Forth Ports urged to let cyclists ride on Dundee harbour roads when cycle path closed

Alternative is to ride illegally on pavement or take to busy dual carriageway, says local cyclist

by Simon_MacMichael   December 29, 2011  

Dundee Harbour (picture Gordon Czeschel, Wikimedia Commons)

Forth Ports is being urged to make greater efforts to avoid periodic closures of a public cycle path at its Dundee site, or let cyclists use other roads at its facility that they are currently banned from using. The alternative, says a local cyclist, is for people on bikes to take to the pavement illegally or ride along a dual carriageway road.

Dr Kevin Smith, a lecturer who specialises in bioethics at Abertay University’s School of Contemporary Sciences, helped persuade the ports operator to let cyclists travel through the complex on the cycle path, installed in 2004 at a cost of £500,000, reports The Courier.

However, he says that regular closures of the cycle path, which cyclists can use if they have received an appropriate pass from Forth Ports, is causing problems since they are banned from other roads through the port area for health and safety reasons.

The ports operator, however, insists that the cycle path, which runs between a level crossing on Camperdown Street and Lower Broughty Ferry Road, is only closed when safety grounds make it necessary to do so, and that other roads on its site are too dangerous for cyclists to use.

''They're not taking their civil duties responsibly and they often close it off for what seem to be trivial reasons,” insisted Dr Smith, although the newspaper gave no examples of circumstances in which the cycle path had been closed.

“The problem is it forces cyclists to use the dual carriageway,” he added.

''They can either do that or break the law and use the pavement or muddy path to the side.''

A spokesman for Forth Ports told The Courier: ''The cycle route through the port is closed from time to time on the grounds of safety. We will continue to make every effort to keep the cycle route through the port open, and close it only on safety grounds.''