City centre: Calls for cycle lane in Bridge Street

Cyclists are not allowed to cycle through Bridge Street between 9am and 6pm.
Cyclists are not allowed to cycle through Bridge Street between 9am and 6pm.
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A petition to introduce a cycle lane through Peterborough city centre has already picked up 78 signatures in its first few days.

Darren Fower, Peterborough city councillor for Werrington South, wants a lane through Bridge Street to allow cyclists to pass freely.

He launched the online petition at the weekend calling on the council to make the change.

He said: “We are supposed to be a city that is aspiring to be an environmental capital.

“The reality is cyclists are demonised and we do everything to protect drivers. We need places to lock up bikes and a safe way into the city centre.”

Currently cyclists are forbidden from riding through Bridge Street between 9am and 6pm and police regularly fine people for flouting the rule.

Rohan Wilson, area manager for Cambridgeshire Sustrans, a group which campaigns for improved cycle networks, said: “The centre has always been an important link. If we look at Cathedral Square and Long Causeway, pedestrians and cyclists seem to co-exist.

“We believe that could be repeated in Bridge Street.”

But the city council said the idea was rejected in a public consultation held last year.

A spokeswoman said: “The results of the consultation concluded that a majority of people were in favour of either retaining or extending the period cycling is prohibited in Bridge Street, with some people in support of a complete prohibition.

“We appreciate that some residents would like to be able to ride their bikes along Bridge Street, but as it is a pedestrianised area we have to weigh this against the wishes of other members of the public.”

Of the 62 responses received in the consultation, 22 wanted to allow cycling in Bridge Street and remove the restrictions; 11 wanted to keep the existing restrictions; and 29 wanted to extend the prohibition.

But the council using a consultation in which only 62 people responded as justification not to create a cycle lane seems to contradict a statement it made earlier this year on another consultation concerning Bridge Street.

The council pushed on with plans to remove 13 trees from the street, despite 116 out of 200 people who responded to a consultation calling for the trees to be retained.

At the time, the council said it did not consider the number of objections to be “significant enough to be representative of the people of Peterborough”, yet this received more responses than the cycling consultation.

Do you support the move to have a cycle lane in Bridge street?

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Darren Fower’s petition online: Peterborough City Council: Introduce a dedicated cycle lane along Bridge Street, Peterborough