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Anger that local people weren't consulted over the route, which protected cyclists without removing any motor traffic capacity, means the council must now spend £95k removing it...

The protected cycle track on an Ayrshire road that sparked one man’s rowing protest and claims of safety risks, will be removed at a cost of £95,000, following a councillor vote 19-11 today.

Despite the kerb protected cycle track not removing any capacity or parking spaces from motor traffic on Holmston Road, in Ayr, an unprecedented level of opposition put pressure on local councillors to vote it be removed, at South Ayrshire Council's expense.

The two-way cycle track, installed by the Ayrshire Roads Alliance, was set to be part of a longer route to enable more people to travel by bike in Ayr and the countryside to the East of the town. One councillor at the meeting, who proposed trialling the tracks for six months before making a decision, said ripping it up would amount to an act of “environmental vandalism”, but his motion was overruled.

Man protests bike lane...by rowing on it

Daisy Narayanan, Acting Director, Sustrans Scotland, which provided £30,000 for the project, said: "Sustrans Scotland has supported Ayrshire Roads Alliance to deliver the Holmston Road project on behalf of South Ayrshire Council. It was the first segregated cycle way introduced in Ayr.

“We are disappointed the vote went this way but respect the Councillors’ decision. We will continue to work with the relevant authorities to understand the reason for such strong opposition and hope to find a solution that helps more people to cycle in Ayr.

“The new cycling infrastructure simply replaced painted cycle lanes with a two-way cycle track, protected by a rubber kerbstone. It formed a safe, traffic-free cycle route from the centre of Ayr along Holmston Road before linking onwards to a path out to Coylton. It is important to stress that this project made no changes to the previous road or parking space.

“We believe that over time this is a small change which would have had a big impact. Protected lanes help people of all abilities to cycle for their everyday journeys. They make our roads safer, while cycling saves people money while providing a daily dose of exercise. The more people that get on a bike instead of a car, the less congestion on our roads.

“We have funded various segregated cycle paths including the Innocent to Meadows in Edinburgh and South West City Way in Glasgow which are very well used. In European cities that have seen a dramatic increase in cycling numbers segregated routes have been a vital ingredient.”

The Ayr Advertiser reports one complaint about the cycle route was local people weren’t consulted on its construction, and many councillors didn’t know about it until work started.

The Ayr Advertiser quoted Councillor Alan Dorans, SNP Group Leader saying: “This motion to remove the cycle lane is not an indication of the council’s position nor a political SNP movement.

“It is more in the interest of Forehill, Masonhill and Holmston’s County Council. The authority for the Ayrshire Roads Alliance was there, however, there was no consideration with the wider community. This is appalling and inexcusable.”

The Ayrshire Roads Alliance is public sector partnership created to run East and South Ayrshire roads and transportation services, in a bid to save money ahead of projected cuts to public service spending.

Road width and parking unaffected by cycle lane protested by Ayr rower

Troon Conservative Councillor, Peter Convery, said: “The problem I have here is the total lack of sense by the Ayrshire Roads Alliance.

“I can’t agree with the amendment, it’s not safe. If I was the head of the Ayrshire Roads Alliance I would be considering my position.”

Councillor John McDowell proposed an amendment which would keep the cycle tracks in place for six months, while usage would be monitored. However, this motion was rejected, according to the Advertiser.

McDowell said in the meeting: “If you support the decision to rip up the cycle lane it would be an act of environmental vandalism.”

The meeting heard local emergency services had no problem with the cycle tracks.

Cllr Alan Dorans said he believed the cycle tracks should be ripped up immediately, to avoid “antagonising the wider community even more”.

It was noted it will cost South Ayrshire Council £30,000 to rip up the cycle track from unmarked reserves, along with returning £65,000 of grant money to the Scottish Government.

Sustrans also provided £30,000 of Community Links Funding towards this project.

Local cyclist and Cycling UK campaigner, Drew Moyes, told road.cc he is not sure whether the former advisory one way cycle paths will be brought back.

He said: “We don’t know whether or not, by taking it out, they intend to reinstate the previous path, which was usually filled with parked cars, meaning that cyclists were continually leapfrogging parked vehicles and into the traffic lane.”

A group of cyclists, including Mr Moyes, wrote a letter to Councillors this week supporting the bike track, and received three or four “sympathetic” responses.

The letter said: “The cycle route in Holmston Road is an important part in a move to create a safer route for cyclists travelling from and to Coylton, Annbank and Tarbolton. It also provides a means of getting Ayr cyclists and pedestrians out to the countryside and the countryside into town. 

"It replaces an advisory cycle route system which was obstructed by parked cars. This pushed cyclists into the line of fast moving vehicles with safety issues for both. Under the new scheme there is clear demarcation for all road users.

“Being aware of the pressures to remove the facility [Cycling UK] believes

+ that recent media coverage makes South Ayrshire seem unwelcoming to cyclists with consequences for tourism and aspiring local riders.

+ that recognition has not been given to the Scottish Government's hierarchy of pedestrians and cyclists to be considered first in local developments.

+ that there is a lack of awareness of the growing need for cycle friendly routes for commuting or leisure.
+ that many objections are short lived and often only represent a personal view”
 

23 comments

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HarrogateSpa [463 posts] 9 months ago
22 likes

These people are idiots.

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pruaga [165 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

So will they be returning it to the state it was previously with a painted line cycle path, or will they sneakily get rid of that to make some parking spaces?

