New cycle lanes are waste of cash

CYCLISTS today condemned as a “waste of money” new cycle lanes along one of Suffolk's busiest village roads.Because the lanes along High Road in Trimley St Mary cannot be legally enforced, stretches are completely blocked with parked cars at all times.

CYCLISTS today condemned as a “waste of money” new cycle lanes along one of Suffolk's busiest village roads.

Because the lanes along High Road in Trimley St Mary cannot be legally enforced, stretches are completely blocked with parked cars at all times.

Carlo D'Inverno, who lives in Felixstowe and is part of the Cyclists' Touring Club, said the cycle lanes were “a waste of money”.

He said: “There is no point to it at all.

“When I was consulted I told them it would make very little difference and would be solid with cars in several places, making no difference to what we had before.

“The county council has put it in because it just ticks some more of the government's boxes.”

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The council said the cycleway is part of a much bigger system costing around �5,400.

A council spokeswoman said: “This scheme is a balance of providing a safe place for cyclists whilst not disadvantaging residents who would have nowhere close to their homes in which to park.

“The scheme, providing advisory cycle lanes, identifies areas where cars should not enter unless the lane is clear of cyclists.

“Generally the lanes are not used by cars, though there are short stretches that for parts of the day have vehicles parked in.

“If a scheme legally prevented cars from entering the cycle lanes some residents would be unable to park their vehicles close to their homes and such a scheme would clearly not be welcomed.”

Is the Trimley cycle lane a waste of taxpayers' money? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

EVENING Star Felixstowe editor RICHARD CORNWELL tried out the cycle lanes - and was left very disappointed.

Here is his verdict:

IT hasn't made cycling the High Road any safer - and in places it is utterly ridiculous.

The biggest problem is the cycleways are only advisory - which means no-one can stop cars parking over them.

And they do. Everywhere. All along its length.

In some places - such as outside the village shop - there is hardly ever likely to be a time where you can ride the cycle lane.

I tried to cycle its mile-and-a-half length and was frequently forced out into the middle of the road by parked cars.

Riding along a free stretch with a feeling of safety, that comfort quickly disappears as you pull out of the cycle lane to pass another row of parked cars, with a bus on your tail, with more frustrated motorists behind it, until you can pull in again. Where's the protection there?

In two places, the cycleway disturbingly suddenly goes off the road onto a shared stretch of pavement - at one of the Faulkeners Way junctions straight into a telegraph pole, which you need to be quick-witted to steer round.

Unless kept clear, cycle lanes are not worth the cost of the paint - the money would be better spent elsewhere.