'We could have done more to explain why these cycle lanes are needed'

·2-min read
A cycle lane in Wimborne
A cycle lane in Wimborne

MORE could have been done to explain why two-way cycle lanes are needed in East Dorset.

At least, that's the opinion of the councillor in charge of highways at Dorset Council.

Cllr Ray Bryan told fellow councillors that the two-way cycle lanes at Leigh Road, Wimborne and Wimborne Road West at Colehill are already working well.

“When we started it people didn’t understand what we wanted to achieve,” he admitted.

He said that everyone would be helped by the project – encouraging residents to cycle in safety and, in turn, keep more cars off the road, cutting down on pollution.

Bournemouth Echo: The cycle lanes in Wimborne
Bournemouth Echo: The cycle lanes in Wimborne

The cycle lanes in Wimborne

Read more: Confusion over cycle lane wider than half of adjacent road

Wimborne councillor Shane Bartlett told a committee meeting on Tuesday that social media had been ‘red hot’ over the road changes with some comments bordering on outright hatred for the council.

The joint scheme with BCP Council is part of a £79million ‘Transforming Cities’ funding given to the area by the Government.

Dorset Council’s place and resources scrutiny committee heard that because of rising material and labour costs the two councils would need to go back to the Department of Transport and ask for more funding if it was to complete all the work needed.

The current joint Dorset-BCP work, is expected to be completed by March 2023.

As part of the Wimborne and Colehill project electric rental Beryl Bikes, already in use in the BCP area, will be extended to Wimborne, Ferndown and Colehill. Dorset Council hopes to have the bikes in place before the cycle lane works are completed.

Bournemouth Echo: Cycle lanes 'could have been explained'
Bournemouth Echo: Cycle lanes 'could have been explained'

Cycle lanes 'could have been explained'

Read more: New highway code rules require drivers to give priority to cyclists

Cllr Bryan said that over recent months he had personally seen an increase in the number of people cycling on the route and he believed there would be more as the weather improved.

He said he had also received positive feedback from residents after introducing additional crossing points to help cyclists and pedestrians get across the busy road.

Cllr Bryan has also promised to talk to Cllr David Tooke about using the former rail line to create links from Alderholt to Wimborne and in the other direction, to Downton, although the project is still in the early stages.

Cllr Tooke said he hoped the Government would extend the funding to market towns and rural areas.

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