Cyclists blast shared path on A12 between Ipswich and Colchester

Wolf Simpson said the A12 paths between Colchester and Ipswich are not suitable. 

Wolf Simpson, a cyclist with a disability who bikes for physiotherapy, said the A12 paths between Colchester and Ipswich are not suitable. - Credit: Wolf Simpson

Cyclists have expressed anger at the state of a path between Ipswich and Colchester by the A12. 

Highways England has been blamed for the "poor" maintenance of the shared cycle and pedestrian path that leads users to struggle using it. 

Recently, Georgina Wilcox was frustrated when she was cycling along the A12 between Capel St Mary and Stratford St Mary to find the path overgrown and almost unpassable. 

The London woman's journey, which was shared on Twitter on July 27 and viewed by more than 26,000 people, shows the full extent of the issues. 

She said: "Go on, complain to me about how 'cyclists' don't use those perfectly good bike lanes built for them."

Highways England did promise to cut back the vegetation before the end of August after Ms Wilcox's Tweet. 

But cyclists in the area have long felt defeated in getting a reply about the path. 

Wolf Simpson

Wolf Simpson from Colchester with his bike - Credit: Wolf Simpson

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Wolf Simpson, a cyclist with a disability who bikes as a form of physiotherapy and for transport, said: "Highway England's poor handling of the maintenance of the shared paths [is obvious as its] not making them fully inclusive to all who use the shared paths.

"[There are] no safe crossing points on A12 junctions and now none will comply with the new LTN1/20 Cycle Infrastructure guidance. 

"Anyone in Colchester areas knows not to use the short bits of the shared path along the A12 towards Ipswich as it's not safe or accessible, it's not even clearly signposted or linked to the public roads to access them easily."

Shaun McDonald, from Cycle Ipswich, said some members see the "poor quality" path needs "a huge upgrade". 

Mr McDonald added: "The various villages along the A12 are a short enough distance between them, especially with an e-assist bike, that they are an ideal commuting or shopping distance by bike; however, the infrastructure and subjective safety really lets it down."

The path between Colchester and Ipswich by A12

The path by the A12 near Colchester - Credit: Wolf Simpson

Since the problem has been reported to Highways England, it has said: "We carry out regular inspections of our roads and cut back trees and vegetation where we find that it’s limiting visibility of road signs, traffic signals, at junctions or the view ahead.

"This has been logged as 28-day priority and aim to complete the vegetation clearance by the end of August."