Gloucester residents have been left confused by cycle safety improvements which appear to have resulted in the loss of cycle lanes. A spokesman for Gloucestershire County Council said that new cycle symbol markings had been added to the centre of the carriageway to highlight “the likely position of cyclists” on that stretch of road.
Gloucestershire Live reports that Bristol Road is being resurfaced from the Cole Avenue junction to the Clifton Road traffic lights with new road markings also being added.
Where previously there had been red cycle lanes on either side, these have now gone, replaced by shorter stretches of cycle lane and occasional bicycle symbols in the middle of the carriageway.
Paul Loosemore, the owner of local bike shop Striking Bikes, expressed confusion at what had been put in place.
"We had a letter to the business before they did the work about 'Bristol Road cycle improvements phase 2', but now there are no cycle lanes. I cycle in from Stroud every day so I go along most of the stretch they've just done. I don't get it.”
Gloucestershire County Council’s spokesman said the new markings had been introduced where the road wasn’t wide enough for a 1.5m cycle lane.
"Where dedicated cycle lanes cannot be provided on the edge of the carriageway (primarily because of available carriageway widths) then there is an acceptance that cyclists in the main prefer to cycle in the middle of the carriageway to ensure they are given at least as much room as a motor vehicle.”
Loosemore said he was not convinced. "If the logic is that it's a shared space and they are trying to mix the cyclists with traffic then someone needs to educate the motorists,” he said.
"You can't just paint pictures of bikes in the middle of the road and expect drivers to behave differently. It's baffling. It's bizarre. I'd like to know what the logic is, and what the research is that went into it."
Writing on Gloucestershire Live’s Facebook page, Marie Louise Canning said: "It's a bike painted on the floor. If drivers don't see actual cyclists, they aren't going to see painted ones either.”