MOTORISTS have been driven mad by a 'bonkers' cycle lane, which they say cyclists don't even use.
Plans to expand the protected route in Stoke-on-Trent, further squeezing road space for drivers, have been slammed for blocking up the roads and endangering all road users.
The lane was built using cash from the £630,750 Active Travel Fund that the government awarded to the city council to encourage cycling and walking as modes of travel.
The council recently expanded the existing three foot wide lane to six feet wide, prompting scorn from drivers.
Russell, a self-employed construction worker, who drives along the road every day has labelled it a "bloomin' disgrace" and says it means that vehicles can no longer pass one another on the road.
"The cycle lane is dangerous and how it’s got planning permission I have no idea – when you come down to the bridge, two vehicles can’t pass," he said.
"Cyclists don’t use the damn thing anyway. Why they have to make a cycle lane that’s 6ft with the curb is bloody bonkers – there’s no road left, it’s crazy."
He adds that the expansion was a "waste of money" and that he wants the council to dig up the road and return the lane to its original width.
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Fellow local Stewart Robinson argues that the expansion has left cars at risk of damage.
"They've just put new cycle lanes in and the kerb is raised. Cars keep hitting them as they're just in the middle of the road.
"I've contacted the council about one of the signs being knocked off and I'm going to ring Highways to see if we can get the kerbs taken out as there's going to be more accidents. I've seen three vehicles hit them in the last month."
Even the council's deputy leader Dan Jellyman, who is also council cabinet member for infrastructure, says the cycle lane is a bad idea.
He said: "In my opinion, It is by far one of the worst government schemes of recent times because it was rushed, it wasn’t thought through and it’s led to schemes that are not useful."
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He added that the council bid for as little as possible from the Active Travel Fund as it is "one of the worst wastes of taxpayers' money" and "doesn't achieve what it's meant to achieve."
"The government rushed it and gave enough money so that they can say we’ve done something but it’s not enough to have a proper transformation so I totally understand why residents feel this way."
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