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Temporary cycle lanes in Bury St Edmunds postponed due to safety concerns

Work to create new 'emergency' cycle lanes has been put on hold due to safety concerns.

Suffolk County Council were due to start the construction of the lanes yesterday.

The council plans on improving routes for cyclists by changing the junction layout at Northgate Street and Mustow Street and re-allocating roadspace to cyclists via a 'lightly segregated mandatory cycle lane' which will stretch back past the junction with Looms Lane.

Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Richard Marsham
Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Richard Marsham

But a spokesperson for the council announced today: “Unfortunately, the work due to take place on Northgate Street and Mustow Street in Bury St Edmunds to install temporary cycle lanes is now being postponed.

“When delivering schemes, it is essential that Suffolk Highways’ contractors adhere to health and safety procedures to ensure the safety of their workforce and the travelling public when working on the highway.

"With this in mind, Suffolk Highways needs to postpone the works to put additional safety measures in place.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We look to reschedule this work and complete as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Suffolk County Council is carrying out the cycle lane work under the government's emergency travel scheme, during the pandemic.

A second cycle lane for Risbygate Street has already been completed and the third is underway at Beetons Way and Tollgate Lane, despite protests from residents.

New temporary cycle and walk routes are being installed across the county after the county council were awarded £337,000 from the national Active Travel Fund.

The routes are designed to make walking and cycling ‘easier and safer’ and are part of a nationwide scheme designed to encourage people to cycle and walk during the pandemic.

Within the first phase of funding, the measures can be put in place on an ‘emergency’ and experimental basis, after which full consultation will take place, meaning they then could then be removed.

The proposed closure of the junction at Tollgate Lane and Lancaster Avenue as part of the plans prompted a 300 name petition and blacklash from residents who carried out a traffic survey to illustrate how much the junction was needed.

Read the full story in this Friday's Bury Free Press (October 2 edition)

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