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Letter: The London Road Scheme Must Be Rethought

Published on: 3 Jan, 2023
Updated on: 2 Jan, 2023

From: Anthony Mallard

In response to: New Cycle Lanes Are Worth the Short-term Pain

As a former cyclist, I can understand the need for safe cycle routes. The present attempt to delineate, by white lines, a safe cycle lane along the London Road in Burpham is, I totally concur, inadequate.

The road at a number of points is not wide enough and presently the lane is narrowed or discontinued. However, one must look at the current proposal from a broader perspective.

If the painted line route is not wide enough is the new planned lane of an adequate dimension? Maybe, but then one has to look at the then available road width for vehicles – this, in parts, as has been remarked, does not meet current road width regulations.

The roadway is bordered by properties and on a significant stretch, a wall which, I believe, has listed status from its days as a farm boundary. There is limited capacity, if any, to widen this roadway.

The next and significant consideration is traffic congestion and pollution. At present – particularly at school times the road is very congested. Likewise, it comes to an effective standstill when traffic is diverted from the A3.

Making London Road narrower will have the inevitable result of prolonged periods of standing traffic. Standing traffic will add significantly to the pollution along this stretch of road and from experience elsewhere will harm the occupants of the houses adjacent to the road, the users of the road – especially cyclists and those children who use London Road to walk to school.

Mr Clare and Mr Smith are correct in their view that cyclists should be better protected and make equally valid points on air quality. This scheme will achieve neither, indeed it has the potential to make it worse. It should and must be rethought.

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