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Councillor under fire as another cyclist hit on route where two were killed after cycle lane ripped out

Cllr Andy Morgan questioned whether the infrastructure could have protected anyone from a collision and said it was "overwhelming rejected" by local residents in an act of "democracy"...

A councillor in Bolton has caused controversy for his reply to people pointing out that another cyclist has been hit by the driver of a vehicle on a busy route where cycle lane wands were removed.

Greater Manchester Police have said they arrested a man on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs after a cyclist was injured in a collision on Chorley New Road on Friday, the A-road route out of Bolton where two cyclists were killed last year, those fatalities coming since cycle lane wands were controversially removed in 2021.

> Cyclist killed by hit-and-run driver on road where cycle lane wands were controversially ripped out

With the latest collision pointed out to Conservative councillor Andy Morgan, he penned a lengthy reply describing it as an "accident" that "is regrettable but no orca wand would have prevented that happening".

Cllr Morgan also went on the offensive, claiming the critic "clearly doesn't know the difference between a protected cycle lane and a cycle lane that is separated by some random orca wands that wouldn't protect anyone from bad cycling or driving".

Following that semantic argument, he went on to say: "We carried out a legitimate consultation with the people that use the road and also live on the road and they overwhelming rejected the orca wands and they were subsequently removed, that's called democracy. The cycle lanes are still in place albeit not protected by a few orca wands. Any accident is regrettable but no orca wand would have prevented that happening."

Unsurprisingly the councillor's remarks were not the end of the discussion, the original commenter thanking him "for your input" but they would rather "stick with published guidance for my definition of what a protected cycle lane is".

Questions have also been raised about the consultation report, in which it was stated that 68 per cent of respondents were dissatisfied with the cycle lanes, but that "some of the dissatisfaction can also be attributed to the scheme having not gone far enough", not just outright opposition.

The same report also suggested that "in line with Department for Transport guidance", the scheme should be monitored for six months to a year, rather than immediately removed.

Another reply to Morgan asked, "Why don't you provide protected lanes then, if that would have prevented the deaths?" while another accused the local politician of a "patronising tone and neither a word of concern for the cyclist who has been hit, nor any attempt to reassure that the cycle lane is safe or fit for purpose".

Two cyclists were killed on the road in hit-and-run collisions during a six-month period in 2022, those incidents coming in the 12 months after the council confirmed the wands would not be returning and that the £275,000 active travel scheme would be scrapped.

That decision came despite the minutes from a Bolton Council meeting showing that councillors were told the newly non-protected bike lane would not meet the national minimum safety standards.

At the time of the second hit-and-run death, Morgan defended his authority's decision by saying "we can't plan for a hit and run unless we take cyclists off the road completely, which no-one wants to do".

"As politicians, we're constantly being criticised for not doing what people want, but now we're being criticised for doing what the public wanted," he said. "The cycle lane stayed in the same place. It is exactly the size as it was before.

"It's a dangerous road. There are discussions to be had about the speed limit on Chorley New Road but people don't want to reduce that from 40mph either."

We first reported on the lane in January 2021 when the council said it had "no intention to enforce" parking restrictions after images were shared of bumper to bumper vehicles parked in the cycling infrastructure.

Chorley New Road

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.

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20 comments

Avatar
AReadman | 9 months ago
2 likes

I have half a feeling this road was a test case for corporate manslughter.

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yupiteru | 9 months ago
12 likes

The majority of the people are not classed as disabled (24% of the population) but we still quite rightly provide facilities for them.

Only 18% of the population are between the ages of 0 - 14 yrs old so obviously we should close all the nurseries and schools down and ban child care as they are a minority

In fact only 49% of the population are men in the UK so where does that lead us?

It seems to me that the Tory way in recent times is for representatives of the party to try and outdo each other by seeing who can be as obnoxious and unpleasant as possible without compromise.

Surely there can't be anyone decent out there that thinks this is the correct way to run our society?

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to yupiteru | 9 months ago
6 likes
yupiteru wrote:

The majority of the people are not classed as disabled (24% of the population) but we still quite rightly provide facilities for them.

Only 18% of the population are between the ages of 0 - 14 yrs old so obviously we should close all the nurseries and schools down and ban child care as they are a minority

In fact only 49% of the population are men in the UK so where does that lead us?

It seems to me that the Tory way in recent times is for representatives of the party to try and outdo each other by seeing who can be as obnoxious and unpleasant as possible without compromise.

Surely there can't be anyone decent out there that thinks this is the correct way to run our society?

With the right-wing, cruelty is the point.

Democracy tends to serve the needs of the majority, but when it comes to safety and health, then we need to focus on the minorities. What I find particularly annoying is that enlightened self interest usually involves improving conditions for minorities. With cycling infrastructure, that's especially obvious as getting people out of cars and using active travel improves road congestion for the people that prefer to drive and drastically reduces costs to the NHS. Strangely, when it comes to the NHS, the Tories have an agenda to destroy it and to emulate the U.S. system as that enables a tiny minority to make a huge amount of profit at the expense of the majority.

