Safety fears raised at new £150,000 cyclepath

A CAMPAIGNING councillor has once again raised safety fears concerning a new £150,000 cycleway and footpath on a Yarm estate.

Councillor Andrew Sherris said that at one junction, cyclists were given priority over motorists which could be confusing.

He added that both Yarm Town Council and Levendale Primary School had raised concerns and wanted safety barriers installed.

Cllr Sherris, Conservative, said: “The scheme, on the whole, has been well received. However, my concerns relate to the priority given to cyclists and pedestrians over vehicles as the path crosses Lingfield Road close to a local Primary School.

“This priority is the only one in the area and I am still fearful that we have a potential accident waiting to happen. Following my initial concerns I was told by the council that everything was in order and the scheme had completed a full safety audit.

"However, there are still numerous concerns coming in about this. It would help if we could get the priority changed back and safety barriers installed as the path near the school is on a slope. I am asking that this location be looked at again before the school holidays begin.”

Cllr Mike Smith, Stockton Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said: “The Levendale Links cycleway and footway scheme has been developed and funded in partnership with Sustrans.

“We take road safety very seriously. The scheme is built to Department for Transport standards and guidance and is currently going through the final stage of the road safety audits process which takes place post-construction. Clearly, if this results in recommendations being made we will act on them as appropriate.”

Comments (3)

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5:38pm Sat 5 Jul 14

think twice says...

Whilst we're on the subject, the barriers at the Gloucester place end of the cut from Houghton Road were not replaced as part of the recent upgrade. Cyclists understandably accelerate down the incline much too fast and it is only a matter of time until someone is seriously hurt because neither cyclists nor pedestrians can see each other due to a boundary fence.
Whilst we're on the subject, the barriers at the Gloucester place end of the cut from Houghton Road were not replaced as part of the recent upgrade. Cyclists understandably accelerate down the incline much too fast and it is only a matter of time until someone is seriously hurt because neither cyclists nor pedestrians can see each other due to a boundary fence. think twice
  • Score: 2

7:34am Sun 6 Jul 14

gazza_d says...

Safety barriers are a great idea - place them in the road to slow down the speeding cars which present the far greater danger
Safety barriers are a great idea - place them in the road to slow down the speeding cars which present the far greater danger gazza_d
  • Score: 7

6:26pm Sun 6 Jul 14

pedalparity says...

Cllr Sherris needs to update himself in the latest best practice. Just because something has been done a certain way in the past doesn't mean it should continue to be done that way in the future.

Priority over side roads (not main roads) is an essential part of making cycle paths universally accessible for all, not just for some user groups. Having to ride on a cycle path but then give way to each small road means constantly looking over your shoulder if you are riding in the same direction of traffic, and therefore many people will continue to use the road.

This so called "dual provision" is the worst of both worlds - motorists will ask why cyclists aren't using the path, and the cyclists who stay on the road are not as safe as they should be.

Every new road design element needs to start somewhere - traffic lights, roundabouts, bus lanes and so on, whatever their pros and cons, all had to be introduced before they became widely accepted.

Barriers would also make matters worse by preventing access to many user types - cars can go fast down a hill too, but we don't put them in roads. An effective cycle path needs to be usable by young and old, disabled and abled, fast and slow.

Anything less is unfit for purpose, and frankly a waste of money. I trust a Conservative councillor would want to see the best possible return on investment, which a good cycle path should always be.
Cllr Sherris needs to update himself in the latest best practice. Just because something has been done a certain way in the past doesn't mean it should continue to be done that way in the future. Priority over side roads (not main roads) is an essential part of making cycle paths universally accessible for all, not just for some user groups. Having to ride on a cycle path but then give way to each small road means constantly looking over your shoulder if you are riding in the same direction of traffic, and therefore many people will continue to use the road. This so called "dual provision" is the worst of both worlds - motorists will ask why cyclists aren't using the path, and the cyclists who stay on the road are not as safe as they should be. Every new road design element needs to start somewhere - traffic lights, roundabouts, bus lanes and so on, whatever their pros and cons, all had to be introduced before they became widely accepted. Barriers would also make matters worse by preventing access to many user types - cars can go fast down a hill too, but we don't put them in roads. An effective cycle path needs to be usable by young and old, disabled and abled, fast and slow. Anything less is unfit for purpose, and frankly a waste of money. I trust a Conservative councillor would want to see the best possible return on investment, which a good cycle path should always be. pedalparity
  • Score: 6

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