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Teesside pop-up bike lanes abandoned after theft and vandalism

One scheme was only introduced last month

Two pop-up bike lanes in Teesside have been ditched because signs were being vandalised and stolen. Redcar and Cleveland Council said that having to repeatedly replace signs was increasing the cost to the taxpayer.

In July, Wilton Lane, between Guisborough and Wilton, was converted into a quiet lane for walking and cycling. The road joins up with National Cycle Route 1 which connects Middlesbrough, the Wilton industrial site and Redcar town centre.

The only motor vehicles permitted were those accessing residential and agricultural properties and businesses on the lane.

The second route, between South Bank Railway Station and Flatts Lane Country Park in Normanby, was launched in early August.

Teesside Live reports that the schemes were partially funded by £96,000 from the Government’s emergency active travel fund. Both were expected to be in place for up to three months.

Councillor Wayne Davies, cabinet member for economic development, said: "We are obviously very disappointed that we have had to terminate these two cycle routes which were put in place to make it easier and more accessible for people to travel around the borough as they adapt to the new realities of daily life.

"It's vital that we protect walkers and cyclists using the routes and the constant theft and vandalism to the signage meant we kept having to replace them, increasing the cost to the taxpayer.

"As a council, we will continue to invest in improving walking and cycling links throughout the borough, as well as supporting businesses at this uncertain time."

Councillor Philip Thomson, leader of the Conservative group on the council, said: "It's disappointing that these cycle routes have not been able to be maintained and the thefts must have been of some significance for them to be discontinued.

"Everybody is on board with people being encouraged to take exercise and after walking, cycling is the next best option."

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