NOT FIT FOR PUR­POSE

Cy­clists lead com­plaints to coun­cil over new bike lanes

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Mur­ray Spooner

Cam­bus­lang’s con­tro­ver­sial new bike lanes have been branded “not fit for pur­pose” – by cy­clists.

The Re­former has been in­un­dated with com­plaints about the new road lay­out on the Main Street and Hamil­ton Road since it was cre­ated in April.

Drivers say the road mark­ings are con­fus­ing and cause con­ges­tion. Lo­cal busi­nesses have also com­plained they have af­fected pass­ing trade.

But the lat­est com­plaints are per­haps the most ironic, with those the lanes are de­signed for say­ing they will not keep them safe.

One lo­cal cy­clist, Andy Dixon said: “They are poorly de­signed and very poorly im­ple­mented.”

Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil have also crit­i­cised the de­sign while Ruther­glen Com­mu­nity Coun­cil raised con­cerns that some­thing sim­i­lar could be im­ple­mented in the Burgh at their last meet­ing.

This week, South La­nark­shire Coun­cil said they would carry out more work to ad­dress “teething is­sues”.

More work will be done to ad­dress ‘teething prob­lems’ with Cam­bus­lang’s new cy­cle lanes, South La­nark­shire Coun­cil has said, as a lo­cal cy­clist brands the green net­work “not fit for pur­pose”.

The cy­cle lanes have been blamed for cre­at­ing large queues of traf­fic in the town, dis­cour­ag­ing pass­ing trade for busi­nesses and have, since open­ing last month, fallen vic­tim to flood­ing.

But South La­nark­shire Coun­cil has said road mark­ings will be made clearer on Main Street and new traf­fic light sig­nalling will re­duce con­ges­tion.

Andy Dixon of Gil­bert­field Road, Cam­bus­lang, cy­cles to work daily but be­lieves pedes­tri­ans are in more dan­ger than ever be­fore.

He said: “I have been cy­cling on the roads for 10 to 12 years and it’s not just dan­ger­ous for cy­clists, it’s dan­ger­ous for pedes­tri­ans.

“It’s very nar­row for a shared path if you are go­ing west­bound. They are not fit for pur­pose.

“And the coun­cil are forc­ing cy­clists to go through Main Street which is dan­ger­ous. There isn’t enough room for cy­clists and cars.”

He added: “They are poorly de­signed and very poorly im­ple­mented. The west­bound re­de­vel­op­ment has just made mat­ters worse for pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists alike and changed a road lay­out that al­lowed room for all and, on the whole, worked very well prior to the up­grade.”

Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil has mean­while slammed the lo­cal au­thor­ity for fail­ing to con­sult res­i­dents on the cy­cle net­work.

John Bachtler, trea­surer of the com­mu­nity coun­cil, said: “While mem­bers wel­come in­vest­ment in im­prov­ing the pro­vi­sion for cy­clists, this needs to be planned in a way that takes ac­count of the views of the com­mu­nity and meets the needs of all road-users.

“In this case, there does not ap­pear to have been any con­sul­ta­tion, cer­tainly not with Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil or with the Cam­Glen Bike Town project - which has an in­fra­struc­ture sub-group that was specif­i­cally set up to dis­cuss road im­prove­ments for cy­clists with the coun­cil and avoid this kind of sit­u­a­tion oc­cur­ring.

“The lack of con­sul­ta­tion with the com­mu­nity in Cam­bus­lang is set­ting mo­torists against cy­clists which is com­pletely un­help­ful. Even some cy­clists are crit­i­cal of the new ar­range­ments.”

Gor­don Mackay, head of roads and trans­porta­tion at South La­nark­shire Coun­cil, said the lo­cal au­thor­ity was con­tribut­ing to Scot­tish Govern­ment tar­gets which aim to see 10 per cent of ev­ery­day jour­neys un­der­taken by bike by 2020.

He said: “If such am­bi­tions are to be achieved it is im­por­tant that ap­pro­pri­ate in­fra­struc­ture is pro­vided to ac­com­mo­date cy­clists. In some cases this re­quires the al­lo­ca­tion of ap­pro­pri­ate road space.

“The new lay­outs have been de­signed in dis­cus­sion with Sus­trans Scot­land and in line with Na­tional De­sign Stan­dards which have been proven to be suc­cess­ful in other parts of the coun­try.

“The coun­cil has re­ceived feed­back, both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive, and all views will be con­sid­ered. How­ever, it is im­por­tant that new schemes are al­lowed to bed in and any teething is­sues re­solved be­fore con­clu­sions are drawn.

“Works are cur­rently near­ing com­ple­tion and we will con­tinue to mon­i­tor junc­tion ca­pac­ity and how peo­ple are us­ing the al­tered lay­out.

“Traf­fic sig­nal tim­ings are be­ing ad­justed as nec­es­sary and some al­ter­ations to road mark­ings and drainage are also pro­grammed.”

No need Cy­clist Andy Dixon finds the cy­cle lanes dan­ger­ous

Flood­ing Cy­cle lanes have come un­der crit­i­cism for gath­er­ing wa­ter

‘Not fit for pur­pose’ Cy­clists say the net­work is not up to scratch

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