Design review of Keynsham High Street cycle lane

A DESIGN review of Keynsham High Street’s cycle lane is set to take place this summer.

Scores of people have reported tripping or falling since the cycle lane was introduced last year, and there have been repeated calls for action to improve safety.

Bath and North East Somerset Council says the design review will assess whether improvements can be made to reduce the number of trips and falls.

Parking in the High Street was temporarily suspended last month so paving slabs could be repaired and damaged bollards and cycle stands replaced.

Extra street furniture was also being installed to protect the pavement from vehicles mounting it.

Councillor Paul Roper, cabinet member for economic & cultural sustainable development, said the repairs had been scheduled for some time.

He added: “We are conscious of the concerns about trips and falls linked to the cycle lane.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to reassure residents that we take the concerns extremely seriously, which is why we have already acted by introducing the red-coloured cycle lane finish that has reduced the number of reported incidents significantly.

“A Stage 4 Road Safety Audit will follow the remedial works. Alongside the audit, the council will undertake a design review over the summer, to assess whether additional enhancements can be made to reduce trips and falls further.

“We recognise that pedestrian use within the High Street has changed as a result of a significant reduction in cars passing through. If action is needed we’ll consider the options.

“Ward councillors representing the High Street have been kept updated on this.”

Among those calling for improved safety is Keynsham South councillor Alan Hale, who said he had been contacted about people falling “since day one” and has warned that someone could suffer fatal injuries if action isn’t taken.

One person who fell described the cycle lane as an “optical illusion” as there were kerbs and painted white lines which looked similar to each other.

Councillor Hale said he had had a conversation with Professor Ute Leonards, an expert in psychological science at Bristol University, who had visited the High Street with two other professors and written a paper about the phenomenon.

Councillor Hale said: “It seems that it bears out my claim that the cycle lane and the pavement and assorted kerbs all contribute to an optical illusion that does not provide the sight triggers that people need.

“I am trying to obtain for them precise locations of the falls but that is not proving easy. I shall continue to push for a resolution.”

Through figures obtained in April through a freedom of information request sent to B&NES Council, Councillor Hale discovered that 59 people had been injured since the cycle lane was installed in March last year.