Dunfermline Press

Delay to work on £700k cycle path

- Amcroberts@dunfermlin­epress.co.uk

THE brakes have been put on a £700,000 cycle path in Dunfermlin­e after 16 objections from local residents.

Fife Council was forced to change track in the summer, after pressure from some who live on the north side of Aberdour Road, and now the new proposals are unpopular with those on the south side.

Most of the work – which began in January and was due to take six months – has been done but the section from Blacklaw Road to Hospital Hill will be postponed until at least spring.

Transporta­tion officers had asked councillor­s to set aside the objections to allow them to proceed with a traffic regulation order, but on Tuesday the City of Dunfermlin­e area committee disagreed.

Cllr Cara Hilton said: “I’ve got serious concerns about this proposal and would really value further time for community engagement to make sure we’ve got a cycle scheme that works not just for the cyclists but for local residents and pedestrian­s too.

Ally McRoberts

“It’s not right and it’s not democratic to cast aside so many objections from local people living on Aberdour Road, as the recommenda­tion proposes.”

Committee convener Cllr James Calder conceded the public had already been consulted on a number of occasions but said there was “significan­t local opposition” and residents felt the cycle scheme was being “forced on them”.

“I think it’s right we take a little longer to look at the issues raised,” he said.

The previous cycle route on Aberdour Road had narrow lanes painted on the carriagewa­y with riders sharing the road with traffic.

To improve safety and encourage more use, the plan was for a three-and-a-half metres wide path for cyclists and pedestrian­s to be constructe­d along a 2km section between Masterton Road and

Hospital Hill. It is “substantia­lly complete” but work has yet to start on the section between Blacklaw Road and Hospital Hill.

Local residents raised fears about pedestrian­s having to share the pavement with cyclists and that forced the council into a change of plans in June.

Between Blacklaw Road and Hospital Hill, it proposed a two-way, two metres wide cycle track on the south side of the road which would be separated from vehicle traffic by bollards.

However, during public consultati­on, there were 16 objections with concerns about road safety, the speed and volume of traffic on Aberdour Road, the impact on pedestrian­s and “perceived difficulti­es” in accessing driveways.

Allan Maclean, the council’s lead consultant for sustainabl­e traffic and travel, said there had been some “misunderst­andings” about the plans.

He explained: “What we want to build here is a dedicated two-way cycle track which would be using space on the carriagewa­y, so the existing footways and dropped kerbs would remain as they are, so there’s no impact on pedestrian­s.”

He added: “It’s only one lane of traffic in both directions so if they’re turning into their driveway, you would slow down gradually and traffic will have no option but to slow down behind you.

“Access would still be available for all residents there. I don’t think what we’re doing will have much effect on that.”

He added that traffic calming could be added to the project if it was deemed necessary.

The committee deferred a decision.

Mr Maclean suggested another public consultati­on around January or February with a further report to come back to the committee in April.

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