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World Champ in bike path battle

Veteran rider says overgrown path is dangerous

A former world champion cyclist is campaigning for the clean up of a cycle path near Warwick.

Mick Ives, 69, who was World Masters Cyclo Cross Champion five times and won more than 50 British titles, says a ‘dangerous’ path between a motorway bridge is making his ride to Warwick difficult.

The path between the M40 motorway Bridge, near Longbridge Island, and Barford Road is so overgrown that cyclists have no choice but to ride on the footpath.

Mr Ives, from Baginton, said: "It is dangerous. We can't ride on it as there are trees hanging over and it is all covered with moss. I have been trying to get it cleared for three years but it just gets worse and worse."

He has written to Warwickshire County Council several times in the past three years asking for the path to be cleared.

But the work has still not been completed - even though the path is just metres from the council's highway maintenance department.

"Half of the path is completely blocked and unusable,” he said. “I can't see there is a maintenance problem when it is 20 metres from their gate."

He added: "They have half-cleared it but it's still not usable. It's a health and safety issue as there are branches sticking right in your face. It cost a lot putting them down and they don't maintain them. We don't have that many cycle paths around here so we have to make use of what we have, but this is a busy route.

In 2005 Mr Ives completed the Tour De France route to raise money for Cancer Research UK and he still competes and organises events in Coventry and Warwickshire.

A Warwickshire County Council spokesman said: "We take the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and road users very seriously and are taking steps to clear undergrowth from the edges of the cycle path, between the M40 foot and cycle bridge and the Barford Road, as soon as we can.

"We actively encourage members of the public to report any highways problems to us and would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Ives for making us aware of this issue."

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