Express & Star

'Pathetic!' - Anger over Dudley district’s 60m cycle lane

Cyclists in a Dudley suburb have branded their area’s only cycle lane as ‘pathetic’.

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The lonely cycle lane on Barrack Lane junction. Photo: Richard Body

The communities of Cradley Heath and Wollescote have one cycle lane - only 60 metres long.

Residents and councillors say the markings on the  Barrack Lane junction with Park Road takes just a few seconds to ride and is a waste of time – unless more lanes are created.

According to council maps, wards in the north of the borough such as Kingswinford already have whole networks of cycling lanes. Off the back of Dudley hosting the road cycling events in the Commonwealth Games, Cradley Heath councillor and keen cyclist Richard Body says it is “pathetic”.

Councillor Body has also highlighted several roads which could be narrowed across the ward to make space for cycle lanes.

He said: “Dudley borough has an obesity epidemic and one strand to the complex solution has been ignored, cycling! I think a number of Dudley residents could benefit from the benefits that cycling brings.

“Cradley and Wollescote have many streets, especially main linking roads that could be quite cheaply narrowed by installing a cycle lane. That would assist with traffic calming, a healthier lifestyle and a cleaner environment.”

“Less speeding, safer cycling and less traffic. Linking towns with narrower roads containing cycling lanes seems one possible and cost-effective solution. More human muscle-propelled activity and less driving must equate to healthier hearts, safer communities and a better local environment, yet Dudley Council does nothing.”

In response, Dudley Council has said it is looking to improve cycling infrastructure across all wards in the borough but initially, the focus will be on key corridors.

Councillor Shaz Saleem, cabinet member for highways and public realm, said: “The council is in the process of developing a borough-wide cycling and walking plan which will identify priority routes for improved cycle infrastructure.

“Initially the focus will be on key corridors linking main centres followed by more local links to help people access areas of employment, education and leisure. Opportunities to improve cycle infrastructure in all wards will be considered as part of this work.”