PARENTS of young children in south Yate have been left flabbergasted at South Gloucestershire Council’s out-of-the-blue plan for a cycle path directly outside their homes.

Residents in the well-populated streets of Witcombe, Brockworth and Rodborough are furious at the proposal to create a cycle lane through the estates’ enclosed green spaces, fearing it will mean their children can no longer play safely outside their homes.

Keely Barrett-Waines, who lives in Witcombe with her husband and five-month-old daughter, said: “I live five doors down from my parents and grew up here. We always played outside when I was a kid, it is lovely round here because there are no roads to worry about and it is safe.

“I have a young baby and one day I am hoping she will be able to play outside my front door.

“But with this cycle path it will not be safe any more.”

John Hudd, who has lived in Witcombe for 44 years, told the Gazette: “These houses were designed as rear entrance, the idea being it would keep children safe and away from traffic.

“Now there is going to be cycling traffic coming through and they won’t be safe.”

The scheme follows a proposal by the Jacob Wells Group and would run from the mini-roundabout to Westerleigh on Shire Way through Abbotswood Shopping Centre, Sundridge Park, Highworth Crescent and on to Yate town centre.

The council officer behind the path is reported to have told residents he wants it to become as popular as the Bristol to Bath cycle path, prompting fears it will be busy with professional cyclists commuting to and from work.

Stephen Court, whose front gate of his house in Witcombe will open directly onto the cycle path, said: “My main concern is for the safety of children.

“The cycle path would be on a main route to two schools, Wellesley and Abbotswood, and to Abbotswood shops and it would not be safe.”

Mr Court, who has two children at Abbotswood Primary School, said at seven feet the proposed path was too narrow.

“It does not need to come through a residential area,” he said. “Rodford Way is plenty wide enough and although that would incur costs it would be the safest route.”

Residents are even more upset that the council’s proposals were not made public prior to white markings being drawn out on the estate roads three weeks ago.

The authority said a technical error meant information was not made available on its website’s consultation page but householders told the Gazette only a small minority had received a letter about the scheme through their letterboxes.

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesman said: “We initially consulted on proposals for the shared use cycle path in April, however, a technical error meant that the information was not displayed on our website for the full consultation period. We reopened the consultation at the end of August.”

Chris Zapata, who has collected 300 signatures for a petition against the path, said: “There has been no consultation.

“We want to raise awareness as this goes directly past 80 or 90 houses.”

The petition and 100 letters objecting to the scheme will be handed to Cllr Alan Lawrance (Lib Dem, Dodington) today (September 18).

The closing date for people to comment on the consultation was extended from last Friday until tomorrow (September 19). To make a comment email