'Wonky' bike logo on North Wales cycle path compared to a 'crime scene'

A “wonky” bicycle logo painted on a new cycle path has raised eyebrows in a North Wales village. It lies askew on a pedestrian crossing in Hope that was upgraded this month as part of Flintshire’s ongoing Active Travel commitments.

There has been lively local debate about the scheme’s merits with some people troubled by the path's new bike logo. Unlike traditional cycle motifs on pavements, it straddles the verge as if toppling onto the road.

A Wrexham woman said its lopsided look “really annoys me” and one man likened it to a “crime scene”. “I thought a bike had died,” he said. “Yes detective, we found the bike, no sir nobody else, just the bike.” Flintshire Council said it was painted this way to help show cyclists which direction to follow.

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The new multi-user route, on the A550 Wrexham Road, was dubbed the “cycle path to nowhere” when it opened. In late 2022, motorists endured more than three months of traffic misery as the route was laid between Hope and Penyffordd.

The work was funded by the Welsh Government and undertaken by Flintshire Council in a bid to improve sustainable travel in the area. As the path has yet to offer onward connections to other multi-user paths, its value has come in for scrutiny.

On hearing of the latest three-week upgrade to the route, one cyclist fumed: “I have no issue with a cycle path that is actually useful! But this one goes nowhere!

“If they had continued it on to Llay to join the cycle path that goes into Wrexham, then I would have welcomed it. But it only joins Penyffordd to Hope!” North Wales Live has a WhatsApp community group where you can get the latest stories delivered straight to your phone

The appearance of a wonky bike logo was the cue for more of the same. “I couldn’t believe my eyes,” said one man. “This is the first time I’ve actually seen a bicycle using the new cycle path!”

In fact, residents say the path is used and has improved safety – if only to avoid potholes on the road. Over time, Flintshire Council aims to join up its various active travel routes but the local authority is currently committed to a phased approach that’s dictated by available funding.

Land ownership and availability are other complications, as is existing infrastructure that can be hard to circumnavigate. A spokesperson said the Hope to Penyffordd Shared Use Path “contributes to the council’s statutory duty in alignment with the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013”.

They added: “The painted bicycle has been laid at an ‘angle of entry’ to assist the cyclists with the direction of travel.” Sign up for the North Wales Live newsletter sent twice daily to your inbox

Motorists have complained they are still stuck behind cyclists who prefer using the road and who are “weaving in and out of the traffic”. It’s prompted calls for more signage to make cyclists aware the path be used by them and not just pedestrians. “It’s pointless having all these roadworks if nobody is using it,” was one comment.

Despite the criticism, there is plenty of evidence the cycle path is being used and that residents are grateful for it. A local woman said: “It’s definitely made it safer for those of us that live outside of the village. I live along the route and can say it’s used by cyclists regularly.”

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