Councillors criticise £500k A1000 cycle lanes in Barnet
Simon Allin, LDRS
- Credit: Barnet Council
A cycle lane that cost more than half a million pounds to install has been criticised by Barnet councillors for causing “huge tailbacks”.
Tory councillors asked for a cost breakdown of the A1000 cycle lane, which runs from East Finchley to North Finchley, and said the scheme did not seem to be popular with residents.
The cycle lane was introduced by Barnet Council last year using emergency funding provided by the government to support social distancing.
But at a meeting of the environment committee on Thursday (March 11), the councillors claimed it was causing traffic congestion and pollution – and warned some aspects of the design could pose a risk to cyclists.
Cllr Felix Byers (Conservative, East Barnet) said: “Half a million pounds is a pretty colossal amount of public money to be spent on a scheme which, judging from the feedback I have received, does not seem that popular and seems to have been pretty hastily designed and implemented – without much forethought to a whole range of pretty self-evident flaws.
“Would it be possible to get an idea of the general breakdown of the cost? I just don’t understand why it is so expensive.”
Colin Aarons, the council’s interim highways and transport lead, replied that the majority of the money was spent on construction work, including “signing and lining, the removal of some build-outs and the installation of wands, minor changes to signs and resurfacing with blue material”.
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Mr Aarons said the council was putting in place a “monitoring strategy” to “establish how the nature of the traffic changes as we emerge out of lockdown”.
“If we can address any issues that continue to arise, we will,” he added.
The highways and transport lead said the scheme was not “rigid”, and that council officers were listening to the views of residents.
He said sample tubes will be used to monitor air pollution, while road safety audits were carried out on the initial design and further audits will take place.
Mr Aarons said his understanding was that “any emergency vehicle under a blue light” can use a bus or cycle lane, and the “wands” separating the lanes from the main carriageway had been designed to allow access for such vehicles.