A MAN has hit out at the council’s plans to build another contraflow cycle way in Bournemouth, saying they “will not work in the real world”. 

As reported, BCP Council has plans to build a contraflow on Boscombe Grove Road and South Road, subject to approval. 

But Springbourne resident Mark Elkins said the road is simply not wide enough to accommodate traffic, parked cars and cyclists all in one. 

BCP argue the cycle lane fully “fully complies” with national highway guidelines, arguing it is not a cycle 'lane' in the traditional sense.

Bournemouth Echo: Mr Elkins questions where the room would be for cyclistsMr Elkins questions where the room would be for cyclists (Image: Daily Echo)

Mr Elkins said: “It isn’t practical. I understand it has worked in other areas, but it won’t work here. 

“The government say there must be 4.6 metres of road to allow for a contraflow cycle lane. 

Read more: BCP Council plans for new contraflow cycle lanes in Bournemouth

“But in reality South Road barely allows cars to go up, let along people on bicycles. 

“A medium size car, such as a Honda Civic, is 1.8m wide from the edge of the car to the kerbside. 

Bournemouth Echo: The lane would look similar to this one, in Woodend Road, BournemouthThe lane would look similar to this one, in Woodend Road, Bournemouth (Image: Daily Echo)

“Double that and it’s 3.6m, leaving a metre free, but you can’t have cars up against each other because there would be scratches.

“If you’re lucky there is half a metre left for bikes to go in the opposite direction, but that’s not always the case as lorries and vans come up here too.” 

Read more: Letter: 'New contraflow cycle lanes are not needed'

Funding for the proposed lane is coming from part of a £79m bursary by the Department for Transport jointly awarded to BCP Council and Dorset Council for south east Dorset

Mr Elkins said he believes the repercussions of building a cycle lane in South Road and Boscombe Grove Road would be a standoff and the police being called. 

Bournemouth Echo: South Road, Bournemouth South Road, Bournemouth (Image: Daily Echo)

“I also don’t see many cyclists in the area so there isn’t a need for a cycle lane on the roads,” he added.  

“When they are on the road, nobody will be able to overtake them and it will lead to a farcical situation. 

“It seems the council has been given money by the government and the reality is it is a waste of public money.” 

A BCP Council spokesperson said: "There are no plans for a new cycle lane on Boscombe Grove Road or South Road. 

"However, we are planning to allow cycling in both directions on Boscombe Grove Road and South Road (which are one way roads) as per government guidelines for low speed – low flow roads. These will not be marked cycle facilities although there will be signs indicating that cycling in both directions is allowed.

"The proposals, available here, have been carefully designed and considered.  They formed part of a public consultation undertaken February to March 2021. 

"Following review of the responses received from the public, designs were further developed along Ashley Road and its adjoining streets. A Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) was published last month outlining the changes proposed for Boscombe Grove Road and South Road. The comments submitted during the TRO process are now being reviewed and a decision will be made on the outcome of the TRO early next year.

"The plans to allow cycling in both directions on Boscombe Grove Road and South Road fully comply with national highway guidelines, including required road widths, which encourage contraflow cycling as it provides a more direct route for cyclists.

"A Road Safety Assessment (RSA) was completed in July/August this year on these roads.  No issues were identified in the RSA about the suitability or safety of allowing cycling in both directions on South Road and Boscombe Grove Road.

"The planned cycling improvements on South Road and Boscombe Grove Road provide an alternative route to and from the proposed crossing outside King’s Park Primary School on Ashley Road, a direct cycling link to the bridge on St Clement’s Road and allow people living on these roads to cycle in each direction.

"They form part of walking and cycling improvements planned along Ashley Road that link into Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) programme’s sustainable travel route running between Bournemouth Railway Station and Jumpers Common."

EDIT: This article has been updated to include BCP Council's statement in full.