COUNCIL bosses have been urged not to give in to the ‘endless demands of the cycle lobby’ and enforce the law on using bikes in Worcester’s pedestrianised shopping area by the county’s highways chief.
Coun Alan Amos launched the attack after Worcester City Council asked residents for their views on whether the current ban on cycling in some of the city’s busiest shopping areas between 10.30am and 4.30pm should be scrapped.
As well as highlighting the rise in popularity of cycling in the city, the consultation document also claims there is a lack of evidence of any public safety issues.
“As banning cycling in the city centre during the daytime is clearly unenforceable, it is proposed to remove the no-cycling order, to bring Worcester into line with almost every other town and city centre in the country, improving access across the city centre,” the document reads.
Coun Amos branded the suggestion ‘highly dangerous and irresponsible’ and questioned the need for people to cycle through the city’s busy streets.
“It is indeed ironic at the very time some of us are working hard to get lorries and other vehicles out of our pedestrianised shopping centre altogether during shopping hours – because vehicles and pedestrians do not safely mix – the City Council wants to allow cycle-mad morons in to speed through busy shopping streets causing endless accidents and mayhem to everybody not just the elderly, children, and the disabled,” he said.
“Instead of wasting time and money consulting on something so stupid, why doesn’t the City Council enforce the law?
“I have travelled widely in Scandinavia and the Netherlands where cycling is a common feature of life and the lanes for cyclists and pedestrians are always carefully demarcated and separated and cyclists are not allowed to go through pedestrianized shopping streets. So why would it work in Worcester?
“I receive many complaints about the behaviour of cyclists and I’m sure we’ve all experienced them weaving in and out of traffic, overtaking on both sides, and cycling on pavements to avoid going through traffic lights, if they’re not ignoring the lights on the roads anyway as so many do.
Coun Amos, city and county councillor for Bedwardine and the cabinet member for Highways at Worcestershire County Council added: “I have no doubt the cycle lobby will swamp the consultation process hoping to produce a false result that everybody really does want speeding cyclists churning through crowds of shoppers.”
Visit www.worcester.gov.uk/voiceit to air your views on the proposals.
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