Speaking of completely rational and coherent takes on proposals to install some rudimentary cycling infrastructure…
Down in Bournemouth, BCP Council is currently working on plans to introduce a contraflow system for cyclists on two of the coastal town’s residential roads which, naturally, have provoked some festive outrage from angry motorists in the local newspaper.
While they won’t see the installation of any actual safe or protected cycling infrastructure (don’t get carried away now), the council’s plans will allow cyclists to ride in both directions on Boscombe Grove Road and South Road – both one-way streets – in a bid to provide “a more direct route” for people on bikes, and according to the government’s guidelines for “low speed, low flow” roads.
Boscombe Grove Road, Bournemouth
However, one local driver has blasted the proposals, which he says might lead to cars being scratched. God forbid…
“It isn’t practical. I understand it has worked in other areas, but it won’t work here,” Mark Elkins told the Daily Echo, who helpfully published a photo of the motorist giving the plans the ‘thumbs down’ from his car, just in case you were confused about what side of the debate he was on.
“The government say there must be 4.6 metres of road to allow for a contraflow cycle lane,” added Elkins, who appears unaware that a cycle lane won’t actually be installed on the roads in question.
“But in reality South Road barely allows cars to go up, let along people on bicycles. A medium size car, such as a Honda Civic, is 1.8m wide from the edge of the car to the kerbside.
“Double that and it’s 3.6m, leaving a metre free, but you can’t have cars up against each other because there would be scratches.
“If you’re lucky there is half a metre left for bikes to go in the opposite direction, but that’s not always the case as lorries and vans come up here too.”
He continued: “I also don’t see many cyclists in the area so there isn’t a need for a cycle lane on the roads.
“When they are on the road, nobody will be able to overtake them and it will lead to a farcical situation. It seems the council has been given money by the government and the reality is it is a waste of public money.”
Responding to Mr Elkin’s well-reasoned argument, a BCP council spokesperson said: “There are no plans for a new cycle lane on Boscombe Grove Road or South Road.
“However, we are planning to allow cycling in both directions on Boscombe Grove Road and South Road (which are one-way roads) as per government guidelines for low speed-low flow roads. These will not be marked cycle facilities, although there will be signs indicating that cycling in both directions is allowed.
"The plans to allow cycling in both directions on Boscombe Grove Road and South Road fully comply with national highway guidelines, including required road widths, which encourage contraflow cycling as it provides a more direct route for cyclists.”