Concerns raised over new cycle path safety

Concerns have been raised by residents and Conservative councillors in Bath over plans to put in place a new cycle path across Kingsmead Square.

B&NES Council’s Liberal Democrat Cabinet last week agreed plans to introduce a new cycleway across the busy pedestrian area between Pizza Hut and Boston Tea Party in Kingsmead Square in central Bath. The designated lane would allow cyclists to cross from Monmouth Street to Kingsmead Square across the pavement, and will be near an existing short cycle route which allows cyclists to cross from Westgate Street to Monmouth Street.

However, residents have raised concerns about the danger this plan could pose to pedestrians, and particularly the elderly, disabled, blind and partially sighted. Conservative councillors voiced these concerns at the public Cabinet Meeting.

Cllr Tim Warren, the Conservative Shadow Cabinet Member for Transport, said:

“This is a really busy pedestrian area at all times of day, and having cyclists cross right through the middle could prove dangerous. We don’t think these plans have been properly thought through at all by the council. Even if a designated cycle path is painted on the pavement, when the area is busy many pedestrian still won’t see this and be startled by cyclists crossing their path. This is particularly the case for elderly people and the blind and partially sighted. They will not expect to have cyclists crossing such a pedestrianised area. Whilst we appreciate cycling should be encouraged, it should not cause danger to pedestrians.

“I don’t believe the Cabinet considered all options available, such as putting up a ‘cyclists dismount’ sign. This would mean cyclists are allowed to cross over the pavement but won’t pose a danger to other pedestrians. We would like to council to look into these plans further before implementing them.”