Cycle wands being removed from Ipswich roads

Cycle lanes have been installed in Princes Street in Ipswich town centre. Picture: CARL ASHTON

An example of the barriers known as cycle wands. - Credit: CARL ASHTON

Cycling barriers installed post lockdown last summer are to be partly removed after residents complained they were "frustrating".

Known as cycle wands, the barriers were rolled out along bike lanes following a grant from the government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund during the pandemic in a bid to create a cycle-friendly town.

Suffolk County Council trialled the bollards in locations around Ipswich where cyclists were "most at risk" the bollards have been a point of frustration for motorists and cyclists. 

A spokesman said many active travel measures put in place in Ipswich during the pandemic have received good feedback from residents - but the wands have been controversial.

Tom Hunt

Tom Hunt, Ipswich MP - Credit: House of Commons

Tom Hunt, MP for Ipswich, said he was glad the wands in Valley Road will be removed, saying they were installed last summer with "no consultation". 

Mr Hunt said: "It's great they're going but it's frustrating it has taken so long.

"The majority do not support them and when I've done surveys these cycle wands always come up. 

"Cyclists do not like them either." 

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Wands will stay at the three roundabouts at Westerfield Road and Valley Road; Tuddenham Road and Colchester Road; and Colchester Road and Sidegate Lane.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “They were installed to support new or particularly vulnerable cyclists at locations where it was considered they were most at risk and we have experienced a significant reduction in traffic speeds on Valley Road, which is good news for cyclists as well as pedestrians and residents.

“As a result of the trials there are some locations where they have worked well, such as at points where vehicles and cyclists are in direct conflict like roundabouts and side roads, however they have been less effective on straight lengths of road.

“The work we are doing now is in response to our learning.

"Many of the wands are being removed, however at high risk locations they will be retained for further trials. Our learning will also be used when developing new projects and will be utilised where we feel they will provide additional protection to cyclists.”

Both businesses and residents have backed pedestrianising Upper Brook Street and the Waterfront at certain times. 

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