50ft painted bike lane slammed for being wasteful

Birmingham paint job enrages Mail and the Mirror

Birmingham City Council had been blasted for creating a new ‘pointless’ cycle lane, running for less that 50 foot (just over 15 metres) and offering zero protection (paint isn’t concrete).

As reported by the national press (The Mirror and The Daily Mail) local cyclists have criticised the new ‘lane’, which runs in Linden Road, Bournville. The path is part of the council’s £1 million plan to help bike uptake and improve safety.

Lobby organisation Push Bikes’s John Bennett said: “It protects cyclists from nothing and serves no real purpose other than to confuse people. It’s a bit pathetic but, sadly, highways engineers don’t have a good understanding of how cyclists use the roads.”

The astroturf org Tax Payers’ Alliance also commented on the ‘wasteful’ path. Emma Boon of the TPA said: “It is just this sort of waste that infuriates taxpayers, even more so at a time when there is so much pressure on finances. There’s nothing wrong with creating cycle lanes but they should serve a useful purpose. The council needs to get its priorities straight and stop throwing away taxpayers’ hard-earned money on schemes like this.”

The council responded to the criticism: “The cycle lane was initially painted because there is a kink in the road and it protects cyclists from getting cut up towards the junction. The road was being resurfaced and repainted so the cost was insignificant.”

Earlier this week a cyclist survey found that a lack of cycle lanes puts cyclists at risk.

The first commenters on the Daily Mail story complained that cyclists don’t pay road tax and that cyclists should wear helmets if they wanted to be safe from cars.

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