Cyclists in Bath have accused their city council of not living up to its publicly stated commitment to cycling, after the closure of a heavily-cycled bridge there.
The Bath Chronicle reports that cyclists in the historic city have been left fuming by the closure for repairs of the 19th century Victoria Bridge across the River Avon. The bridge is used by both riders and pedestrians accessing the city centre and its closure means users face significant diversions via routes which are less safe and less convenient.
Bath and North East Somerset Council has so far failed to provide a timetable for when repairs to the structure will be completed and now campaign group CycleBath is applying pressure at council meetings in an attempt to find out when the bridge will be reopened.
CycleBath member John Lucas told the Chronicle: “The bridge is a highly important route for cyclists in the west of the city, being the only off-road route in the area.
“The alternatives for both pedestrians and cyclists are horrendous - long diversions on roads that are not safe or pleasant for either to use.
The group’s chair Malcolm Dodds added: “The council says that it regards cyclists as its second highest priority when planning and spending on transport, but too often it feels like we are treated as second class citizens.”
In response the council said: “Although we recognise the importance of the route for cyclists and pedestrians, the council must ensure that any highway structure is safe for people to use - public safety must be paramount. We are currently awaiting a structural engineer’s report which is expected next month before considering what the options are to make it safe for people to use.”