More of Preston's controversial cycle lanes set to be axed over winter

Roads bosses are removing more of the unwelcome pop-up cycle lanes in Preston, that were introduced as a response to Covid-19, following a review of their use.

By James Holt
Wednesday, 7th October 2020, 3:07 pm

Lancashire county council introduced 16 pop–up cycle lanes and road closures this summer as an emergency response to Covid19, hoping to ease the pressure on public transport services and encouraging cycling to work - but many of these are now set to be removed.

The pop-up lanes were initially met with anger from motorists who said they were slowing down commuting times and attracting few bike users.

Monitoring has now shown their use by cyclists has fallen since the end of summer and the onset of colder weather means they are unlikely to be popular in the winter months.

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Temporary cycle lanes are now being removed by the council after a review of their usage

At the same time, there has been a significant increase in cars on the road, especially after schools and colleges restarted.

In September, the pop-up cycle lane on Riversway in Preston was removed following low usage, and now the road closures at Frenchwood Avenue, Fishwick Parade and Fletcher Road in Preston will be axed.

Other temporary closures, such as that of Adelaide Street, Preston, had caused disruption on London Road, a busy route for city centre commuters.

And last month, Stephen Turton, co-owner of D Sandersons Bookbinders, Primrose Hill, told The Post that the new temporary road closures brought in by LCC were 'pointless' and were preventing important deliveries being made to his business.

The cycle lanes, introduced as a response to Covid-19, caused anger with motorists

County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "When the lockdown was lifted in the summer, we needed to react quickly to allocate road space for people who wanted to cycle and walk whilst maintaining social distance.

"There had been an increase in cycling during lockdown and we received funding from the government for these temporary measures due to concerns that the restrictions on public transport meant there was a real need to provide capacity for people to travel in other ways.

"While some of these schemes have been popular, their use has fallen now the weather is changing. At the same time, we've seen a big increase in car use. As a result we are reviewing each temporary scheme and, where necessary, either adjusting the layout or removing them.

"We remain committed to improving our permanent cycling and walking infrastructure and building on the major investments that we've made in recent years. The approach to these schemes is very different in that we have more time to plan them, and ensure that they meet a demand which will continue in the long term."

Find out how you can join the increasing numbers of people cycling for regular journeys at lancashire.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/cycling/switch-to-cycling.