Cyclists hit out at ‘wasted’ cash


City cyclists have demanded answers over where £5m earmarked for improvements to the A6 has been spent.

It’s two years since Lancashire County Council secured public money from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) to cut journey times and encourage more people to travel by bike between Lancaster and Preston.

But Dynamo, the Lancaster and District Cycle Campaign, argues the cash has been wasted with nothing done to make the route more appealing.

The group wants more cycle lanes, including at South Road, to reduce air pollution, congestion and boost safety.

Dick Follows, of Dynamo, said: “The county council has badly let down the users of the A6 and has squandered this opportunity of a generation to sort out the dangerous mess that is the A6 - a mess that is set to deteriorate as the new science park, supermarket and housing developments along the A6 corridor are completed and consequently motorised traffic levels soar”.

Vali Birang, the council’s head of sustainable transport and safety, said the bid was for Preston and South Ribble as well as Lancaster: “Our bid to the LSTF was based on proposals for a diverse package of measures to encourage cycling, walking and use of public transport, focused as much on increasing participation as improving facilities for people who already cycle, walk and use the bus on a regular basis.

“Many of the schemes were only delivered last year and it is too soon to evaluate their impact, though cycle counters in Lancaster continue to show increased participation.

“We would like to carry out future improvements for cyclists on the A6. However, parts of the road are too narrow to install cycle lanes, and on other sections it is not possible to install cycle lanes without removing parking.

“We will be consulting in the coming months on a highways and transport masterplan for Lancaster which will provide the basis for prioritising major improvements to our transport infrastructure in the coming decades, including strategic cycling and walking networks.”

The council has given grants to more than 100 Lancaster businesses to invest in cycle parking, shower facilities, lockers, vests and helmets.

Dynamo will discuss its concerns at a meeting on Tuesday, April 29, at the Gregson Centre at 7pm.