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Bad news for motorcyclists as 20 new cycle lanes are planned

With 20 new cycles lanes planned at a cost of £20m, Visordown asks where we are supposed to go when the bicycles take over?

CYCLING Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, has promised to spend £20m upgrading and adding to the UK’s National Cycle Network. With the cycle paths generally taking up precious road space, it does pose the question: where are bikes meant to filter?

The multi-million-pound investment to develop cycling and walking paths (don’t we already have footpaths???) around the country on the National Cycling Network. Heaton-Harris claims that communities will benefit from the improved surfacing, new traffic-free routes, and more accessible transport links. With DfT supporting the move, as a way of getting more people into active travel as it delivers on its cycling and walking investment strategy.

Now don’t think that we are being down on cycling in any way shape or form, it’s a great way of getting around, it keeps you fit and can be enjoyed by most people, young an old. But the fact remains that cycling just doesn’t suit all travellers and commuters and sometimes motorcycle is a much better option.

The problem starts when cycle paths are already added to busy and congested roads. They obviously don’t want to encroach on the footpath, so the cycle lane is created on the left, right or even on both sides of the carriageway. As somebody who rides regularly in London and many other big cities in the UK, I find it is getting harder and harder to be able to efficiently and safely filter through traffic compared to a few years ago.

Heaton-Harris said:

“Cycling and walking are sustainable forms of transport, which help to keep people active and clean up the quality of our air.

“This funding will put the right infrastructure in place, so people can enjoy new routes on foot or by bike, supporting the government’s ambition for cycling and walking to become the natural choice for shorter journeys by 2040.”

The funding focuses on fixing dangerous junctions, reducing traffic levels, building better surfaces, creating more accessible paths, and improving route signage. The projects include:

While the funding will be used to improve the quality of existing sections of the network, the projects will also improve integration with existing infrastructure. For example, cycle routes around HS2 (the future of which hangs in the balance!) in areas including Sheffield, Doncaster and Buckinghamshire will benefit from improved connectivity and safer off-road routes.

Anita Konrad, National Director, England at Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity and the custodian of the National Cycle Network, said:

“The National Cycle Network is a UK-wide asset which helps nearly 4.4 million people make car-free journeys each year, benefitting local economies, public health, and the environment.

“This investment will help build on the network’s success and we look forward to working with local authorities and partner organisations around England to achieve a network of walking and cycling paths that are safer and more accessible for everyone, regardless of their age and abilities.”

Funny how Anita Konrad speak of car-free journeys, do you think she is including motorcycles in that statistic too?

What do you think of the scheme? Let us know in the comments below.

Comments

Seriously? The majority of cyclists ride in the middle of the road because " It makes them feel safe". Even when the government spends a f**k load of money to keep them safe and give them their own lane they still choose not to use it... F**K THEM!!! Use that money for the police to stop bike theft.

Depending on time of day, I'm a cyclist, motorcyclist, driver, runner, pedestrian, spacehopper or whatever. Creating proper cycling infrastructure is essential in the UK - the current provision is woeful compared to the rest of Northern Europe. With E-bikes taking off, there's no excuse for short distance trips to involve an engine and cycling is by far the best city/town option on two wheels. For the past 20 years, councils have tried to get away with paining a line along the side of roads as some half-hearted nod - but in fact it's neither safe nor pleasant (BMW still buzz past with inches to spare). £20m is laughable to be honest, given that major roads now cost north of £10m per mile and HS2 is likely to cost £403m per mile.

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