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Shoppers say 'optical illusion' cycle lane is still dangerous after council 'fix'

The infamous pathway in Keynsham High Street has seen over 100 people injured after tripping over a kerb.

A before and after composite of the infamous cycle lane in Keynsham, demonstrating the work the council has carried out. (SWNS)
A before and after composite of the infamous cycle lane in Keynsham, demonstrating the work the council has carried out. (SWNS)

Shoppers have claimed “Britain's worst cycle lane” is still dangerous - despite the council claiming it would be fixed.

The infamous pathway in Keynsham High Street has seen more than 100 people injured after tripping over a kerb.

The cycle lane, installed two years ago, was branded “the most dangerous in Britain” after causing injuries due to the fact it appears flat, but actually passes over an elevated 50mm kerb - causing some cyclists to crash and pedestrians to trip over the “hidden” kerb.

The council undertook work overnight on Thursday to make the “optical illusion” lane ''clearer to pedestrians and prevent further trips and falls''.

At around 7pm Thursday, contractors painted black markings over the previous solid white line, making it a dashed white line in the hope it would be clearer for pedestrians.

But people speaking on the high street on Friday believe the changes have made no difference to the trip risk and that it’s still a hazard.

Bath and North East Somerset Council put black markings on the previously solid white line. (SWNS)
Bath and North East Somerset Council put black markings on the previously solid white line. (SWNS)

Nigel Hammond, 67, said: ''It’s a disaster. The amount of people falling over... I’ve had a friend injured. He was walking backwards and fell over the kerb, slicing his arm with his keys.

''The black lines ain't going to stop [people tripping], it's just not going to happen.

''They have fixed nothing so I don’t know why they claim it will stop the injuries to people."

Alan Flyng, 72, added: ''They've put these black markings on the white? I never noticed.

"I get caught out with this, you’ve got two levels. You go down the first kerb and think you’re there, then there’s another one. I've nearly tripped over twice.

More South West stories - click above
More South West stories - click above

''All they’ve done is hide half the white line there, so you've completely gone onto the road then, as opposed to the white one that showed the edge.

''But you can't tell them anything because they won't do anything about it anyway, you get ignored.

''People have been talking about this for ages, but nothing has changed.”

Esme Brooks, 76, said: ''I don't think the council painting the black lines will fix the problem.

''It probably helps in the summer, like now while it's light and people are alert, but when it's cold and wet you've got umbrellas, I don't think it will fix the problem.

The lane has been branded 'the most dangerous in Britain' due to a high number of injuries, with shoppers blaming a 'trick of the eye' design. (SWNS)
The lane has been branded 'the most dangerous in Britain' due to a high number of injuries, with shoppers blaming a 'trick of the eye' design. (SWNS)

''You see people, they walk along, move out into the cycle lane to pass people on the path, and you can quite easily put your ankle over.

''I think, from the beginning, this has been a waste of time and money.

''It’s one way but cyclists and electric wheelchairs come the wrong way up it. It defeats the object of having it – they need to pedestrianise the area.'”

Paul Roper, Bath and North East Somerset Council’s cabinet member for economic and cultural sustainable development, had said on Wednesday: "This mitigation should make the change in levels clearer to pedestrians and prevent further trips and falls.''

Which UK cities are most cycle lane-friendly?

As part of its Cycling Cities campaign, Saga carried out research to find the most cycle-friendly cities in the UK, surveying 2,000 adults from different generations.

Its research, published in July 2023, found Norwich is the most cycle-friendly city in the UK, scoring high marks for categories like cycle routes, bike sharing schemes and cycle-friendly weather conditions.

Other high-scoring cities when it came to cycle routes included Newcastle, Belfast, Nottingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff and Plymouth.

Read more