Liberal Democrats slam A4174 cycle-lane debacle

South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats have hit out at the Council’s Tory administration over its disastrous attempt at an A4174 cycling and walking lane. This was intended to be the first of a series of measures taken to encourage walking and cycling, and to enable social distancing as South Gloucestershire adapts to meet the challenges of Covid-19.

The administration's first attempt at a scheme to create a more sustainable transport network, enabling social distancing, was to create a temporary cycling and walking lane along part of the A4174 at Filton, between Abbey Wood Roundabout and Emma Chris Way, to enable pedestrians and cyclists to maintain social distancing whilst crossing under the nearby railway bridge. But the execution of this idea was so poorly handled, with inadequate communications, signage or other necessary traffic changes, that the Council removed the temporary lane within just five days of putting it in.

Cllr Claire Young, Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition on South Gloucestershire Council said: 

“The administration has demonstrated its complete incompetence in the handling of this project. We have consistently called on South Gloucestershire Council to take steps to improve infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, this is especially urgent now with the need to enable social distancing. It seems the Council has done half a job – putting up cones, but without clear signage or changes to traffic lights in the area which would have enabled this to work. This disastrous implementation has done harm to the whole cause of devoting more space to pedestrians and cyclists. This is supposed to be part of a series of measures the Council is taking - the administration needs to learn some serious lessons quickly.” 

Cllr Adrian Rush, Liberal Democrat Shadow Planning, Transport and Strategic Environment Spokesperson said: 

“This is one of the most cack-handed implementations of a transport scheme I’ve seen on my time on the Council. For no obvious reason they decided to try and bring this temporary cycle lane into use before they were ready to do so and in rushing they’ve done such a bad job that they’ve had to scrap the whole thing. Not only has the administration ended up making themselves look foolish, but they still haven’t solved the problem.” 

Cllr James Arrowsmith, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Stoke Park and Cheswick said: 

“People in Stoke Park and Cheswick are understandable angry at the way this poorly thought through temporary cycle lane was put in place with no warning whatsoever. I am shocked at the arrogance of the Tories who think they can push through such significant measures without telling, let alone consulting the local communities affected. Rethinking our transport network can be a success, but only if this Tory administration commits to transparency and well-planned initiatives, not secrecy and ineptitude.”

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Image credit: Byronv2 Flickr

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