Friday, October 18, 2013
A councillor wants three safety barriers reinstated along the Back Path in Eaton Socon to slow down “dangerous” cyclists.
Huntingdonshire district and Cambridgeshire county councillor Derek Giles would like to see chicane-style barriers at Stratford Place, Capulet Close, and the alleyway adjoining Wheatsheaf Road following complaints about fast-moving bikes.
However, some cyclists are concerned that the barriers will prevent them from moving freely along the path – which they have been able to do since half of the barriers were removed in 2011 as part of the Willow Bridge project.
Richard Cooper, a cycling instructor and volunteer group coordinator for St Neots Sustrans Leisure Cycling Group, said: “A few selfish, thoughtless individuals are believed to be travelling far too fast there.
“If you have the confidence to cycle fast there is no reason why you shouldn’t cycle on the road rather than using the off-road infrastructure.
“The barriers cause problems not just for cyclists but for people with mobility scooters and visually impaired people.
“If they are reintroduced it will be because of a few people making a complaint and a few people causing a nuisance, but it will affect a lot of people.”
Cllr Giles, however, said that speeding cyclists had posed a risk to pedestrians for many years but the chicane barriers had helped.
He said: “After the safety barriers were installed, pedestrians felt a lot safer. So if it wasn’t broken then why fix it?”
Joan Foley, trustee of The Pightle Millennium Green Trust committee, which maintains the nearby green, added: “It has become very dangerous.
“We don’t want it to become a battle- ground but it almost is. It has become quite a problem and I certainly think that we do need those barriers reinstated.”
In a statement to The Hunts Post, Cambridgeshire County Council said that it is considering cycle and footpath improvements in the area as part of the Transport Delivery Plan for the coming year.
A spokesman said: “We are looking at the current situation on the path and the extent of use by both cyclists and pedestrians and we will look to see what future measures are necessary to improve safety for both cyclists and pedestrians.”