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ct [198 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

Fair play, what dicks

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unconstituted [2351 posts] 9 months ago
6 likes

Weak stuff Ayr.

 

Need to massively up your game if you're to compete with Edinburgh council's level of ineptitude. At best, you're like top 15 most shit councils. At best. Maybe you get some points for that YMCA reject on the treadmill, but you're still in the kiddie leagues. 

 

Weakshire. That's your new name. Weakshire. Can't even be shit well. You're shit at being shit. Just sort of shart-yourself-a-bit shit. That's how weak you are.

 

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cyclesteffer [260 posts] 9 months ago
10 likes

Will Sustrans get their £30,000 back? So it can be spent elsewhere? That's a shit load of peoples charitable donations, completely wasted. It's outrageous.

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Mungecrundle [764 posts] 9 months ago
4 likes

If you don't like it, then time to liberate a concept II from the sports centre and set up in the middle of the road.

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Ramuz [275 posts] 9 months ago
4 likes

The entire country is utterly disgusting. I will be leaving once I get my degree.

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mike the bike [907 posts] 9 months ago
4 likes

 

Someone should write a book about local government.  Oh hang on, they have, it's called Private Eye.

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50kcommute [70 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

I wonder if I can get the money back for my old bike because the wife didn't approve it first?? 

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Paul_C [499 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

cowards... miserable cowards...

if they're going to rip them up, then at least replace them with 'mandatory' cycle lanes and put double yellow lines with no waiting or loading restrictions on them as well... at the moment, most motons ignore the solid lines unless there are double yellows... and having time restrictions on the mandatory lanes makes a mockery of the concept as people just park in them when they're not active...

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IanW1968 [320 posts] 9 months ago
5 likes

Councillors seem to be  nobheads  everywhere.  

The qualifications are: a lot of time on your hands, opinions informed by the daily mail and be a complete and utter gobshite. 

Tick those boxes put your name on the form and your in uncontested. 

I'm sure they we would be better off with an App. 

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hawkinspeter [721 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
pruaga wrote:

So will they be returning it to the state it was previously with a painted line cycle path, or will they sneakily get rid of that to make some parking spaces?

I don't understand, what's the difference?

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WillRod [196 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

I hope Sustrans Scotland get their £30,000 back and use it somewhere else. Boycott the Ayrshire area until they get their act together.

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The _Kaner [1094 posts] 9 months ago
5 likes
unconstituted wrote:

Weak stuff Ayr.

 

Need to massively up your game if you're to compete with Edinburgh council's level of ineptitude. At best, you're like top 15 most shit councils. At best. Maybe you get some points for that YMCA reject on the treadmill, but you're still in the kiddie leagues. 

 

Weakshire. That's your new name. Weakshire. Can't even be shit well. You're shit at being shit. Just sort of shart-yourself-a-bit shit. That's how weak you are.

 

Ayrshite

Avatar
jerome [24 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

Told this to my kid today: be an alcolholic, make yourself ridiculous on youtube, disregard facts and refuse facts to be produced that may prove you wrong. I take education very seriously: gotta adapt to new standards.

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TheSpaniard [108 posts] 9 months ago
6 likes

Hooray for obesity! Well done Scotland you tubby baby eating fcuktards.

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brooksby [2295 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
TheSpaniard wrote:

Hooray for obesity! Well done Scotland you tubby baby eating fcuktards.

"baby eating"? Was the bishop of bath and wells actually Scottish??

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bikebot [2120 posts] 9 months ago
6 likes

For those SNP councillors.

//i.imgur.com/TiOPtjg.png)

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Cozz [8 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Shitty "cycle lanes" like this should be removed (note the sudden narrowing behind him) - claim a lane and annoy that rower nob more than that lane ever could.

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brooksby [2295 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

So the complaint wasn't that they overspent and wasn't that they exceeded their mandate (it is accepted that they had the power to build it and didn't legally need to consult about it).

Someone, knowing this, thought they would therefore go ahead and build something that was needed, without getting mired down in committees.

And because someone used their initiative and used budget they had and powers they had, but didn't carry out the usual local government box ticking consultation exercise (because they weren't legally obliged to in this case), then the council is quite willing to spend even more money to remove this cycle lane.

Ah, local government, dontcha love it...?

(Surely they now have to hold a proper consultation on whether to actually remove it?)

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MBWB [21 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

Total Fuckwits! You install something thats better than it was before and encourages healthier lifestyles and a reduced environmental impact but because some NIMBYs felt that they werent given enough tea and sympathy you have to pay to remove it and then pay to reinstate what was before. At that point people will realise it made bugger all impact on traffic and have to blame someone else.

We have a major air polution issue in the UK and its only getting worse. Several cities are above advised EU levels, although I guess we dont need to worry about those Europeans making our cities cleaner soon (yay for more polution?!?). The way its going there are going to have to be major shifts in commuting and city centre infrastructure and they will need cleaner ways to move.....like bike lanes! Or we can just carry on killing ourselves with the fumes

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Nick Forster [14 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

Wasn't there a story recently about the proportion of journeys in Scotland actually decreasing? I can see how this will help.

 

Is that your Ayrshire showing?

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stevengoodfellow [59 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

What a dreadful waste of public money. Has anyone reported these fools to the local government ombudsman, they shouldn't be allowed to hold public office. If a councillor had incorrectly claimed expenses for a fraction of this amount the outcry would be enormous and yet they appear to be simply shrugging off their outrageous incompetence without a second thought.