New cycle path branded ‘dangerous’

Former traffic policeman, Derek Shaw, warning about the dangers of a pilot cycle scheme
Former traffic policeman, Derek Shaw, warning about the dangers of a pilot cycle scheme
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A FORMER Blackpool traffic cop has warned pedestrians about the resort’s “dangerous” new shared bicycle paths.

Derek Shaw, who worked as a traffic management officer for Blackpool Police, claims the new routes in the town centre pose a danger to shoppers.

Mr Shaw, from Thornton, who retired from the force in 1990, said: “It’s a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen as far as I’m concerned. The cyclists come up behind you at fast speeds and you don’t hear them coming.

“They have already got cycle paths in the town, it’s dangerous to have pedestrians and cyclists sharing the same path.

“I got knocked into by a cyclist, he knocked into my left shoulder and just rode off.

“I’ve seen old people who are scared by these bikes coming up from behind. If they are knocked down, it could prove fatal in old people.”

Mr Shaw, 67, says he has noticed the problem at the corner of Bank Hey Street and Church Street and outside Blackpool Town Hall where the cycle path signs can be seen on the block paving.

Mr Shaw is worried pedestrians will become more vulnerable to thieves on bikes.

He added: “It makes it easy for thieves to snatch people’s bags while they are cycling. They can grab them and then ride off.

“People should know about it.

“I want something done about it. It’s ridiculous.”

Mr Shaw says the routes are part of an experimental traffic order and residents have until March 3 to object against them.

A Blackpool Council spokesman said: “Mr Shaw has recently contacted us about this issue and we have spoken to him regarding his concerns.

“As part of Blackpool’s Cycle Town project a number of new cycle routes are being installed, some of which will be used for pedestrians too.

“All cycle lanes which are already installed for both pedestrians and cyclists are working well so far.

“Any change can be difficult for people to get used to and we ask that they give the new a format a chance.

“We will be monitoring all the new cycles lane and making changes where necessary.

“Road users should always be considerate of others and be extra careful when on the roads to ensure the safety of everyone – no matter whether they are a motorist, cyclist or pedestrian.”

The Cycling England organisation awarded Blackpool ‘Cycling Town’ status in the summer of 2008.

Since then the council has implemented a programme including new cycling facilities, more training for children and adults, and cycling events.

This programme will provide four ‘Signature Routes’ helping cyclists travel from the Promenade into Blackpool and on to the countryside.