Will the Department for Transport and Highways Agency’s commitment to ‘cycle-proof’ new roads, junctions and developments be put into practice?
That’s the question raised by the CTC over the new proposed Lincoln bypass. The project, costing £96m, has been objected to by Andy Townshill, CTC’s lead campaigner in the area and secretary to CTC Lincolnshire, calling for better crossings on the road.
Last year the Prime Minister said: "This Government wants to make it easier and safer for people who already cycle as well as encouraging far more people to take it up and business, local government, developers, road users and the transport sector all have a role to play in helping to achieve this."
Later in 2013, British Cycling met with Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and came away with a pledge that the government would ‘cycle-proof’ all new roads, junctions and developments.
Pledge put into practice?
The Lincoln Eastern Bypass slices through seven roads en route from the A15 to the A158, says the CTC. A three metre wide cycle track is provided on one side of the road, but the crossings of side roads are described as totally inadequate, leaving cyclists having to ‘dismount and dash’ across junction mouths.
Lincolnshire County Council has agreed to build one bridge for cyclists at one point, but not as yet for all the other many junctions expected to deter cyclists.
CTC Lincolnshire Secretary Andy Townhill said: "This new road will be a huge barrier for people on bikes – it completely contradicts the Prime Minister’s commitment to ‘cycle proof’ all roads and make them fit for cycling from the outset."
A CTC spokesperson added: "These types of crossings are the consequence of previous reluctance on the part of Government to provide decent standards to construct new roads and make sure that cycle facilities are safe to use. [This] will be a test case as to whether the recent commitment to cycle proofing new roads has any substance.
"CTC wants Lincolnshire County Council to commit to building proper crossings of the new sections, using either traffic lights or, for minor side roads, yield markings to give cyclists priority."