Olympic cycle routes in Weymouth 'could be bettered'

Cyclists sceptical over 'legacy' paths

by Tom Henry   January 16, 2010  

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Plans to create 'Olympic' cycleways in and around Weymouth – the venue for sailing events at the 2012 Games – have been criticised by local cyclists.

Campaigners say the four new bike routes, part of an £850,000 Olympic Legacy Cycle network package funded by the Local Transport Plan, are only good for transporting people from park and ride sites.

Ken Reed, local coordinator of the CTC, told the Dorset Echo that the Portland route, perhaps the most important link, was excluded. He added that Dorset County Council should be putting pressure on the borough to open up the promenade to cyclists from Greenhill to Brunswick Terrace – the ‘missing link’ in the package.

Mr Reed said: “We’re supportive in general, I don’t want to come across as completely negative.

“But I believe Dorset County Council had not consulted cycling groups properly, which has made people sceptical about the Olympic legacy.

“Everyone is making a great fuss about the legacy and we don’t feel the routes will deliver. We could plan better routes with this money.”

The latest designs to be unveiled are for the Eastern Route from Radipole Park Drive to Preston and the Redlands Route from Upwey station to Lodmoor. Work on the Eastern Route is due to start in the spring.

Mr Reed said the Eastern Route was good in that it served Weymouth College but he said the move by the borough council to allow cycling on the Preston promenade made part of the route redundant.

Dorset County Council project manager George Heron said currently cyclists have to ride on some of the busiest roads through Weymouth in order to cross the town.

He added: “Together, the two routes will go towards completing a cycle network around the borough and encourage more people to leave their cars at home.”

People can have their say on the route designs throughout January. Plans are available to view at Weymouth Library, Weymouth College and on the website at www.dorsetforyou.com/weymouthtransportschemes