Lancaster cycle lane revamp described as 'cheapskate job'

Lancaster cyclists and pedestrians are receiving "shoddy treatment" from Lancashire County Council, according to city campaign group Dynamo.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 3:45 pm

The group said that the county council's recent refresh of cycle lanes and stop boxes in and around the city was "shoddy" and that some places had been ignored completely.

It also highlighted that red "texture flex" - an important safety feature - had not been refreshed.

Lancashire County Council said that the work was not yet complete, and that further funding was being sought for some of the work.

Lancaster cyclists and pedestrians are receiving "shoddy treatment" from Lancashire County Council, according to city campaign group Dynamo.

Dick Follows, from Dynamo, said that the stop boxes should have been refreshed two years ago as they had become almost invisible, especially in winter.

He said: "Shoddy and half-done barely covers county’s recent refresh.

"Some of our worn-out cycle lanes and stop boxes have been ignored completely.

"You may also have noticed that no red texture-flex, which gives the infrastructure its authority, and has been shown to be an important safety feature, has not been refreshed.

The junction of Butterfield Street and Chapel Street, Lancaster.

"A truly cheap-skate job, which reduces protection for cyclists."

Mr Follows also highlighted rat-running as dangerous for cycling, particularly in Butterfield Street, which links Wood Street and Chapel Street close to the bus station.

He said: "In January, a young woman was knocked from her bicycle by a rat-running driver who exited Butterfield Street without looking both ways.

"Fortunately, she was not seriously hurt and her father was there to care for her.

"It could easily have been far more serious, even fatal.

"Any experienced cyclist who uses that cycle lane on Chapel Street will tell you how the danger from exiting rat-runners is very real.

"It has been known for many years that if you are serious about increasing cycling numbers you need to invest in building safe, protected cycle routes that novice and inexperienced cyclists feel safe using, not making cycling more hazardous."

Lancaster was a Cycling Demonstration Town between 2005 and 2011, and cycling numbers increased.

However Mr Follows said that the county council had not invested in the city in recent years, and as a result cycling numbers had declined, while fatalities and serious injuries had increased.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: "We have recently carried out some work to refresh road markings in Lancaster, including some cycle lanes and advanced stop boxes, which improve safety at junctions by helping cyclists to manoeuvre, and making them more visible to other traffic.

"This work has only been completed to line markings so far.

"A number of these features are also marked using a red texture-flex surface which was initially funded jointly between Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council as well as with government grants that were awarded when Lancaster became a Cycling Demonstration Town in 2005, however as this is relatively expensive to replace we are currently working to identify further funding for this work as it cannot be met from the usual annual budget allocation for renewal of road markings throughout the district.

"We expect to be able to confirm a programme for this work shortly.

"The county council continues to promote and support pedestrian, cycling and public transport improvements and is currently developing and undertaking regular consultations with all Lancaster residents on how travel can be transformed within the city centre which will lead to the publication of more detailed plans later this year.

"We have identified opportunities to advertise proposals for the possible closure of Butterfield Street through the planning process and it is envisaged that consultation on this matter will take place shortly."