An ‘optical illusion’ cycle lane has been destroyed by locals like a £1.5million white elephant – as MailOnline can reveal it is apparently only used by three cyclists in a typical hour.
Almost 60 people have been injured since the cycleway opened in Keynsham, Somerset, last year, 21 of whom are now suing the local council for compensation.
Construction took nine months and was part of a taxpayer-funded £1.5million High Street upgrade.
But on Friday afternoon there was barely a cyclist in sight despite the shopping street bustling with shoppers. For almost two hours, only six runners took the path at 1:55 p.m., 2:16 p.m., 2:25 p.m., 2:40 p.m., 3:06 p.m. and 3:10 p.m.
Retired local resident Martin Crew, 64, said he feared the deceptive pavement could lead to tragedy. He said: “It’s not a question of whether someone is seriously injured or killed, it’s only a question of when.”
Almost 60 people have been injured since the cycleway opened in Keynsham, Somerset (pictured), last year, 21 of whom are now suing the local council for compensation
But on Friday afternoon there was barely a cyclist in sight despite the main street bustling with shoppers
“They have completely ruined the main street with this, the shops are closing, the elderly are afraid to come here.
“It’s a huge waste of taxpayers’ money. We’re told it’s for the best, but how can it be if it’s never used.
Shopper Brie Jones, 23, added: ‘That’s stupid. They’ve taken years to tear everything apart and it sure looks nice and new, but people don’t watch where they’re going and hurt themselves as a result.
“You see the strange kid using it on his electric scooter, but you hardly ever see cyclists riding it down.
“I think a lot more than 60 people were injured, the local Facebook groups are full of people saying they are injured.” I don’t know if they are looking for something for money.
One of those using the cycle lane today was Mike Wright, 84, who said: ‘I use this cycle lane every time I come to town, but it’s never busy.
“I think there’s a fault on both sides, they have to lower the sidewalk to street level so people don’t trip, but people also have to watch where they’re going and if they’re unsteady on their feet , cross at the pedestrian crossing.’
Another buyer, who did not want to be named, said: ‘The board should hang their heads in shame about this. They spent so much money on it, it’s a white elephant and it ruined the main street. The best thing they can do is rip it out again, but that will only mean more wasted money and more disruption to local people, so I guess we’re stuck with that.
Photos this week showed Dave Dawson, 76, becoming the latest victim when he tripped on the pavement, which appears flat but was actually a 4-inch drop, and cut his hands and knees .
Last year, a pedestrian with arthritis and fibromyalgia reported a fall after mistaking the sidewalk for a painted line, while another elderly local ended up in A&E.
Shopper Brie Jones, 23, added: ‘That’s stupid. They’ve taken years to tear everything apart and it sure looks nice and new, but people don’t watch where they’re going and hurt themselves as a result’
One of those using the bike lane today was Mike Wright, 84, who said: ‘I use this bike lane every time I come to town but it’s never busy’
Mr Dawson said: ‘I was walking along the pavement, and it’s kind of like an optical illusion; it looks like everything is level.
“I was coming back towards the church and I walked with my right foot on the edge of the pavement because it looked flat, I lost my balance and I fell.
“I cut my palms and knees a bit because the surface of the bike path is very sharp.
“When I came up the road, I was obviously quite aware of the pavement because I had fallen, and presto, I fell too on the way back! Exactly the same.
“The problem is that in some places on the main street the cycle path uses the same principle, but the cycle path is at the level of the pavement, but as you walk it goes down about two inches. I think that’s where they thought people would cross.
Photos this week showed Dave Dawson (pictured), 76, becoming the latest victim when he stumbled onto the pavement, which appears flat but is actually a 4in drop, and cut his hands and the knees.
Mr Dawson said: ‘I was walking along the pavement, and it’s kind of like an optical illusion; it looks like everything is level’
Conservative Councilor Alan Hale said he had been contacted by people falling since the day the lane was laid.
He said: ‘There can be no other local authority in the country that has created a development that has managed to seriously injure at least 59 people and done nothing to remedy the situation.
“We are elected to make our community safe, not to inflict serious injury.
“To make it safe, we need the administration and officers to take positive action, and not sit idly by.”
Defending the feature, Lib Dem adviser Mark Roper said the lane was built to national safety standards.
“Mitigation” such as painting part of the track red has “had the effect of significantly reducing the number of reported incidents”, he continued.
There were just 2.3 recorded incidents per month on average between January and March this year, Mr Roper added, although another report was commissioned to “suggest further improvements”.
Origin: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk