A new cycle path and pedestrian footway has been laid by Lancashire County Council on Clifton Drive North, St Annes, and was marked out anbd readty for use in time for the Easter weekend after 12 weeks’ work.
The new path has narrowed the road and meant the reduction of the speed limit from 40 to 30mph as part of the aim to make the stretch from Highbury Road West to Starr Gate safer for those on foot and two wheels.
But the layout of the new path, with cyclists on the inner track and pedestrians between them and the road has been questions by many correspondents on social media, particularly citing the fact that a similar join path on Queensway, also linking St Annes and Blackpool further inland, has cyclists on the outside.
One said of Clifton Drive North: “So parents with their kids have to walk next to the busy road, and cyclists get the comforts of next to the dunes. Well done council.”
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council explained the thinking behind the Clifton Drive North layout, saying: "We have carefully considered the needs of pedestrians and cyclists in the design of the new shared use path, and there are a number of factors we have taken into account in positioning the cycleway furthest away from the road.
"The main reason is that this avoids the need for pedestrians to cross the cycleway at the 15 points along the scheme where there are bus stops, and pedestrian refuges to make it easier for people to cross the road.
"Reducing the potential for conflict at these points will also benefit people with visual impairments.
"Another significant factor is that we expect this route to be particularly well-used by families cycling with children, who are likely to feel safer and more likely to use the scheme if positioned further from the road.
"The markings on the path indicate that cyclists can travel in both directions keeping to the left, and that the side nearest the road is for pedestrians. There is plenty of room for everyone to pass in both directions with the path allowing 3m for cyclists and 2m for pedestrians.
"People are already using the sections of the path which have been completed and will be able to travel along the full length from the end of this week once the current work to the pedestrian refuges has been completed, which will allow us to remove the traffic management."
The work on Clifton Drive North has been jointly funded by cycling charity Sustrans and the County Council.
Sustrans is contributing £615,000 to the project, with the County Council providing £492,000 towards the scheme. The scheme adds a further nearly 2km section to national cycle route 62 from Fleetwood to Selby in Yorkshire, more than 70 per cent of which is already along traffic-free routes