By Nigel Wynn
A cycling organisation has delivered over 9,500 letters of objection against a proposed ban on cycling on the A63 road near Hull.
Cycling UK hand-delivered the letters to Highways England in Leeds on Monday.
Highways England had proposed to ban cyclists from using the A63 dual carriageway between the North Cave interchange and the Daltry Street interchange – a 15-mile stretch. The road is part of the V718 time trial course and it is currently legal for cyclists to use it.
Highways England had said that it was considering applying for a Traffic Regulation Order from the Department for Transport citing safety concerns over cyclists using the road.
Head of campaigns at Cycling UK, Duncan Dollimore, branded the proposal as "nonsensical", saying: "One of Highways England’s arguments for banning cyclists is that they cannot keep up with traffic, but they’re not banning slow-moving vehicles like tractors, farm vehicles or horse and carts.
“If they ban cyclists because they cannot keep up with the traffic, then they’re going to be banned from every A-road in the country and large sections of B-roads.
"It’s a nonsensical piece of logic and if Highways England wants to come up with reasons why cyclists shouldn’t be riding on this road, they need to come up with some evidence based reasons.”
Dollimore points out that the ban contradicts Highways England's own cycling strategy, which aims to create a cycling network across England that is suitable and safe for everyone.
A Highways England statement published by Hull Thursday Road Club, organiser of an event that uses the road, said: "Cyclists are travelling on a carriageway that carries average speeds of 65mph for traffic, at a rate of over 2,500 vehicles per hour. In the last five years there have been six accidents involving cyclists, including a fatality in 2013.
"In the interest of road safety, Highways England Company Limited is proposing to ban cyclists on this stretch of road, including associated slip roads."
British Cycling and Welcome to Yorkshire issued a joint statement in February saying that they thought the proposed ban was "deeply concerning".
“If speed and density of traffic was accepted as a reason to ban cycling, cyclists would be banned from the vast majority of our roads. If approved, this approach will set an extremely dangerous precedent,” read the statement attributed to BC chief executive Julie Harrington and Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity.
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