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Residents complain about 'motorway' style cycle path

"If only one percent of cyclists use the lanes as an excuse to go faster... then the promenade will lose most of its value as a destination for holidays'...

Residents in a coastal town have raised concerns that a 'motorway style' cycle path will make cyclists ride faster. 

A £27,000 project has seen the installation of cycle lanes and signs along 19 miles of coastline in Thanet, Kent. 

The lanes run along Ramsgate’s West Cliff promenade. 

Thanet council say the cycling infrastructure is intended to ‘promote respect between pedestrians and cyclists’.

However, speaking to the Isle of Thanet News, resident Ian Shacklock said: “The promenade was a fantastic shared space. It was wide enough to accommodate everyone without unintended conflict."

He continued: "It has now been divided into three much narrower strips and is no longer a place where either cyclists or walkers can relax.

“As a cyclist I now feel more vulnerable on this path than if I were on the busy roads.

"And thanks to the crazy signage and 'motorway feel' I fear that other cyclists will feel obliged to go a lot faster. Everybody loses.

“I think we will need to monitor the behaviour of cyclists over the summer.

"If they can all coexist in harmony with pedestrians and not complain when anyone strays into their private territory, then maybe there won’t be a problem after all.

“But even if only one percent of cyclists use the lanes as an excuse to go faster, without consideration for other people’s needs, then the promenade will lose most of its value as a destination for holiday and rest.”

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “A project led by Thanet District Council with match-funding by Kent County Council has seen 19 miles of our coastline benefit from new cycling safety signage, to promote respect between cyclists and pedestrians.

“The work, which was led by the council’s Technical Services team, began with an extensive review and assessment of the cycling routes along the Thanet coast.

“The £27,000 project has seen installation of new signage which specifically highlights the shared space policy of our coastal routes and areas where cyclists should slow down or dismount. Existing signage on the coastline that has weathered due to exposure to the elements has also been replaced.”

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