A CHRISTCHURCH resident has said that it is only a matter of time before a young cyclist is “killed or seriously injured” if cycle provisions along Barrack Road are not improved.

Hundreds of people have signed a petition in support of a new cycleway along Barrack Road.

This comes months after another petition was set up by business owners on the road opposing the plans, which received around 500 signatures from residents.

The Christchurch resident, who set up the petition, said: “I walked my children the length of Barrack Road daily for about six months taking them to the junior school and I saw an average of 50 to 100 children cycling the route in the space of 20 minutes.

“I feel certain if something isn’t done urgently to make this route safe a child will be killed or seriously injured in the not-too-distant future.

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“The cycle lane is essential for the safety of all the children cycling to school, not to mention the hundreds of others that would use it if it were safe to do so, and should not only be built without delay, but built so that it is safe, and that means with a kerb barrier to stop cars and lorries driving into it – otherwise it will just be another death trap in a different colour.”

The scheme is part of the Transforming Cities Fund and would run on one side of the road from the entrance to the Bailey Bridge retail park to the crossing near Iford Bridge.

The proposed plans would see improvements for walking, cycling and bus services between Merley and Christchurch town centre.

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An additional off-road section would run between Castle Lane West and Bournemouth Aviation Park.

The resident added: “I strongly believe the positives of a properly built cycle lane far outweigh any negatives and this includes increasing trade for local businesses.

“If there are properly signposted parking areas, there is no reason to think any businesses along Barrack Road will be adversely affected. I feel the benefits of safe cycle lanes on Barrack Road are a win-win for everyone.

“This is not a political issue, it’s not an environmental issue, it’s not a ‘leftie’ issue, it’s not a ‘snowflake’ issue. It’s about kids getting to school safely.”