Residents of North Tyneside have hit out at plans to create a cycle path along one of the widest roads in the area, saying it will result in the loss of grass verges and parking.
The 1.8m wide path on a 400-metre stretch of The Broadway from Beach Road to the Holy Saviours roundabout would give riders a route to Tynemouth village, and is backed by Sustrans as a safe route to a local school for pupils.
But hundreds of angry residents say it will impact parking, mean narrower roads and the moving of lampposts.
The newly formed Broadway Action Group has suggested an alternative route.
Philip Jackson, chairman of the action group, told the News Guardian: “All the residents are up in arms over these plans.
“This proposed cycle path is over the top, it’s excessive, will destroy the environment and will create traffic hazards.
“This money from Sustrans would be better spent upgrading the cycle path on the seafront.
“The path will go in front of houses, across driveways while it will also run right next to bus stops.
“Residents will have reduced parking space outside their homes for visitors and tradesmen. Vehicles will therefore seek to park in adjoining streets to the annoyance of other residents.”
Tim Pheby, senior engineer at Sustrans North East, said: “Sustrans believe that every child has the right to choose to walk or cycle to school.
“This scheme, on one of the widest streets in the borough, will provide a much needed safe route along the A193, allowing more children and parents to take healthier and greener options for the school run.
“This is one of the best proposals that we’ve seen this year and I would encourage local residents to give their feedback to help iron out the finer details of the plan.”
A council spokesperson said: “We have been allocated government funding to improve cycling infrastructure in Tynemouth and have developed a proposal, in partnership with Sustrans, that aims to make the local environment safer for cyclists.
“No decision has been taken and we are actively seeking feedback on the plans and would encourage anyone who has not yet got in touch to contact us before consultation closes on Friday, September 12.
“We will consider all views that are submitted. People can get in touch by emailing traffic [at] northtyneside.gov.uk or by calling 0345 2000 101.
“The proposals are available to view at www.northtyneside.gov.uk.”
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.