Has money been well spent on cycle lanes?
Chance to have your say in council study
A STUDY on bike use is planned to gauge whether millions of pounds spent on providing cycle lanes has paid off.
Over the last three years Leicestershire County Council has spent almost £6 million relaying pavements, installing speed cushions and introducing vehicle weight restrictions on roads around the borough.
The aim of the Hinckley Area Project was to improve connectivity and make it easier for people to walk and cycle, helping take emphasis off car journeys.
However, critics have labelled the efforts a waste of time and money, with the changes having little impact on traffic congestion or increased pedal power.
A consultation on the final elements of the project - curtailed due to lack of Government funding - involved outlining proposals together with costs and prioritising them on the basis of deliverability given the time and cash restraints.
Cycle route links for Dean Road and Dean Road West, as well as cycle parking, were rated as high priority given they were within the prescribed £800,000 budget.
More ambitious schemes, such as improving junctions at Hawley Road and Rugby Road, and Normandy Way and Ashby Road, came bottom of the list due to cost and complexity.
One commentator took issue with the importance placed on the cycle enhancements, saying: “I do not see as a priority the cycle improvements. These are only of benefit if we can encourage more to cycle and despite efforts in this regard that are continuing, there is simply not the uptake or usage of these in Hinckley and Burbage.
“Has there been any audit of usage? I understand that for all the right reasons this is something that is being focused on but residents see this as a waste of resources when we are limited in this regard and have more fundamental problems.”
Responding, a county officer said: “Less experienced and new cyclists will benefit greatly from the proposed improvements, pedestrians also benefitting from the improved footways and crossings.
“In Loughborough where a similar network has been created, there has been a recorded 39.8 per cent increase in the number of people cycling since 2012, approximately 1,300 cyclists.
“It is anticipated that monitoring user numbers will be carried out in spring 2018 to assess how pedestrian and cycling has changed since the