Council slammed after shutting road for month to build 20ft cycle lane

Stoke-on-Trent council slammed by residents after shutting road for a month to install 20ft-long cycle lane that locals described as a ‘glorified lay-by’

  • Stoke-on-Trent residents slammed the month-long road closure to fit a tiny lane
  • Local pensioner Bill Priddin, 73, described the addition as ‘basically a lay-by’
  • The 20ft-long path is the Stoke-on-Trent suburb’s only cycle lane
  • A councillor countered that the development will ‘improve air quality in the area’ 

An English council was today slammed after a road was closed for a month so a 20ft cycle lane referred to as a ‘glorified lay-by’ could be fitted.

Staffordshire County Council oversaw the new lane in Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent.

The short route has room for cycle traffic in both directions – and is the first in the area.

But one local pensioner blasted the weak attempt to encourage residents to get on their bikes, claiming the short stretch of protected road is ‘basically just a lay-by’.

Resident David Holland, 50, slammed the council’s month-long road closure to fit the lane

The busy road was shut for an entire month while the council added the tiny cycle path

Holland said: ‘People don’t know it’s there, and even if they did it wouldn’t get used’

Bill Priddin, 73, said: ‘They closed that road down for about four or five weeks and that is what they put up.

‘It’s only about 20 feet. If they’re trying to get people on their bikes, it’s not doing a very good job.

The 20ft-long cycle lane is the only such infrastructure in the Stoke-on-Trent suburb

‘I just find it amusing.’

Fellow resident David Holland, 50, described the path as ‘pointless’.

He said: ‘I don’t see what the point of it is. People don’t know it’s there, and even if they did it wouldn’t get used.

‘Our roads aren’t wide enough for cycle paths in the area. Cyclists just use the roads anyway, so it’s a waste of money.’

But David Williams, cabinet member for highways and transport at Staffordshire County Council, justified the development as an attempt to make cycling safer.

He said: ‘The new section of cycleway that crosses Heathcote Street provides the missing link of the National Cycleway Network (NCN) 5, giving people a more direct and safer route to cycle through the town.

‘The improvements follow changes to the nearby junction which are part of wider plans to improve air quality in the area.’

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