A CYCLE lane has been branded a recipe for disaster as it appears to send bikes straight into the path of oncoming cars.

The new route in Curzon Road, Bournemouth, leads cyclists the wrong way down a narrow one-way street, leaving them at risk of a head-on collision.

The green lane inexplicably ends just metres into the road when the cyclist is confronted by a row of legally parked cars.

At that point the cyclist either has to pedal into oncoming traffic or risk being knocked down by a passenger opening the door of their parked car.

The design, which was introduced by Bournemouth council, has has been labelled by a cycling charity as a ‘recipe for disaster’.

Sam Jones of Cycling UK, said: “This is a pretty dreadful and dangerous bit of planning. It looks like a recipe for disaster.”

Mr Jones said contraflow cycle lanes have been introduced on one way streets across the country, giving cyclists the right to pedal the wrong way up one way streets so they can avoid busy main roads.

But for them to be effective, the road must be wide enough to accommodate both cyclists and oncoming traffic.

One motorist described how she narrowly avoided colliding with a cyclist coming towards her on the road which she has called an ‘accident waiting to happen’.

“It isn’t a lane, it’s a green strip directing cycles into the path of oncoming cars” she said.

A resident called the council’s decision to put a cycle lane on the road ‘crazy’.

Richard Pearson, the council’s highway design and road safety manager, said: “We implemented this scheme following requests from the local cycle forum who have indicated that they are satisfied with the arrangement.

“Engineers also undertook a safety assessment of this arrangement prior to proceeding including cycling the route.”