Currently reading: Councils reverse road closures as residents bash ‘green’ scheme
Government's £250m green roads scheme is accused of increasing congestion and damaging businesses
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2 mins read
24 August 2020

Councils across the UK have reversed government-backed street closures in towns and cities after criticism from residents, The Telegraph has revealed.

The closures, which have been made as part of the Department of Transport’s £250 million green roads scheme, were promised to help usher in a “new era for cycling and walking”. However, residents have revolted, claiming that the closures have just shifted and in many cases actually increased congestion and damaged local businesses.

The criticism has led to councils from Herefordshire to Sheffield reversing road closures this week, such as the council for the London borough of Harrow, which recently axed proposals for four low-traffic neighbourhoods.

The leader of Harrow Conservatives, councillor Paul Osborn, told The Telegraph that the suggestions “had not been particularly thought through”. “There’s no real demand from residents," he said. "Lots are, in fact, against the schemes. So they just end up being taken away anyway, and wasting a lot of money in the meantime."

Another local authority to walk back on street closures is Sheffield City Council. In July, the council took advantage of the government’s greener roads scheme to close one lane in each direction on the A61 ringroad to create a new cycle lane, but it will now return the road to full capacity.

The lane closure received criticism after photos were posted on social media showing a police car struggling to get through congested traffic on the road. Previously, an ambulance worker was filmed removing bollards marking out the cycle lane to get past.

Sheffield councillor Bob Johnson told The Telegraph that it's now “time to end the trial”.

In Brighton & Hove, more than 2700 residents have signed a petition to get Brighton & Hove City Council to remove newly installed cycle lanes. It claims that these are “stupid ideas” and that plans to introduce more lanes “will inevitably destroy local businesses and the town in general”.

Autocar has contacted the Department of Transport for comment.

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24 August 2020
Government: we'll close roads to encourage people to walk am cycle
Lazy, fat people: we'll revolut and threaten to stop voting for you
Government: in that case... we'll listen to the will of the people, it's doing great things for this country.

24 August 2020

that you belong to the new breed of 'journalist' who's role is to copy and paste details from other peoples articles but it is worth mentioning that there was already a cycle lane on this part of the A61 but as soon the Council sniffed the opportunity of extra Govt cash they couldn't resist taking out a whole lane of an already congested dual carriageway without any consultation whatsover. The consequent totally predicatble traffic chaos (including, as mentioned, a number of Emegency Services vehicles being severly held up) and vastly increased local CO2 level are a perfect example of the knee-jerk mentality of our current local and national governments. 

24 August 2020

Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow they've taken away both a lane of traffic and parking on both sides of the street. A street which had increasingly turned to restaurants and other night time venues. Now you can't even get dropped off without backing up traffice. Why? The council's "Avenue" scheme for cyclists and predestrians. They're killing of a street when it was just starting to thrive again.

 

Edinburgh they've practically turned every street in to a 20mph zone. Streets where you couldn't get to 20mph anyway! Or others that we find at 30mph and didn't require fixing. Now traffic is slowed, with more pollution too. Why? Because Edinburgh council is anti-car.

 

I was at a meeting with an Edinburgh council employee self congratulating their plans to remove on-street parking. I asked where these people who needed to park would have to park? He stated the outlying carparks and then get public transport in. Problem is, I don't know if those car parks actually exist and I'm sure they won't be making the right connections anyway.

 

24 August 2020

In The Netherlands they have proper cycle lanes; they run parellel to but are properly segregated from the roads and are included in the same sets of traffic lights at junctions.  They were probably planned and built as part of a road renewal or building program.  Cycle lanes in this country are intermittent lines placed about two feet from the kerb, where drain covers and the worst potholes lurk.  There is no protection from main traffic and the lanes then run out where space or funds or both have become scarce.  They are a pathetic half-hearted gesture just to be seen to be doing something, however useless - and they are useless, and dangerous.  If the funding cannot be found to build proper cycle lanes, the authorities should just shut up about them.

24 August 2020
streaky wrote:

In The Netherlands they have proper cycle lanes. They were probably planned and built as part of a road renewal or building program.  Cycle lanes in this country are intermittent lines placed about two feet from the kerb, where drain covers and the worst potholes lurk.

Agreed, especially as I came off my bike once when the wheel got jammed in a drain who's slats ran with the road, not against.

 

But the biggest problem is that the further north in the UK you go the worse the weather conditions for cycling. We can't really compare with the Netherlands or much of mainland Europe in that sense.

 

24 August 2020
Symanski wrote:

the biggest problem is that the further north in the UK you go the worse the weather conditions for cycling. We can't really compare with the Netherlands or much of mainland Europe in that sense.

 

I don't think that the weather in The Netherlands is that much better than ours - especially in the winter.  I presume cycling is more popular there precisely because there has been proper investment in cycle lanes and other such facilities.

24 August 2020
streaky wrote:

Symanski wrote:

the biggest problem is that the further north in the UK you go the worse the weather conditions for cycling. We can't really compare with the Netherlands or much of mainland Europe in that sense.

 

I don't think that the weather in The Netherlands is that much better than ours - especially in the winter.  I presume cycling is more popular there precisely because there has been proper investment in cycle lanes and other such facilities.

Surely the main reason cycling is more popular in Holland than Yorkshire is one is flat and one has many hills?

24 August 2020
artill wrote:

Surely the main reason cycling is more popular in Holland than Yorkshire is one is flat and one has many hills?

Could be!  Looking to the future, a friend of mine hired an e-bike to go out for the day and was very taken with it.  In particular he mentioned how the electrical assistance dispelled any dread he previously had for hills!

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