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Ipswich Society adds its voice to calls to improve town’s cycling routes

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:10 11 August 2020

John Norman on his

John Norman on his "other" bike giving a lift to grandchildren Oscar and Daisy. Picture: CHRISTINE NORMAN

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The Ipswich Society has backed calls to make the town more cycle-friendly and create new vehicle-free zones – but has warned that some of the changes already made make cycling more dangerous and could put people off getting on their bike.

The bollards make it difficult for cyclists turning into Ashdown Way in Ipswich, Picture: JOHN NORMANThe bollards make it difficult for cyclists turning into Ashdown Way in Ipswich, Picture: JOHN NORMAN

Society Chairman John Norman, who often uses a cycle to get around the town, said it was vital that people recognised roads were for everyone – not just motorists.

He said: “How we achieve this change of attitude will be a challenge, for cyclists and motorists alike. Suffolk County Council is spending a considerable amount of taxpayers’ money making what they consider improvements. It is interesting to note, however that there are many cyclists (on Social Media) who disagree with some of the changes made thus far.”

MORE: Can better cycling routes emerge after the pandemic?

The cycle lane ends abruptly in Salthouse Street. Picture: JOHN NORMANThe cycle lane ends abruptly in Salthouse Street. Picture: JOHN NORMAN

Mr Norman does not like the bollards that have been set up in many places around the town, including Valley and Colchester Roads: “The bollards reduce the apparent width of the cycle lane making it feel almost claustrophobic.

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“Nervous cyclists feel trapped between the kerb and the posts, like trying to cycle through a narrow passageway. If you don’t clip the kerb on one side you’ll catch the bollard on the other.”

He added: “Cyclists are perplexed by the need to spend money where there is already a perfectly reasonable cycle lane; surely the money should have been spent on creating new lanes in those places where the current provision simply vanishes. Take, for example Salthouse Street, as the road turns into Key Street the cycle lane simply ends and is abruptly stopped by cross hatching, there is no pavement beyond this point, cyclists are simply at the mercy of faster travelling vehicles.

“Likewise I’m at a loss to explain why the left turn between Bixley Road and Ashdown Way has been made dangerous by four closely spaced bollards. What was, for a bicycle, a sweeping, reasonable fast corner, necessary to maintain speed to climb the hill in Ashdown Way has been inexplicably reduced to a very tight ninety degree turn with cyclists in the vehicle lane.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “We are currently welcoming feedback on the range of temporary measures we have put in place to make it safe for cyclists of all abilities to get back on local routes to exercise and commute where necessary.

“On Ashdown Way, the location identified by Mr Norman, it is necessary to establish a way of keeping the cycle lane clear and protect the more nervous or in-experienced cyclists who wish to use roads in this area.

“As the work is government funded, it is important that our work locally to encourage more people back into walking and cycling safely takes into account the national guidance which aims to ensure cyclists can be physically separated and protected from high volumes of motorised traffic, both at junctions and on the stretches of road between junctions.

“The use of these temporary ‘wands’ is one of a range of ways we are looking at to make things safer and we welcome feedback from all road users, including cyclists on this positive initiative.”


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