The coronavirus lockdown has suddenly put cycling at centre stage, as the government tries to get the nation moving again without causing gridlock on the roads.
With workers urged to avoid public transport where possible and fears that more people could be jumping in cars for their commutes, authorities across the country have been working fast to make the roads safer for cyclists.
To get more people on bikes, the government has announced a £2 billion investment in cycling and walking, councils have been given new powers to stop drivers parking in cycle lanes, and pop-up cycle lanes have been put in place.
But unfortunately not everyone is so supportive of these new measures for cyclists.
Trafford Council has removed a brand new pop-up cycle lane from a busy stretch of road after drivers complained about the traffic, Altrincham Today reports.
The new coned-off cycle lane, which was introduced on the A56 just outside of Manchester over the weekend, has already been scrapped because “the delay to traffic became unmanageable, according to one councillor.
Using emergency cash from the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund, Trafford Council has built a seven-mile-long stretch of cycle lanes between Manchester city centre and Altrincham.
But the authority has now removed the cycle lane at Trafford all the way back to Sale town centre after complaints from drivers.
One driver complained that it took him an hour to drive two miles.
Leader of Trafford Council, Councillor Andrew Western, told Altrincham Today: “The government was clear that councils should look to re-designate road space for walking and cycling, and in particular on trunk roads and arterial routes.
“The Council followed this advice and the scheme progressed with only minimal disruption to traffic in the initial stages. However as the lane reduction was extended through Sale southbound over the weekend the level of delay to traffic quickly became unmanageable.”
Cllr Western added that the scheme was pulled back to reduce congestion with a further review to take place over the next day.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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