PEOPLE living along a busy Frampton Cotterell route are up in arms over a new cycle path laid down without any warning or consultation.
Residents of Church Road are furious at South Gloucestershire Council for installing the lane and removing what they call ‘vital’ 30mph warning signs whilst the road is shut for a major bridge replacement.
Ian Dunford, who has lived on Church Road for 46 years, told the Gazette: “I have parked my car outside my house since 1968 and now, suddenly and without any consultation, they have told me I cannot. I find that intolerable.
“I have several vintage vehicles I park outside the house from time to time and although I am aware the cycle lane is only advisory, cyclists quite rightly are going to get agitated.”
Mr Dunford, who said the vast majority of his neighbours wanted the changes reversed, added: “We have cars going past at three or four times the speed limit and at night they race past at 100mph.
“Yet the council has removed the 30mph white markings written on the road. What were they thinking? It appears they have done everything they can to make the situation worse.
“It is completely mad and so arrogant.”
His wife Jen Dunford, of Frampton Cotterell’s Village Action group, said: “What the council has done, without even informing or consulting any residents, is both ugly and will undoubtedly increase dangers for all road users, cyclists, pedestrians etc in various ways including speeding.
“The cycle lane forces cyclists into the badly damaged part of road. Several local cyclists have contacted me to say that this substandard cycle lane is far more dangerous than no cycle lane at all.
“Drivers will expect cyclists to stay within the lane and will not be prepared for them unexpectedly deviating to avoid potholes or parked cars. Most drivers will assume that the lane is wide enough and will not allow cyclists the recommended berth.”
Fellow resident , Kirstie Bidwell said: “The road markings are increasing the dangers to pedestrians, motorists and home owners, and now it would appear to cyclists too. And the person who came up with this scheme is supposed to be a road safety expert?
“Has this person ever cycled this road, walked this road, crossed this road, stood by this road for considerable periods of time?
“It is not acceptable that the council have implemented this scheme without prior consultation, which would have raised all of these safety issues and surely put a stop to all before it even started.
“I would not be allowed to build an extension on my home without going down the official channels, and then just say 'oh sorry, it's done now' at the end of it’.”
The authority has admitted carrying out the ‘minor’ scheme without asking residents their views was a mistake.
A spokesman said: “Changes to traffic signs and road markings on a short section of Church Road have been introduced to tackle road safety concerns.
“Local members, the parish council and police were consulted about the proposals prior to their implementation. However we do recognise that residents were not asked for their views at the time, this was a clear omission on our part and we apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.
“We will be writing to residents within the next two weeks to ask for their comments. These comments will be reviewed and considered in consultation with the local members.”
The council said the 30mph signs painted on the road were not in line with new regulations which do not allow for their use in an area with street lighting.
Cllr Claire Young (Lib Dem, Westerleigh) said she was ‘horrified’ that the changes had been introduced without any consultation of residents particularly as another scheme, investigated by another council officer, is on a future budget list.
Cllr Pat Hockey (Lib Dem, Frampton Cotterell) said: “We told the council they need to speak to local people and the next thing we know is the lines have been put down outside their houses.
“Understandably people are not best pleased. As well as the main concern over parking, residents felt because people parked on both sides of the street they slowed traffic themselves. The cycle path encourages people to park on one side and they fear that will speed traffic up rather than slow it down.”
Church Road is closed for six weeks while a dilapidated bridge is replaced. It is due to reopen on August 31.
Residents should receive a letter of apology from the council this week.