A new cycle lane in Worcester has been slammed by local cycling group Bike Worcester and ridiculed in the press after pictures of the obstacle-packed infrastructure — including a speed camera — appeared on social media.
Apart from the path-blocking speed camera, the segregated cycle lane on New Road has obstacles including lampposts, trees, road signs and bins for riders to avoid.
And while Worcestershire County Council said it was a challenge to improve infrastructure within the "demands on the space", the chairman of Bike Worcester has called it an "embarassment" and a "total waste" of time, effort and money.
@BikeWorcester @RantyHighwayman @mikerouseuk
Well this week's effort is exactly the sort of nonsense, pointless and dangerous cycle "infrastructure" that we have all come to expect from @worcscc @WorcsTravel 🤬🤬🤬
Have they read LTN1/20? Can they even read? pic.twitter.com/iOkS4Hi3pP
— MTBfreedom (@MTBfreedom) June 11, 2022
"It's an embarrassment, I don't know whether to laugh or cry," Dan Brothwell told Worcester News. "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 are going about it the right way," he continued before saying the council should "hang its head in shame".
"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."
Not quite as good, but plenty of obstacles. pic.twitter.com/YRvVSMdIgU
— SHIFT (@goSHIFTscheme) June 19, 2022
The lane is so eye-catchingly problematic, it has even attracted national press attention, with the Daily Mail calling the council "bungling" for launching an "'insane' cycle lane peppered with obstacles" that is "'more dangerous than cycling on the road'".
One local rider told the newspaper: "Someone is going to get hurt. I used the lane and I counted at least six objects I had to swerve around. It's actually more dangerous than cycling on the road. It's insane. Yet another back-of-a-fag packet policy by the council which has been ill-thought-out and badly designed."
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.
"This is how we strike the compromise between improving cycling infrastructure and the multiple demands put on the space, including the need for streetlights, which ensure the route is illuminated and any objects like the speed camera can be avoided," he said.
"New Road is a busy link from the city centre to St John's for walking and cycling. As a new pilot scheme, we have given pedestrians and cyclists their own separate space along the pavement, following the principles set out in the national cycling infrastructure guidance known as LTN1/20 given to all local authorities by Government."
Main image: @MTBfreedom/Twitter
Dan joined road.cc 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 road.cc, 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.