Low cost improvements will make big difference for cyclists

Campaign membersFROM THE DAILY ECHO:

A group of Southampton cyclists is taking steps to make the city safer for bikes.

As the Daily Echo continues its Don’t be a Fuel Fool campaign and begins to look at ways round the rising price at the pumps, Southampton Cycle Campaign are working to fill in the ‘missing links’ in the city’s network of cycle paths and routes.

Spokesman for the Cycle Campaign Lindsi Bluemel says there’s low-cost improvements that could be made in Southampton, which would make a big difference to cyclists.

She said: “We’re very well aware that there’s not going to be money around in the next few years for completely new schemes, even though some of them are badly needed.

“What we’ve looked at is easy ways to implement inexpensive connections that will cost the council very little but will improve the network of cycle paths in Southampton.”

The group has already been in touch with Southampton City Council about a number of improvements that are cheap but could help cyclists avoid dangerous junctions or busy roads.

Mrs Bluemel added: “There are quite a lot of roads that are two-way but they don’t want traffic entering at one end, so there are no entry signs.

“The council has agreed that they can put ‘except cycles’ on some of these signs so cyclists know they can use them – it will cost them next to nothing.

“We’re also asking for a shared use path to go through Bitterne Manor Park.

“It’s no cycling there at the moment but there’s going to be quite a substantial tarmac path put in, and if cyclists could use that it would cut a whole chunk of Bitterne Road West off.”

With petrol prices topping £6 a gallon for the first time ever, more and more people are looking at cheaper ways to travel – and low-cost cycling is a popular choice in the city.

But the Cycle Campaign says they need more bike-users to give ideas about what could be done to improve the cycle network in the city.

Mrs Bluemel said: “Sometimes it’s just one little dangerous section of road that puts people off cycling somewhere.

“We really need other cyclists coming and telling us what problems they experience.

“People will moan and say ‘Why is it like this?’ – but sometimes it’s because no one has raised the issue.”

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