‘Lethal’ Leeds cycle lane is strewn with bollards

The cycle lane in Leeds. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
The cycle lane in Leeds. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
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Leeds City Council has defended itself against and attack from furious cyclists have criticised its attempts to get more people on bikes- claiming they have created a “lethal” cycle lane along part of the route of the Tour de France.

Pedallers say the path on Regent Street in Leeds is causing hazards because it is blocked by bollards and road signs.

The lane, which come cyclists have branded as “life-threatening”, has even been used to place roadworks signs and traffic cones - meaning people on bikes have to avoid being hit by cars or veer through pedestrians.

But the council said the programme is not finished.

One commuter who was using the path to cycle to work said: “It’s a total fiasco. They encourage you to use your bikes then create this pathetic excuse of a cycle path.

“Those of us on bikes using the path have to dodge angry drivers weaving round all kinds of obstacles, or cause a collision with pedestrians on the pavement.”

Another cyclist said: “It just disappears at random points and suddenly you realise you’re on the road and there’s cars coming up right behind you.

“I feel really unsafe on it.”

A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “We have made it clear that this is a work in progress.

“With the limitations on when we can implement partial lane closures on such busy roads to facilitate works, the scheme will be finished within two months in four phases.

“It is simply not practical or feasible to close entire roads and footpaths on this complex scheme. The alternative in this instance – to block off the non-operational cycle lane - could force cyclists into an even more dangerous situation on the road.

“This is the very reason we’re implementing this scheme in the first place - we want cyclists to have a dedicated, safe space to use.

“Lighting columns, signs and other obstructions will be removed, lines and signs will be added and once operational the scheme will be a vast improvement that we hope many more people will feel able to use.”

The news comes as ambitious plans that will see a new £21m cycling ‘superhighway’ linking a 23km route from Leeds to Bradford moved a step closer earlier this month after council chiefs signed off.

The plan is for the construction of a new dedicated cycle route from Cross Gates to Bradford city centre starting in Autumn this year. The whole scheme is expected to be completed for December 2015.

It is hoped that one of the legacies of the Tour de France for Leeds will be the increased take-up of cycling as a commuter option.

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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