Bath Voice News: storm in a cycle lane after misinformation was circulated online

By Harry Mottram: A row broke out recently over a cycle lane in Bath. Not so much whether it was a good thing or a bad thing to install but about if the Council had consulted with the Ambulance service for their views on the cycle lane. On social media an accusation making this accusation was shared and retweeted by numerous people and groups. The accusations Bath Voice understands followed a number of comments opposed to the new cycle lane and saying they were a waste of money and cyclists did not use them. (Photo by the BBC.)

Now Cllr Manda Rigby has responded to a report that BANES didn’t consult with the ambulance service over the Upper Bristol Road cycle way. She said: “Incorrect claims are being made that Bath & North East Somerset Council did not consult with the South West Ambulance Service Trust on road schemes – specifically the Upper Bristol Road cycle scheme and the Southlands through-traffic restriction trial, which form part of our Liveable Neighbourhood programme. These claims are untrue but are being widely shared on social media and through other outlets.”

The ambulance service had given an incorrect statement to a member of the public who asked if they had been contacted by BANES over the scheme. They have apologised for the error to BANES and to the member of the public as BANES had consulted with them and they had no objections to the scheme.

The Council issued this information about the cycle lane and pedestrian and bus access:

The new separated cycle lanes opened on Friday 25 November. New types of bus stops have also come into use, which operate by the cycle lane running between the bus stop and the pavement.

Pedestrians have priority at the bus stops and people using the cycle lane must stop to allow bus passengers to get on or off the bus. View a video explainer to see how the new bus stops work.

Please note that the cycle lane section opposite Marlborough Lane is not yet open as hoarding for a retirement development is currently in place in the road.

Crossing points for pedestrians have also been improved with new continuous footways introduced along the route.

A continuous footway gives people priority over vehicles where side roads join main roads, to improve safety. Kerbs and tactile paving are removed to give the appearance that the pavement continues across the entrance of the side road. There are also ‘give way’ lines to show drivers they have to give way to people crossing.

Together with reducing the speed limit to 20mph, the aim of continuous footways is to improve visibility and safety and reduce the likelihood of accidents.  

View our video explainer to see how the new continuous footways work from a side road and main road. 

Continuous footways reinforce rule 170 of the Highway Code, which states that drivers should give way to pedestrians crossing when turning into or out of side roads.

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