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How much?! It's now revealed council spent £10,000 on "embarrassing" obstacle-packed cycle lane

Images of the infrastructure blocked by dangerous obstacles... including trees, lampposts and a speed camera attracted ridicule online

A cycle lane branded an "embarassment" and a "total waste" of time, effort and money by a cycling campaign group cost the council £9,195, it has today been revealed.

So eye-catchingly problematic is the infrastructure that it even attracted national newspaper coverage, the Independent and Daily Mail today publishing the figures Worcestershire County Council spent on it.

Back in June we shared widely-mocked pictures of the lane, which sees riders have to pass obstacles including lampposts, trees, road signs, bins and even a speed camera.

However, now it has been reported Worcestershire County Council spent nearly £10,000 on the lane, including £5,000 on painting white lines and installing bollards, while £3,000 was spent on closing the road during construction.

Bike Worcester will not be surprised to hear the latest update. Back in the summer a spokesperson rubbished the council's claim it was a challenge to improve infrastructure within the "demands on space" and said the council should "hang its head in shame".

"It's an embarrassment, I don't know whether to laugh or cry," Dan Brothwell said. "The coup de grâce is the effort spent painting a solid white line around the speed camera.

"If the aim is to put Worcester on the map for comic reasons, the council is going about it the right way. 

"Rather than providing infrastructure that offers an improvement to people walking and cycling we are presented with this mess. This does nothing to improve connectivity or continuity of the already shared-use path on New Road.

"The time, effort and money spent on this is a total waste, and could have had far more positive effect spent elsewhere in the city."

One local rider told the Independent: "I cannot actually believe that the council have squandered ten grand on something which is worse than the road.

"I came within a whisker of falling into the road when I had to swerve around a bin only to see a tree in front of me. Another time I had to swerve around the speed camera but almost hit another cyclist coming the other way."

At the time, Councillor Mike Rouse, the council's cabinet member for highways and transport, defended the project, saying the council had "ensured there is enough room to manoeuvre around existing street furniture" during the construction phase.

He today told the Mail: "Cycling infrastructure of any kind, which needs to follow strict government guidelines, is expensive and this is one of the reasons we can't install as much as we would like as a council.

"With the New Road, we had a number of complaints about the conflict between pedestrians and cyclists on the combined New Road footway and cycleway.

"Since the scheme was installed, monitoring has revealed that the scheme has been successful and that there is now very little conflict as most pedestrians and cyclists are using the segregated lanes which is really good news for both."

Main image: @MTBfreedom/Twitter

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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