By Nigel Wynn
Surrey County Council has rejected a proposed ban on cycling on the A24 road between Dorking and Leatherhead in Surrey. A local driving instructor had created a petition proposing to ban cycling on the dual carriageway due to the presence of an adjoining cycle path, claiming that cycling on the road was 'dangerous'.
SCC concluded after debating the matter on November 9 that banning cyclists from the A24 and restricting them to using the cycle paths would set an 'unhelpful precedent', reports the Surrey Mirror. The route is well used by cyclists, with many using it to access Box Hill.
Leatherhead driving instructor Martin Davies started the petition to try and ban cycling on the A24 in August, and had collected more than 300 signatures. Davies made a presentation at the SCC hearing.
Davies argued that due to the close vicinity of the cycle path that there was no need for cyclists to be on the main carriageway, saying "there is a very good cycle lane off to both sides of this road that many cyclists already use therefore it is clearly fit for purpose".
Davies also proposed that the current shared cycle/pedestrian path be improved, with a separate, wide path for cycling and one for pedestrians, and that they would be adequately maintained.
However, all of his proposals were rejected. SCC councillor John Furey said that there would be no cycling ban, or any further investment in the cycle infrastructure due to budgetary constraints.
"This type of proposal would also require the support of the police, as they would be responsible for enforcing any traffic order of this type," said Furey.
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"This proposal would set an unjustified precedent that would also create an additional budget pressure for the cost of consultation, advertising and potentially enacting a traffic order, signs and enforcement."
"Any proposal to ban cycling from the A24 would not support the Surrey County Council's cycling strategy, in particular that 'we will support cycling as healthy, inclusive and affordable'."
Davies described the outcome as 'disappointing': "I was also a little sad about the way I was met with a wall of apathy for the whole thing and to be told it comes down to money. But then I suppose in the end it always does."
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