school – but went unnoticed until the scheme had been approved.
Resident Richard Ward said: “Nobody knew anything about the cycle lane part of the scheme, even people who went along to the official consultation.
“The headteacher at the school didn’t even realise it was part of the scheme until I contacted him.
“Once we did find out, we all objected.
“Not one person I have spoken to wants this. I am a keen cyclist and agree with cycle lanes but this is a meagre gesture 50 metres long that certainly does not serve the needs of children cycling to school.
“Parking is already a problem and these plans intend to remove the parking in front of two houses let to students.
“This will add to the deficit with another 10-plus cars at peak times and that is without taking into acc-ount the school run.
“The result will be a miserable situation in which some residents will have to park several streets away.”
Winton East councillor Theo Stratton said he sympathised with residents’ concerns but said there was nothing now that could be done.
He fought against several other aspects of the 20mph zone scheme and succeeded in getting it scaled back but was not aware of the planned cycle lane.
“I support residents on this. I don’t think the cycle path should go there,” he said.
“If I’d known about it before Christmas I would have happily fought their case but unfortunately that opportunity has gone now.”
A spokesperson for Bournemouth council said: “The Ridley Road cycling measures were included as part of the comprehensive consultation exercise that was undertaken in the autumn of last year.
“As a result of the responses received during this consultation the decision was made to progress with a revised scheme.”