Ayrshire councillors are to launch an official motion to rip up the cycle lane that was protested by a man on a rowing machine earlier this week. This is despite the fact that the lane in question has resulted in no reduction in road width or parking.
Andrew Russell was so angry about the installation of a bike route on Holmston Road that he set up a static rowing machine, donned a sailor’s hat, and set about protesting.
Russell described the project as “a white elephant” yet South Ayrshire’s SNP leader Allan Dorans seems to think that more money should now be spent removing it.
“The SNP group will be lodging an official motion to get this ripped up,” he said, adding that the move was about “doing the right thing and standing up for the people of South Ayrshire.”
Ayr MSP John Scott told The Daily Record:
“This seems a great deal of work and expense to relocate one cycle path from the south side of the road to the north side, and for no real benefit that I can see.
“This new configuration will reduce the flexibility previously available to all road users and I have particular concerns about the reduced availability of parking at Ayr Cemetery.
“With Holmston Road being a busy bus route, it seems to me that these changes have the potential to be very negative indeed and that’s the view I have given to the local roads authority.”
Stewart Turner, head of the Ayrshire Roads Alliance, explained: “The work on Holmston Road is to move the cycle lane from the south side of the road to the north side, creating one bi-directional cycle lane instead of the current two. There will be no reduction to the road width and no bus lay-bys will be created.”
He added that no public consultation was required for the proposals as existing carriageway widths and on-street parking levels were not being reduced.
Ayrshire Road Alliance is being supported in the project by Sustrans Scotland.
Aileen Brand, Sustrans Scotland Community Links Project Officer, said:
“The new cycling infrastructure will replace the white lines previously in place with a rubber kerbstone which will provide people with a protected traffic-free cycle route from the centre of Ayr along Holmston Road, linking onwards to a shared use path out to the community of Coylton. This project will be introduced without the need to reduce road space or parking facilities already in place.
"We provided £30,000 of Community Links funding towards this project which will create an enabling environment for active travel to take place. Our Community Links programme is funded by Transport Scotland and encourages higher levels of active travel as well as facilitating the greater use of public space.
“The new cycling infrastructure will help to encourage people of all abilities to cycle as their preferred mode of travel for their everyday journeys throughout Ayrshire and is due to be completed by summer 2017.”