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Cyclists banned from stretch of A19 – but is there a viable alternative route?

Widow of man killed on stretch of road says there is ‘more chance of me flying to the moon’ than of getting cycle paths

Cyclists have been banned from a stretch of the A19 near Middlesbrough after several serious incidents in the last few years. Highways England says the ban has been put in place 'for the safety of cyclists' and both Stockton and Middlesbrough councils support it. However, the widow of a man killed while riding that stretch of road claims there are no viable alternative routes for cyclists.

The Gazette Live reports how a ban on bikes has been enforced on the dual carriageway between the A689 at Wolviston and the A174 Parkway turn-off from July 13.

A spokesman for Highways England explained: “The ban is in place for the safety of cyclists as there are safer alternative routes for cyclists between these junctions which are away from this busy stretch of the A19.”

Inspector Wendy Tinkler said Cleveland Police have “actively supported” a ban on cyclists using the stretch of road.

In January 2012, Christopher Griffiths was killed while cycling along the southbound carriageway of the A19 between the A689 and A1027 junction, near Billingham. He was struck from behind while riding along a one-metre wide strip of asphalt to the left of a rumble-strip on the left-hand side of the dual carriageway road. The lorry driver involved was acquitted of causing the death of a cyclist through careless driving after a jury failed to reach a verdict.

Griffiths’ widow, Suzi, believes there are no viable alternative cycle routes from Wynyard to Middlesbrough.

“The cycle paths stop before Wynyard so you have to go on the A689 which is a busy dual carriageway as well. The only route then is to go from the Castle Eden Walkway and you come out at Thorpe Thewles, then there is nothing.

“You would then have to go on the old Durham road into Stockton, then down Portrack Lane and along the riverside road into Middlesbrough. And how long would that take?

“There are great cycle paths from Billingham Bottoms but once you get past that there is nothing. No safe routes. There is more chance of me flying to the moon than us getting cycle paths from here.”

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