Peterborough cycle group hits out at MP's call for barriers on city path

“This is the perfect location to give pedestrians and cyclists priority, and to make car drivers give way.”

By Stephen Briggs
Monday, 1st August 2022, 5:00 am

A Peterborough cycling group has hit out at city MP Paul Bristow over his calls for gates to be put on a footpath to slow cyclists down.

Mr Bristow called for the barriers to be put up on the path at Harebell Close in Dogsthorpe in a bid to slow cyclists down – but The Peterborough Cycle Forum have said any changes made at the path should be to give priority to cyclists and pedestrians, not cars.

In a letter to Peterborough City Council Chief Executive Matt Gladstone, Mr Bristow said: “Residents expressed concern that cyclists can not easily see that a road crossing is coming up and as a result cross the road at speed which creates risks for all road users – pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike. There is also a children’s play area near by which means many families are using the road in close proximity to the cycle crossing.

MP Paul Bristow has called for barriers to be put on the path to slow cyclists down

“As a result of my visit last year officers agreed that it was a dangerous situation and some sort of gate or barrier would be installed so that cyclists were aware they were approaching a road crossing.

“I have been contacted again by residents who are disappointed that no action has been taken for a year.

"I understand that under Equality Act 2010, Section 20, any physical feature installed should not put a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage. I would not support a barrier that would do this and I have been reminded of the law several times in a ‘spirited’ way by

members of the Peterborough Cycle Forum on social media.

"However, this is an issue of safety and the Act must not be a reason to do nothing. Working with local residents, I am sure a solution can be found that suit cyclists, pedestrians, motorists and disabled people.”

A spokesman for the Peterborough Cycle Forum said: “The Cycle Forum were extremely disappointed to see our MP tweeting about adding discriminatory barriers to cycle paths in Peterborough, when he should be doing the complete opposite.

“The Conservative Government have brought in some of the best policies, and design guidance for walking and cycling in decades, but this tweet from our MP suggests he has been poorly briefed.

“Harebell Close is a small development of no more than 50 homes, only accessed by a one-way street. It is the perfect location to give pedestrians and cyclists priority, and to make car drivers give way. This is what Peterborough City Council’s adopted cycle design standards would propose, and Council Officers should have explained this to our MP.

The spokesperson added: “Ultimately the Equalities Act and PCCs cycle design standards make adding barriers very difficult , as local authorities must provide safe, accessible access to all, from wheelchair users to handcyclists, double pushchairs and cargo bikes.”

A Peterborough City Council spokesperson said: “The spokesperson said: “We are investigating the use of bollards to encourage users to slow down and not cross the road at speed, which will be accessible for all users. National guidance meant we were unable to install staggered barriers because they are inaccessible for some users.”