Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

"Optical illusion" cycle lane behind three trip injuries a month to close tonight for long-awaited works

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has been an outspoken critic of the cycling infrastructure, which is believed to have tripped up more than 100 pedestrians due to confusing kerb heights and colours

A cycle lane responsible for numerous pedestrian trip injuries is to be closed tonight for works to improve safety in the hope of preventing future incidents.

The bike lane on Keynsham High Street, in the Somerset town between Bath and Bristol, is believed to have caused more than 100 people to trip since it was first installed in 2022, a rate of more than three incidents a month. Previous works have seen the surface painted red in an attempt to more clearly distinguish between the differing kerb heights of the pavement, cycle lane and road, the colours and heights reportedly causing an "optical illusion" trip hazard.

> More pedestrian injuries reported on "optical illusion" cycle lane, with one casualty claiming it must have been "designed by toddlers"

Tonight, Bath and North East Somerset Council will close the route to repaint the solid white dividing lines as broken white lines in an attempt to reduce trip incidents, the BBC reports.

The works have been in the pipeline for several months, the council waiting for the right weather conditions and an available contractor having promised to fix the infrastructure "at the earliest opportunity".

"This mitigation should make the change in levels clearer to pedestrians and prevent further trips and falls, Paul Roper from the council said. "We are grateful for people's patience while the audit was undertaken and the road safety report compiled, which we are acting on."

Even with safety changes imminent, some remain critical of the council's approach, councillor Alan Hale having previously warned that the works do not represent the recommendation of the council's audit and risk causing more confusion.

"It seems to me that the council administration have spent good money on an audit but, having received the results, they together with the officers and the design team have decided to dismiss what they have been told," he said.

Jacob Rees-Mogg and Keynsham High Street cycle lane

A year ago, Conservative politician Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is MP for the North East Somerset constituency where Keynsham is located, called the scheme a "failed experiment" and appealed for the road layout to be returned to its previous state.

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

Add new comment

10 comments

Avatar
festina | 1 month ago
1 like

JRM perhaps hasn't noticed it is a 2 way street, it's just not open to cars in both directions. Just pedestrianise the whole stretch (with access to bikes). No one needs to drive down there, just have it for deliveries only (and perhaps enforce deliveries at certain times). Thornbury, on the north edge of Bristol, has done this (obviously to much complaining) but it seems a much nicer now.

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
1 like

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/local-news/people-still-bamboozled-optical-illusion-9221806

Seems like the BristolPost just interviewed some older people about it and unsurprisingly they don't like it. We'll have to wait and see whether less people trip up over it.

Avatar
Bungle_52 replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
2 likes

Apart from this one voice of reason.

"One woman who preferred not to be named said she thought the new dashed line might help to stop the falls. She added: “I use the walkway, the pedestrian crossing, so it hasn’t really affected me.”"

Avatar
brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
1 like

I notice they've still got someone complaining about cyclists speeding in the cycle lane...

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
1 like

If I go again I should get some stickers made: "I survived the Keynsham cycle path!"*

* about 100m of bright red asphalt, with various other road markings, kerbs and planters. Actually maybe it should say "I went to Keynsham High Street and looked where I was going and nothing of note happened"?

Avatar
brooksby | 1 month ago
3 likes

Rees-Mogg would like it to be two lanes - one lane for him and his Rolls Royce, another lane for every other road user.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 1 month ago
3 likes

brooksby wrote:

Rees-Mogg would like it to be two lanes - one lane for him and his Rolls Royce, another lane for every other road user.

I can't really picture him going shopping in Keynsham. Maybe he'd grab a Greggs sausage roll.

Avatar
brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
4 likes

Maybe Nanny drives him through there on the way to where important Tory donors live?

Avatar
Bmblbzzz | 1 month ago
6 likes

No, it should not go back to being a two-way street, at least not in the way JRM means. In fact it would be better if it went to being buses and cyclists (and of course pedestrians, and probably the other vehicles that are usually allowed in bus lanes) in both directions with no cars in either direction. This would allow the kerb/not-kerb and bollards to be dispensed with entirely.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Bmblbzzz | 1 month ago
1 like

If it went to being a two-way street (with low motor traffic flow) that would be an improvement!  Seemed a little busy when I passed by.  If people are falling over the cycle lane clearly there's quite a lot of crossing of the road going on.  So it doesn't make sense for the road to be a "route" for motor traffic, right...?

Latest Comments