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Rich_cb replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
1 like

Yet despite their best attempts to destroy it, the English NHS is still running far better than the Labour run Welsh equivalent.

Either your assertion is wrong or Labour are so hideously bad at running a health service that they are doing a a worse job than a party trying to actively destroy it.

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chrisonabike replied to Rich_cb | 9 months ago
3 likes

Hmm... but (on the evidence of your graph) they only really started destroying it in early 2020.  I wonder why they picked that date?

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chrisonabike replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
1 like

I'm not specifically disputing that there is poorer Welsh NHS performance but just what you're presenting there (I'm just holding you to your normally high standards of evidence / clarity of explication...)

Possibly interesting article from 2023 about this across NI, Scotland, Wales and England - not one graph, but several! (Guardian trigger warning)

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Rich_cb replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
1 like

Prior to COVID year long waits were virtually unheard of in England but about 1/50 Welsh patients were experiencing that level of delay.

The graph illustrates the current state of the Welsh NHS and the failure of the Welsh Labour government to restore services to anywhere near the English levels.

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chrisonabike replied to Rich_cb | 9 months ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

Prior to COVID year long waits were virtually unheard of in England but about 1/50 Welsh patients were experiencing that level of delay. The graph illustrates the current state of the Welsh NHS and the failure of the Welsh Labour government to restore services to anywhere near the English levels.

Indeed although for completeness the graph shows they've reduced the percentage of those waiting over a year by much more than they did in England after the peak of COVID, nor is England back to their previous levels...

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Rich_cb replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
0 likes

I'm sure that's a lot of consolation for the tens of thousands of Welsh patients waiting for their operation who wouldn't be waiting under the Conservative run English NHS.

The Welsh NHS was underperforming pre COVID, now the difference is even more stark.

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eburtthebike replied to yupiteru | 9 months ago
1 like

The majority of people aren't tories: why can't we get rid of them?

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mikewood | 9 months ago
5 likes

Sorry but democracy (or popular misconception) sometimes does not represent the right thing to do.

If the majority of the people don't cycle, why does there have to be any cycle provision would be the democratic result?

By the same token, any minority would be democratically voted down and have no rights or protection.....

 

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ktache replied to mikewood | 9 months ago
6 likes

The tyranny of the majority...

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neilmck replied to mikewood | 9 months ago
0 likes

.

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tootsie323 replied to mikewood | 9 months ago
2 likes

The majority of drivers seem to believe that they can drive safely above speed limits...

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mattw | 9 months ago
0 likes

Does the width of that cycle lane meet national guidance for width? I make it about the same width as that Range Rover parked on the pavement, which would be 2.1 metres - so it looks marginal or undersized.

Obviously it doesn't for "painted cycle lanes are inappropriate for 40mph limit roads" (paraphrased).

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brooksby replied to mattw | 9 months ago
4 likes
mattw wrote:

Does the width of that cycle lane meet national guidance for width? I make it about the same width as that Range Rover parked on the pavement, which would be 2.1 metres - so it looks marginal or undersized.

Obviously it doesn't for "painted cycle lanes are inappropriate for 40mph limit roads" (paraphrased).

How often have you EVER seen a cycle lane which met national guidance for width?

Avatar
eburtthebike | 9 months ago
12 likes

With the latest collision pointed out to Conservative councillor Andy Morgan, he penned a lengthy reply describing it as an "accident" that "is regrettable but no orca wand would have prevented that happening".

Good to see he is ahead of the tory leadership by demonstrating his love of drivers and his callous indifference to cyclists way before they did.  Not that he's factually correct about the wands preventing the death of the cyclist, as it is entirely conceivable that the driver would have changed course after hitting one.

Great that he's also demonstrating the tories adherence to truth and honesty by grossly misrepresenting the findings of the report.

We need to have a system to get out politicians who are so clearly biased and don't represent their constituents.

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AndrewM | 9 months ago
9 likes

What he could have said, but that would obviously be crazy.....

At the time of the second hit-and-run death, Morgan defended his authority's decision by saying "we can't plan for a hit and run unless we take cyclists cars off the road completely, which no-one wants to do would lose me votes".

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rogerbeardswort... replied to AndrewM | 9 months ago
4 likes

When I started to read that sentence I expected it to say that! He obviously forgot that a hit and run can involve pedestrians.

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marmotte27 replied to rogerbeardsworth@yahoo.co.uk | 9 months ago
4 likes
rogerbeardsworth [at] yahoo.co.uk wrote:

He obviously forgot that a hit and run can involve pedestrians.

This guy clearly isn't about logic, facts or even common sense...

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