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Councillor calls for work to be stopped on 'dangerous' £300,000 Sustrans cycle route until junction priority sorted

Yarm councillor warns that junction where bikes have priority followed by one where cars have priority a recipe for trouble

A new cyclepath partly funded by Sustrans could lead to injuries, a local councillor has said.

The path designed for use by primary school children travelling to Levendale Primary School in Yarm near Stockton on Tees, has right of way for cyclists at one junction, but the reverse situation at the following one.

This could lead to potentially harmful confusion, says Andrew Sherris, Conservative councillor for Yarm.

He told the Northern Echo: “As the path crosses Lingfield Road cyclists have priority and this is something new that I don`t think exists elsewhere. Such confusion could lead to a child or adult getting hurt or worse.

"The next crossing point is Mt Leven Road but here vehicular traffic has the priority. Signs are very close to the roads giving cyclists little time to stop and there are visibility issues for drivers travelling West along Lingfield Road and an absence of any safety barriers.

“I appreciate that the scheme has yet to have its safety audit and would hope that these problems can be reviewed. In the meantime this particular section should perhaps be closed off? I remain supportive but these teething problems need sorting urgently.”

The scheme is projected to cost £300,000, and Mr Sherris says it should be halted until the issues have been resolved.

Coun Mike Smith, Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, said: “The scheme received a very positive consultation response with 75 per cent of respondents in favour and was developed and funded in partnership with Sustrans.

"Local ward councillors have been informed and involved from the start of the process.”

Tom Bailey Sustrans Network Manager for the North East said: “Though we are aware that concerns have been raised we understand that the work on the project is not yet complete. Cycling to school is proven to help kids show up alert and ready to learn.”

This issue also affects some of the ‘cycle superhighways’ in London, including the CS3 on the stretch along Cable Street, where cyclists variously do and do not have priority as they cross the side streets, which could potentially lead to confusion with serious consequences.

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