Poole has announced plans to add three more integrated cycle and pedestrian routes to the public highways.
The new routes are being created along Kingland Road to Poole Bus Station via Seldown subway; Serpentine Road under Towngate flyover and on the south east side of Parkstone road opposite the junction with Birds Hill road and through to Poole Park.
These new routes are being prepared not just with the aim of making Poole a more cycle friendly borough, but also to increase the respect between cyclists and pedestrians. Portfolio holder for the environment Cllr Xena Dion who passed this proposal, said, “There is no deadline fixed for this yet. But there are many areas across Poole where such plans are already in place, along large swathes of Ringwood road, Broadstone area. We would like cyclists to be considerate of pedestrians and vice versa.”
The plans were considered after several consultations between local residents groups and council officers on whether to promote sustainable travel in this manner. The associated benefit of health and well being of residents was also considered.
The Dorset Lake Residents Association raised concerns that these shared routes would increase the risk to pedestrians. The objection was especially raised for the proposal to use the subway connecting Poole bus station as an integrated route for cyclists and pedestrians. Poole Councillor Tony Trent echoes the sentiment saying, “I objected to this proposal because it is not appropriate to cycle in a subway. Besides, it is used by families and old people frequently.”
A local Parkstone resident who did not wish to be named said, “Allowing cyclists to use this area can be hazardous. I walk near the bus station frequently and it would not be convenient to split the pathways for mixed use.”
The council on their part are assuring that all measures will be taken to ensure safety of both pedestrians and cyclists – including signs showing ‘give way to cyclists’, minimisation of sign clutter along the route and inscribing cycle and pedestrian symbols on the pavements.
Cllr Dion added, “If everyone respected each other conflicts wouldn’t arise. But I do think that shared use of space, be it open spaces like parks and beaches, or footpaths and cycleways etc. is the best way forward and people will have to adapt to it.”
The redesign of pavements on Kingland Road will be the most expensive, at £ 43,000, while the Serpentine Road and Parkstone Road plans are expected to cost £ 2,000 and £ 25,000 respectively.