Worcester: Council blows £10,000 on obstacle-strewn cycle path

Worcester: Council blows £10,000 on obstacle-strewn cycle path

The bike path has many obstacles including a trash can (Photo: SWNS)

The cycle path has many obstacles for cyclists to navigate, including a trash can (Picture: SWNS)

Council bosses are being slammed for ‘wasting’ more than £10,000 of taxpayers’ money on a cycle lane with many hazards.

Worcester’s cycle path has been criticized by cyclists being forced to zigzag around obstacles and being described as ‘annoyance’ and ‘a mess’.

Riders must avoid a lamppost, a tree, garbage cans and a speed camera placed in the center of the cycle path, next to a busy main road.

It has now emerged that Worcestershire City Council paid £9,195 for the cycleway – which runs along New Road from the city center to St John’s, alongside the Worcester Cricket Club – with £5,000 spent painting white lines and install bollards.

And a further £3,000 was used to close part of New Road for three days while the cycle lane was installed in June this year.

Dan Brothwell, chairman of cycling campaign group, Bike Worcester, described the lane as an ’embarrassment’.

“I don’t know if I should laugh or cry,” he said.

“The knockout blow is the effort put into painting a solid white line around the radar.

FILE PHOTO - A new cycle path along New Road in Worcester from the city center to St John's alongside the Worcestershire Cricket Ground has various obstacles to navigate including speed camera, litter bins and trees, all in the way .  Council leaders have been criticized for

Hazards on the cycle path include speed camera (Picture: SWNS)

“If the goal is to put Worcester on the map for comedic reasons, the board is going about it the right way.

“Rather than providing infrastructure that provides improvement for people who walk and cycle, we are presented with this mess.

“It does not in any way improve the connectivity or the continuity of the path of use already shared on New Road.

“The time, effort and money spent on this is a total waste and could have had a much more positive effect spent elsewhere in the city.”

And one cyclist, Jon Marshall, said he nearly crashed twice while riding the bike path.

The 23-year-old said: ‘I can’t really believe the council wasted ten grand on something worse than the road.

“I almost fell on the road when I had to go around a bin to see a tree in front of me.

“Another time I had to go around the speed camera but almost hit another cyclist coming the other way.

FILE PHOTO - A new cycle path along New Road in Worcester from the city center to St John's alongside the Worcestershire Cricket Ground has various obstacles to navigate including speed camera, litter bins and trees, all in the way .  Council leaders have been criticized for

The cycle path has been described as ‘inconvenient’ (Picture: SWNS)

Another cyclist, Janine Fowles, 58, also expressed her surprise at the number of objects blocking the route.

The council acknowledged having received a number of complaints about the New Road cycle route, but maintained that it had been a success.

Councilor Mike Rouse, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Cycling infrastructure of all kinds, which has to follow strict government guidelines, is expensive and that’s one of the reasons we can’t not install as much as we would like as advice.

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“Since the system was installed, monitoring has revealed that the system has been a success and there are now very few conflicts as most pedestrians and cyclists use the separate lanes, which is a very good news for both.”

The under-fire council launched the scheme after receiving the worst possible zero rating from Active Travel England – the new government body to manage money for walking and cycling initiatives.

Elsewhere, a pensioner has broken his wrist and two black eyes after tripping over a ‘dangerous’ cycle lane marker, designed to protect cyclists by creating a buffer between them and motorists, in Middlesbrough.

And the Brummies were left baffled by what has been dubbed “the world’s shortest bike path” – measuring just 8ft.

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