Safety fears over plan to increase cycling
Alarm bells are ringing over an initiative that aims to encourage people in Leighton-Linslade to travel by bike rather than car – after the condition of cycle routes has been declared “poor”.
Friday saw the official launch of a Travel Choices project from Central Bedfordshire Council, which will ensure 8,000 households in Leighton are given advice about their travel options by providing them with a wider choice for their journeys that is economically friendly.
To achieve successful sustainable travel the number of journeys made by foot, bike and public transport needs to be increased, which the council believe can be achieved in Leighton with the help of experts guiding the public.
However, councillors have voiced their concerns over the public’s safety if they are being encouraged to cycle on roads with potholes and sunken drains.
Councillor Gordon Perham said: “When riding a bicycle you are unfortunately between the devil and the deep blue sea.
“It is safer to ride approximately one metre away from the gutter as most of the potholes are there and cars that are passing have to give you more room.
“Some cars get too close and force you closer to the pavement – that is when you end up on the floor and lucky if you don`t get run over.”
In response to the plans, Councillor Steve Cotter said that Leighton would have to be updated to improve its abilities, even though it is meant to be a cycling town.
Mr Cotter said: “I don’t know what a cycle town looks like to be honest.
“The condition of the roads is, I think, very poor.
“The roads need sprucing up and maintained because it is very dangerous.”
At the launch, businesses and transport providers were introduced to the Personal Journey Planners who are visiting 8,000 households in Leighton Buzzard over the next few months, offering information on the travel options in their area.
Welcoming the project, Councillor Nigel Young, spokesman for sustainable communities, strategic planning and economic development, said: “This project fits in with our bigger vision to boost economic activity and growth in Leighton Buzzard, Dunstable and Houghton Regis. By reducing congestion and offering better options for travel, we will improve access to jobs and education.”
> What do you think of the cycling facilities? Have your say, our contact details are on page 2.
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Weather for Leighton Buzzard
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North